Artist's Process

Original Sketches

Research

The process for Crossing Color began with researching artwork that sparked my interest, specifically that of Piet Mondrian and Henri Matisse. I was curious as to how and why Mondrian painted geometric shapes of color in black line structures. I found the connection between Matisse and the concept of Fauvism, meaning "Wild Beast" because of the bold colors the artist used in the movement, to be influential.

I looked back to work that I had completed both in high school and college. I noticed the paintings used primary, secondary, and complementary color pallets. Intrigued by this, I started brainstorming and sketched out compositions filling shapes with these colors.

Time To Sketch

The first round of sketches were of an idea to compare color complements using contrasting textures. For example, a shape of blue with a smooth, high gloss sheen juxtaposed to a shape of orange with a matte, rough texture. Pondering this concept, I eliminated comparing textures and introduced the idea of creating a structure that exhibited primary colors forming secondary colors.

I experimented with smaller paintings blending tones of color creating a gradient within the shapes. There was a pitfall about this approach. It made a surface that was distracting. The brush strokes created soft edges that drew away from each shape's interaction. To resolve this I realized that simplifying the technique was the key. I painted one solid color in each shape which in turn formed a hard edge. This adjustment made the design straightforward and was a needed resolution.

ADDING REPETITION AND VARIETY

Repetition and variety was added by replicating the design increasing the width of the canvas to be 48" x 24". Altering the canvas caused the dimensions of the design to expand. To fit the frame of the canvas the vertical rectangle's size changed to be 12" wide by 24" in height and is positioned 12" from the left side of the canvas. The adjusted horizontal rectangle's size is 48" wide by 12" in height and is positioned 6" from the top side of the canvas. The intersecting square is 12" x 12" and is positioned 6" from the top side and 12" from the left side of the canvas. To form the unified body of twelve paintings, I reduced the dimensions of all six canvases by half. This results in three 12" x 12" and three 24" x 12" paintings.

FREELANCING HELPED

Within the time line of this process, I was freelancing and designing logos. I referenced legendary designer, Paul Rand, and his graphical conquests. Paul Rand designed many famous logos, for example the IBM, ABC and UPS logo. When once asked in an interview, "what is design?", he responded:

Design is the method of putting form and content together. Design, just as art, has multiple definitions, there is no single definition. Design can be art. Design can be aesthetics. Design is so simple, that's why it is so complicated.

According to Paul Rand's explanation on design the "form" of Crossing Color is the two perpendicular rectangles that create a square intersection which is framed inside of a larger square. The "content" is two different primary colors that cross to form a secondary color inside of its color complement. Combining this form and content together on canvas is my method of displaying basic color as visual art.

Original Sketch

Original Sketch of Yellow Crossing Red in Blue

Above is the original sketch of Yellow Crossing Red in Blue. Below is the sketch brought to fruition. Because the three primary colors within the design occur in turn, the sequence is painted on three 24" x 24" canvases.

Finished Painting

Yellow Crossing Red in Blue

The vertical rectangle's size is 6" wide by 24" in height and is positioned 6" from the left side of the canvas. The horizontal rectangle's size is 24" wide by 6" in height and is positioned 6" from the top side of the canvas. The intersecting square is 6" x 6" and is positioned 6" from the top and left sides of the canvas.

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