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A world of colour

When friends visit, they often remark that apart from my comfy chair and Bonny’s bed at my feet, there doesn’t seem to be any boundary between my work and my living space. It’s true! My work is an expression of who I am.

I believe there is a well of creativity in every living soul, buried deep beneath the thoughts which tell me how things are supposed to be, the proper way to do something. These thoughts inevitably stop me in my tracks. If I listen to them, what I´m doing won’t be good enough. As an artist I’m blessed to do what I love, to work with images and colours that fill me and spill over into every area of my life.

When asked how I decide what to paint the answer is simple-usually whatever takes my fancy. At the moment I’m working on a commission,such a precious gift. This connection is a heart to heart transaction for which I never ask a deposit nor work to a deadline.

It originated from a painting I did some time ago of a fragile tree by the sea under a stormy red sky. I've been asked to adjust the colours and alter the tree to express something quite different, evoking feelings personal to my new friend. She likes the strength of the reds and oranges in the sky, but wants the stormy darkness to clear to express light breaking after overcoming a difficult time. The branches of the tree will be bare, promising new growth, strong, and unbending when the winds of change blow. It’s quite uncanny that I too have journeyed to a lighter place in my life since I first painted that tree.

I begin with a few colours from which I mix all the shades and tones which makes each shade in the painting complimentary to the others. I add white to lighten the value, or a darker colour to increase it. White holds all the colours in the rainbow spectrum and black is the absence of colour.

Painting from a limited palette is more pleasing on the eye and colours are then more compatible, creating a more coherent effect. . Gold will add wealth, strength, the warmth of sunlight, and silver will be calming, reflective, like moonlight.

These aspects of colour are fascinating . They work with emotions. I love warm, passionate, exciting reds but for others the colour red is a dangerous, angry warning. It represents different things to people and even to different cultures. In parts of Japan, monkeys made from red cloth are hung from the eaves of the house to ward off evil spirits. Chinese brides wear red while elsewhere it´s the colour of revolution.

I don´t really think too much about what the colours mean when I´m painting.

I embrace life with joy in our glorious, colourful world.

Marja Brown

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