Thursday, May 10, 2012

Kandinsky on color

I realized yesterday afternoon that I really wasn't done with that image.  So I played some more, inverted the colors, added some things... and I actually like this version much better.

But why?  Reading further in Kandinsky this morning, I'm learning that he sees color as "a power which directly influences the soul.  Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammers, the soul is the piano with many strings.  The artist is the hand which plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul."

All of which may explain my frustrations with painting: I have always been fascinated by and attuned to color -- I've probably mentioned here before that my mother spent a lot of time in fabric stores, and as a child I would amuse myself by sorting the colors of thread in the bins, removing the ones in the wrong row and returning them to their fellows.

With the computer, achieving a shift of color is usually quite simple; there are sliders I can adjust to get the exact shade I'm looking for -- or, if I don't have one in mind, it's an easy matter to test a variety of options and see which ones sing to me -- which is, for the most part, what happened with this image.  But I've been finding that doing it manually -- mixing paint and testing colors (which I had thought I would find immensely satisfying) is a laborious and frustrating process.  Perhaps I am just lazy, and prefer the easy way out -- certainly my mother accused me of laziness frequently when I was growing up!

I am amused to see (speaking of my mother) that the end result you see here reminds me of a raincoat she had which I coveted madly as a child: it was olive green with tiny lavender tulips scattered over its surface.  Clearly those colors still resonate with me; you can see variations on those themes throughout my house. 

Which leads to one of those chicken and egg questions -- which Kandinsky also considers: do we respond to particular colors because of things we associate with them?  Or are there colors that particularly resonate with certain aspects of our particular souls?

1 comment:

Joyce Wycoff said...

This is too weird ... I just started the Kandinsky book. That thread that weaves between us is pretty remarkable. Love the images that are coming out of your exploration ... and look forward to the settling of my life so that I have time to join you.