Monday, February 25, 2008
My Art Story - Part One
In the mid-70's I was an art major at a very expensive college in Los Angeles. Now, there are a lot of distractions in a city like that and not a lot of reason to go to class. For example, I am from Buffalo originally and didn't know there could be a sunny day between October and May, but LA had many of them. So right there was reason enough to be indoors as little as possible. Other distractions that worked against me in college were boredom, existential angst, and a general inability to focus brought on by a wee dabbling in certain substances, 24/7. My art classes consisted of being given an assignment and doing the assignment, getting a grade and.......well, that was it. Something seemed to be missing... like being taught something... anything! And when a professor spent a month teaching us the color wheel....well I just had had enough. I mean - teaching the color wheel to art majors in college? It seemed to me one should go into college not only knowing the color wheel but feeling it in one's soul without needing to be taught it in the first place. But I digress - to a place that may be considered snooty by others, I don't know. But that's how I felt. So I left college after two years. I went back home to western New York and started to uncover my own art and artistic philosophy. I decided to explore plein aire oil painting and so painted outdoors on the 2 or 3 days of good weather a year there. Sorry, just another cheap Buffalo joke. Couldn't resist. I decided to use only the primary colors in my paintings so I would be forced to create every color I wanted out of three basic ones: red, yellow and blue. It worked out pretty well. I remember going into an art supply store to buy paint. The guy behind the counter noticed I was only buying the primary colors and asked me to explain. I told him I could get any color I wanted out of those 3 basics. He scoffed and said he only knew one person who could do that. I retorted "now you know two." These paintings here are just a few of the many that I did in those two years experimenting with color. I was only 20 but learned a lot about how the eye sees and how the mind interprets, blends and understands color. I'll write more later.