I noticed that most of my paintings over the last two years have been inspired by the seasons or the weather of Indiana. Hmmm, and the seasons were specifically Spring and Fall. Why do these two seasons fascinate me so much? Color! Spring is full of the magenta of flowering redbud trees, the floating petals from pink and white crabapple trees and a rainbow of colors from flowering bulbs. In the Fall, I am always enraptured by the brilliant yellows, golds and reds of an Indiana autumn.
I have also been inspired by our two 100 degree Summers…not by the burnt grass and faded colors of the foliage but by the colors I visualize when thinking about coolness…laying in long grass under a cool, leafy tree, looking up through the greenness and seeing spots of fire in the unclouded, blue sky…or lying under water looking up through the cooling wetness at the blue sky.
Color, as always, is my inspiration. I decided to spend some time studying color and creating what I am calling Harmonies. I want to use a very narrow range of color to create a painting that is “in harmony”. The first color I chose was yellow. Delacroix said, “Everyone knows that yellow, orange, and red suggest ideas of joy and plenty”. We can never have too much joy and plenty!
Kandinsky, in Concerning the Spiritual in Art , says that yellow creates movement towards the spectator. Additionally, it will appear to spread beyond its painted bounds. With blue it is a polar color, defining light and dark, warm and cold. My first harmony was not a very good painting. I painted Harmony in Yellow and Orange using only shades of yellow and orange (sounds obvious – I’m sooo creative with titles!). I am not very happy with the composition and I did not find a way to introduce enough range in value. But I am learning and am continuing to study this painting to “see what I can see”. This painting used 5 shades of yellow and 3 shades of orange.