"If you are only moved by color relationships, you are missing the point. I am interested in expressing the big emotions - tragedy, ecstasy, doom." Mark Rothko
I began by creating a picture today which is very Rothko - like. A field of green with a patch of purple at the bottom. I've been exploring colour for months now, on small squares of wood, on silk, with pastels and watercolour. I have not wanting to allow myself to make a picture like his, but today I allowed myself to make it with Rothko in mind, and to feel my way through the picture, because these shapes come out organically in considering fields of colour and juxtaposed colour. It was a beautiful experience of colour. Peaceful, harmonious, even if it was contrasting colours.
This evening I finally delved into Rothko's story and Colour Field Painting a bit more."Color Field Painting emerged out of the attempts of several artists in the late 1940s to devise a modern, mythic art. Seeking to connect with the primordial emotions locked in ancient myths, rather than the symbols themselves, they sought a new style that would do away with any suggestion of illustration." (the arts story)
Many aspects of this rang true for me, the fact, in the quote above, that colour can represent various emotions, and that these paintings come about in an individual process oriented manner, instead of a projected planned way. Rothko "ceased to be interested in representational likeness and became fascinated with the articulation of interior expression." (the arts story) It was interesting to see who influenced Rothko, philosophers such as Nietzsche and many artists and who he influenced. I had not come across Jules Olitski before and I was surprised how similar his work is to mine, or vice versa. I can see his influence from Goethe-an colour theory in his soft fields of changing colour. His painting is the one above, titled, "Instant Loveland," which I remember seeing at the Tate Modern.
I look forward to studying more about these artists, and more importantly to see how I can forge my way forward in my personal process of exploring colour.
"We are creating images whose reality is self-evident and which are devoid of the props and crutches that evoke associations with outmoded images, both sublime and beautiful...The image we produce is the self-evident one of revelation, real and concrete, that can be understood by anyone who will look at it without the nostalgic glasses of history." Barnett Newman