Thursday, December 13, 2012

Color Studies - Connecting Art & Science

Over two years now & it still feels like I'm recovering, although I am beginning to enjoy some of the aspects of my 'new normal'. I used to always think of my numerous interests as conflicted. The connection between my painting & choice of animal as subject was obvious.  But before the BT, I thought of  science and math as just something that was interesting & never made the connection between my art & science.

Looking for purpose in my art has brought me back to my interest in science and re-awakened my inner nerd. Especially when I think about color.

My bachelor degree in electrical engineering came about because of my interest in math and science - the opportunities to get a good job were unquestionable. Working in the field though gave me a good understanding of why a career should be based on something you love to do and I didn't love it. I took a voluntary lay off and went to work helping in my husband's veterinary practice. This gave me time to pursue my real passion - art.

original chart created on a 24" x 30" canvas
Having had the opportunity to study the physics and math of color in college gave me an understanding of color that has transcended the connection between my love of art and my love of science. While taking an oil painting class the teacher strongly suggested making color charts in order to study how the colors blend when mixed.

'Time Out', oil on linen 14x11"- using colors from the chart above
One of the most interesting discoveries I made doing these charts was that the colors used to mix flesh are the same as the colors used to mix earth. All coming from a light source that is bending, refracting and reflecting – the study of color is like playing in a candy store with a very large puzzle. The colors on a palette can be scientifically analyzed and emotionally labeled to create the warm and cool vibrations used to represent life on a two dimensional surface. Wow. I love this stuff.

Color will always dominate my paintings. When thinking about the language of art, for me, color is the voice with which I speak. No wonder I liked playing with crayons and finger paint so much as a child.

In any art, science plays a huge part in both the creation and the message 
- whether you think about it or not :)

1 comment:

  1. One of the strongest motives that lead men to art and science is escape from everyday life with its painful crudity and hopeless dreariness, from the fetters of one's own ever-shifting desires. (Albert Einstein)