The Music of Color
A few years ago I became intrigued by the question, "Is color enough?"
That kind of thinking puts me in the formalist tradition. Maybe as a fellow art-lover, you are in that camp with me.
Formalism holds that the power of a painting comes primarily from the composition of the marks on the canvas surface rather than subject matter; the belief that it's the arrangement of lines, shapes, colors, and textures that moves the viewer, regardless of subject or style.
"A picture, before it is a picture of a battle horse, a nude woman, or some story, is essentially a flat surface covered in colours arranged in a certain order."
-- Maurice Denis, 1890
Famous formalist painters include Paul Cezanne, Joseph Albers, Agnes Martin, Robert Motherwell, Mark Rothko. and Alexander Calder.
"Formalism is the study of art based solely on an analysis of its form – the way it is made and what it looks like."
- Tate Museum, London
As I studied these artists, and others, like Joan Miro, Helen Frankenthaler, Richard Diebenkorn, Joan MItchell, and Ellsworth Kelly, I became fascinated by the idea of having no place to hide.
Having spent decades learning to draw accurately, paint nature faithfully, and render light and space convincingly, I now wanted to set up visual situations that were only about color, space, texture - nothing else - with no chance of anyone being impressed by my "skill," or drawing ability, or technique. All of that was intentionally left out, leaving only the viewer's experience of the image.
Like my heroes in the formalist tradition, I came to believe in the power of shapes, colors, and textures to convey aspects of human experience in purely visual terms, without reference to anecdote, representation, or dependence on verbal ideas.
"The first virtue of a painting is to be a feast for the eyes."
- Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863)
Abstract art is music for the eyes.
Each painting is meant to be a harmony of tones which bypasses the language-center of the brain, to be felt and enjoyed as visual objects.
Thank you for your interest in my paintings.
If I can be helpful in selecting your next acquisition, please feel free to contact me or any of my galleries. It would be my pleasure to help you choose the right piece to energize your living space with the music of color.