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Captivated by colour

Life isn't all black and white - ask Van Gogh or Georgia O'Keeffe!
21/07/2020
A visitor to my studio last week commented on my colourful paintings. I hastened to show him the more subdued palette of 'Strictly Tango' - which was excused on the basis that for the tango you needed moody colours. As I continue my Rainbow colour test experiments, I am surprised by the subtlety of some of the mixes, but enthusiastic about the richer and more vibrant ones.

Was this the wrong approach to my painting? I hastened to look online and my first stop was my great hero artist 'Vincent Van Gogh'. These are some of his quotes on the subject:

"There is no blue without yellow and without orange.", "Colour in a picture is like enthusiasm in life." and "I am crazy about two colors: carmine and cobalt. Cobalt is a divine color and there is nothing so beautiful for creating atmosphere. Carmine is as warm and lively as wine… the same with emerald green."

Then I looked at Georgia O'Keeffe "The meaning of a word — to me — is not as exact as the meaning of a color. Colors and shapes make a more definite statement than words.", "I found that I could say things with colour and shapes that I couldn't say any other way - things I had no words for" and "The feeling that a person gives me that I cannot say in words comes in colors and shapes."


All these quotes resonate so much with me. Often the colours I use are chosen to represent the emotion or atmosphere that I want to convey. When I stray from that concept, I find frustration with the final result. I want my paintings to move the viewer to tears of joy, to a sense of connection - an emotional response. Do you feel any or these things when you look at your favourite painting?