The essence of this project is the exploration of colour as the key to creating space in the pictorial field, rather than tone. The traditional method of creating space and the three dimensional is tone. Tone is used to match there tonal values of the subject matter on the painting surface. The tonal approach was challenged in the late nineteenth century by Matisse who began using colour as a means to create space. A new language evolved which left behind tone and talked instead of the weight of a colour. In the mid twentieth century, Terry Frost proclaimed that colour and shape were better at realising an event or image than imitation. In this way his work does not directly reference anything else. It stands alone.
In this Project I have ignored tone and colour matches and have instead selected colour combinations planned and developed in advance and without direct reference to the image depicted. I then seek to use these colour combinations to realise the composition. The aim is to create an intensity of feeling through the use of colour to produce a particular impact. There is an element of trial and error involved as it is not possible to gauge the effect until the final piece is put in place. THis may mean multiple alterations until balance is achieved. The result however, is a painting which has been considered at multiple stages along the path of its development. Once complete a different sense of space pervades.
The images shown show the process at work. The first painting is purely tonal and mostly monochrome. Then the sequence of Tree paintings begins. I was taken by the sight of four trees along the banks of the millpond where we lived. The Four Trees painting is more about the exploration of the shapes in nature and involved my response to the complexity in the trees. In Two Trees, I took two of the trees and developed the shapes and then introduced colours I had already developed in my colour combination patterns. One Tree is another example. I have then selected details from these paintings to present the colours in new ways. The culmination is much larger canvases which can envelop the viewer. The painting moves towards the use of colour for its own sake but in fact references the world around us.
I also show the colour pattern paintings which in a sense are purely theoretical. They do not reference nature but do have a life of their own and are not random. I have used the same methodology to reduce the complexity by paring down the number of squares to see what happens.