February 12, 2016
Earlier this week I got to see “Red”, the Tony-award winning play about one of my favorite painters, Mark Rothko. In the first act there’s a terrific back-and-forth between Rothko and the young artist he’s hired to be his studio assistant, of different things colored red. Its a verbal panoply of all things red, and in my mind’s eye as I visualized each thing they mentioned: tomatoes, blood, lips, cherries, apple, red pepper, rose, red hair, beets, lobsters (cooked), sunsets, strawberries, pomegranates, poppies, I saw all those different versions of red: cadmium red, alizarin, vermilion, scarlet, carmine, crimson, garnet and more. All so different, and all so red. I use them a lot. Its a fun exercise, and illustrates so well the differences between warm reds and cool reds to boot. In my workshop 2 nights later we started doing a similar thing, so they could all start envisioning different variations of just the one color.
Its a fun exercise, and illustrates so well the differences between warm reds and cool reds to boot. In my workshop 2 nights later we started doing a similar thing, so they could all start envisioning different variations of just the one color.
Next: I was born in the Year of the Monkey, so it’s ‘my’ year according to the Chinese zodiac calendar. There have been some interesting illustrations for it online on various social media sites, but I wanted to share one with you all especially. A friend of mine, Kay, who does sumi-e, created a lovely tribute to this year here.
And finally, speaking of reds, have a lovely Valentines!
January 11, 2013
I started this piece in the fall, as a demonstration piece once again in one of my workshops. This piece actually started me on the intention of loosening up on color ‘rules’ I have consciously and unconsciously obeyed. Since I often use a subject I know when I’m playing around with ideas, and I have been painting Iceland poppies forever, so shape, color and composition are like second nature to me, I find it really easy to go for changes and experimentation with them as my subject.
There is no such thing as a lavender Iceland poppy. Yellow, orange, reds, pink, and white yes, but nothing in the blue spectrum. And I’ve always wanted them. So ‘tada!’ I made them. In the grand scheme of things its really not much of a huge plunge, but then again, baby steps are just fine to start out on new paths. I also broke another covenant I heard early on in my painting education, that paintings with red backgrounds can be difficult to make work, let alone sell. Thank goodness Henri Matisse didn’t believe that! There are essentially four different reds used in the background, but with layers and some mixing, it looks like more. I am really enjoying how this piece turned out. You?
This piece is now available through my Etsy shop.