Looking for colour inspiration

We are fast approaching the end of April and I look at a blank piece of silk and feel I want to turn to floral colour for inspiration. I do have several containers of tulips almost in bloom, but they are either the double or parrot varieties typically at their best in May, and, as yet none of them are fully into their stride. Yes, I know there’s blossom, but in my backyard the trees; a couple of pears, the Victoria plum and the cherry ‘Stella’, are all white. And, there’s even more white with an unexpected abundance of honesty (Lunaria annua var. ‘Alba’) this year.

White honesty and more white honesty.

So I’ve resorted to scrolling through my photo albums and hunting down colourful flower pictures. I’ve been looking for pinks and oranges and, funnily enough, golden or possibly even yellow examples to inspire me.

Colourful image featuring strong orange and pinks.

In the process of selecting images I discovered that it’s almost three years since I’ve painted a yellow scarf or even a scarf of muted golds.

Digital Photomontage of a dinner-plate dahlia, oranges and a hint of medieval gilt work behind.

And the more I looked at all the pictures the more I felt like a return to yellowy warm hues.

Digital Photomontage of pears and sunflowers over a medieval painted screen.

It’s probably not going to be the strong yellows of the sunflowers, but a mixture of the softer apricot and cream of this bearded iris ‘Barbara My Love’ tempered by the time-worn gold of medieval St Jude from the rood screen of St Edmund’s, Southwold.

Left – Bearded Iris ‘Barbara My Love’. Right – St Jude, rood screen St Edmund’s Church, Southwold.

Merging the two photographs (the digital photomontage image below) has produced interesting, subtle tones which I feel fit with my mood. I think I’ve found my inspiration.

Author: agnesashe

Artisan, blogger and passionate East Anglian working from home.

24 thoughts on “Looking for colour inspiration”

      1. I’m of the mind these days that I’ve done a lot and realize maybe time is becoming limited, so thinking counts as art time for me more than it ever used to!

      2. I have to admit that since all the Covid stuff (lockdowns/isolations), and I don’t know why, I find my productivity is not so good either.

      3. Yes, I feel similarly. I think about how I’m going to do this or that when… something. But what? There aren’t restrictions now but I’ve gotten used to the condition of being restricted and so I don’t just get an idea and move to carry it out as I once did, but hold back. It took me a while to realize I was always going in circles of my own mental boundaries.

      4. Yes, no restrictions here now either, but still many older and less fit people are being cautious. And, of course, we have so much negative news in the world again, which I find energy draining too.

    1. No, loud just doesn’t seem to fit with all the wider current circumstances. Brazen, over the top optimism has never quite worked for me and now, well, there’s so little to be even vaguely optimistic about. It’s just about calming to be outside, early morning, listen to the birds and ignore the news.

    1. You know, in all honesty I think that making digital images is almost a kind of cheating. I feel that a true artist can merge ideas and visuals in their head and then paint them. But then that’s all an ephemeral experience/process and not really shareable. It sounds as though discussing ‘idea generation’ is a good approach. Hope it was a productive session for you.

      1. Agnes, I had a productive week as you read in my wrapping up post. But I have to challenge you on the idea of a purist approach to creation; and also the idea that ephemeral experiences cannot be shared. Two of the ladies talked about colour, and the shape of a leaf (Gardenia seemed particularly inspirational), and how this sent them in to such a deep dive that water, and the colours within water, would feature strongly in their poetry. Amazing, huh? I am not visual. I just get hooked on people’s stories, such as a gravestone I stumbled across from the 1930s which read, “Killed at Mascot Airport”. Well, that was irresistible for me. One day, I will bring her story to life.

      2. Ah yes I had forgotten the world of poetry. And, that’s probably because it’s one area of culture I find hard to access. I think poetry is where ephemeral experiences can be truly nourished. ‘Killed at Mascot Airport’, my oh my, that’s an attention grabber if ever.

      3. For me, I need the poet to recite their work for me to switch into the flow and symbolism. Then it comes to life in my mind.

        The deceased lady turned out to be a pioneer in women being aviation engineers. Yet another cog in the store of forgotten female stories. I really must restore her to life someday.

      4. Oh you are so right. The only time I really appreciate poetry is when I hear the poet or an accomplished narrator perform the work. I think I lack imagination where poetry is concerned especially just silently reading the text on a page.

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