First of all let me wish you a very Happy New Year! I hope it brings good health, greater prosperity and, most importantly, calm and contentment into your life after what has been a very difficult year for most of us. This period of retreat from three ‘Lockdowns’ now in the U.K. has given me plenty of time for reflection about my work as an artist. It has allowed me the time to question many aspects of my work, to review where I am on my artistic journey, my painting techniques, subject matter and also painting style. It is something that I have vowed to do at the end of each year as the process was quite illuminating. One question kept returning in my mind though and it is this that I want to discuss in this blog.
” Why does my art consist of such strong, bold and beautiful colour?”
In a previous life I had a Complementary Therapy Centre and was a practicing therapist myself. I painted it throughout in neutral calming tones and my own home has very calming colours in its decor also. I really admire work by artists such as K Yuriko and Maria Wigg who‘s work is minimalist, calming and beautiful. That ability to create so much with minimal paint and few brush strokes is such a skill. This has led me to mistakenly think that I should be painting in this way also, after all, it has my admiration so why should I not think this? However, I am also attracted to beautiful, bold and harmonious colour. The sort that Mother Nature often offers us in the form of flower petals, leaf foliage, earth colours. These colours make my heart sing , uplift my mood and have an effect on emotion. During my time as a therapist I worked alongside a ’colour therapist’ working in my practice for a while and learned something about the powerful effect colour can have on us. Who can doubt that the colour ‘yellow’, in its brightest form, denotes happiness and joy? After all it is the colour of sunshine as we know it.
I posted my original question on an artists site recently for feedback and it was very enlightening. The answers ranged from ‘Why question it, just let it happen’ to ‘this is what is coming from within you so it will make your work authentic. Just go with it’. I have found this very helpful and learned that allowing your vulnerability to show amongst your peers is no bad thing. I realise now that I look at a landscape , scan for the colours that I see and enhance them to match the emotions that I feel when viewing. This is how I paint , this is what makes my paintings uniquely my style and while I will continue to admire the works of those artist working in more muted tone, it is not MY style. I have happily accepted this.
How often do we do this in life? How often do we wish to copy what we like in others whether it be fashion statements or house decor ? I have always believed that being individual is something to celebrate and there is no greater place that allows you do that than through art. Happy New Year you ‘Individuals’!