I’ve been reading about the natural history of color. The book is fascinating and it has me asking all sorts of questions about color. I’ve been noting what colors attract me. Hands down I love all shades of blue from the palest of pale blues to inky dark indigo. Cool colors relax me. My bedroom is a pastel shade of turquoise. It reminds me of a vacation to the Caribbean, I lay in bed and dream of sandy white beaches especially in the summer as my ceiling fan rotates. My daughter loves red. Her sheets are bright red. Yikes! They’d keep me up all night. My aunt claimed she could only sleep between crisp, white, cotton sheets. She lived in Alabama with its humid nights, so I get it.
Recently I’ve been pushed to follow color trends as I develop my fashion line for Shop Vida. I am resisting as my fashion line is a directly related to my art. The original painting is on the right and the clothing printed with my design is on the left. There is a deep connection for me to be working in gouache to create art that is later made into fashion. Pattern designers hundreds of years ago designed in gouache and then sold their individual designs to fabric printers. Mine don’t start out as designs, but are paintings of the body as seen through a microscope. With my background in textiles, I love seeing the painting on cloth and how it moves when worn.
While painting I tend to stick to what I call lipstick colors. To me they evoke a fleshy inside without bringing about disgust or horror that a dark blood red would. Blue sometimes makes it into my paintings and when it does, it is the main show. While l love the composition and movement in this piece, I don’t think it resonates as medical microbiology due to the blue, though slides are stained a blue, it tends to look more like faded water color paint, than bright gouache.
The book is full of how paint is made, not something I ever really thought about. When I paint, I tend to go to the store and buy what I need. But now, I’d like to find a way to collect materials and grind them and blend with egg to make egg tempera. The idea appeals to me. I wonder if I can use plant stuffs like I have when dying fabric, or does it need to be more of a mineral / rock. Hmm. Much to discover this summer.