Thursday, July 21, 2011

violet makes me think of Gershwin

Violet Cats, 11 x 7, pastel on paper
Each cattail is a unique combination of solid cylinder and gossamer fluff and after painting so many of them, they begin to feel like figures. Painting this color family allows me to use many of these luscious hand made pastels.

Many of these date back to November 2009 when Kitty Wallis threw a pastel making party for me. It's always a joy to use these beauties!

Although I am not a true synesthete, I do have strong associations across the senses. I often have strong impressions that days have key signatures (today is d minor, in case you're interested). And, since we're talking about violet today, it makes perfect sense to me to share the second Gershwin Prelude. In my sensibility, it is violet.

Here's a fascinating TED talk about Daniel Tammet, an incredible synesthete. You'll enjoy his story here.


SamArtDog said...

A very cool post, Kvan. All of these hand-mades are so luscious it might of been worth walking the plank. I know... not really. What a wonderful thing for Kitty to have done!
Synesthetia has always been fascinating to me. And I'm a huge fan of TED. The gathering here last summer was unforgettable. Can't wait to watch the video!

Susan Roux said...

I'm really enjoying your series. These are painted in my favorite color palette. They come across so cool next to the vibrant red ones. I"m liking them all. Do you have a favorite?

Kitty Wallis said...

You are coming to the essence of cattails, as you play with the color. Lovely. I Love the red one best so far.

Thanks for the pastels mention. We did have fun that day. and I'm serious about doing it again. Let me know when you are ready.

Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

Thanks, Sam. Kitty is a treasure. Hope you enjoyed the TED talk.

Susan, thank you so much for your comment. Each little painting is a new experiment with value, color harmony, form, texture all shifting slightly and I learn something from each one. I like this violet one and the red one best.

Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

Kitty: the essence of cattails was my highest goal with this series. Thank you! I will let you know when I'm up for another party. Soon, I hope!

Cortni said...

I like this one! It looks like the cattails are valiantly struggling against the onset of winter's chill.

The red one was good too, looked like a deep fall sunset.

Nick mentioned he thought these would all look good together on a wall as a rainbow effect, I think I agree!

SippicanCottage said...

I often like to wonder what you'd say to notable dead people if you could dig 'em up and animate them. Would you take George Washington to the Kentucky Derby or Arby's? Take Franklin to the Post Office or to a brothel? What would John Singer Sargent want to see, the MFA or a tacky casino one of his paintings is in? That sort of thing.

I figured if zombie Mozart showed up, I'd set him down and play a Gershwin record for him. He'd get that right away.