Tuesday, June 24, 2008
My friend KC asked me, what's with the stripes I use on/in many of my figures? Well, stripes are a good way of mixing color optically, like evenly spaced red and blue stripes = purple. And stripes are a really good way of describing form, such as on a topographical map. Plus a cool contrast with organic forms, like above.
Stripes are also a great device for organizing colors in a way that seems somehow natural. It's something I learned from my dad, and so sort of a tribute to him when I do it.
Making abstract art, which he does and which I used to and still informs my figures, means having to contrive a system for putting your colors on the page; you don't have a preexisting subject to do it for you. The system you use can easily make your painting seem silly or fake or dated. But compositions of stripes refer just enough to naturally occuring forms, such as in sunsets, canyon walls, that they can be a relatively inconspicuous device in an abstract painting. They're also endlessly versatile because their width, direction, and color are so variable.