More thoughts on Color

February 19, 2006 by

Color really does do different things for different people. Take my dear sweet Hubbalicious, for example. He has a fantastic eye for color and yet it doesn’t really interest him all that much. Color doesn’t matter to him. I have learned to be okay with this, though it confounds me how anybody can not care about color. Makes me gasp for air. He is extrememly creative and his medium is technology. It used to specifically be writing code and has grown into all technology. And you can go check out his gadget blog.

When we moved into our home I had most of the interior painted. Did you know that Benjamin Moore has small jars of paint, enough to paint a 2″x2″ swatch on your wall? Well, I wish I had a picture – there were about 30 2″x2″ swatches on my walls. For several months. A color was chosen and as the final choice went on the walls, I was skeptical. I let it grow on me for a few days and decided the elephant grey color I had chosen was actually lavender. Once I had seen the lavender, I could not un-see it. The color, Smoked Oyster, was lovely just not the one for me. So the next time my husband went out of town, I had it all repainted. And did not tell the hubbalicious. For over six months. He did not notice. Of course, I told everybody we knew because well, it was hysterical. He walked into my study as I was changing some furniture around…

Hubbalicious: “Hey, you have moved some things around in here. See, I notice stuff!”

Me: At which point, I could keep quiet no longer and I replied: “Oh, like you noticed how I had two thirds of the house repainted about six months ago?”

Hubbalicious: “Right, from beige to the color it is now.”

Me: “Nope, from that lavenderish color to this Stardust Grey

Hubbalicious:”You what? How much did it cost? You what? Prove it! Show me!”

Point proven. Eventually he could laugh about it, I have not stopped laughing about it.

Here is a 16 week course ALL about color. Free and online! Really, go there and read it. I have not read it all, what I have seen looks amazing. If you have any interest in just about any aspect of color, do yourself a favor and go there.

Color harmony completely fascinates me. Color theory is an area that I want to learn more about. There was a painting exercise I did a very long time ago that has stuck in my brain as the teacher pulled me aside after class and asked my why I wanted to paint. Ouch. Actually, I was being lazy and making it harder than it was all at the same time. The exercise was to pick three colors and make a painting. You could pick any three colors you wanted. I chose cadmium yellow, a violet and white. You will note, there is no cool color in the lot. That painting was the flattest thing you have ever seen. There was no Pop! And the Pop! is very important. Sometimes I do things that are all Pop! and there is no quiet place. Like this:


That is one of my favorite tricks, to color the cake batter. A great way to do this when making layer cake is to do each layer a different color. It is very effective in getting oooh and ahhs at parties because the cake looks like any other cake when it is frosted, but cut into it and Pop! These cupcakes are for the Hubbalicious when he comes back from Seattle tonight.

Othertimes, though more rare, it is all quiet and no Pop! Or very subdued Pop! Here is a quick oil sketch I did of myself (which looks nothing like me) a few (4?) years ago:

Someone who does color beautifully is Eric Fischl. Before you click some of his images are very explicit. If nudity bothers you, don’t go there. Anyhow, the way Fischl handles color makes me swoon. And his wife, April Gornik is also brilliant. And Delia Brown (More nudity! Beware, if you don’t like naked people!) really is wonderful. If you know anything about her, drop me a comment please. It is very tough for me to find stuff on her. Oh, and here is another drawing of hers. This drawing reminds me of just how much I love tone on tone. All this talk about color has me completely inspired, as do your very kind comments. Thank you. Have you seen project spectrum over at Lolly’s? Honestly, I had seen it and thought “Not for me”. Not certain why I thought that, but I did. Well, count me in. Painting is an avocation (I love that word) for me and I have not painted in almost 3 and a half years. I miss it terribly. It is the paint fumes I miss the most. Hah! For project spectrum I will do a one or a bunch of paintings and or drawings in the color of the month. I will keep you posted. Painting is someplace where I get lost, in a very good way. Sometimes in my own, and most often in other’s paintings. It is the color, the movement, the space created. We could all use a little bit more space and a quiet place to rest our eyes, couldn’t we?

Thank you again for the kind comments. Next up in the crazy color rantings…how color sneaks up on you!

4 Responses to More thoughts on Color

  1. Emily

    Wonderful idea! I can’t wait to see your paintings and drawings each month. There is always something inspiring going on over here. For example: Very Purple Frosting!

  2. Magdesignme

    Thanks for the colour theory link – I have bookmarked it. Colour theory is something that one never stops learning. I have studied it in the past but the topic is endless and sometimes daunting.

  3. Charlene Sax

    I love, love, love the artists’ websites you provide. April Gornik is one of my favorite and I really enjoyed visiting it again. Will do more when we get home! Thanks. I can’t wait for you to start painting again – ditto for getting lost in a good way and for the smell of paint. xoxoxox Mom