I walk into the gallery where twelve of my abstract paintings are hanging and three are leaning against a wall. I am immediately taken in by a riot of color which surrounds me. Looking around the room I see heather, green, brown, black, red, yellow, blue, orange, gold, rust and more. I am amazed!
I was in Paris when the show was hung and my first impression is a mild shock. If you had asked me yesterday what I thought the most important aspect of abstract painting was, I don’t think I would have said “color.” Perhaps, I should have expected to be surprised. I had received email “hints” from friends who had already seen the show. All of them commented on the profusion of color …all quite positive and only one expressing a preference for the paintings with less bold colors.
Since all people carry their own history within themselves, color evolves as a very personal issue. I actually believe that my favorite colors lean toward the earth tones with neutral right up near the top. At least half of the clothes in my closet are black. Sometimes, a vivid scarf brings the blazing shades of autumn into my wardrobe palette. I absolutely never wear heather or and shade of green. Off-white walls throughout my home with black accents in accessories, any color is derived from art on the walls, books, pillows and plants. Fall, winter, spring and summer are seen through the vertical blinds of my studio.
In the analysis of abstraction, there is a style called “color field painting.” Yes of course, color is is an important aspect in all forms of art. But there are many other worthy traits: texture, form, line, concept and the act of painting itself. But whether I admit or deny it, color seems to be at the core of my work …the key to making a bold statement that draws attention to each individual piece.
This week, as I think more and more about abstract art, I am trying to capture the brilliant, and quickly fading, autumn colors. The trees, bushes and grasses reach out in their glory …I look only at the myriad of colors. There are shades of red, green and gold that I swear I have never seen before, even though I have been taking pictures of the seasons for years. I know these colors will inform my next abstract painting. I know it because the little voice in my head has been pondering color all week. I can’t keep it all inside me.
Tomorrow I start a new abstract painting.