Season's Greetings and welcome to my first Art Newsletter. (You can subscribe to the next one here.)
I first learned to paint in 1998 on a trip to Mexico and it made me so happy, I never stopped. It’s a way for me to use color all year long, no matter where I am, no matter the weather or the season and even when it is dark outside.
Color dependably makes me happy!
For years I searched for things that were colorful to paint like landscapes and flowers, I put bright clothes on people, I made bright backgrounds around dull subjects. But in the back of my head there
was always a tiny abstract painting I saw in 1999, in the house of two older American women living in the Mexican state of Chiapas. The painting was little squares of thick paint in different colors. One of the women was the artist, and when she saw my interest, she said, “that’s San Cristóbal de las Casas” the city we were in. That didn’t make any sense to me, but I loved that painting and secretly, while I officially painted portraits and landscapes, I would make little paintings with squares trying to make something I liked, but always failing.
Finally, out of frustration, in 2014 I quit painting for a year, determined to only come back to it when I had an idea of how to paint abstractly. Then, late one night while lying on a blow up mattress in my daughter’s Boston apartment watching a documentary about abstract art on YouTube, I saw a team of two artists making paintings based on quilt patterns.
I used to be a quilter! So I used that as my springboard and tried various patterns until I got to what’s called flying geese, which is a series of triangles in rows. That pattern helped me create over a hundred paintings, morphed into a series of star paintings, and now, in my latest series, the triangles have become a little drunk. But no matter how I arrange them, they primarily allow me to put colors together in the most pleasing ways I know how.
Often when I post my most colorful abstracts on Facebook there are comments like, “This just makes me happy!” or even “Thanks for making me happy.” That was what I was trying to achieve from the very beginning with my art — to share my experience of the pure happiness of color.
Those comments make me feel successful — a wonderful feeling.
Here’s to whatever makes you feel successful! May you experience a lot of it in 2023!
All the best, Cyndie