I had set out on a systematic study of the varying degrees of neon colour-spread effects achieved by different colours. My exploration was going to be rational, cerebral, technical. However, the neon colour-spread effects turn out to work best with the prettiest colours. Also, I wondered whether, by extending the design over a larger area, in addition to the neon colour- spread, I might get some of that other kind of colour-spreading that is edge induced and is not contained by subjective contours. Then my systematic investigation started to resemble wallpaper.
So, I decided to go ahead and actually draw it on a roll of wallpaper.
It seemed like a large area when I was doing the drawing, though in relation to the wall it is only a fragment.
Coincidentally, on the same day I was reading a section in Craig Staff’s excellent new book After Modernist Painting quoting Clement Greenberg, saying in 1948 that
the “all over picture” is the sort of painting (that) comes closest of all to decoration – to wallpaper patterns capable of being extended indefinitely
and in in 1957 referring to decoration as
the specter that haunts modernist painting.
Colours on the outside of this network, along the two lower horizontal rows and the two leftmost vertical lines, are unmixed, “straight from the marker pen”. Where the horizontal and vertical lines they head meet, the nodes are a mixture of the two colours, achieved by drawing one coloured marker over the other.
If it was paint, I would do the mixing prior to application and I would also add white to keep the colour-spread effects working optimally.
I think it would be better if, instead of placing the unmixed colours on two rows at bottom and left, I had placed them all the way around the outermost edges. All would still have joined at the different nodes and the arrangement would have been more rational, at least to my mind. Oh well, another time.
Attempting to get some of the ad-hoc feel of the drawings into a little painting, here’s another network of loosely drawn figures, where, depending partly on the drawing and partly on the choice of colour, each central asterisk exhibits a greater or lesser degrees of neon colour-spread, when compared to the others.
The colour-spread effect in each figure exists inside a subjectively constructed disk, more or less circular, more or less transparent (or neon like). The colour-spread effects and the contours that contain them really exist, but only for subjectivity.
Some of the 41 different colors I happen to have in my set of pens (I have exactly 41 of non repeated colours) enhance the neon colour spread effect, whereas others inhibit it.
Placing them in a network it’s easy to see which ones work and which ones don’t.