Thursday, March 14, 2013

Blacks and Grays

Romaine Brooks was an American painter who lived and worked primarily in Paris. I love the tone of her paintings. The contrasts and the blacks. She often worked within a limited palette and she was known especially for her grays. Although somewhat of a loner, she could be included in an expatriate lesbian intelligentsia that lived in Paris during the prewar years. She often painted her friends, imbuing a strength and quiet calm in her portraits.
Moving away to Europe can be a freeing experience. I went alone, and what was initially uncertain, strengthens and solidifies character. I wanted to go away somewhere to a new place and new language. Where I knew almost no one. I felt free and catatonic at the same time. I went to what would be a contemporary Paris today. I went to Berlin where the rent and coffee were still pretty cheap. Berlin is the grayest city, with cool contrasts and blacks. I found my identity as an artist there and when I returned to the states I asked the muse to  Never Let Me Go.

A documentary about women in Paris during the prewar years - Paris Was a Woman

Chasseresse, 1920, The Cross of France 1914, Peter, A Young English Girl 1923, Self Portrait 1914