Dialogue With Black Series

Selected Works

Dialogue With Black IV
30″ X 22″ Mixed Media On Paper

I revel in the connections among the marks on my canvas, the allure and seduction of line not controlled by plan or scheme.

I can never quite bend my materials to my will.  To paint abstracts is to traffic in unpredictability and be willing to accept the element of surprise.

Dialogue With Black XIII
48″ X 36″ Mixed Media On Canvas

Dialogue With Black VI
38″ X 30″ Mixed Media On Paper

 I like to paint boldly, which is to say with fearless abandon, audaciously and valiantly.

Dialogue With Black X
40″ X 30″ Mixed Media On Canvas

Dialogue With Black XII
56″ X 44″ Mixed Media On Canvas

Dialogue With Black V
30″ X 22″ Mixed Media On Canvas

Dialogue With Black

During this year of the COVID 19 Pandemic, I long for certainty of any kind, yet it is not forthcoming nor is it likely to be in the foreseeable future.  Early in the Pandemic I instinctively gravitated toward the use of generous amounts of chromatic black juxtaposed next to creamy whites perhaps searching for assurances.

My intuitive choices unwittingly reflect the astonishing unfolding events of 2020 that have continued to transpire since I began this series in April.   Black is a color with many meanings and associations.  It is a mysterious yet intriguing color often associated with evil, darkness, emptiness, sadness, death and mourning.  It is also associated with power, strength, authority and certainty.  In that way it is unambiguous.  It is both positive and negative.

Because black absorbs all light, it is a low energy color. Yet when placed against white, the resulting contrast is bold and energizing.  When juxtaposed against white it also represents the never ending contest between right versus wrong, and the good guy versus bad guy.  For me, the two together, as in the paintings in this series, bring a sense of tranquility, something much needed in our current world.

These paintings thus represent my own struggle with making sense of all that has transpired this year.  The addition of a limited amount of color to these works is intended to sound a hopeful note.

-Julie Schumer

Julie Schumer Dialogue With Black