red – rouge – rot – rosso – rojo

I am having a love affair with red at the moment. Maybe it’s a winter thing.

As I indulge myself cruising around artstack, pinterest, and the bulging folders of artworks on my hard drive – works saved over many years, just-in-case – I notice my heart reaching out towards those pieces that are unashamedly vibrant with red, red, red – red a hundred ways; in every language red’s wild energy makes human beings stop, sit up, and most often, smile. (Oh yes, I’m aware of the connections this colour can have with anger and frustration, but for most of us, it’s the colour of life.) Here are a few favourites that get my smile muscles going and make my heart happy.


Henri Matisse - The Red Studio

Henri Matisse – The Red Studio, 1911

Museum of Modern Art, New York City


Colin McCahon - Ahipara,1970

Colin McCahon – Ahipara, 1970

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa


Georgia O'Keeffe - Black Door with Red, 1954.

Georgia O’Keeffe – Black Door with Red, 1954

Chrysler Museum of Art, Ghent, Virginia


Deborah Barlow - Colasee

Deborah Barlow – Colasee


Fabienne Verdier - Shen (La Quintessence)

Fabienne Verdier – Shen (La Quintessence)


Jean Miro - Paysage

Jean Miro – Paysage

National Gallery of Australia


Diane Foug - Red

Diane Foug – Red


Mark Rothko - Untitled (Red)

Mark Rothko – Untitled (Red), 1958

National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne


Emily Mason - Slipped Beyond, 2009

Emily Mason – Slipped Beyond, 2009

lewallen contemporary art


Shane Drinkwater - Red 2

Shane Drinkwater – Red 2

on artstack

Do you have favourite red paintings? How do they affect you? If you’re an artist, do you work with strong reds?

I’ve only played with red in a small way – when I was working with dyes on silk. Oh the lustre of red silk! (Interestingly, one of those pieces won a National award.)

I can feel a reunion with RED coming on: watch this space.

8 thoughts on “red – rouge – rot – rosso – rojo

  1. Emily Mason hits me right in the gut – or hits…more breathes into it – so sensitive, oh my…will be watching your red fancies 🙂

  2. Oh Miriam! Such magnificent works you’ve chosen. Also, thank you for introducing me to some of these artists’ work I hadn’t been familiar with previously, such as Deborah Barlow and Diane Foug. I would LOVE to see what you choose to create w/ the color red! I’m sure it will be equally as stunning as all your other lovely pieces. 🙂

    1. Thank you for visiting dear Patricia – and for your enthusiastic comment. I’m delighted to have introduced you to Deborah Barlow, whom I count among my dearest friends and whose work is sublime. I came across Diane Foug by chance, when rebuilding this site for “responsiveness” across devices – her use of the Sketch Theme was inspiring, as is her work.
      Red is stewing in the studio. I am loving its energy on these chilly days. Several pieces are in progress, but it’s too early to show yet!
      By the way, I really love your new work – your use of faux ivory is both technically exquisite and conceptually important. (Nods while clapping hands.)

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