Clare Rojas’s Color Field was translated from a much smaller gouache drawing (“I call all works on paper drawings,” the artist tells me) on an appealingly speckled, golden brown sheet from Rojas’s collection of antique papers. The original paper, perhaps intended as stationery, had small flecks of gold in it – anticipating the gold leaf in this edition.
Rojas notes that it was important to preserve her original composition (and its richly freckled ground) in the process of effecting its dramatic shift in scale. The artist recalls a discussion with Magnolia master printer Tallulah Terryll “about this intimate, tiny drawing, blowing that up big, and what happens when you translate something miniature. There’s a risk that you lose something – but I don’t think we did.”
In order to transform this small-scale, unique work on paper into an enlarged, editioned multiple, Rojas enlisted Magnolia’s large-scale acrylic printer. Reproducing even the minute gradations in the vintage paper, she tells me, was a means “to replicate the drawing as close as possible; one can do that with this kind of printing.” The artist notes that the gold leaf, an addition she previously employed in Blue Deer – a 16 x 20 ft. print on panel created at Magnolia Editions in 2010 and installed at San Francisco International Airport – adds both delicacy and warmth.
Color Field’s figure kneels, gazing up as if entreating either her avian companion or the heavens. The edition’s color palette is vivid and powerful, and the sense that emerges from these interwoven flora and fauna is a cyclical and perpetual connectedness. “This piece is about loving the earth,” Rojas explains, “and how we’re all grieving these losses we keep experiencing, especially here in California where droughts and wildfires have already drastically altered the landscape.” Color Field, says Rojas, “is about an urgency to hold onto the beauty we still have.”