Romany Mark Bruce – ‘Colour is my daylong obsession, joy and torment’

As an artist my work is diverse, at times dark and serious but there is no doubt about the importance of colour for me and the influence this has inall of my paintings. Colour dominates my thoughts in so much of my art ranging from the figures and portraits to my ‘Nature of Being’ collections.

The power of colour in art is something that has become a dominant influence in many artists work over the centuries, from the moods it creates to the messages it conveys, so much can be spoken through colour in art.

During lockdown, like so many others, I appreciated my surrounding nature even more than ever before, on my morethan regular dog walks! As Covid hit in Northern Italy, I found myself in a creative wilderness following my hasty repatriation from Italy, having gone there to live for two years and after contracting Covid, my initial lockdown paintings were dark and depressing, lacking in energy and movement, I destroyed them. Eventually however ‘The Nature of Being’ collection emerged and colour and life returned!I have always walked my dog in the countryside, but never beforehad I observed nature so closely than through this prism of lockdown, so those walks and my observations became more precious than ever before.

These paintings reflect my appreciation of nature and the colour that surrounds me. Sometimes it is not easy to fully appreciate colour, its subtlety and variation. When I paint, I rarely identify and apply a particular colour, each is built up with many translucent layers, over many days or weeks.

This collection of nature embraces colour in all its natural vibrancy and is an area of course I have brought into many other pieces of my work.

Greens, reds, yellows, pinks, the rainbow spectrum literally erupts when you study it closely enough. The blacks and greys can be equally powerful. Artists like Bacon, Matisse, Kandinsky, Yves Klein are all artists whose work embraced the power of colour. Yves Klein believed each colour ‘definitely possesses a distinct character and personal soul’, Kandinsky believed that colour was a power that influenced the soul. Colour is naturally a constant theme in the history of art, from human interpretation of colour to the conscious or unconscious effect colour can have on us . The theories and discussions on colour are endless and fascinating.

So many thoughts on colour and opinions that I can relate to and a theme I find myself naturally exploring  in my work, working with colour to express  my emotions –  joy, sadness, suffering, happiness, relief – colour is most definitely my obsession, my joy and my torment in my work.

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