Wednesday, October 13, 2010
On Neutral Ground...
Rembrandt was a master of the neutral palette, using it to make his own self-portraits into dramatic character studies even though he was quite an ordinary-looking fellow. James McNeill Whistler actually titled his most famous painting, Arrangement in Grey and Black rather than its more popular name, Whistler's Mother. That maternal skin glows amid all the surrounding neutrals just as an open yellow umbrella glows on a grey rainy day.
Make neutrals by mixing complementary colors and you'll create a bouquet of beautiful soft greys that suggest all the colors of the rainbow. Sometimes this leads to vocabulary confusion with one artist referring to a color as grey when another (often me) sees it as really blue or maybe pink or orange.
Whistler's Great, Great Granddaughter is my bow to the ways of James McNeill. Done in open studio, it measures 24x20.