It's not all black and white.
MISSA BREVE monochrome
Original Oil on Canvas
34" x 27"
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I like to call them “monochromes” (from Greek monokhromatos ‘of single color’).
Black and white photography has been around long before the invention of color film, subsequently gaining reputation as being ‘more artistic’. This is arguably justified inasmuch as manipulating the black and white film tonal ranges can create a variety of very interesting ambience.
Not unlike photography, monochromatic painting predates colorful depictions of the Western culture which evolved from the Paleolithic caves and early Minoan art along with the discoveries of new colored pigments and binding media. And while polychrome (multi-colored) palette can be considered standard for most art techniques in use today, nearly all artists inevitably continue to create monochromatic art that has its own unique quality, even if only as a sketch or study for the final image.
Monochrome does not mean black or white, nor does it imply any specific color or medium. In fact, alI my monochromatic paintings are done in oil which allows me to mix a wide variety of pigments, including reds, yellows, browns and blues as well as combinations thereof with or without black or white to give each painting its unique tone. Their technical complexity is quite comparable to any of my multi-color renditions, and only modified by the restricted palette which poses its own challenges.
This is very different from my pencil, charcoal or sepia drawings on paper which are rather strictly limited in terms of blending to a single, dominant colored pigment and white highlighting.
On an esthetic level, monochromes allow me to create a unique ambience, unparalleled in my other works. And although I frequently use the same subject matter as in my polychrome paintings or studies on paper, I like to see them not as studies in the traditional sense, but rather as an autonomous genre and form of my artistic expression.
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