Brush Fire is part of my new series, Visionaries: My Tribute to the Innovators of Fine Art. In this image, I explore an untitled work from the American abstract expressionist, Mark Rothko (1903-1970).
When you see a Rothko in person, it's easy to imagine the big brushes the artist must have used to create the swaths of color across his canvases. As an homage to Rothko’s marvelous technique, I feature a dangling house paint brush loaded with candy apple red paint.
Every museum store in the world carries postcards of their most popular works. I have dozens of these cards featuring every style of painting imaginable.
In this new series, Visionaries: My Tribute to the Innovators of Fine Art, I explore the artistry of these painters - marrying their iconic images with both abstract backgrounds and ultra-realistic still life objects to create something entirely new.I hope you enjoy them.
The original Rothko painting is big - it would have required a great deal of physicality to make. He would have had to use his whole upper body to move the large brush across the canvas to get these effects. Since Brush Fire is on a much smaller scale, I used a little brush and tried to try to mimic the physical arm movements with just my hand and wrist. It was an entertaining challenge to get the right vibe.
I offer another nod to the artist’s techniques in the abstract background, in which I did employ big brushes and lots of movement, a la Rothko. First, I painted a Rothko-like abstract field, with bright colors and bold strokes. Then I painted a wash over the entire surface to yield a texture that was subtly evocative of the artist’s work. I needed the background to be light enough to not interfere with the foreground subjects and the bold shadowplay.