I Think in Color

“What is your inspiration?” 

This is probably the most difficult question for me to answer. The initial thought that leads to my art isn’t ever linear. It’s more like an accumulation of what I see, what I imagine, what makes my heart beat a little faster, and what I’ve created before. However,  there is one bit of inspiration that’s at the root of my paintings — color.  

Work in progress for  Protection  ©2018, Francesca Bandino

Work in progress for Protection ©2018, Francesca Bandino

Are you surprised? I imagine that once you consider my color palette, and in some cases are shocked by it, you’re probably not surprised at all. Most of us see in color with our eyes open, but I see color when my eyes are closed. I haven’t always been aware of it, but once I realized it, I was able to work through it and use it. 

Most of the time the images I see make no sense. They move too quickly and look like shots of purple bursting into the air, orange coming at me, then disappearing and turning into yellow or vanishing into black. 

The start of  Open Fascination  ©2018, Francesca Bandino

The start of Open Fascination ©2018, Francesca Bandino

Other times I’ll remember a scene but I’ll remember only a few colorful items while everything else falls away. 

Maybe we all think in this way, but not everyone chooses to pay attention to these thoughts. Sometimes we only want to understand what makes sense. Yet, I choose to make sense of what I see through my work. Actually, I take that back. I don’t choose to. It’s as though my body reminds me in every instance of those flashes of color and it won’t stop until I can get it all out onto my canvas. If I can’t paint in that moment, the thought will overcome me until I can. When I finally get it out, the thought vanishes and my brush does the rest of the work.

As Dreams Merge  was one of those flashes that I saw. From left to right:  As Dreams Merge, An Empty City, Stay in Line.  ©Francesca Bandino

As Dreams Merge was one of those flashes that I saw. From left to right: As Dreams Merge, An Empty City, Stay in Line. ©Francesca Bandino

When I’m working on a painting or a series, I see flashes of the painting just when I’m about to fall asleep. This happened to me when creating my Squareism pieces. I see them in different colors, full and bright, creating something that may not exist. Though sometimes I contemplate the changes I need to make to a painting, other times I see the image come and go in my mind and I know what I must do. It’s happened to me before and it has happened to me since. 

This is what it’s like to think in color.