Friday, May 1, 2009
No language, just color.
I feel that sometimes in my paintings; I have no language, just color. I am an abstract painter and some people think I am quite the colorist and that my paintings are evocative of certain emotions. I personally have a hard time knowing about picking up emotions from my colors. I know emotions from words, photographs, music, and film, but I'm not always sure about color. I know how to use colors, but not always sure what they mean, say or evoke. This isn't the same argument I have had in the past where I wonder about the validity of making lovely or beautiful art, or what it all means. This is really about understanding what color says to people and what it says to me.
I was having this discussion yesterday, as it comes up every now and then and I said I could talk about it for hours, and I think I could. I really want to understand it. What does color mean to you, is it spoon fed? Does green equal fresh and red equals anger, passion or love? Or can you feel sadness in olive green or hope in bright yellow? Why are we drawn to the colors we are drawn to? What makes me put an orange oxide next to a phthalo blue? Is it because of learned color theory or is it an emotional response, or just because I know they click (in my mind at least).
I think my titles hint at emotions or the stories I was thinking of or creating while painting the work but if you look at the paintings without the titles I am not sure how emotional or evocative they are. Or perhaps I am the only one that pays attention to my titles.
I see beauty in color, I think I even feel color- but I don't know if I can name an emotion to it. Now I do get emotions from a broken pencil or charcoal line or empty space in a painting, so what does this mean? I get emotion from the overall atmosphere of the painting but perhaps not the colors that create the atmosphere. Is this possible?
Suddenly I am thinking of the Tao and the "Tao is nameless, goes beyond distinctions, and transcends language." So perhaps naming certain emotions found in an abstract painting is an obsolete practice. To know it, is to not have to speak of it. It all turns inward into itself. You either like the work or you don't, you either feel it or you don't. It recalls something within you or it doesn't.
No language, just color and we are back to square one.
And speaking of color...I have finally restocked my Etsy shop with nineteen new affordable and original small works on paper. Please visit www.artmaven.etsy.com and Enjoy!
You'll find me here (again)
©2009 Megan Chapman
Once set, not abandoned
©2009 Megan Chapman