Friday, 9 March 2012

I Don't Know Why I Liked it So

This is one of my favourite oil paintings ever, Blue Mountain by Vasily Kandinsky, for so many intangible reasons.

Painted in Russia in 1908/09, I first saw it (or at least, first really paid attention to it) while flipping through a book called Living Colors, A Guide to Color Palettes Through the Ages (on page 143, if you happen to have the book). I turned the page upon it and stared at it for a very long time.

BLUE MOUNTAIN ~ Vasily Kandinsky

I don't know why I liked it so, perhaps the first lure was the combination of vivid colours brought to a textural burgeoning flourish by short dab & chop shaggy carpet brush strokes! It's three coordinates are the three primary colours, and I think this is at the heart of its emotional impact. It struck me as fervent, playful and yet prophetic. So, it didn't surprise me to read that Kandinsky believed that "colours should be used in art purely for their emotional and symbolic content." The segmenting of this painting beckons you to honour the very separate physical presence and movement of the red, blue and the yellow, parted between by a rising divide that to me resembles a white fire-hearted river or glacier smoking its way to the sky! The triumphant rearing up of the horses (oh I love horses!) heralds a proud pageantry and optimistic procession marching onward. Its modern "chunkiness" and brave simplicity of contrast just makes me want to stare at it and enjoy the impact. And above all it inspires me, I do believe I will reach for this type of effect in some of my yet to be unleashed work (says the procrastinator). 
Curious about Kandinsky, I read up on him a bit more and realized I enjoy his philosophy as well as his groundbreaking embrace of abstractness (oh to be ahead of your time). I also share his dream of  "a better more spiritual future through the transformative powers of art."

Oddly enough, the house we live in is painted room by room in the three primary colours! The living room is red and yellow, the kitchen is blue, my studio is yellow and the bathroom is red! This sets off a base for the most adventurous decor, as any object added as an accent falls gracefully into the entire prism and nothing really needs to match but instead blends in to subtly enrich the overall feeling of charm! Is art intrinsic to our lives? Yes, even in the most subliminal way.

Daffodils in Sunny Kitchen Against Blue Walls
Indian Accents in the Living Room
My Yellow Walls in the Studio

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