Saturday, February 11, 2006

Mentors


Last night I divorced myself from work and spent hours drifting through art books: Wolf Kahn's America and Wolf Kahn's Pastels, as well as Painting Maine, Borrowed Views of Connie Hayes. The common denominator is color and shape. Hayes paints interiors and the rocky villages of ME, while Kahn loves the woods and fields of VT (with some staunch barns for company). Both push their color palettes towards bold so one gets to see: turquoise barns in ochre fields (Kahn); sun filled living rooms with bulky furniture shapes so full of light the whole painting seems yellow (Hayes); hot pink and orange trees in a purple field (Kahn). I realize color jumps off the canvas to me and pulls me right in. Looking at Kahn's purple skies and violet grass make me feel like I'm indulging in the most exotic three layer mousse chocolate dessert extravaganza. It fills me right up with pleasure and satiates me with joy.

With all that abundance of color in my head I began by laying down red/orange grass, purple mountains - orange rimmed - and periwinkle sky. The green crept into the sky when I added yellow to the periwinkle to make it glow. Although I was looking for a kind of acid green, the kind of light that tiptoes in before a storm, I ended up with a more mature grass green, that of dark roiling summer storms; or the stuff found stuck to the lawn mower blade housing after a day battling the abundance of lawn growth during a New England spring.

OIl pastel on paper, 6x8".

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