The Joy of a Square Painting.

In case you hadn't noticed I love to paint square paintings, to me there is a joy in the symmetry of a painting that has equal sides, top, bottom, left, right.

Somehow it is complete within itself, all encircling , all enclosing.

Mary Kemp.
Three Trees in a Russet Field.
Oil on canvas panel.
30 x 30cm

There are practical advantages too. 

  • If you start with a square doodle it will scale up nicely to whatever size you have. No more messing around with mathematical calculations for a canvas that is too long or too short.
  • And if you have a work that needs a mount, well any frame bigger will do, you don't have to battle with proportions and perhaps loose a little of your composition.

Of course there are disadvantages.

  • The internet can be unkind to square images. 
  • Facebook cuts them off at the knees. 
  • If I list on Etsy I have to put a square image on a landscape shaped background so it can be seen in its entirety at first.

But these are minor gripes.

I've been searching through my books to find square paintings in history. (Google wasn't much help because it kept showing me paintings of squares by Mondrian.)
There weren't many, which left me wondering , am I the odd one out here?

But I did find Gustav Klimt's Kiss, and Hans Holbein's The Ambassadors is nearly square, so all is not lost.

And here, for your delectation, is one of my own square paintings, a favourite.
Click here to view details.

Mary Kemp
Tea Time


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