Color Connection

Everything happens for a reason, every second of our life is significant, and the collective existence is tied together on a level that can never be seen. Occasionally you recognize it but can barely give it words. At most, you think to yourself, “What a funny coincidence.”

Daily I find myself musing over an occurrence or chain of occurrences that I feel must be related or have significance from which I could learn. I am but human, however, and at best the thoughts pass being replaced by the next incident to spark a momentary deep thought. And the cycle of my mediocre mind continues. Today I pause to share one such occasion with you; in part because I was surprised by the obvious similarities, and also because I want to share my recent works with you too.

OMAR

The first painting is a pet portrait I made some months back for a friend. I decided to focus on the dog and not paint a scene in the background. I wanted to place him in front of a color that was outstanding yet supported his expression. After a few tests, I settled on this combination of yellow-green and burnt dijon (yellow oxide). These are two colors I haven’t used much previously, but here I found them to be quite satisfying, bright but not electric, and bold but not blasphemous.

AT THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN ARSENAL

After the completion of the portrait of Omar I began my next project. A landscape adapted from the scenery at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, here in Denver, Colorado. The composition of the landscape has incredible appeal. You get the Rocky Mountains, the Denver city skyline, and a herd of bison…all at once. It was my original intent that the scene be natural colors. After a few test samples of color palettes it was decided that something more spectacular would not compete with the composition, but play along with it. I have always painted with contrasting colors, but this is the boldest I ever could have imagined painting a landscape. If it had not been for the portrait of Omar before it, the grasslands here may not have ended up yellow-green and burnt dijon. And as for the purple; it wasn’t until I moved to Denver that I saw a sunset turn the mountains purple. I love what the purple in this composition does to show off the bison and grassland. This painting was intimidating and fun to paint. It’s huge. It measures 22’x56″, certainly my largest accomplishment in quite some time.

THE EL PASO YEARS

After the enormous landscape I carved time to paint for myself. I’ve had this image of Lila and Nina that I have always adored. Lila is in the front displaying one of her most contented poses. Nina is in the background with her usual contemplative stare. I had an old canvas that had been “arted” on a few times. I covered it (yet again) in gesso. As you can see it has quite a bit of texture on it from previous works of art. For the most part the coloring in this painting is in accord with the original photo. I chose however, to do the shadow and other darkest spots in purple. Purple is not usually a go-to color for me, but I think I was influenced by the mountains from the Arsenal.

To further universal connectivity for me, my next few paintings will also be pairs of children and pets. I am excited to have them underway. I look forward to the color progression, as well as the compositional progression, as I work through all of these paintings. And as usual, I hope to share them with you soon.

So this has been my busiest year of adulthood yet; settling into a new town and settling into life as a mother of three. Is it a coincidence that is has also been one of my most productive art years too? No. It is not a coincidence. It is exactly the way the universe has it planned.

One thought on “Color Connection

  1. Kathleen M casper says:

    Great post!!! Nina and Lila turned out cool. I did not even notice the shadows being purple until I finished reading and had to double back. The interesting part to me was that the crisp shadow under Lila’s shirt is one of the things that I reacted to and enjoyed. I think your patience and openness to enjoying and going with the flow of your life has created these prosperous moments. Not complaining and living in the moments given! I love you and as usual inspired by you🥰

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