Welcome to my  blog: Introspection!

As much time in my studio is spent on thinking about and looking at art as there is on painting. Here I'll write about some of the things that pass my mind during those hours, or the inspiration that makes me grab the brush .

Be sure to visit my Studio Storage blog too, where I sell some of my earlier paintings at (very) low prices.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Rothko lookalike

This is a painting that I have painted some 2 years ago and somehow I never got around documenting it, I just put it up on the wall of our bedroom to enjoy it in private. Why did this happen? It was not because I was not happy with the painting, I was and I still am. It has everything in it that I'm looking for in a painting, rich yet subtle colors, it's focused, the composition is strong but tranquil. And yet I have never shown it. It's because to me it looks so much like a Rothko. And somehow I have trouble getting my thoughts around that. I shall explain: I come of a school of thought where copying other artists was not considered the way to learn art. You were allowed to look at other art and learn from it, but it was stressed that you had to find your 'own voice' instead of copying other artists works.

Now let's make this clear: I have not copied this from Mark Rothko, this painting started out as one of my abstracts with much looser shapes and lines but halfway it decided to become this and I let it be, being very happy with the way it turned out but at the same time not ready to show it to 'the world'. My Dutch friend and painter Louis always says that everything you paint is something you have seen before, somewhere else, nothing is ever new yet it is always new in the way you make it yours. And I agree with him, being a visual creature by nature as a painter, you're always open to shapes, signs, colors and somehow they float around in your memory waiting to find a place in your work whenever you're ready for them. I have always loved Rothko's paintings, I may have been the only 12 year old in my class with a Rothko poster on the wall, where all the others had the Rolling Stones or the Beatles. And I may not have understood his paintings in full at that age but they certainly spoke to me.

Reaching some form of abstraction has taken me a long, long time and it has been an interesting journey. I still do both, the abstracted landscapes and aspects of nature next to the pure abstracts, sometimes the inspiration comes from this side, sometimes from the other.


Kim said...

Marina, it is interesting how you felt that. I do understand what you mean by it. I, too, am a Rothko fan and sometimes can see a bit of that influence in my work. I wonder, though, since it is EXPRESSIONISM if we are just expressing similar things...not as much as being influenced by what we have seen (although, I believe that in some ways leads to our expressions, too). I don't think Rothko would mind seeing this!

Clearly it is an interesting topic to contemplate.

Lovely Work Here!

Rebecca Crowell said...

This issue of looking like other artists is a voice in all our heads I guess!

To add to what your Dutch friend said, and what Kim said...similarities also must be seen in terms of context...I mean, a Rothko painting is seen in relation to his overall body of work--that kind of composition he used almost exclusively, at least in the latter part of his life. And your painting is seen in the context of your work, where this co-exists with landscapes and other kinds of abstractions. So maybe there is a crossing-point where you and Rothko seem to coincide, but each goes its own way.

I loved the part about the 12 year old you with your Rothko posters. I was a similar kind of "art nerd"-- my walls were covered with reproductions of paintings from the National Gallery where they sold them for like 50 cents. I was no fan of abstraction til much later though--I don't recall when Rothko and others started to speak to me--college probably.

Marina Broere said...

Kim and Rebecca, thank you for your feedback on this interesting subject. I guess I'll have to overcome the feeling that I used his 'language' and accept that it's part of my visual language too and that I'm free to make use of it to express my feelings.

And Rebecca, I'm so happy to hear I wasn't the only 'art nerd'!