Schumann Symphony No. 1 (Spring) Larghetto


Schumann Symphony No. 1 (Spring)

by Kristin Serafini
acrylic on canvas
24″ x 30″ plus frame
$4000 (set)/ $1200 each

As I began this 2nd painting in the series, I decided that the canvases should relate to each other a little bit. So I imagined the movements like screens the pulled back one at a time to reveal the next mood. This Larghetto seemed much more intimate than the first movement. The lower, slower notes suggested darker colors and longer brushstrokes.

Instead of repeating the vertical stem of buds from the first movement, I felt the soft arcs of the strings suggested a more horizontal composition. So the orchids move across the top of the painting from left to right, floating in and out of darkness. This gave me a marvelous opportunity to experiment with translucent layers in acrylic. I started using clear medium to thin the paint instead of just water, which sometimes works, but has the nasty habit of disturbing the layers below.

The general mood of the piece seemed introspective to me, so I didn’t give a direct view of the orchids here. Each flower is turning away from the viewer a little bit. The moody darkness in the upper third of the painting is mostly a color called “Payne’s Grey”, which is one of my favorite dark colors. It looks black if you paint it thickly, but thinning it out, you will see that it has a blue base.

Also, at end of the Larghetto’s third minute, there’s a little bit of plucking in the strings that sounded like they should be raindrops dripping off the end of the flower stem.

Schumann Symphony No. 1 (Spring)