|Wish Upon a Star|
20" x 20" acrylic on canvas
For one, I have come to accept using brighter colors-within reason. I like balance and so I try to even out those chromatic hues with tints and neutrals and even shape size and placement. These pieces are really like literal puzzles to me.
The other thing is inspiration. I found myself relying on this book I have. It's a book on decorating with color. The color suggestions and themes have served me well but it's possible that I was limiting myself, maybe getting lazy, with relying on something set rather than asking questions as I paint. Questions like, "Why this color? What is it doing for that color over there?" Stuff like that. So, I put the book aside for the time being just to see what might happen.
What happened was that I got a crazy notion about making a rainbow painting. Growing up, rainbows were all the rage. Stickers, toys, drawings, whatever, you name it. Rainbows were everywhere. At some point though, the rainbow symbol got kind of co-opted. Rainbows became representative of other things and I guess I grew up a bit also. (Not much, OK, just a bit!) Rainbows kind of fell off my radar. Until the other day. I thought to myself that boy, would I like a pretty rainbow painting to call my own. Could I get away with that, artistically? I vowed to use all of the colors, judiciously of course, but all of them. So there! And that is how the above piece, and the last several ones, have come to be. Rainbows are indeed liberating on many levels.
The last thing I would comment on is something that some very well meaning people have assumed. I think many people, myself included, are under the impression that artists of all stripes must constantly find inspiration in everything they see and do. I suppose that some do. Good for them. For me, my brain is pretty fuzzy, like a cotton ball, so I am not always focused. Certainly not always focused on making art. Most of the time, when I get an idea, I am not even in my studio. I am somewhere else entirely, not even thinking about art at all. That part is critical. I am not thinking about what to do but just sort of listening. I am listening for my inner voice. My inner voice is always talking. It NEVER stops. So, I listen. And sometimes it tells me to make a rainbow painting. It doesn't tell me to paint a picture of a tree or something. It doesn't say that the landscape is my inspiration. It says "rainbow" loud and clear. It says "make a collage" and it says "go back to painting directly" and it tells me how to solve design problems. I just try to listen and interpret and apply. It's really that simple.
OK, that is it. The piece above is part of a series that is loosely based on rainbows, specifically that song Somewhere Over the Rainbow. We recently went to a lovely memorial service for a friend of my husband. The man passed away from ALS, a terrible, terrible disease. He was just a year younger than me. He, God rest his soul, selected the above song to play along with a photo montage that he put together. It was a tear jerker, I can tell you that much. What a life.
Thanks for reading and having a look. Take care!