Those of you that know my bold colorful paintings may not realize that I also have a love of black velvet. Not the Elvis-on-your-uncles-recroom-wall kind of black velvet, nor the box of chocolates at Christmas kind of Black Velvet (okay, I will admit to a fondness for the carmel ones from the corners of the box...).
I mean the black velvet voids in Lee Bontecou's massive, powerful steel sculptures. This one is untitled, from 1961:
Or her charcoal and soot drawings. She creates depths of space, into which you could fall in endless silence. Lee Bontecou is an American artist who found fame in the 60's, only to leave the New York art scene for over 20 years to raise a family and work in a barn in rural Pennsylvania. See more of her work in this video.
Another source of velvety black inspiration are the lithographs of Odilon Redon, a French Symbolist artist who lived from 1840-1916. His later work is very colorful, but early in his career, he made portfolios of prints like one, entitled "Captive Pegasus":
Check out more about Odilon Redon here.
Coming soon: how these inspirations emerge in my own work...