Atelier Stark: Secondary colors, hardly second fiddle

Head of Kronos - Copyright Stark
Head of Kronos, oil on wood board, 18×18 inches, ©️ Stark 2020

“Color is my daylong obsession, joy, and torment.” – Claude Monet

The power of color continues to fascinate me. A love hate relationship really. Everytime I get frustrated with it, I pull out my tin of charcoal sticks and let a black and white world comfort me…only to pine for the excitement of a wickedly fast red oil pastel.

This past week, I played around with one of my favorite color combinations; secondary colors in orange, purple and green. How I love the shifting warmth and coolness of a sophisticated magenta or lavender cuddled up against a friendly bright orange. Oh the visual notes it hits.

Arthropods - Copyright Stark
Arthopods, oil on canvas, 12×16 inches, ©️ Stark 2020

Why did I decide on such a different approach for each of these paintings? As I’ve noted in a past post, I think an artist should never be prisoner to a style, but rather, respond to the subject matter in front of them. For ‘Head of Kronos’, I wanted a painting of a larger than life head that had heft, strength…substance. On the other hand, with ‘Arthopods’, I was enthralled by the arch the foliage of the plants formed and how the flesh of the body folded and echoed the same shapes.

What is intriguing as I reflect on both my works this week is that while colors have so much impact, they also have such versatility. The two paintings this week have the same three colors at their core. However, I was fascinated by how different the results I was able to achieve by altering the way my brush hit the canvas, the relative surface area each color occupied, and how broadly I ventured down the paths of value and saturation.

Loni Stark - Atelier Stark - Head of Kronos - Oil on Canvas - Copyright Stark
Painting Head of Kronos in the Atelier Stark studio.

You can follow my work @lonistark.