My Christmas Thoughts on Red: By Alexand

My Christmas Thoughts on Red: By Alexandra Dailey
One color that is constantly on my mind during this time of year is red. This vibrant primary color is everywhere; on bows, Christmas tree skirts, ornaments, candy canes, twinkling lights, candles, holly berries, and Santa’s suit, just to mention a few. And today while reading the news, searching for gifts, and looking at art online, I came across a piece that fits in perfectly with this warm and cheery season. Katherine Parker’s 2010 oil painting entitled Malta is an all red canvas with a handful of black and yellow marks scattered over the otherwise monochromatic surface. Working in the abstract expressionism vein, this piece of Parker’s, as well as the majority of her paintings, reminds me of Mark Rothko. The intense use of color in Malta is most definitely reminiscent of Rothko’s style, as is the presence of horizontality and verticality. At first glance simple is how one could describe both Parker and Rothko’s work, but upon longer meditation the vibrancy of their pieces speaks much louder; they possess a powerful simplicity that is difficult to capture. Seeing the brushstrokes embedded in the red layers of Malta shows the viewer that time, concentration, care, and great effort went into its creation. Simplicity is powerful, and layers of simplicity are even more impacting. And in my opinion, layers of red are even more compelling, but perhaps that’s because red is my favorite color. Overall, I would say that there is nothing “simple” about these artists or their styles, nor would I say that Christmas is a “simple” holiday, or red a “simple” color. All of the above are elaborate in their own right, but when they can be enjoyed via simplicity I believe they can be truly appreciated.
Since we have almost breached the craziest time of the season I will leave you with this: Don’t get caught up in the hectic human orchestrated antics of the holidays, but instead enjoy the simplicity of the red lights upon your tree, the rosy red cheeks of your loved ones, and perhaps the warmth of a fiery crimson painting like that of Katherine Parker.
Happy Holidays!
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