Un-multi-tasking

Serious colors.

I loved a comment that Terry Jarrard-Dimond posted regarding serious colors. Perhaps the use of certain colors is linked to wanting the larger art world to take us more seriously. I thought about that a lot. And it forced me to think about how I use color and what the motivations were behind my color palettes.
I love dark colors.
While this looks somber it actually celebrate my mother
who has continually nurtured sick friends
with her bowls of matzah ball soup
As I was developing as an artist I loved the color sense of Nancy Crow, Leslie Riley and Terry Jarrard-Dimond's bold use of color whether it was in the complicated details work of Leslie or the magnificent bold strokes of Terry and Nancy. I envied their ability and mastery of color. And anytime that I even attempted to replicate color choices it looked forced and uncomfortable simply because it was.

This was before I started to develop my own voice and develop my own sensibilities. And it was during a period where I was making quilts- not really making art. The difference lies in my ability to tap into my emotions.
I am comfortable in the world of dark colors. Give me deep purples, blacks, navies, dark rusts and I am in heaven. Those colors speak to me.
Many people loved the energy and brightness of these colors.
The colors this piece were representative of  loss of control.
I used a color palette that was difficult.



But when I want to really convey how anxious, nervous or upset I am I choose colors that others would think are pleasant except for me they are jarring and upsetting. Think pastels or lighter jewel tone. These colors are like scratching nails on a blackboard, and when I use those colors I am often tense, nervous, and concerned. This was my color palette during the recession!


Difficult colors for difficult times.

 
This was a piece that was done when I was not sure
if my design firm would survive.
Ironically most of my friends were happy
to see me using such bright colors.

So how does all of this play with serious or non-serious colors. I have to be guided by the thoughts that are driving me. Right now I am doing an all black piece representative of some recent family health problems (which are happily resolved). But as I started this a few weeks ago, all black felt like the right way to go.

With all of this talk of anxiety and tension it must appear that I am a disturbed person. I am not. I am really pretty happy most of the time- and when  I do have conflict I go to work in my studio. I am comfortable talking about my emotions and tapping into them to help me start to work. After giving Terry's comment lots of thought, I  don't think of color in terms of being acceptable to other artists or quilters. Perhaps I am too early a stage of development as an artist. I do have to thank Terry for opening up this topic for consideration and making me deliberately think about color as a conscious choice.