At school we studied the work of many artists, among them the Frenchman Odilon Redon (1840-1916). I remember that I was not drawn to his work but now realize what a limited view we were given at school. The pieces we were shown were from his earlier work known as the “Noirs” – charcoals, lithographs and India-ink washes, all black and white symbolic images that included floating heads, eyeballs and smiling spiders.
In the 1890’s Redon began to work in oils and pastels, producing images from mythology, religion and nature, still symbolic and mystical, but now in brilliant and luminous color. I like much of his work and find many of his statements align with my own painting experiences. I’ve often said that art is not just what I see but what I feel.
“True art lies in a reality that is felt.”
“Color is life itself; it abolishes line under its radiance.”
Among Redon’s many works are a number of large decorative panels created for private residences. These paintings are of the natural world but increasingly abstract. In homage to Redon, I recently created a panel; it is my response to his work but in smaller size not meant for a French chateau.