Getting to Magenta and Beyond

a-little-rain-sm med hr

A Little Rain 2016 oil on linen 48 x 36 inches

Last year I had a lot of success with my paintings where I had a common thread of painting them on and in many layers of white.  At the beginning of this year, I felt compelled to continue my same way but with color where there was white.  My first one was “A Little Rain”, painted on a ground of sienna.  This painting won a juried prize for abstract on ArtSlant!

I did a quite a few more where I stained the canvas a sienna color, including  Outback (selected for ManhattanArtsInternational) and another on raw linen called That Moment in Marrakesh (Blue Dot winner, Phyllis Harriman Mason Gallery).  Lazy Sunday and All my Children were also done this way.

                                                                   Outback 2016                                                                        That Moment in Marrakesh 2016 

oil on linen 48 x 48 inches                                                     oil on linen 48 x 48 inches


                                            Lazy Sunday 2016  

                                            oil on raw linen 36 x 36 inches 


                                              All My Children 2016 

                                         oil on raw linen 36 x 36 inches

Looking at them now, they just seem to be.  The struggle isn’t apparent.  My technique was the same as last year, but using the raw  canvas with color instead of white creates all sorts of challenges.

I think one reason why some of the people I paint with always seem to “do the same thing” is that they are afraid if they change, they won’t have their own ”style”.  I can’t imagine crippling myself that way.  And furthermore, I think people that know my work can see it is "my style”.  Here are a couple from last year, Wonderful World and Peppermint Patty.  Both were selected for a solo exhibition in Midtown Manhattan.  To me, you can definitely tell the same person painted them as did the new 2016 ones!


Wonderful World 2016 oil on 2 canvases (diptych) 60 x 96 inches


                                    Turtle Bay 2016 

                                 oil on canvas 50 x 54 inches

From the sienna stained base, I went on to try something really bold - magenta!  It is so much fun to paint with such intense color.  For one thing, yours eyes can play tricks on you.  There is one color I have always loved - Old Holland Brilliant pink.  It is a very bright intense pink.  The interesting thing that I found was that when put on top of or in or next to magenta, crimson and similar reds, this brilliant pink appeared muted! 


                                   Magic Potion 2016

                                   oil on canvas 48 x 36 inches

I’ve been working with some pretty intense reds and thought it might be interesting to see what happens with blue!  Wow!  Blue is a real challenge!  It is hard to explain.  Once it turns out, it all looks like it was supposed to be that way. That is why I love painting in an abstract expressionist style - it’s like life.  You have an idea where you think you are headed but then life happens and you have to deal with things and hopefully end up with your head above water!


           Reflections 2016 oil on canvas 48 x 60 inches

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© Trixie Pitts 2009