Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Living In Colour

Colour has a strong effect on me.
Over the years, I've used a lot of different, vivid colours in my paintings but maybe oddly, I find them jarring in my everyday life. My clothes are mostly black or natural hues. My home is furnished with muted ethnic prints, natural wood, and plain industrial looking metal. The brightest colours are on the covers of my books.
In my early work, I used opaque sections of artificial-looking, saccharine, lolly-like pigments. Hot pinks, sky-bright blues, stark white, pure yellows,oranges and lime greens, balanced by large patches of camel, and separated by dark blue or black line-work to retain their clarity. I wanted the paintings to look seductive and instantly appealing, like advertising, enabling the unsettling underlying themes to insinuate themselves into the viewer's subconscious. In retrospect, I'm not sure they always worked that way.
I first became interested in the ideas of colour psychology and symbolism when I was in my late teens. I looked at a lot at advertising and popular culture and examined how specific colours were used to provoke emotional reactions. The most influential reference work was The Art Of Colour by Johannes Itten, who taught colour theory at the Bauhaus. He looked at colour from every perspective – philosophical, religious, psychic, psychological and physical – and urged his students to develop their own palettes.
My own use of colour is an attempt to create an almost metaphysical harmony, as well as a way to tap into sources of physical, emotional and even spiritual energies that sustain me and enable me to stay sane.

2 comments:

sue beyer said...

i like the way you use colour in your newer work. very passionate!

Sunil said...

Hazel,
Great use of colour in this one... Loved the painting.
When you get a chance hop over to my blog also, I have a couple of paintings out there.