What’s so special about monochrome?

What’s so special about monochrome?

I seem to have an obsession about monochrome artworks.   It was there when I was young as I generally preferred drawing in pencil or painting in one hue (colour).  My higher school certificate art is all monochrome.  Yes there were deviations, but generally there really weren’t that many.   

Today I clearly notice my preferences as I wander art galleries.  I stop and ponder the monotone work and flirt past most colour work.  Occasionally a colour piece stops me in my tracks with awe.   

When I can see the lines of the artists hand it enchants me even more.   

So why? What’s captivating me?

There is lots in answering this question, but one strikes an immediate chord.  And that is the inherent abstraction.  I just love the Clear step away from reality.  There are so many options and opportunities. Colour just seems to detract. 

The rest.   Well here are some more. 

Monochrome is mysterious. 

Monochrome is about light. 

Monochrome embodies chirasquro passionately.   

Monochrome isn’t real or is based in reality. It’s an abstraction from the start.  

Monochrome is harder and easier simultaneously. 

Monochrome speaks with emotions. 

Monochrome is full of passion. 

Monochrome speaks without the emotions of colours, such as the moody blues of the hungry oranges. 

Monochrome allows obscurity and hiding.

Monochrome is nostalgic, classical and timeless.

Blacks are powerful and strong. 

Whites are spiritual and enlightening. 

Ying yang.


Monochrome speaks with such an extensive vocabulary. 

Monochrome frees me from the computer and complex post processing.  

Tree at South West Rocks, at Trial Bay.  Taken on last years Abstract Photography Workshop.  A third of the spots in this years workshop are already sold.  Photograph and text copyright © Len Metcalf 2018

Artist | Writer | Photographer | Educator | Adventurer