This summer at the Hoppin Gallery (on the second floor of Barney Library) in Farmington Village, Farmington, CT was a remarkable show by Michael Patnode. He is primarily a self-taught artist who paints everyday genres in a Van Gogh-esque way.
What is most stroking about the work is the color. He is fascinated by color and how it corresponds with music.
So Michael has done extensive research into the nature of harmonics and the specific correspondence of color interactions, the intervals of keyboards and frets of a guitar. Alongside his charming landscapes and still life paintings (each sonorous in its play of opposite colors and supporting hues) are diagrams explaining his color theories.
Essentially, he plays one opposite color against another and offers up a side-order of a third color as in the scale base chords diagram above where red plays with green and becomes mitigated with violet.
He works with just the primary colors on his palette, that is, two of each so that all the admixtures (secondaries and tertiaries) come from the original red, blue, and yellow. This of course is closely aligned with the Impressionists’ theorist Chevreul.
Michael asked me to play his multicolored guitar that was decked with intricate painted color charts. At his fairly well-attended reception at Hoppin Gallery on a Saturday morning, I enjoyed improvising with chords and picking some strings in accord with a shared kind of synesthetic sensibility.