“Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways. ” — Oscar Wilde
I don’t make any claims to speaking to the souls of others in even one way, let alone a thousand different ways. But I will admit that choosing abstract expressionism with color “unspoiled by meaning and unallied with definite form” speaks to my own soul. Shouts. Whispers. Sings. Teases. Promises.
Looking back – and it’s a long and winding road – I can see that my love of color and of art began back in those kindergarten and first grade classes before computers and kid-size electronics. We used a rough natural color drawing paper that made a wonderful canvas-like ground for our Crayola crayons. Most of us had standard boxes of 24. Opening the box and looking at the two rows of pristine points of color was a wonderful moment.
Lucky kids had boxes with forty-eight colors, but some of us had already figured out that we could make all the colors we wanted with twenty-four. And we’d also figured out that it was fun to do that.
I didn’t come from an artistic family that encouraged me to paint or draw. I was encouraged to write but my grandmother saw through this and bought me my first real painting set when I was ten. My mom gave me a paint-by-number set when I was twelve, but beyond those two isolated events, I was on my own, and writing filled my days until I got to college where I took my first art history course and was blown away by the way modern artists used color.
Eventually, I did get to art school and other workshops. I learned to draw and learned about the tools of an artist. I’m still learning. Artists, musicians, dancers, actors never stop “taking class.”
Over time and with more than one detour I’ve found the way to my own abstract expressionist paintings, and I’ve not forgotten a single thing I learned about or loved on the way from there to here – all the way back to kindergarten.
Two new pieces: