37 In Behind The Scenes/ Insight

Behind The Scenes: Big Blocks of Beautiful Color



When you’re an artist, it’s important to keep adding inspiration to the memory banks. Artists since the beginning of time have looked to other artists to inspire them, and this girl is no exception to the rule. I am lucky enough to be dating another artist – and he goes to galleries and museums all the time, so he already drinks deep from the fount of inspiration – and he and I have a lot of deeply influential, art-related dates. It’s incredibly lovely and energizing and amazing.

So when Christopher told me that we might check out the first Modern Art museum in America, The Phillips, I was excited – and then he told me that they have a whole ROOM dedicated to Mark Rothko, I knew that I had to go!

Photo: The Phillips

Photo: The Phillips

Art of all sort influences me, but modern art captures my imagination and fires it into new directions like no other. Rothko is a huge influence on my color sense and his works push me to look deeper into tonalities, to explore the depth that a few seemingly simple color blocks can truly reveal. The batt pictured above was created from the influence of Rothko – deep reds and black, more tonal and full of depth than photos can capture. Just like how the actual art that inspired it is – impossible to truly grasp until it is seen in person, to experience all the layers and tones and progression throughout the work.



Christopher and I are constantly remarking to each other that most of the art we go to see is so often poorly represented by photographs. Many of the works at the Phillips are firmly in that category. There’s a fantastic, magical collection of Paul Klee‘s work, a de Kooning that made me want to cry because it was so complex and lovely, and a Van Gogh that I’ve seen in photos a million times but knocked me breathless when I saw the true colors and texture in the work in front of me. But those Rothkos…



Ochre and Red on Red… this was my favorite. The photos absolutely do not capture the pulsing depth of shades, the variance in the ochre space and how the reds differ and play against each other. I could not stop falling into this one.

My other favorite was Orange and Red on Red.

orange and red on red

You might see a relationship here. 😉

I noted to Christopher that in the Rothko room, two walls were warm tones, two were cool. I was drawn to the warm walls, but each held beauty.

Before I wrap this up, I want to make sure to mention the Laib Wax Room.

You smell it before you see it – the sweet permeating odor of honey creeps around the corners of the room, drawing you in before you even get to the entrance. Only two people are allowed in; a single light bulb provides light and warmth, releasing the heavenly scent and allowing the visitors to take in the rippling textures and variance in wax colors. It is a unique experience, and one that I was glad to have time to really take in, especially with Christopher.

Look, I say this often, but I want to reiterate it now: GO TO MUSEUMS. GO TO GALLERIES. GO SEE ART. It is something you NEED to experience in person, and it will truly help you change your views on the world, if you allow it to.

What a perfect day.


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