This morning I woke up with the theme to Marnie, one of Alfred Hitchcock’s films. Of all Bernard Hermann‘s music to rouse me to wakefulness, I am thankful it wasn’t the shower theme from Psycho (another Hitchcock film). Somewhere floating in my semi-conscious state was a vague awareness of a phrase from Apocalypse Now, a film adapted in part, from Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. I remember the words, “the horror, the horror,” from the film, although I did not hear it in my dream.
I haven’t seen Marnie in quite a while or Apocalypse Now, in decades. The only possible reason for dreaming these thoughts is the dismal state of world affairs.
Note to self: Stop reading about current events.
I began with my yellow time line: the brownish Naples yellow highlighted by a brighter Bismuth yellow, laid down in ‘S’ curves. I wet the paper first in order to get a soft outline. To push the yellow toward the viewer, I painted the complementary color, purple around its convex edges.
The color red was significant in Marnie, so I created a drippy red curtain interrupted by the yellow curves.
I divided the composition with a slanted blue, oil-painted line. Within the concavity of the yellow curve, I painted Indian yellow, an orange-tinted pigment.
Finally, I drew an image of a fist within the orange section of the study. This relates to the “horror” quotation in my mind as I awakened.
This study, with its saturated colors, belie its dark origins. It does not inspire thoughts of fear or horror, aside from the blood red drips. The significance of the small hand in the context of Apocalypse Now is impossible to know without seeing the film. However, the composition stands on its own without having to understand the association.