Although color is a subject that is endeared in his heart and he uses up to 200 colors in a painting, colors are not the central thing in Robert Sagerman’s paintings. The process is most important and Robert hopes the viewer will look at it long enough to wonder why a painter would use such an intensive technique to create a painting. It’s a meditative process.
His paintings are made up of thousands of drops applied with a pallet knife. Using one color at a time, Robert counts the drops and keeps swatches of each color he used for the painting. There is no plan, he doesn’t use a color wheel, he applies one color at a time by intuition. Robert Sagerman creates his own colors from raw pigments to be aware of the chemicality of colors.
The colors are there to distinguish the drops. Originally he used more muted colors but through time and increasing confidence in using them Robert started using brighter colors. The gradation is always horizontal, and the layers of colors must remain visible so the process is transparent for the viewer. ‘Color was dictating the trajectory of the works with each piece going it’s own way’. There are no influences in his mind.
Shadows are part of the pallet. Color in theory is great, but you can’t really grasp it. Texture you can touch. Texture together with reflecting light creates the color sensation. Look at his black paintings for example. They are black, but he uses different types of paint, from matt to gloss, to create the subtle differences. The paint texture and light settings will create the colors you actually observe. Roberts paintings are so full of texture that they look different depending on the angle of the light, giving the paintings a naturalistic element. The light in his studio is very even to support the painting process. Once a painting leaves his studio, it’s out of his hands. Robert Sagerman can’t control the light conditions in the galleries or his clients. He has to let it go. It’s actually the next intuitive step in the process of creation.