From the start of my time painting, I’ve been a colorist, fascinated by the visual and emotional impact of color. Form certainly matters as well – as Mark Rothko showed so powerfully. In my decades of studying paintings, I’ve always wondered – still wonder – why Rothko’s color-field paintings enthrall me. I’m not alone, though I’ve read quite-good explanations.
While Rothko’s paintings seem to demand that the viewer look internally for meaning (and defy that meaning to be “programmatic,” since they convey emotion and introspection rather than a “story,” Clyfford Still conveyed drama in his paintings’ value contrasts and jagged forms. I see action, even fighting, and if I want I can see narrative.
Clyfford Still’s 1949, No. 1.
I started out painting Color Abstractions, each focused on two complementary colors:
Not too much orange, though: orange is quite powerful, quite jarring.
In closing, I have to acknowledge the master of color and color theory, Josef Albers.
Josef Albers, Interaction of Color (1963), Plate IV-1.
Next: what happened when I’ve added texture to color?