A woman wrote a song. She shared it with her husband. At Christmas time he asked me to paint her singing it.
As I looked at the color palate, I couldn’t help recalling a painting I did for my son years ago. He wanted Venus, the Morning Star. I painted him an early sunrise with a shining dot as Venus. That painting used these exact colors.
I’m deeply, deeply inspired by the Colored Field artists of the 40’s and 50’s. As I painted these gradient colors, that same inspiration I feel when I look at the work of Rothko, Still, or Newman welled up in me, but this time from within and not from without. I knew I would be leaving my experiments with wavy edges behind.
The family loved their piece. I spoke with the husband weeks later, and he shocked and humbled me by telling me that the painting reminded him of the work of one of his favorite artists. “Who’s that?” I asked.
“Have you heard of Mark Rothko?”
I forget what I said. I only remembered being told my work reminded someone of my hero.
I’ll never forget that comment, which will probably remain an unsurpassed complement for years to come. It also confirmed to me that as an artist, I’m on the right track.