Saturday, January 31, 2009
Sensuous, Sexy Color
Contemporary collage - my current color palette
Nothing pulls me into a painting as immediately as color. Clear across a gallery my eye will instantly find the colors it loves. Books and articles abound on the subject of color and tend to use words like hue, intensity, value, temperature, cool, warm and compliments. I usually fall asleep when I try to read them, for all the good intentions of the author. For me, color is a tool I use daily, that I make discoveries about and that I experiment with intimately. While there is a science to color, my approach goes beyond scientific. The words that describe the “rules” aren’t part of my thinking process. I mix my colors using all I have; my experience, my intuition, and my sensitivity to color.
I think as I am working - deep profound color thoughts like “yummy” and “yuck!” In fact, I think “yummy” is the Nobel prize for color in my studio. Immediately after declaring a color I have just mixed to be yummy, I begin to apply it to any nearby surface that resembles potential collage material. It’s just so much fun.
I collect colors; pages from magazines, photos I have taken, color chips at the building supply stores, rocks and rusty bits brought home in my pocket. My books are full of frilly tags marking the pages where my favorite color combinations are illustrated. I am a fan of design and architectural magazines and books in which designers have produced exquisite examples of perfect edgy color use.
This week Shauna Chapman from Quail Ethical Fashion commented “I was attracted by your collages and the colours you use. Colours of chalk, charred coal, clay, ochre, burnt umber, etc...Your colours remind me of the cave paintings at the Lascaux Cave in France.” And Philip commented “I also see urban art influences by the way.” How satisfying it is to hear my influences have been communicated. Thank you both.
In my inspiration notebooks are photos of old walls, cracked concrete, windows and doors, man hole covers, bleached drift wood, pebbles, feathers, old yellowed stationary from 1940, a winter tree branch. When I am successful, these influences – natural and urban – combine in my work to create a piece that that hopefully evokes a response in the viewer. That is part of the appeal and beauty of contemporary work.
Later today Kurt and I plan to take the cameras for a walk. I know where there are bunches of bare rose hips. A perfect inspiration for red.