1. It is a clal gadol for all successful painting and not just in painting otiot (but is especially pertinent to otiot) It is the synthesis of all my art education (BFA and several post-graduate schools). The ikar of all great painting, whether Rembrandt or Matisse or Rothko…is that all painting is built on a sequence of relationships of two colors, one next to the other. Because two colors one next to the other resonate in space in relation one to the other. One moves forward and one backwards. By changing one of the the colors slightly the spatial relationship between the two changes. This is the key to all pictorial painting, that is, the setting of objects in illusionary picture-space. This has nothing to do with the setting of objects in space according to the parameters of drawing, that is, in black and white, using line and tone, such as overlapping, perspective, etc. this is an additional and more-essential-to-painting facet of setting spatial relations. Many amature artists no nothing of this “secret” and their use of color is local (this object is red, this green, etc.) and know nothing of the relationship between colors which creates space, movement, and emotional depth and meaning. This is in addition to the use of color to represent light and atmosphere.

  2. The principle means of attaining this awareness is to paint “from life” and to simply paint and repaint the interface between two patches of color which represent two places in space, ie. if you paint a tree and the sky behind it, so be completely sensitive to the color of the tree as it meets the color of the sky next to it, and negotiate that edge by changing (one of, or both of) these colors until you see that the spatial relationship that you desire has been achieved. that is the inyan in very short.

  3. Thus when you understand that a painting is nothing more that a multitude of these pairs of color relationships in a pattern over a canvas, then you have taken true control of the painting and you will manipulate it to your desire. Every object will truly find its proper place in space and you won’t have things happening in the painting that you aren’t aware of, and that contradict your intent. And it doesn’t matter whether you are painting a deep space as in a landscape or a shallow space as in a still life or a “flat” abstract space; always two colors create a spacial movement. This is what the artist needs to become aware of. Otherwise he is blind to what is truly happening in his painting. And the true emotional (and spiritual) content of any painting is b’ikar conveyed through the color relationships. A painter can think that he is painting a serene landscape but his colors betray him and the truth is more of the feeling of a holocaust. One has to become sensitive to colors and how they speak together, and the way to do this is to isolate in one’s attention every pair of relationships, as said above. The importance of lesson cannot be overstressed, as I said above; that this is the synthesis of all that I learned about art.

  4. It’s pertinence to otiot is that the holy script is not like other languages where the letter is the limbs of the ot and the background is insignificant, one simply needs a place to write the letter. The holy ctav is not so–rather is “black fire on white fire” in the language of the Midrash. That is, that the surrounding white is as much a part of the ot as the black limbs. Each ot has a positive and negative aspect…the painting of otiot is therefore a matter of negotiating at every point the relationship between the limbs of the ot and it’s surrounding “mukav gvil.” In short.


featured image:

נסה עלינו אור פניך

(תהילים ד’,ז’)

Give us a sign of the light of Your countenance upon us

(Tehillim 4:7)

Oil on canvas

ציור שמן על קנבס


50 cm. x 60 cm.