Seeing these little squares of color lined up together brings back fond memories of classes I took in watercolor. I have always been amazed that so many people can not read color and have no idea what colors are mixed together to make other colors. This simple exercise or one like it could begin to remedy this situation. You will notice, in this watercolor exercise, the basic watercolors are mixed with each other in order to show what colors will develop. A chart, following a pattern such as this, will show what the original color is when it is mixed with itself as well as the other colors and their mixed results. There is much to learn from this basic exercise. Making a chart like this you, certainly, will begin to develop some understanding of what color is within a color. This ability to read colors will help you understand why some colors work better together than others. One of the requirements of my watercolor classes was a weekly exercise of 100 colors, mixed in little puddles with the name of the mix beside the puddle, due every Friday. These little puddles of color were different mixes of these very tubes of watercolor. With this, sometimes irksome assignment, I learned to read every color imaginable. Great classes, wonderful quirky teacher, Thomas Currey…many years gone now…but leaving me with this gift.
It is all about the color and the line movement made by the color. A passionate use of adjacent hues. To write about this painting with two sentences is a huge injustice, but I was thinking about it in terms of color at first. Then I remembered this wonderful artist died a few months ago, leaving a large body of work that was at times misunderstood and criticized, I suppose like all art. Anyway, you might explore and learn a little more about this interesting contemporary artist at http://www.cytwombly.info/ as the link from the painting did not attach. There was also an article in the NY Times last July, at the time of his death, that gives more insight into his art. When questioned about reputation and artistic acclaim, Mr. Twombly said: “It’s something I don’t think about. If it happens, it happens, but don’t bother me with it. I couldn’t care less.” On November 11, 2011 a 2006 acrylic Twombly painting, Untitled, sold for $9 million. The highest price of the Phillips auction.