Thursday, March 14, 2013

Painting and the Meaning of Color

The second year I attended the Art Colony I was in the workshop of Patt Odom.  Patt  paints in acrylics and oils and also is a master of collages.  I consider her a "painterly painter". 

 You can find her  work here  

I learned a lot from Patt about the personal side of color preference.  She provided us handouts on color that explored the meaning of color as expression in painting.  This was not really a new concept to me (the fact that it is natural for different individuals to prefer different colors) but I had never consciously thought about it while planning a painting.  The referenced material gave a description of each color and how that color related to the individual who preferred it according to character and personality studies.  It was noted that blue, red and green are the colors most people prefer and in that order.  Red is positive, blue tranquil and green a balance between the two.  The book excerpt went on to say that if you like red, the interest of your life is directed outward.  Through red the human spirit finds release for it's more impassioned emotions.  

Additional colors are each described along with their relationship to emotions. (Unfortunately, I could not find a reference in the handout to the particular textbook but if anyone is interested in obtaining a copy of the material I have, please email me and I will scan it to you.)  Patt taught that color and form should be worked hand in hand with the painting.  Shapes have expressive qualities that relate to color.  Again, I had an "ah ha" moment.  I should not try and paint each stroke the very same as in painting a real house but to try and make the viewer feel something the artist feels.  The feeling being more important than the visual subject.  An article by Charles Movalli entitled, "In Praise of Painterly Painters" was included in the handout and I found it very good.  In the article the author said Sargent searched for the brushstrokes that gave the most expression with the least waste of energy.   In addition the author stated "the brushstroke is like a piece of the painter's handwriting".  

Another way this was stated by Patt was that movement creates LIFE and brushstrokes create motion and livingness.  Patt's work reflects motion and movement and Life.  She makes the paint the "star", at times, even leaving drips of paint in the finished work.  In an effort to create more life in my own art, I learned to use BIG brushes.  That was a hard lesson, and still is at times.  I also learned that the way to become a better artist is to paint, paint, paint.  Patt stated that there is no bad art but there is unlearned art. To illustrate this, one can use a ladder to explain the process.  It is determined by how many steps you have climbed on the ladder.  All artists are somewhere between the first and last step.  We should all be striving to climb the next step.  One step at a time!  You never arrive; you are always climbing.  My goal is to continue to climb.  I hope this blog post helps you in your climb as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment