Colour and Surface

The purpose of this Post is to provide a link to “Surface and Colour”, Chapter 24 of my book “Painting with Light and Colour”. It continues the emphasis  of the previous three chapters of discussing practical uses of  viewing  conditions as a means of extending the range of the experiences available when looking at arrangements of colours painted on flat surfaces. As a means of doing so, it gives a detailed account of how the viewing conditions discussed both inspired and were put to use in the making of one particular nine panel painting. As in all my paintings, a priority was to create an illusory pictorial space, of indeterminate depth, within which the colours are liberated from the picture surface with a view to allowing them to interact more dynamically and in additional ways.


Space and Surface

colour and illusory pictorial space
One of the eight experimental panels

Other Chapters from BOOK 2 of “Painting with Colour and Light”

Chapters from BOOK 1 of “Painting with Colour and Light”

Other Posts on colour and light in painting:

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2 thoughts on “Colour and Surface”

  1. Thank you for sharing this. I’ve been lucky to see this series of panels in person multiple times. So much to contemplate and engage with each time I see them. Wonderful.

  2. Hello Francis, Thank you for sharing these ideas, experiences, and artworks. I saw these paintings at the end of my first visit to Montmiral and I can attest to their mysterious glow and to the way each looked identical. I could only discern one slight difference in blues between a painting in the top and one in the bottom rows, despite your insistence that every colour was different!

    One of the challenges of this work is how to communicate your voyage of discovery to non-expert audiences. That is a challenge in any field of endeavour – the cutting edge is a long way ahead of even the well-informed co-worker. You’ve addressed that with this chapter, but it is still a ‘specialist read’, so I feel this wider communication challenge is yet to be resloved.

    I remember you left it to us students to work out your intentions and it’s taken time, specifically reading these chapters to work out that the perceived similarity of each painting was a sign of its success [because each was in fact painted with different colours.] Perhaps I was too shy to ask at the time, but possibly an accompanying concise artist statement might have assisted understanding and wider appreciation. Generally, I’m not a fan of statements, because folk tend to read them and not to look carefully, but there are always exceptions!

    With greater understanding, gained from these posts and from our conversations, I see that these paintings demonstrate mastery of colour in terms of science, visual perception and psychology. A highly unusual, [probably unquique] combination of skills and experience.
    You’ve created work of beauty and great subtlety which deserve a larger audience.

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