My first love in art was color. It took me years to appreciate monochrome. As a (relatively and sometimes) mature artist, I understand that black and white lays open the bones of the composition, and I appreciate a good monochrome image as much (or more) than the next photographer.
But as a young painter, I reveled in color. My affair with color began with the impressionists and post-impressionists, particularly Monet’s paintings of his garden at Giverny, Gauguin’s lush fantasies of the south seas islands and islanders, and of course Van Gogh. Soon, my horizons widened to infatuation with expressionists such as Emil Nolde, abstractionists such as Arshile Gorky, and color field painters, particularly Mark Rothko.
Life teaches us many things, not all of them lessons we wanted to learn. Color, I found out, is kind of a “cheap date.” Sure, color will entice and entrance you, but will it go the distance?
That said, when nature puts out its color finery, as in the bouquet I arranged for Earthly Delights, I am surely not above reveling in the simple and flamboyant pleasures of polychromatic imagery.