Light Canary Yellow and All.

This year, I decided to uphold my tradition of taking an art class. Art Three. It has 2 students, 1 teacher. While taking a break from chess sets that we’ve been shamelessly laboring over, I decided to start an oil painting based off of a piece of my photography. It’s been a solid year since I’ve touched oil paints, and I’ve missed it horribly. It’s my second favorite medium, only to oil pastels. There’s something about the way that the colors glide together and smoothed over into a wonderful gradient. Yet, with this particular picture, everything couldn’t smear together, except for this one speck of light canary yellow. I could put a pound of black paint on this one section, and you would still be able to see the light canary yellow. After a week of trying, everything looked so…flat. There was no dimension to any of it, with the exception of a speck of yellow. I hardly ever get an artist block, but I guess I’ve been over due and it’s all hit at once. I took my smoothing over to a new level, and it was just too far. My teacher immediately noticed when I got frustrated and had a talk with me. She said that she’s always thought that was my fatal flaw with my artwork. I walk the line of wonderful mixtures, and making everything ONE color due to over smoothing. She then talked to me about how each color needs to start standing on its own, and let it shine for what it really is. She told me that I should just incorporate that yellow (it really is a pretty color) instead of trying to cover it up because it wasn’t what I had in mind. As I would let each color stand for what it was, they started taking on their rolls as a shaddow, a pedal, or a piece of bark. My painting is finally turning around and I’m having to re-grasp a concept that I’ve forgotten. Life, or at least my paintings, aren’t about smoothing over and conformity. It’s about me being the bright coral that I was born to be, and reminding myself that not every color is the same. You have to let some things shine for what they really are, light canary yellow and all.

Amanda Hickman

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