brighten up your day

Below the cut: two more drawings, a short explanation of fauvism, and some idiotic rambling! oh boy can’t wait

In b&w drawing and photography the drawer or photographer must take care to balance dark and light regions of the composition, as if light and darkness have “weight” that must be compensated for.

But colors have also have their own weight, as Matisse shows us. In the portrait below, Matisse has balanced the greenish left side of the woman’s (his wife’s?) face with the green background on the right. And I just noticed that both patches of green are long and rectangular, proportional in shape. The darkest areas of the portrait–hair, eyes & eyebrows, collar & shoulder detailing–are arranged symmetrically in the center of the space. And note that red and green are–gasp–complementary colors! Holy shit was Matisse awesome. He weighed and balanced color with such playful, spontaneous ease and deftness.

“The Green Line” 1905

Matisse and his followers were reacting against Impressionism with bright, bold color and form. The vivid colors were so revolutionary and wild that French art critic Louis Vauxcelles called the style of Matisse and his followers fauvism, from fauve meaning “wild beast.” Like a stampede of buffaloes careening across the canvas! Except instead of buffaloes, it’s color, crashing into each other in the most wonderful ways.

…I am trying to fill up my “color corner” with bright, cheery cray-pa drawings. My little sister drew the big heart, and my toddler brother loves looking at this corner and finding the stars and moons.

Origami crane chains are an even lovelier way to add cheer and color to your room. They are especially magical when tree-green light shines through them as they flutter in the breeze of the open window. Aaah… though I suggest you use something more classy than an old wire hanger to hang them. Beads are also a great touch.

How do you add color to your life?


2 thoughts on “brighten up your day

  1. Austin Yoder May 23, 2010 / 4:08 am

    well shit. i might just learn something about art if i keep reading. that Matisse painting is pretty spectacularly awesome.

    to add color to my life: definitely tea. color can be gustative, right?


    • C. Puls May 24, 2010 / 1:37 am

      tea and food are wonderfully colorful. have you seen the film “Ratatouille”? when Remy the rat tastes food, delicate little swirls of color and light ebb around his whiskers and face. it’s Pixar studio’s little demonstation of how color is gustative and tastes are chromatic. the nature of memory means that we are really all synaesthetic to some degree.


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