In Australia, 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women suffer from colour blindness in one form or another. This group also includes artists. We all react to colours, whether bold or sombre. We react in a certain way to an individual colour or a group of colours. At first glance, these figures could be seen as alarming, but does it really matter what colours you actually ‘see’? I know there are safety issues, but as I get older I have become more aware how ‘tight’ the ‘rules’ of colour have become. An orange must be orange, a banana, yellow etc, etc. Why then do people get excited when artists portray objects in ‘weird’ colours?
At Art School I was taught the fundamental rules of colour mixing, and these have stayed with me and I in turn, teach them in my art workshops. Once an artist has a grounding in the basics, it’s time to reveal your true ‘personality’. This doesn’t happen overnight and in my case it has taken me 40 years of art practice to ‘arrive’. I’m not worried that this journey has taken so long, I’ve enjoyed the trip, and now I’m revelling in a time when I can be ‘myself’.
Artists should never be afraid of colour or of breaking the rules. The most important rule that should be adhered to though is that your art needs to ‘say something’, to communicate a message, to have meaning. A painting is an essay that once read, tells a story.
My latest series of drawings is based on the wonderful colours that can be seen on Tasmania’s Table Cape in Spring each year as millions of tulips make their annual appearance. The scene is a times breath-taking. I have never seen such scenes of vivid colour. Is this real?, you bet it is! My work (pictured) is about seeing this landscape in realistic, semi-abstract and abstract terms. I’m loving this journey!