Tuesday, March 25, 2014

8. Why I Use an Orange Ground Color


YOU THOUGHT I had artistic insight and esoteric jargon to explain why I use orange as a base color. Maybe you hoped to learn about color theory or how color conveys light.

I COULD SAY it's because it creates movement in a painting, or that it suggests a wood-block or stained-glass feeling. I could say it makes the other colors pop, or that it directs your eyes around the painting.  I wouldn't be lying.

BUT THE straight-up truth: I have, in my whole life, never loved a coat as much as I loved this one. Whenever I wore this coat, I felt like I was soaring above the trees on my way to school.  It was my Superman cape, my butter on toast, a puppy hug.

NOW, 50 years later, I paint in clothes covered in acrylic paint. I have a closet full. But, once in a while, I'll be pushing green paint along an orange canvas when a little jolt goes through me and I'm wearing my magic coat. And I'm soaring.