Monday, October 23, 2006

The Blue/Green Balance

Some say (I assume) that one of the engines of my particular genius (their word, not mine) is my tendency to read things as green when others think they are blue.

Good God, I'm not talking about the mid-summer sky, or the uniforms of the North Carolina Tarheels! But I am talking about the ocean on certain days, or the color of certain Bianchi bicycles--called Celeste--in a setting sun.

Now what, you may ask, does this have to do with the matter at hand?

Well, as I embark on the portrait of Stephanie C., the blue/green balance is very much on my mind. The truth of the matter is, I'm more comfortable in the greens than I am in the blues. I wonder if this is why it's taken me so long to get around to painting the poor girl's picture. I was alarmed to note that the first time I mentioned her was in July. JULY!

Because if ever there was a girl who landed in the blues, rather than the greens, it's Stephanie C. Greens, you see, take you--or me, rather--to yellows and browns and oranges. Gauguin was a green guy. Likewise Cezanne. Likewise, as noted, me. Fausto Coppi too.

Blues, on the other hand, take you into pinks and purples and grays. If you drift back through my archives, how much of that do you see? Matisse--although he could go either way, for sure--is a blue guy when push comes to shove. It was one of the ways he put some distance into the Fauvists who, with their almost unhealthy obsession with orange, were clearly green.

Likewise, Rembrandt, by the way. That boy was all green, 24-7, if only as a way to get to the browns.

Vermeer--blue. All that northern light. Susan Rothenberg and George O'Keefe--both blue.

I see this painting being all blues, pinks, creams and whites. Once I push the "publish" button, I'm heading to the deli to buy a bottle of Strawberry Milk and look at it.

I mean, really look at it.


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