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A New Color Palette

April 20, 2009


“Silence” – Triptych, 2003
Acrylic on Canvas, 48 x 84″ 

Saturday’s post is no longer factual. Should I delete it, or should I just plunge ahead with the new reality and explain it?

OK, I’ll explain:  My schedule for the week has completely changed since an email I received late Saturday from a gallery, asking if I’d be game to do a new series of paintings, predominantly in primary colors this time. I didn’t hesitate. I jumped on the idea.

We’re talking a whole new series, starting at Square One (pun intended.) So I spent all day yesterday painting when that was supposed to be a family day. Right after writing this, I’ll be painting all day again today, and again tomorrow. The way I build my textures takes a lot of drying time in between. And since we are leaving Friday for five days, I want to have several of them completed and delivered before we go.

Anyone who has followed this blog for a while knows that my color preferences change with my moods, which I wrote about here. I used to be able to call myself a “colorist.” That was what my work was about. And then for a very long time I moved into a more subdued — even grungy — palette, challenging myself instead to make textures and surfaces speak for themselves.

Is it possible for me to be happy combining excessive texture and wild, exuberant color? Been thinking about this for a while, and now I might have a real excuse to go there.

I will be heading in the general direction of the most recent experiments on the little square canvases, which goes to show that these little “what if” exercises can sometimes pay off.

This is one time that I can say I have more ideas than time to accomplish them. I dreamed them last night and woke up thinking about how to make them happen. Life is good.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. April 20, 2009 6:16 am

    Will you be working in traditional or true prime colours? I.e. red-blue-yellow or cyan-magenta-yellow?

  2. April 20, 2009 6:47 am

    I plan to work in all the above, plus secondary and a dash here and there of tertiary color as well. My hope is to come up with some surprising combinations in the same piece.

    Color, color, and more color!

  3. candiedfabrics permalink
    April 20, 2009 8:38 am

    “All color, All the time!” woohoo!

    When I started dyeing fabric, I was focused on getting vibrant colors with great texture – so my shelves were full of saturated, vivid, primary and secondary hues. I found it very hard to work with this pallette, and spent several years spinning my wheels, trying to find a direction to travel in. (In the midst of living a full life).

    But at some point I realized that All Color, All the Time was what got in my way, so I spent time learning to control my dyes better and make lucious tertiary colors, as well as shading and toning the primaries/secondaries. (In dyeing fabric, you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s been washed and ironed – my scientific background helped here).

    So, for me, Limiting my color palette and incorporating tertiaries, tints and tones was the beginning of me really hitting my stride and developing an artistic voice all my own.

    Yikes, I’m babbling…what I wanted to say was that I’m really looking forward to see you work in “All color, All the time!” woohoo!

    • April 20, 2009 12:16 pm

      Candy, your fabrics are wonderful. I can’t get enough of looking at hand dyed fabric colors! And of course you orchestrate them beautifully as well.

      These pieces are being done with a goal in mind. I want them to be playful colors, combined with tempting textures. Because we want parents to think of putting these in their kids’ rooms, I’m thinking of cartoon colors and candies. But as with well-done kids’ cartoons, I want something for the grownups too.

      Well, it works in my head anyway. 🙂

  4. April 20, 2009 9:14 am

    I think the little what if exercises we often involve ourselves in as artists are the fertilized ground for future efforts. There’s something to be said for just fooling around.

    Your colour scheme is brave. While I’m very attracted to vibrancy in the work of others, I love to just tone everything into harmonious drab. Go for it!

    • April 20, 2009 12:19 pm

      Margaret, I think those philosophies enhance each other. The eyes and soul need to rest and be calm too.

  5. Sandra permalink
    April 20, 2009 6:16 pm

    Really thrilled for you, and will so look forward to seeing your new series, in lovely bright colours. Most exciting. At lunchtime went to a gallery that displays modern art, saw series of small paintings all very drab and black, very depressing. I’ll love yours. All the best with them.

  6. April 21, 2009 1:26 am

    Martha I have one thing to day, which being me will always turn into two.
    That is such cool news! And such well earned success.
    Can’t wait to see what you do… (okay, three things LOL)

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