There were many lessons I learned from a certain challenging assignment while I was in school. I learned to loosen up, to not put so much pressure on my work, and to experiment with color. My love of studying color stems from this project. What you might not know about my work is that I often paint the first layer of my paintings with garishly bright colors. I’m talking hot pinks, neon oranges, the most awful yellows, and cartoon blues. But then I layer softer colors on top of that. And then I keep layering. The result is a painting that appears soft, but has an inner glow from those first layers. It is through this process that I am able to feel what I am painting, and how people who see my work derive their emotional responses.
Below is an example of bright and loud colors in the first layers that I build on for the finished product:
So...clearly the first layers are totally different from the finished painting. I just wish all of you could see this in person, so you could see the effect that first layer has, even three or four layers deep. While the final layer of the blue sky is a more muted cobalt blue, hidden underneath is a glowing turquoise that is so hard to capture in a photo, let alone on canvas. The dark areas are rich and deep, and the lighter areas shine from the combinations of colors built up. This layering technique is by far the most effective way that I maximize the utility of my color palette. And, quite frankly, it is just plain fun to slap nearly-neon colors on a blank white canvas. It's like the secret painting underneath the "real" painting - a secret that I'm sharing with you, and only you! So let's keep it on the DL, ok? Shhhh.....
What draws me most to the subject of color is its endless possibilities. I have had the same set of paints since my first painting class, yet my palette continues to evolve. All of these combinations from the same set of paints?!? Blows my mind. Every time. I often post daily palette pictures on my Instagram Stories, which I find a fun way to communicate the mood of my palette and the tone I am setting for that day in the studio. To me, these images chronicle my color journey, and its fun to see the different color phases that my palette has gone through. There is so much more I want to say about color, and tons more to say about my process, so stay tuned for more to come!