Josef Albers is my most influential example of color theory, and whose thoughts I continually reflect upon, especially, "Every color is affected by the color next to it." The feel of a color changes, becomes less or more brilliant, less or more red, blue, green or whatever, depending on what color is sitting right there next to it. Those are the thoughts that I engage in as I paint my artwork, both Impressionist and Modernist.
The color swatches above are from one of my favorite art books, Paintings on Paper - Josef Albers in America. Albers is the mentor I turn to for color inspiration when it comes to what one can do with paint, and how one can analytically make color harmony decisions. The book is full of color studies, and notes written in both German and English that are small and a bit cryptic. I often pull out my magnifying glass and to enlarge the writing and try to more clearly understand it.
Josef Albers came from out of the Bauhaus era. His teaching posts at the Bauhaus, Black Mountain College and Yale enabled him to pass on his theories to several generations of artists and designers, from Max Bill and Mark Rothko to Eva Hesse and Ray Johnson.
The book is beautiful, and finely produced. It was published for an exhibit at the Morgan Library. I'd say it's for people who really want to investigate color and to have a deeper understanding of it.
Below you see a detail of a painting that is in process and currently engaging my senses. Greens, underrated, and lots of times painted with an over the top intensity.
I love working with them and yet have avoided featuring them in a painting for some reason. Following this creation, I can see more of them lining up in the future, waiting for me to paint them. The trick for me is to emphasize the color green without overloading the painting with it. And yet, that could be a great exploration as well another time.
I'll be back soon with more to show you.
Luminous Color Explorations