Pink – de Kooning-Inspired

I’ve been reading about Willem de Kooning. Many think that his paintings, Pink Angels, was the cusp of his transition from figurative to abstract.  I liked it in part, because of the pink figures on the mustard-colored background.

I began today with streaks of transparent iron oxide on a titanium white background. Originally I had planned to compare two versions of these streaks: the one over the titanium white and another on paper that had not been ‘primed’. After reading about de Kooning’s Pink Angels, I changed the focus of my experiment today.

I washed over the rusty streaks with English yellow, to create my version of a mustard background. The pink figures in Pink Angel are described as “fleshy pink biomorphs of his earlier work – shapes that evoke eyes and other anatomical forms – … violently torn apart..”

I am always open to finding other ways of visually representing my relationship with Mike, my older brother who is autistic, low functioning and nonverbal. (Most of my posts from January through November 2013 have been explorations in this vein.) I may be able to find other modes of expressing of my particular state of being (as forged by my relationship with Mike), through study of de Kooning’s.

As de Kooning tore his fleshy subject apart, I decided to do the same with my brother’s features. The icons in the study below were mined from my previous images Mike: an unseeing eye, a couple of gestures, his nose, prominent lip and his eye looking directly at me – a depiction of fleeting attention he paid me now and then.

Watercolor: Abstract - Pink Pieces After de Kooning 011417

Pink on Saffron
12″x9″ 140# Cold Pressed Watercolor Block

I painted the figures with water soluble oil paints to achieve opacity. Although I tried to arrange the features haphazardly on the paper, it seems some of them did line up anatomically to make a face.

I like this piece visually, and the different approach to depicting my relationship my brother.

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