Wednesday, March 16, 2011

An Irish Quilt (an ode to green)

  "Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises." 
Pedro Calderon de la Barca, Spanish Poet and Playwright, 1600-1681

Today, I knew exactly what I wanted to paint. Combine an abstracted (and in this case imagined) landscape that celebrated a wide variety of greens in honor of St. Pat's tomorrow. As an artist I love all colors, but I'm particularly drawn to the unbelievable of variety of greens in nature--from the lightest, coolest aquas to the richest, deepest olives and emeralds. In fact, I read the human eye can discern the most variety in the color green.

I've traveled to England but never Ireland, but I had an idea of the landscape elements I wanted to evoke. Misty trees, stony fields, cliffs dropping into a cold sea, etc.  In this mixed media painting (acrylic and oil pastel), I started with a very warm under painting--magentas, oranges, yellows knowing that they would later work as complements under the green final layers. 

As I've mentioned before, I typically use a limited palette, meaning I use mix my greens from "from scratch" using blue and yellow pigments such as ultramarine and lemon, or thalo blue and quin gold (perhaps my all time favorite green mix), etc. but in this painting I added pure acidic Thalo Green to my palette for the extra green zing I was after. My favorite part was mixing the variety of greens--really trying to push the value range and intensity range. I had a such a good time, I may try another one tomorrow.  

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