Having finished the watercolor above, I spent some more time this evening reading from the reflections of Robert Motherwell. When I began this composition with a few sweeping arcs from the lower right corner, I was surprised to see a generic Motherwell composition emerge, black on white. Once I began the actual painting, I immediately grappled with all the varying tones of the trunk, boughs and branches. I did not want this reduced to a silhouette. For Motherwell, black was just as much a color as lemon yellow or vermillion, he often said. As I continued work on this piece, I came to the same conclusion, and became intrigued with all the dynamics of the tree colors (which to most people’s eyes, are not colors at all).
Motherwell and the Dynamics of Black