On Spectralism (Excerpts From A Manuscript by Anna E. Meltzer)


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The art of painting manifests the quality of beauty more through color than any other element. We react, at times, more to the effect it produces than to the subject matter it portrays. The unification of all the abstract elements that exist in painting, such as line, shape, form, rhythm, tonal value, etc. acts as the prestructure for color. Color is the vehicle for the highest form of esthetic communication. The real mystery and drama exists in the artist's unexplainable choice of colors and feeling for it. Color is a most important element in painting and although it is interrelated with all other elements it stands alone in all of its harmonious beauty and phenomena." (AEM)

SPECTRALISM - A PRACTICAL COLOR MIXING SYSTEM
INTRODUCTION

"To paint the rainbow's varying hues." - Scott

The study of spectralism reveals a working knowledge of color mixing. It is intended to reduce one's struggle, and help to understand how to find and repeat mixtures. This is a practical color mixing system intended to open doors to a new color world. The range of colors that can be mixed has no bounds. PATIENT EFFORT and SELF DISCIPLlNE is a MUST and if one earnestly wants to explore all possibilities hard work is the answer. The additional benefits gained will be good clean color, value in color, the understanding of color relation, color balance and the illusion of space achieved through the knowledge of relative color intensities.
It is not only advisable, but absolutely necessary for the painter to be made aware of a simplified color mixing system.
Spectralism is not a theory. It does not advise on the principles of color harmonies, complementaries or intervals. It is a practical systematic SEARCH. Spectralism will enlighten the painter on how to find heretofore unfamiliar colors and how to repeat them, and is NOT applied SYSTEMATICALLY to painting. This way of finding colors also dispels the idea that color mixing is a hit and miss chance as is commonly believed.
It covers the widest color range possible since the basic color reaches out for its combinations through the complete color spectrum band; and in turn these mixed colors become basic and repeat the same process as before. The number of colors to be found are limitless.


On Long-Term Goals (excerpts from a manuscript by Anna E. Meltzer)

(Her final abstraction was to be transcendental: abstract forms were to exist in an ethereal space, with no gravitational relations, and with such a transparency that each form could impinge on the space of other forms without altering them. She had not, by her own standards, succeeded in this achievement at the time of her death, and so the following statement should be considered as only an indication of what was to follow.)

"Aerial perspective in painting is the illusion of space, achieved through value relation and value movement. When relating one form to another, the contrast between them, that is, the edges of form to form, or form to the space that surrounds it, varies according to the distance between them. This contrast of value is called value relation. The shift from one value to another is movement of value. This is a transitional condition. As each value moves on toward its final goal or value, each on in turn becomes a transitional one, right down to the last value. Movement in tonal value must be a very gradual, continuous change, from light to dark or dark to light. What degree of light or dark we reach depends on what we started with as a related value. The term atmosphere is used with reference to this quality."
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