Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Colors of Dreams

Maxfield Parrish was a masterful painter on many levels, but his treatment of colors suggest to me a dream world, in which everything is lit from within. Much of his subject matter is timeless, but has a classical feel to it. Typically, I don't think of the colors he uses when I think of classical themes, and I think that is perhaps part of the appeal. Color is possibly the most important aspect of an artwork for me, with beautiful lighting a close second. It doesn't necessarily have to be certain colors, or vivid colors for me to truly appreciate it, but I find I am often drawn to art with complementary colors that are well balanced. The image above is probably my favorite of Parrish's works, and the colors and light are breathtaking. But another thing about this one that is touching is the delicacy of the figures on the portico. There is a grace and a relaxation about them that is very realistic, but conspicuously absent from most real people I know. This is perhaps part of what makes it seem a little dreamy.

So having now finished the art nouveau garden ornament (below) and reached a point of indecision on the dragonflies, I find myself looking for something new to start. I think I'll work up some sketches and see if I can make an "homage to Parrish" adapted from a photo taken around here.

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