My color field text paintings began incorporating imagery over a year ago. This reintroduced some of the problems of traditional painting into my work, such as figure ground relationships. I have become preoccupied with creating fine gradations of color in what would be the “negative space” of the painting. However, I find it ironic that such a distinction can be made, for, while an image/composition is created, it is also simultaneously an “all over” painting, devoid of compositional hierarchies, consisting of evenly spaced word blocks. Regardless, it is fascinating to me that it is possible to create spatial tension through color relationships alone.
Making the large text/image paintings can leave me physically and mentally exhausted, so I sometimes like to blow off steam and make smaller, more experimental pieces on the side. On one recent occasion, I decided to “loosen up” a bit and play with gradations of color without the text, devising the tapering diagonal stripes and a simple system of where each color would go. I’m very interested in Op Art, so it was fun to create my own take on it off the cuff. The color relationships in this painting ended up being a big part of California Dreamin, so in this way it was also a color study, albeit an unconscious one. –Erik den Breejen, 2013