Why is the chair purple?
No matter the degree of technical competency, a painting should hold somewhere in its bones an expressive and abstract nature. Planning and training must submit to intuitive response without the limiting effects of formulaic approaches. So the answer to the question imposed through the look of concern from my old dog Beck, "Why is the chair purple?", lies within the spaghetti wad of training, planning, experience, and experimentation.
The image on the left is the under-painting with concern for color, light, composition, and a response to the objects in front of me. Essentially, the gesture. The cold light coming in through the north-facing window in my studio FEELS more purple on the chair. Warm color object in a cold light... a visual predicament. Some people may feel that the expressive elements of a painting should outweigh the naturalistic representation. Would this be a "truer" painting if the chair stayed purple? It just comes down to personal aesthetic.
On the right you can see the finished painting. The under-painting more than simply influences the final piece. The chair is still purple, now with a chorus of other colors all working together.
Side note: The small painting of Amaryllis in the right hand corner was a painting I did for a dear friend several years ago. Sadly, he passed away last month. The painting came back to me so I included it in this new painting in memory of him. The new painting is for my show "A Eudaimonic Search" at Southside Gallery in Oxford, MS this August.