The idea to create one painting for each of the twelve colors in “the color wheel” came to me while on one of my many commutes from my rural home in Northern California to Los Angeles. In my experience as a painter, these basic colors are always the source for preparing other more subtle naturalistic colors veiled by light and atmosphere. Rarely do I use them straight from the tube in their saturated state. This still life painting series gave me the opportunity to experience intimately the intense purity of each color. Finding the “color” subject matter began with my own shelves and cupboards and progressed to shopping trips designed to search out the “right” object in the “right” color. I never left the house without a small color wheel in my pocket as a reference.
Figurative elements quickly became the focus adding drama and continuity throughout the series. Organic forms, such as fruits and vegetables, were ruled out. Some subjects were preconceived and sought out specifically. The clown and insulator were borrowed from friends. I discovered potential subject matter in Chinatown, Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York, as well as at my local grocery store. A few items were purchased through the mail from catalogues; a couple I made. Some colors were everywhere, while others were incredibly hard to find. The pile of rejects that accumulated far exceeded the objects used! The focus of this search opened my eyes to the varied social and cultural significance of color. The level of excitement I felt at the inception of this project continued for the entire year it took to paint these paintings.


All Images 2012 Sandra Mendelsohn Rubin