Yellow Series

12trimsmSometime in the mid 1970s, probably 1974, my friend Rita Dibert and I mused about the weakness of yellow pigments, how the tiniest addition of any other pigment over powers the yellow and shifts the hue from its yellow designation toward identification as belonging to the family of red or blue or black, or green, or anything but yellow.

We observed that we could think of no predominantly yellow artworks.I took this as a challenge.Make a yellow painting. Make it big, so that it would be noticed. Use lots of canvas use loads of yellow paint, yellow on yellow on a silver gray ground. The State of Ohio purchased it to hang in Columbus, in the State Office Building.

Illustrated to your left is the 7′ by 7′ canvas. (click to enlarge).

There are other yellow paintings, certainly, by other artists. In the early 1950s the creation of predominantly yellow paintings
seemed to be in the air. But seldom did artists made more than a few examples. Between 2011 and 2012, I painted over 250 yellow canvases.

Paint Dries Slowly

I mixed more yellow paint.
That color again,
you ask?

Sure, and if you want
to know, it’s a whole slew
of pigments dumped into a jar
and
shaken:

SHEVENINGS GEEL MIDDEL
NICKEL AZO YELLOW
INTERFERENCE GOLD
CADMIUM YELLOW PALE
PHOSPHORESCENT GREEN
JAUNE DE CADMIUM CITRON

The canvases are the usual,
tiny ones, in a row of five.
Not five again, you say.
Can’t you do six or four,
you ask?

Each tiny, stretched canvas
ten by eight
lined in a row that measures forty wide
by ten inches
tall.

No, yet, neither the number nor the color
is some strange obsession
some magical formula.
Who said anything about a magical formula,
you ask?

Paint applies fast
dries slowly

I prefer to paint with nothing
chewing at my
thoughts
It wasn’t happening this time
maybe

Maybe when the paint
gets hard
I’ll look at the yellow row
and shake my head
or
nod it

Then I will apply another
layer of yellow,
concocted from different
pigments.
Always yellow,
you ask?

For these paintings, yes.

The pigment pool and format
are consistent, jar to shaken jar,
panel to panel, row to row

Only the person who lays down the
paint changes
a little each
day.

The paint dries slowly, blown
by the whispering of an unseen muse



I have created a book, YELLOW PAINT YELLOW WORDS, click to preview.

SandykYellow Series