Sunday, November 13, 2011

M is for Many Colors

So, what did I learn in school yesterday?

I am privileged to be studying Dynamic Abstract Painting with Illa Guttman at PCC this term. I have repeatedly referred to something I have learned from her in this blog - but yesterday's class was particularly enthralling.

The subject was Color Field painting "with its emphasis on stain painting and visual gorgeousness."

In class, we explored the often HUGE works of Helen Frankenthaler and Mark Rothko, among others.

Often in museums, when standing in front of a work of art that looks like nothing more than a line on a field of color, I think, I could do that. This kind of work looks easy - but ...  Ha ha ha ... not so fast.

Yesterday was a chance to try. I began by finding a photo (a sea scene) with vivid colors that laid out in lines.) On  a canvas 2'x3', and following the guidance of my teacher, I laid down a strong underlayer of a dark violet. Then, using painters tape, I laid out a pattern of stripes and began to paint, changing, mixing and layering colors - and seeing the effects of the color that lay beneath.

I was lucky to have 4 hours to work - because I needed time for layers to dry, and to watch how one stripe of color affected the next (and to remove and replace tape.) In the end, the simple stripes were too flat for me so I added the other lines. I am not sure if this works, but I know that I learned a tremendous amount, and already have several ideas for ways to use what I have learned in some new work.