Thursday, December 03, 2009

Grey Power

Painting today, the main study for a painting called "Abandoning Someone Who Was A Friend To Me When I Had None".

The colours are unusual. I began to wonder how to represent abandonment and had been toying with the idea of using grey to represent time in a painting. That came about because of my studies of neuro-linguistic programming early this year. In that, mental images to be enhanced should be imagined brightly coloured, clear and vivid, while images to be destroyed should be fuzzy and grey.

That made me think of an unusual property of paintings; that most have constant levels of chromanance. Paintings can be brightly coloured (like a Monet, van Gogh, or a Raphael), or subtly coloured in ashen greys (like a Hammershoi), but the overall chromanance tends to remain constant. I decided to colour part of the image in grey, and as you can see the result was powerful. Mentally speaking grey is a killer colour, it kills just about everything it touches! And here that tiny distant figure near the mountains at the end of that long grey road is dead, about as abandoned as anything can be.

This picture is about 25cm square and the full size one will be about 80cm square. Studies like this are very useful for working things out, and it only took one day. The picture cries out for blue and I'm unsure of the green back-reflections. More to do, tick tick.

3 comments :

-Don said...

Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore...

You're right about the grey. It's a killer. I think it works perfectly with the idea of abandonment both literally and symbolically. It adds a nice touch to a composition that, I feel, was already working on the level you were striving for.

I'm glad I discovered your blog thru Kathy's blog. I look forward to checking out more of your works and words.

Happy Creating,

-Don

Kathy said...

Mark, this is going to be a powerful painting! Architecturally, it's very strong even though it's only a study at this point. Your experiments with chroma interest me. Years ago I was taught to create the illusion of luminosity by surrounding small amounts of full intensity chroma with neutral(created by mixing equal parts of complementary hues). This is similar to what you're doing, but you have a deeper purpose. Your visual experiments are coupled with psychological overtones that make your paintings masterful and deeply personal. I really connect with them! BTW - Eric Mantle's book "A Visual Guide to Classical Art Theory" has an amazing construction of the "Color Solid" in it. Have you seen it?

Mark Sheeky said...

Thank you folks. I've not heard of that book Kathy or the colour solid... I'll have to look that one up.