alizarin

When contemplating the palette for June, I see a strange combination. I have a strong pull toward alizarin crimson as I havewatched it seep into almost all of the paintings lately, and I cannot resist the lure of iridescent pigments. When I look beyond these colors, together I see a primal alchemy. Alizarin crimson is a deep blood red, transparent and vibrant, while the iridescent pigments are other-worldly and illusive. The combination is a transformation, or alchemy.

The color red, in general, has so many historical connotations and emotions tied up in it; I would not know where to start. So, I will narrow down my vision to just alizarin crimson as a personal reference. It is blood. It, as a glaze, can tint any base color to a unique indescribable color. It also stains; so, it is a commitment to apply. I rarely use it as a base, unless I am feeling very intense. It’s beauty is primal. Something I am attracted to because it is natural and familiar. Blood is not a sight I yearn to see, yet somehow it is affirmation of life. Lately, I have been grabbing this tube of paint as if it is life itself. I have been slightly frantic this month, preparing for shows and transitioning into summer with teenagers. My blood is rushing as I forget things, race around, and just want to sleep. This is my beautiful alizarin crimson existence. It is basic and fundamental.

Iridescent colors are anything but basic or fundamental. They jump into a different dimension. Requiring the eye to look beyond the known spectrum, they are sometimes completely missed. The vibration of an iridescent color is completely different than red. Red is like a drum, while an iridescent is like rubbing the rim of a crystal glass or bowl. Iridescent pigments are often made with crystal powder. I love the contrast and change that iridescent pigments instigate. Subtle and equally as familiar on a totally different level, they remind me to look beyond the known…to look beyond the everyday blood, sweat and tears. There is another vibration out there (or in here) and when layered with primal, blood red, the result is transformation on many levels. The alchemy is ordinary, into extraordinary.

alizarin