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“At any rate, it is proved that colour embodies an enormous though unexplored power which can effect the entire human body as a physical organism. If this association does not appear to us sufficient, neither can we content ourselves with this explanation concerning the effect of colour on the psychic existence. Therefore, colour is a means of exercising direct influence upon the soul. Colour is the keyboard. The eye is the hammer, while the soul is a piano of many strings. The artist is the hand through which the medium of different keys causes the human soul to vibrate.”

~ Wassily Kandinsky, On the Spiritual in Art

The time has come to return to color, and I felt that a good way to set this gear in motion would be to practice on a couple of materials I’ve had in mind, the nautilus shell and a satin fabric. Once I began sketching out these items, it occurred to me that I might have started with something a bit simpler. The nautilus shell competed heavily for my attention and eventually won, and what I at first thought would be a simple exercise in rendering a pearly white spiral shell turned out to be lengthy conversation with the properties of iridescence, and yet another struggle to see what was right in front of me. Over the course of a week as I allowed my eyes to adjust to the shell, the hues slowly revealed themselves, and by the time I had finished I was completely taken with the shell both in form and color. Sometimes the subject matter dictates the time I take to depict it, and in this case short periods of sketching over several days brought me closer to a proper understanding of the nautilus.

The satin will have to wait for its day in the sun.

Nautilus shell