"Diagrams" Oil Series

The fifty years following the end of the modern period of painting has brought a new context of technology and scientific understanding of our visual system. Yet, there is no unified theory of color. Instead, we have many fragments of theories which appear to conflict with one another.

These oil paintings are developed as explanatory diagrams intended to illustrate organizational ideas. As part of a narrative exploration of relationships among color theories, they work together in a sequential series.

I also find them to be valid statements as aesthetic expressions, as well as serving their illustrative purposes.


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Color Circle

This painting explores the conceptual relationship between the two sets of primary and their complementary colors called the "Basic Color Set" and the "Principle Color Set." "Basic Colors" derive from generated colored light and appear in the white and black triangles of the painting. "Principle Colors" are seen as colors reflected from a pigmented surface. These are formed in the vertexes of the gray hexagon of the painting.

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Here the Color Circle is extended to complete the basic chromatic sets in each triangle to show the relationship of primary and complementary color patterns.

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Violet Blue


Orange Red


Yellow Green

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Violet Blue, Orange Red, and Yellow Green

These three paintings together form a triglyph when hung together. Each shows a blend between two basic color axes as they progress to their complementary color. The wedges in "Violet Blue" show pie diagrams of white light created from the proportional mixture.

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Circle of Fifths

Substituting the chromatic scale progression of twelve equal clock locations with the twelve conceptual color locations, this painting uses a matrix to show the tonal-dominant progression among the seven note intervals of a major scale in color.

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Human Pixel Cutaway

This painting is a collage of oil paints with Velcro mounted watercolor shapes. The Principle Color Hexagon forms three hexagonal intervals about a neutral colored nucleus. "CIE Lab" measurement uses opponent-color coordinates to map locations of watercolor pigments offered as "Daniel Smith Watercolor Paints". The correlation between the conceptual Color Circle and the instrumental measurements is very good when the "O,O" coordinate is moved in relation to the nuclear center of the conceptual figure.

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Truth in Color

Using opponent colors of "Yellow and Blue" and "Red and Green" to substitute for propositional elements "P, not P" and "Q, not Q," the lattice structure of a Hypercube develops the 16 possible statements of sentential calculus and truth values. Four cube ultra filters are separated in each corner of the painting and combined as a Hypercube in the central figure.

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