Sunshine on a rainy day
Updated: Aug 2, 2020
I love working with yellow. It's just the best accent colour; shining out from most of my mixed media pieces - as in this piece. Printed really large, on our Wildscape art scarves.
There are many different types of yellow, each with their own strong emotive pull. From rich golds and warm ochres to the more orange based chrome yellows - every shade signifies a different emotional response.
It seems strange to us now, but in the mid-nineteenth century yellow was seen as a symbol of decadence. So powerful was its association with decadent movements it was used to cover books that were considered sensationalist and indecent - challenging the status-quo. Oscar Wilde was famously found guilty of gross indecency and arrested carrying a “yellow book under his arm”. But as with most things considered “underground”, Yellow was soon embraced by the forward thinking modernists and avant-garde artists of the late nineteenth century to became the colour of the 1890’s.
For me, the more acidic yellows continue to represent a contemporary, forward thinking aesthetic. Lead-tin yellow is probably my favourite. And although used extensively in the paintings of Rubens, Titian and Rembrandt, it is having a real revival through contemporary design. I particularly love the greener, mossy undertones that make this yellow so engaging - earthy and optimistic like sunshine on a rainy day. It’s also far more interesting to paint with than the pure acidic shades that are more chemical in feel. And ironically came to represent the whole acid-house dance movement of the early 90’s.
However, much as I love painting with yellow, it is definitely more challenging to wear. So I’m continually mindful when creating a new colour story for our wearable art scarves, not to over do it. Used as a signature accent; a peep of sunshine, makes it all the more wearable. And I can’t get enough of it!