Wednesday, September 28, 2011
I'm wild for White
Carolina Blue 20X28, oil on linen
Though I am a native born Floridian, North Carolina near Chapel Hill is a major part of my life and family history. So painting with themes related to my NC roots is major for me. "Carolina Blue", the fourth painting in my new series of paintings featuring my favorite NC pots and old white fabric family heirlooms is my latest testimony to my heritage. But, something is happening here that I didn't expect when I began. The nuances of color and temperature changes with white fabric have made me understand grays in a way I have never thought possible. Now, when I lay out my palette at the beginning of each day, I can mix puddles of white with ease and understanding of what I am seeing. The "air" of the background colors becomes part of the shadows of the whites of the fabric. Now when someone asks me what colors you mix to make white, my answer is . . . "depends on what you are seeing." The teaching advise of "... if the light shapes are cool, then the shadow colors will be warm and visa-versa" isn't necessarily so. Judging value gradations is the other skill that painting white fabric promotes. The folds, turns, hills, and valleys are much like painting a landscape. Learning to "see" takes time and painting white can really move that process along--just a suggestion. I love painting white to the point that I think I am addicted.