I finished another painting, a bit similar to the Autumn Leafs painting, but with a much clearer structure and so I think, more powerful.
Also, I used different materials: lime, marble powder and cold marble wax for a smooth structure and shellac ink for a warm subtle tone.
This time, I really wanted to get a very deep, strong red. It’s not as easy as you might think by using different shades of red pigments. Red ochre is anhydrous iron oxyde, a mineral. It comes in shades from very dark brown-red to light yellow.
These minerals tend to turn either into a brownish red or rusty tone. So I mixed them, layer by layer and added some yellow pigments.
I wrote about the meaning of red before but I would like to add some more aspects to it.
Red, is the colour of power.
Kings, cardinals and Roman generals wore red.
Did you know, that about 75% of the worlds flags contain red?
But red is also associated with blood, danger, aggression and lust. The devil wears not always Prada but red and in the middle ages it was the colour prostitutes preferred to wear, until today we call the area were the prostitutes are presented the red – light district.
These oppositional attributes make red a tricky choice for brands.
One can say, red is the colour of life with all it’s facets: power, joy, sex, danger and death.
I hope you can see the power of life in my painting 😉
The last weeks were packed with lots of stuff. Currently, I am mainly working with Clara & Tobias in this old house and it’s really heavy work. We are still building the new separation wall and we already reached the first level (cave and ground floor are done!). It’s not only building this wall, it includes also removing old floors (very dusty), sort out the waste and bringing it to the dumpsites and shopping lots of bricks and mortar.
On top of all that, I relaunched this website with the help of my personal specialist, assembled my first portfolios of my paintings to apply in art galleries and organized the daily stuff necessary to keep the household running.
Despite me being very tired, I somehow managed to make a new painting, quasi to relax and see something nice after all this dust.
It is, to a certain extent a complement of the Autumn painting I did a few weeks before. The wonderful colours of the vine leaves right now inspired my to this composition of red and yellow ochres. Foreseeing the fate of all these leafs, I added some fading colours such as sienna and umbra.
All in all, it creates a warm feeling and let me thinking back on the summertime.
Autumn, the season between summer and winter, a time of change. It brings beautiful colours of fallen leafs, snugly evenings in front of the fire.
We start preparing for the winter time, harvest and conserve fruits and vegetables from our garden, store firewood, take out our cosy woolen cloths.
Nature is preparing herself for a long rest, to recover, to recharge its batteries for a great comeback next spring.
Autumn also reminds us on the impermanence of life. Maybe a good time to reflect and letting go ?
Until a few years ago, I could not imagine that I can create art.
It changed when I took a course in 2009, to learn using traditional techniques to restore and decorate walls.
My trainer was an artist-artisan, he not only miraculously mixed colours and materials, and explained how the different materials react with each other, he also conjured beautiful examples of multi-coloured stucco, lime plaster and Tadelakt.
I was thrilled, but still far away from thinking that this might have something to do with art.
For me, it was perfect craftsmanship, but it bordered on art 😉
During this course, I discovered that I have a knack for colours and I am quite good in applying the various techniques. So I started practicing to refine my skills. Over the years I have plastered many hundreds of square meters of walls. And still I did not think that this is a kind of art.
Friends who come to visit us every year began early to tell me that I should go a bit further and also use other supports than just walls because it is art, what I was doing.
I am indeed happy they liked the results of my work, but for me, the thought of trying that on canvas, was far away.
In January this year, we visited the Pop Art exhibition at the Tate Modern in London, and because this is such a wonderful museum, we went there again the next day and had a look at the permanent exhibition. I wanted to see the paintings of Gerhard Richter, who impressed me a bit a few years ago at the Museum of Fine Art in Leipzig, but this is another story to tell.
The Richter paintings are wonderful, but the biggest surprise for me that day was a room in which the Seegram Murals by Mark Rothko hang.
I had never heard of this artist and was deeply fascinated. What was hanging there, were paintings for decorating the walls of the Four Seasons restaurants in New York. These paintings reminded me very much of how I decorate walls. I spent about one hour in this dark room, I went back and forth, repeatedly looked at all pictures and was deeply touched. This subtle effect of how colours can influence a room (and moods) was overwhelming.
Now I understood what our friends thought when they looked at my walls and rooms. I decided to transfer techniques for the design of walls on canvas and adapt them to this flexible material.
At a first glance, it might look easy to paint with only one color, but it is quite complicated to bring in texture and depth and trigger emotions.
My two paintings Red and Blue are my first examples of just applying different hues of one colour.
Currently I’m experimenting with the color white, but it still takes a little until I like to show the result to the public.
So far, I have always worked with several colours, with Red I limited myself to one colour, but in different shades: ochre rouge, Rouge de Venise, vermilion. Again, I have worked with different layers and binders, such as marble powder, linseed oil and acrylic.
Ocre Rouge or iron oxide, is a pigmentobtained by calcination ofyellow ochre. The Venetian red is also based on iron oxide and has been used since antiquity for painting. Vermilion has been derived from mercury sulfide but here I used a synthetic pigment, which reacts a bit differently than the other two mineral pigments.
There are a lot of theories about the meaning of colours and the related personality types, and although some are very controversial, there are quite coincident assignments.
Roughly speaking, personality types differ according to their type of temperament (extrovert, introvert) and further regarding sensory perception, intuition, thinking and feeling.
The colour red is associated with extroverted, analytical thinking people. Allocated to red are such attributes like decisive, strong-willed, demanding, task & goal focused, powerful and positive thinking. “Red people” are full of energy and take immediately chances and challenges, tackle problems, and think later, maybe.
It could be that they do not pay much attention on the feelings of others.
No person is only red, just as the picture that I painted. It has different shades of red, which will be probably not perceived by many as red in the traditional sense. The middle part consists of several layers of ochre rouge, which is mixed with various binders and thus the layers are fairly discolored. The lower part consists of Venetian red, a deep, warm shade of red. The upper part is painted in several layers of vermilion on Venetian red. Depending on the source and intensity of light, the colours change.
When thinking about painting with one colour tone, red and blue came into my mind first. Seems, that I am not one hundred percent red 😉
Rush, hurry up to get the subway, the bus, the plane, be on time at the office. Countlessphone calls, talking to employees and customers, power struggles.
In between eating a bit, little fresh air, always under time pressure. Fast organizing a few personal things. Shopping food online, something healthy, if possible.
Even more quickly, make a little sport.
Getting back home, tired.
Hardly time to breathe, few highlights.
When started, I had a very precise image in my head how it should be. I wanted to create two colour blocks in orange and grey, in graduated layers to achieve depth. Orange and grey are in between colours. Orange is a warm colour, between red and yellow and can be seen as “joie de vivre” while grey is a boring, inanimate and nebulous colour, often used to express melancholy. Somehow I thought it’s a nice colour combination.
Anyway, I did not think of these meanings when I started but the first result was very appalling for me. That was not me! It was too wishy-washy, alien to me. I am a straight person, say what I am thinking and do what I am saying, sometimes challenging, but never undefinable.
I had an internal dialogue, one part of myself is very controlled, rational and logic, the other part is rather impulsive, passionate and hardly to retard, especially when it comes to explore something.
The next day I went back to my painting and started with different layers of blue to find my peace again, red for expressing power and passion and white for the rational part of me. It was naturally to separate the two blocks with a strong dark line.
The different colours I used are gleaming through, giving depth and showing a sort of turbulences. This impression has been enhanced by a high-gloss finish.
Exactly how I felt at the end of my first painting, churned up inside but somehow satisfied. I found something new to follow.