I have had another rush of work this month and didn’t get time to study this subject in depth…so I think I’ll just pose a question.
How affected by seasonal color are you?
I find that I’m greatly affected, by the changing colors of leaves, but especially by the change of light and how that colors 😉 my perception of everything.
I love color. I’m sure you do too. I personally could never make a black and white piece of art. Some artists can, and do it well. I can’t. A friend asked me a couple of weeks ago how I would start work on the new pieces I need to do (quick deadline). I told her that I start with color.
I think about how I feel and then what kind of color I want to look at. Am I feeling bright and cheerful…reach for the lime. How about lazy and smooth…reach for the blue. You know, all of that psychology of color stuff that we all read but may not realize that we’re actively working with daily. Or at least I don’t realize I’m doing it until the piece is done and I look, really look at it.
It’s now past the middle of August. Technically it’s still summer and will be for another month. But I’ve noticed a definite change in the light in the past week (I live in TX, this may happen sooner further north). It’s glorious. Soft and warm, but still bright. I find myself going outside in the early afternoon to take it in. And by October I’ll be so in love with the light that I’ll try to get as much of it as possible, opening all the windows, driving around in the convertible with the top down, walking the dogs daily.
I also have to plan my work around the time of day. If I start a new piece of work, choosing fabrics from my cupboard, then it must be done before noon, when the light shifts. While the afternoon light is beautiful, I prefer the choices I make in the mid morning light. Is this just me?
Here’s a piece of Japanese kimono fabric I bought off of ebay this month.
I looked and looked at this piece before bidding on it. I realized that how much I liked it depended on the time of day I was looking at it (my studio where my computer has lots of natural light). I didn’t like it at night under the overhead light, but I liked it in the morning and loved it in the afternoon light. The red is a very orange red, which I find very appealing in the afternoon. It’s hanging here now and under the overcast light from outside, it’s not too spectacular, but when I opened it the afternoon it came I squealed with delight. It’s hard to pick a project for that kind of fabric.
Of course, if I hang on to it until spring I may feel totally different about it. Spring light is so bright and crisp. I love it. Do other artists have a preference for the light of a season? Or the colors that are abundant in each particular season? I used to be a spring person, but now I’m in love with late summer and fall.
My fabric dyeing process is the only time I struggle with this passion for light that I have. I dye inside my laundry room, under a giant florescent light, which while bright and clear, lacks the feeling that I am inspired by. When the weather is cooler I try to do some dyeing out in the backyard, but when that’s not possible I try to spend some time just standing outside, making a mental list of what color and light I’m finding inspiration in, then I rush back inside and try to mix up the dyes before I lose that feeling.
Am I the only one who does this or feels this way? It’s starting to sound like I’m crazy!
Last week I came across a tv show about color and light and the early study of both, back in the 18th and 19th century. I couldn’t find a link to it online, but I did come across this site, which is really fascinating.
So next time you start a project, take a second before reaching for that perfect fabric to think about why it’s the perfect fabric right now. You might find that you have chosen yellow because of the drifting leaves outside your window!