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The colour of colour

When I was in what is now called Middle School, I remember my father telling me I couldn’t wear a certain color combination. It was, simply, a blue sweater with a green skirt. I thought it looked good so I wore it, often. I also think pink and red or orange look very good together. That’s my feeling about it. I like when colors have a lively conversation, don’t just sit back and feel comfortable, are not too obedient, too right. The first, and last, self-portrait I painted used what might be called excentri colours: pinks, yellows, purples. In my first art class as an undergraduate one assignment was to paint a scene as if we were Monet and again as Van Gogh. I used crayons on paper. The biggest difference for me was how they used colour. Monet's were soft and Van Gogh more forceful.

Color on its own doesn’t have as much to say as when it is amongst its friends and even enemies. It’s a communal situation, a society of color. How one color relates to the whole is dependent on amount, placement, and, like people, relationship to others.

Opinions on color preferences vary as much as people do. I personally feel the need to extend my color preferences, to use color in a new way. But it is hard. Habits and tastes are often stubborn. Recently I used a rust color not just as accent but as the main color in a large painting. I still look at it as an anomaly. Even though in the past I did use this color often, it has not been in my current palette. It will take time to absorb it into my repertoire.


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