I am still working with my color scheme and graphic I developed several posts ago (Re-Inspection of Time) about the past and how to depict it. The graphic is a zig zag or continuous ‘S’ curve, derived from the way my eyes scan an old fashioned photographic contact sheet. Of course this is the way one would read a book but for a contact sheet, the eyes take in different slices of time they move across the its sequential photos. My color scheme (sepia and yellows) is related to the stereotypical association of the color sepia with old photos and yellow with the color that everything fades to with age.
I began with zig zag strokes of yellows that blended from lemon yellow (a bit on the green side of the spectrum) to an orangey cadmium yellow to a brownish Naples yellow. I painted permanent mauve adjacent to the yellow, to provide contrast. After establishing this sawtooth-looking construction, I painted with clear water above the saw teeth and dripped in my sepia ink. As I tilted the paper, the brown ink dripped through the yellow and purple. It reminded me of stripes of a tiger.
I have had excellent luck and a lot of fun with oils for the past few days, so I thought my composition could use a bit it. I envisioned a red/white mixture merging to blue and white across the top, after flipping the paper so the origin of the sepia streaks was positioned at the bottom.
I have been feeling a bit repetitive since I began this series. Since I discovered my ‘time graphic’ and ‘colors of the past’, I have tried different ways of treating them visually. But I always seem to have the same starting point. So far I have not exhausted this theme and there is always hope that it will lead to another step in development.
I just started reading a book about the Blue Four, a group of artists that included Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Alesej von Jawlensky and Lyonel Feininger. Thumbing through the color plates I noticed that themes are repeated again and again. Sometimes the forms are reproduced in different colors, sometimes the same color scheme is used repeatedly. I take a lot of solace from this. I’m glad I am in good company chasing down a theme.