Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Lola Likes Red

Lola Likes Red
8" x 5 3/4", oil on linen, 2016

In this painting, I tried to push the different reds as close together in value and hue as possible. I also tried to create energy without the overt use of a complimentary green color, though there is a faint green tint in her hair and in some of the shadows.

As usual, the face was painted first:

Lola Likes Red, in progress

One of the most famous painting using a harmony of analogous reds is Red Room (Harmony in Red) by Henri Matisse (1869-1954). Some critics consider it his greatest masterpiece. 

Red Room (Harmony in Red)
Henri Matisse
71" x 87". oil on canvas, 1908
Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

Apparently the painting went through three stages - green, then blue, and finally red - before it was delivered to the Russian collector Sergey Shchukin where it was hung in his dining room.

The Museum of Modern Art in New York City has another Matisse, painted three years later, that is also a good example of an analogous harmony in red: Red Studio.

The Red Studio
Henri Matisse
1/4" x 86 1/4", oil on canvas, 1911
Museum of Modern Art, New York City


  1. The red Matisses are among my very favorites. And thinking of Stendahl, The Red and The Black is wonderful too. My friend Sue and I had a good time the other night looking at your paintings and searching Renaissance and even some Mannerist paintings for some of your other compositional inspirations!

  2. Lola Likes Red is a truly striking painting. It seems uncomplicated, and yet is wonderfully, and endlessly intriguing. I find myself marveling at its subtleties, returning to it time after time with a restless curiosity, each time finding something new and exciting in its vitality, and assertiveness. Lola occupies a dynamic space in which both color and composition are perfectly complimentary.




"There is more power in telling little than in telling all."
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