watercolour painting of imagination after a Rilke poem

Colour Studies

Through all beings stretches the one space: 
World-innerspace. The birds fly quietly
through us. Oh, I who wish to grow,
I look out, and inside  me the tree grows*.

Form is movement come to rest


Here is a selection of the foundational studies of all my works: painting out of the experience of colour, according to Rudolf Steiner’s understanding of colour. It’s an ongoing research process that keeps my practice fresh and creative as my technique and understanding changes and develop from year to year. I usually use watercolour for colour studies. Its my preferred medium, because it is so flexible and translucent. Most importantly, it breathes.

These studies ask the questions:

What is a colour’s mood, its gesture?
How does it move and what forms does it want to take?
And what effect does it have on me, the painter?
On the space, on the viewer?

To enhance this innate quality, I use a technique of layering or veiling: many fine semi-transparent layers of coloured water to create the overall look, then finish with more defined form for structure and composition. Form always arises out of movement of the colours: the form is movement that comes to rest. Each layer must, of course, be dry before the next is added. Works are usually no larger than 55cm x 40cm due to paper size restrictions.

A special research project concerning the effect of black on pure colour is represented here in several studies. Black’s mineralising and structuring effect on the saturated surfaces of pure colour is explored in the context of two- or three-colour chords. 

The above stanza from Rainer Maria Rilke’s Sämt. W,  2:93A informs my view of self within world.

*in Cassedy, S., 1990. Rilke’s House of Being, Chap. 13, Flight from Eden: The origins of modern literary criticism and theory. Univ of California Press.

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