by | Mar 10, 2023

Have you ever walked into a good wool shop and been blown away by the exuberance of the colour overload? The intense saturated dyes all in one place can take your breath away. It’s like hearing an operatic voice, live for the first time. Overwhelming. The power and emotion of it. Your heart expands. You are elevated by the experience. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could elicit the same response with our art work.

I have been thinking of the use of colour in paintings lately. How many people try hard to capture the exact colour they see in the reference they are using, whether it is from a photograph or in situ.

This has never interested me. I do try to pay close attention. Breakdown the colours that I see reflected in a face, the myriad colours in the forest, how one colour impacts on another. Affects shapes. And then I stop worrying about it. I ignore the local colour and try to apply paint more intuitively.

I am more concerned with how a certain colour can make another dance. How neutrals have the power to make the piece come alive. How a last zingy punch of orange or turquoise can be what was needed all along.

Check out these two Nova Scotia artists, one in Halifax, one in Bear River, who know a thing or two about using colour in their work.

Mark Grantham –

Flora Doehler –

Image © Norene Smiley. All rights reserved.
acrylic | 22 x 28 | artist’s collection