Yellow. Not the most common of colours in my palette yet once you turn it into variants like mustard you get all kinds of new opportunities presenting themselves.
I had done a couple of similar coloured artworks recently (for a client) and thought how great the looked when they were hung in their space. There was a brief on how the interior and exterior schemes should be brought together so I broadly stuck to it. What came out was a surprise even to me, let alone the sheer joy on the client’s face. And I can honestly say that I had never used mustard-yellow on anything before. So here we are with On a Storytellers Night; the first one I am actually happy with.
Of course, using mustard (and its variants) on their own makes for a pretty dull experience so it’s essential to liven them up with the addition of some well chosen, complimentary accents. Time to bring in the big guns, black. I’ve mentioned before how I love the finality of this colour. It’s all-or-nothingness and it’s ability to create extremes. And in this painting it hits the mark on all counts.
The giant network of creeping flows that spread across the light open spaces is probably the first thing you’ll notice; neatly followed by that solid containment wall along one of the edges. In between this there’s another story unfolding – one that opens up a world of light and carefree energy yet wrestles with the dominance of the darker tones that surround it.
On it’s own it’s a white and black study but all that gets transformed once the mustard-yellow (and it’s dozen or so variations) kicks in. It’s as if the colour is allowing everything else to have its fun but never lets it take over. I think this is why the painting can change moods very quickly; one minute you feel the storm is coming and the next you can smell tulips.
And don’t think it’s because I’ve gone mad either, far from it. What the painting does, almost without you realising it, is narrate its own story to you. Sometimes it may be loud and sometimes it may be whispered. But it’s a story all the same, and one that changes quickly. I like the drama in this piece. It reminds me that I still have a pulse. A good thing to remember once in a while.
Of particular note is the detailing. I just want to quickly mention it as I have had enormous problems getting the paint to form into these complex shapes. It’s probably been confounded by the relatively small selection of base colours. I’ve had to be overly-creative with my tools to get some life into the small bits. But then I like a challenge. What would we be if we did not have the desire to overcome?