Start from the Center

Jay DeFeo said, “When I started The Rose...all I knew about it was that it was going to have a center.” DeFeo worked on The Rose for almost eight years, applying thick layers of oil paint, then scraping it away. Eventually, the work was so large and heavy that the only way it could be moved out of her studio was through the window with a forklift!

Make a composition that starts from the center of a piece of paper and goes all the way to the edges. Draw or paint a dot, a line, or a shape in the middle, and fill the paper with straight, squiggly, wavy, dotted, thick, thin, or scribbly lines.

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Jay DeFeo, The Rose, 1958-66. Oil with wood and mica on canvas, 128 7/8 × 92 1/4 × 11 in. (327.3 × 234.3 × 27.9 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of The Jay DeFeo Trust and purchase, with funds from the Contemporary Painting and Sculpture Committee and the Judith Rothschild Foundation 95.170. © 2015 The Jay DeFeo Trust/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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