This week's blog was written by painter, Jennie O'Connor.
A common comment that I hear is, “your paintings are so colorful.” I always take this as a compliment and shush the negative little voice that I sometimes hear in my head. Some folks actually prefer gentle subdued colors in art and I respect that. In fact, I like gentle quiet colors too, but usually not in my paintings.
When I’m in my creative groove, I find that I’m at my best when I just cut loose and go for it, which means moving quickly. And that’s where my friend the color wheel comes into play, because when I’m in the frenzy of the moment, I’m working from the intuitive side of my brain and a quick look at the color wheel will often ground me enough to carry on.
I frequently find myself painting with opposites on the color wheel because I enjoy the contrast. Opposites on the color wheel are called complementary colors and the contrast of these colors creates a vibrant look that I love. Examples are orange and blue, violet and yellow, or green and red.
There is obviously much to say on this subject but since I’m referring to the color wheel, I’d also like to mention color temperature. Colors are positioned on the color wheel according to their color temperature. On the warm side is the primary color red, think fire; and on the cool side is the primary color blue, think ice. This is a rudimentary way to think about it, but the more red a color has, the warmer it is and the more blue a color has, the cooler it is.
These two components are what I think make my paintings ‘colorful.’ The other thing I like to do in a painting is put the least likely color in it sort of as a surprise and to draw attention. As far as the negative little voice in my head, I think a few more sunny days will take care of that.