This is my entry for Inspire Me Thursday's latest prompt, Yellow.
A toughie for me. Colors are very important to me, and I have always been a blue/purple/black/gray/raspberry, even lime green kinda girl, with a recent fondness for orange. Over time I have moved away from all the bruise colors and into the sunnies, but yellow is really the last hold out. I had a studio/playroom painted the color of Morning Sunshine (Benjamin Moore) and that was great, but I still wince at some of the brighter yellows. Although, I have professed my recent love for gold, and that's just a metallic yellow with a touch of earthiness.
Maybe the real value of these prompts is the way they get you to do things you wouldn't normally do, things that are outside of your zone of comfort.
I had to look through the IMT yellow links to find a bunch of color schemes using yellow before I realized yellow wasn't just bright, traffic sign yellow. The creamy shades caught my attention, particularly when paired with a sky like blue. I like the multiple shades of yellow, from cream to ochre. In fact this painting was done with Naples Yellow, mostly, a bit of ochre, a lot of white and a smidge of cadmium yellow medium. And if you click to enlarge, you might even see the small shot of cadmium red medium in the skyline. The blue is cobalt turquoise. All Golden Fluid Acrylics, which I have loved for a long time.
It's interesting, this going out of your comfort zone. You'll notice I stayed with a comfortable old image (Flying Girl) while being pushed into the yellow colors. And that's a good way to try something new and potentially frightening while still feeling as if you know slightly what you are doing. If you change too many things at once and jump too far into a strange land, you can definitely feel like you are over your head and seize up, unable to go farther. Well. I didn't quite intend for the title of the piece to work its way into my creative lesson for the day, but it did. Maybe next week I will be able to enter a whole new strange yellow land because I have built up a scaffold slowly, getting comfortable with the strangeness?
One thing that I thought was interesting about doing this painting was the process it went through. I started out with just some blue (actually it was left over from a previous attempt at using yellow in a hand painting, which I haven't finished yet) and I thought that would make a good background for flying girl. But I wanted to try a new thing with backgrounds and outlines, too, so I drew her in and then thought, oh, let's use some more yellow, and filled in the sky with yellow. So the flying girl is actually the background, interestingly.
I have also been paying attention to outlines, lately, because I want to use them, but I don't want them to be harsh, sharp outlines. After clicking through so many illustrations lately, I thought I'd try to blend my outlines a bit and I did so here. And then I really liked what I was doing and I felt pleased with the painting. But as I continued on and added more paint and tried more things... well lets just say, I got to the point where I was ready to scrap the thing. Ugh. It was horrible.
But that is precisely where you need to get sometimes.
The point of strangeness. The point of being unsettled and uncomfortable. The point of nothing left to lose.
Because then you are free to say yes. You are free to try something you might have been afraid of before. You are free to make a mess and ruin things and experiment and follow the fleeting ideas that you wouldn't, if you were trying to hold onto something you had.
So that's what I did, and instead of hating the painting, I ended up really loving the result. Rocky journey. Lovely ending.