C|M|Yellow|K | Leonardo/ISAST


By Barbara Berrie

Even though I think I know all about it, a really solid grasp of the distinction between the additive and subtractive primary colors and their separate, nuanced properties can feel just beyond my reach. We tend to work preferentially in one or other of the color spheres, depending on our metier. I’ve decided to explore color by painting wooden blocks. These blocks I’ll paint will have one face with a color from CYMK (cyan|magneta|yellow|black) and one face from RGB (red|green|blue) color space. I have not decided whether to have the series of colors from each set of primaries opposite or adjacent to one another. I’ll think about that with my maquette, which is the size of children’s blocks. I want the work to convey the idea of play and experiment being combined in one effort.

On her trip to town, Rewa got colors for me. [Just as if I were at a provincial court, say Ferrara, and my agent were traveling to the cosmopolitan city to procure the best colors and brushes!] So far, I have been working on CMYK. I do not like the yellow. It is sticky, and the film falls apart under the foam brush.

I think it could be that the paint and the varnish I used to seal the wood are not compatible. I dipped the brush in water to help spread the paint around. The thin coating left the grain of the wood visible, like the ripples of sedimentary layers up-ended by a calamitous event.