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Colour Fields Inspired by Mark Rothko

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“Pictures must be miraculous”- Mark Rothko

Mark Rothko, was born on September 25, 1903 as Markus Yakovlevich Rotkovich. He was an American painter of Russian Jewish descent. He was born in Russia and could speak Russian, Yiddish, Hebrew and English.

Rothko is arguably most famous for his multiform paintings. He felt they contained a ‘breath of life’. The multiforms brought Rothko to his signature style.

For seven years, Rothko painted in oil only on large canvases with vertical formats. Very large-scale designs were used in order to overwhelm the viewer, or, in Rothko’s words, to make the viewer feel “enveloped within” the paintings. He even suggested that viewers position themselves as little as 18 inches away from the canvas so they might experience a sense of intimacy and awe with a sense of the unknown.

Students used a variety of materials to create their own vibrant paintings inspired by the work of Rothko. They used a scraping technique to prepare the background and then used oil pastel, acrylic paint and chalk pastel to create the colour fields.

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