Goethe's Theory of Colours is the book that I'm toting around in the Profondo Yellow video. I got a little obsessed with it a few years ago. It's laid out by sections, and within each section are very brief and poetic numbered experiments that he did to achieve various light and color results. I made some small paintings based on his descriptions and performed a few of the experiments myself. The exercise I was most perplexed by was Experiment #52 in the chapter "Coloured Objects," which also inspired a short video.
Green Carpet, 2:35, 2011.
Experiment #65, Oil on board, 7"x5", 2010 Two sources of light: one natural, one candle light will give you a brilliant blue shadow.
Experiment #56, Oil on board, 7"x5", 2010 Pin up a yellow card on the wall, stare for several minutes, see a faint purple ghost emerge.
Experiment #384, Oil on board, 7"x5", 2010 Have you ever stared up at a full moon on a cloudy night? How marvelous!
Experiment #52, Oil on board, 7"x5", 2010
52. I had entered an inn towards evening, and, as a well-favoured girl, with a brilliantly fair complexion, black hair, and a scarlet bodice, came into the room, I looked attentively at her as she stood before me at some distance in half shadow. As she presently afterwards turned away, I saw on the white wall, which was now before me, a black face surrounded with a bright light, while the dress of the perfectly distinct figure appeared of a beautiful sea-green.
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe,Theory of Colours
Susan Metrican is October's artist in residence on Big Red & Shiny's blog series, Inside Out. See more of her work on her website www.susanmetrican.com.