Ew, a Green Shirt.


Today I want to talk about color and how I use it in my work. Ever since I started using acrylic paint again nearly 2 years ago, I’ve found myself drawn to certain colors more than others, and it's still really hard to put the reasoning for that into words. I really prefer painting intuitively, and I almost always primarily use blues, purples, and deep reds when I work. I know a comfort zone when I see one, and these colors have never really felt intimidating to use.

On the other hand, there are some colors that I feel the opposite way about; I almost feel repulsed when I think about using them, and when I do I do so with caution. It’s like I’m afraid that these will overtake the entire painting if I’m not careful. For me, these colors are mostly green and yellow. I don’t know why I find approaching these bright and happy colors so darn intimidating, but it’s really hard for me to put into words.

However, since I’ve noticed this about myself, I’ve been trying to work with these colors more so that I can finally start to get comfortable with pushing the boundaries I ended up setting myself within my work. The most recent time I’ve done this was just a few days ago, when, for the first time in a long time, and not without fear, I looked at my regular, deep red and blue background, which was all I had for my painting at that point, and thought “meh, fuck it. Green shirt.” I immediatley followed this impulse, adding green to the guidelines of a figure i had going on, and then immediately after that thought “oh fuck, it looks like Christmas, I hate it.”

However, in a determination to get over it, I’ve left it there, and I’m pretty happy I did. The painting in question is still very much in progress, and don’t get me wrong, I’m wincing at it in a way, but I’m proud I made a step in this direction. Now listen, I’m aware that writing an entire thing about how I hate using particular colors might sound a little boring to others. So, thank you for reading this! Color has always been tied to emotions for me in my work, so I think that has something to do with why I find certain colors so difficult to handle. I’m taking this writing as a record of my progress with being less afraid of green, and I’m interested to see what will come of this from here. What are you working on?