Blue happens to be most people’s favorite color, according to a recent study. I was not aware of that, but I figured it would be, because after people hear that my favorite color is blue, they usually react by saying, "Wow, that is my favorite color too!"
The generosity of blue! There is enough blue for everyone, more than our eyes could ever capture. It is the color of the arch stretching over our little busy world, it is the color of the oceans, it is the color of infinity where your eyes can rest so you can bring your whole existence back into perspective.
According to the study, the second favorite color is green. Now, I have to confess that among all the colors of the spectrum I have a particular weakness for green. The abundant rainfall in the last several months have made Denver a living palette of all imaginable shades of green, and of such intensity that one who hates green would go insane. But I who love green can’t get enough of it. Green is the color of balance, harmony, positivity, and hope. Green is calming, and all that foliage is a feast for the eyes, also because it is so much more than “just” green. If you look carefully you will find that it is a combination of many colors: the darker areas contain blues, reds, and purples, and the brighter areas contain values of yellow, pink, and orange.
To create the right green for my recent painting – of which I showed you the various stages in my previous post – I let myself be inspired by that amazing range of Denver spring colors. The dominant element in the work is a tree, and I wanted it to be of a warm green, illuminated by a low, late-afternoon desert sun. To amplify its green-ness I previously created a red-orange background, and to make it hard on myself, I reduced my palette to a limited number of colors that moreover contained only a single pigment (the coloring substance of paint). So no ready-made green.
Strangely enough, there is no pure vibrant green pigment on the market besides boldly splattering synthetic pigments with suspicious names like “ftalo.” Therefore, to find the basic color of green for my tree I experimented with a variety of blues and yellows (see color chart below), and found this warm, brass-green tone by mixing Ultramarine Blue and Gummi-Gutta (originally made from the sap of the Gardenia Gummi-Gutta tree). In the darker areas I applied, besides a deep Ultramarine, a Madder Lake – which is a natural deep magenta made from Madder root –, Raw Umber, and a touch of Black. For the information board on the left and for the bat-like creatures I used exactly the same colors in different combinations and different values.
The result is a homogeneity that brings the main characters together as if seen through a single filter.
I wanted to keep them almost monochromatic, so that through their color alliance you could perceive that they all possess the same nature. I tried to illustrate how two apparently different living beings (bat and tree) are actually part of each other and rely on each other. The tree seems to have the desire to yank its roots out of the ground and fly, and the bats seem to feel helplessly naked and eradicated compared to the tree; they are each other’s cause and effect. They are intrinsically connected. By their common helplessness, their envy, but mostly by their color.
Amazing Thrift Store Finds
When you bring a treasure home from a thrift store or yard sale you often come to find out what the reason was behind the abandonment of your adopted baby. In the case of my green clock it was most likely the fact that it always indicates six o'clock. The short hand hovers perpetually over the six, while the long hand makes its revolution, returning forever to six o'clock. I do like to believe that nothing happens by chance, so out of mere curiosity I googled the symbolic meaning of the number 6. Besides realizing that June is, of course, the sixth month of the year, I came to find out that the number 6, in numerology, stands for connection, reconciliation, union, love, perfection, relatedness, etc. In mathematics the number 6 is a perfect number.
I quote from the website Mystical Numbers:
In mathematics a perfect number is when all the numbers divisors (excluding the number itself) are added, the sum equals the number itself. 1+2+3=6
In addition, when including the number itself and dividing by two the result is the number itself. (1+2+3+6)/2 = 6