12 October 2021

Pantone's Yellow Submarine!


This top image is a cropped detail from a painting done last week. I wanted to look at this simple space where the two colours meet. It's very small because the painting itself is only 25 X 20 cm

I am just crazy about this set of colours for no other reason on earth than the pleasure they offer me. What else can I admit? I have loved this rich yellow since I was a kid, and long before I began using Crayons. It still evokes in me that fuzzy feeling that I hope others might also carry in their own dreamy hearts. Although I do absolutely hate the hyperbolic (really!!!) I would say nonetheless that it could very well be a string in our human DNA to love this colour! 

But it should never be used in a painting in its pure form as it would be too strong, like ingesting too many tarte-aux-citrons at a lengthy Sunday lunch. 

This colour, like for all colours on a painting surface, needs to be ('broken') or it will likely explode. 

Somehow, I remember that a Pantone Yellow had been declared the colour of the year for 2021. Not sure how they decided that but it shared the honour with the company's Ultimate Grey as well.

What really interests me about this news is that they present these two colours together. This is a very painterly decision on their part and unusual because for me, I only really see colours in pairs, as in complimentary pairs. It is wonderful that they present both their Ultimate Grey and Pantone Yellow as an ensemble. 

nothing special, Dieulefit, August, 2012, oil on canvas, 150 X 150 cm

This picture above was painted almost a decade ago. It was conceived around these two colours and it reveals my own great affection for Yellow and Grey. But as a painter I prefer them both slightly broken with a little of each infecting the other. It marries them and allows for a harmonisation. The grey here is rather warm so that it compliments the 'cool' yellow because in the world of Painting, warm always compliments cool, and vice versa.

It is clear that this Pantone Yellow is cool, cold really, as this Ultimate Grey. Personally, I imagine that maybe the cooler hue of all colours almost always seems to work better for any commercial application of these bright pure colours. They tend to shout out clashing and attracting attention at any cost, which is of course the purpose of advertising, though not always aligned with pictorial artistry.

Concerning the small detail (top) the 'grey' sky is in fact a pale warm grey transition between the yellow to the faint, pale Prussian Blue higher up barely perceptible. And because it was painted at the beach in natural light, the harmony was my idea, my colour scheme, and it came from observance not convenience. It was an empirical choice.

And (below) still another detail which includes a bit more of the painting, while further below at bottom, the full painting from which they all came.

Evening Prayer Brunswick Heads, 5 October, 2021, oil on canvas board, 25 X 20 cm

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