An Introduction to the White Rock

HJ Andrews Project

In 2008 I completed A Year of Average Colors of the South Yuba River: an mathematical determination of an aesthetic value.
The project was extremely reductive, as its concept was to arrive at a single hue that represented the color of the entire river over the course of a year. The resulting paintings did not account for turbidity, time of day, weather, or countless other factors. It was as if one drop of color of the river, independent of the factors that contributed to the color was extracted, almost arbitrarily.

The white rock was conceived to introduce more complexity into exploring the questions surrounding what constitutes the color of a river. I use it as a reference point to compare it to the surrounding water and creek bed.


White Rock
White Rock in Watershed 2 During an Intense Storm

By comparison, I can see how depth, turbidity, time of day and other factors affects the color of the water in the streams and creeks in the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest.

The first project using the white rock is Ambient: October 11, 2014 Between 10: 55 AM and 3:42 PM; Watershed 1, Lookout Creek & Watershed 3. I approached it as a ‘pilot project,’ knowing that the process of working with three distinct creeks would present a slew of problems and, of course, more questions.

The accuracy of my painting interpretations of the creeks’ colors became an area that I explored in more detail with the following project. The Human Error series (in progress – images coming soon) uses the colors of the creeks and white rock originating from the project Ambient: October 11, 2014 Between 10: 55 AM and 3:42 PM; Watershed 1, Lookout Creek & Watershed 3. But, rather than working with the range of colors presented through changes over time, each of the paintings 16 colors is mixed 4 times, showing the range of accuracy of my color mixing.

White Rock in Lookout Creek

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