3 Years of Color

Spring Break offers me a week of neither teaching classes nor taking them, and therefore an excellent opportunity to prepare for events such as my May Art Sale and to reflect on projects, technique, history, directions, and color schemes.  As I will soon begin a new portrait commission and today marks the 3-year anniversary of my blog, I decided to focus on color this week.  After all, I embarked upon my artistic career with an intense love of color and motion-- so I often find that revisiting my earlier, more intuitive style of working, but forcing myself to seek out new color combinations or throw in a new element, gives me quite a bit of insight into my thought processes and goals.  I also use color studies (see my Organic Compositions I-II, III-V, and VI-VII from 2011) to help keep my work fresh; after all, an artist can easily fall into certain patterns, choosing the same colors, the same ways of depicting things over time.  While this may help forge a recognizable style, I believe that "having a style" does not have to mean producing work that is stale and repetitive.  I planned four color studies for this week; two are complete, two are still in the works:

 Color Study: "Technical" [above] was based on colors and forms that I saw while driving through town last week-- the metallic blue of a truck, the faded yellow of a utilities box, the red of bricks, and, because Huntsville, AL is so technology-oriented, thoughts of computers, aircraft, and spacecraft.  I am very happy with the clean precision of it, the glowing yellows and subtle greens.  It is a 16X20 water-based oil on Canvas.

Color Study:  "Romantic Arabesques"  [above] resembles my painting Spring in color, but is far more loose in style.  I wanted it to evoke ruffles, roses, and all things feminine without resorting to being merely cute.  I used my palette knife and glass bead gel medium to give texture and a free-spirited air to this 18X24 water-based oil on canvas.

With the final two pieces in the series [above], I would like to revisit the precision of the "Technical" study. . . I find that this precision is something I gravitate toward more and more in my work.  Even so, my goal is that both pieces have a natural "outdoors" feel somehow.  The painting on the left is to evoke the colors at dusk as viewed from my balcony, the painting on the right is to evoke the colors of an afternoon on the nearby Aldridge Creek Greenway with its blue rolling hills and myriad shades of green and violet in the spring. . .

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