I noticed a trend emerging from all the paintings and colour illustrations I was creating. It seemed that I had a very limited interest in expanding my range of colours beyond the three primaries. Why is this? I can’t really say for sure, but I think it has something to do with my mentality of working from the bottom up – only when I feel confident with the very basics do I move on to more ‘advanced’ things. Thus I have made so many pieces of art in red, yellow, and blue, high contrast and very, very abstract.
I started learning colour theory in probably 1st or 2nd grade art classes. It wasn’t particularly hard to grasp and of course I really enjoyed blending the colours to create new ones, but the primary colours seem so essential to me. And perhaps strangest of all is that I am not drawn to these colours outside of my own painting experience, nor do I hang my own work in this limited palette on the walls. I can’t really explain it.
The best way I can see it is that the use of primary colours is a very therapeutic experience for me. I find them very tactile and present, easy to grasp and understand and they hold no surprises. I’m definitely not above admitting that I’ll find a discarded old canvas from my collection and settle in to fingerpaint over whatever was there previously. It was one of the best ways I would relax when I was writing my thesis. Easy, brainless, tactile experience.
I should note that outside of my own art, my favourite colour is lavender. My bedroom is entirely steeped in it, it is the most tranquil. I would never know what to paint if I had a bucket of lavender acrylic, though!