Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Hyacinth Macaw

Another limited palette exercise and also because I felt like having a colourful week. So expect the chroma to increase as the week progresses.
Definition of chroma: purity or intensity of colour.
I have repeatedly tried to tone down the chroma in my paintings, to get an effect that is less intense and - well - colourful. And I can't seem to do it. So this week, I am just going with it.
By way of consolation, my second favourite artist (after Hockney) changed his style in the opposite direction. Van Gogh's art dealer brother, Theo, advised him that his paintings were too dark to be saleable. Here is The Potato Eaters from 1884
shortly after painting this and at the same time he made the comments, Theo advised Vincent to check out this new group of so-called "impressionists". And the rest, of course is history. Here is one of my favourites painted 5 years later:


Did you know that Van Gogh came to painting relatively late in life - his late 20s - having tried various other career options including the family business, art dealing, training for the church, evangelism and charity work and as a result was the despair of his family? He finally "found" art - or it found him - and everything he accomplished was done in the next 10 years: he died in 1890 aged 37.

He wrote about his art demons (he had many demons, in fairness) in his collected letters to his brother which I am presently working through. I keep one of his quotes close to hand for those lacking-in-confidence-moments:

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' 

then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced."

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