Monday, January 28, 2008

Sunspot and Sunshine

"Sunspot" was inspired by the energy of the sun itself. I saw some fantastic photos of the surface of the sun at the Griffith Park Observatory last spring, and my Energy Series was born. I was intrigued by the textures, variations in color and depth, and movement on the surface of the sun. This piece was created from my memories of the photos and a few simple line sketches. When I sketch quickly to remember something I see, I make notes: five shades of yellow from lemon to cadmium yellow dark, turquoise, alizarin, cad red lt, and so on. I sketch my little pictures and color notes in my small black wirebound sketchbook which is always with me.

When I began painting in earnest and was learning to mix color, I found it important to write down my recipes for the colors I was mixing.
I make notes in my color mixing sketchbooks, which are just for that purpose and live on my work table next to my brushes. A swatch of the color, with quick notes of which pigments from which brands has saved me enormous amounts of time and trouble, especially when I am commissioned to paint something similar to what I've done. I often see the complete palette of the painting I want to make, and a quick referral to my color books helps me get started immediately. I also have several color mixing books for artists, and sometimes use the recipes in there to practice mixing colors I don't often use. Last year, I decided to make friends with green, with great results. I had been afraid of green, kinda, and needed to get more comfortable with it. Now I have pages of notes on green.

Sometimes, when I'm feeling a bit blocked or stuck, I refer to my color sketchbooks for inspiration. Just looking at pages and pages of delicious colors can get me kick started when resistance has taken hold. And it's all about color! Color is my chosen method of expression. What I paint always begins with an idea of color. A red abstract, a blue heart, a green sky, a gold flower. Color talks, shouts, sings and skips. It dances, meditates, flows, heals, emotes. I am highly distracted by bright colorful objects.

On an energy level, color is one way that clairvoyants see. Energy itself can be seen as color, and color can be used to create healing.

Currently, I am enamored of magenta, red, orange, bright olive green, and rich purple. What colors do you find yourself attracted to?

"Sunspot" 2007 26"x20" acrylic on vinyl in reverse available at


Sweet Irene said...

First of all, I have to say that the painting is magnificent. I love the colors in it!

My current color is red, but it used to be green and before that yellow.

I am sure that they all have to do with my states of mind, but I can't exactly figure out how they do.

When I liked yellow, I was manic very often and it seemed that the sun was always shining and that all I did was pick wild flowers and make long walks in nature, but I also like yellow in the wintertime, so that can't be the only explanation.

Then I became more sedate and withdrawn and I started liking green, in my clothes and my home. I liked green for a long time and I found it to be a safe color and very comforting. It also made me blend in with my surroundings more.

Now I like red and I want touches of it everywhere. My eyes are automatically drawn to the color red to the point that I even paint my fingernails red. I have recently been hypo manic and I think that is where this love for red is coming from. Red is a passionate color, after all.

I do love the yellows in your painting, though. I don't think I have stopped loving yellow altogether and the green in the painting that you pointed us to was also very lovely.

Gravymaster said...

I find that I like just about everything that you do. I must admit that I am not one to trust when it comes to appreciating art. I am colorblind (green and blue are sometimes either the same or just kinda gray. Same goes for certain shades or red and orange). I'm sure there's actually so much more going on in your work that I'm not seeing. That makes it all the more interesting. I just imagine what it is that I'm not seeing. I keep saying that I think you're beautiful, but it occurs to me that I could be wrong! Little joke. I can see loveliness.
I visit your blog almost every day and I do enjoy your art, whether I can truly see it or not.

John (Copyright JMM 2007-2008) said...

Excellent painting and post - I appreciate the insights and tips on how you work. BOth form a practical and an outlok point of view.

Art can make sausage of the artist, you are capable of staying out of the meat grinder effectively.

HMBT said...

The work is stunning! Currently I am warm reds, deep blues and every color of green. And a touch of yellow. I just tried Pink for the very first time, and liked the way that felt too. Great post, thanks for sharing.

Kris Cahill said...

Thank you all for your colorful comments!

Irene, I have to say red is also one of my everyday favorites. I know what you mean about different colors having different energy. How great that you see the difference in your health with color.

Thank you, Brian, for your insight and kindness.

John, I could see your wise quotes in a collection together someplace, "Mon.key quotes of the Day" or some such. Love this one!

Heather, I love your colors too!

dianeclancy said...

Hi Kris,

I love this painting!! All the energy!

You probably know I love hot pink, aqua and purple.

~ Diane Clancy

Kris Cahill said...

Thanks Diane! I always love visiting your colorful blog.

Neda said...

This painting is dancing!

I am "green" with envy: I have not been able to work in greens for a long time. Like you, I am "frightened" by it (how could a color do that to us) because I don't "understand" it. Everytime I try to incorporate it, the result leaves me (and it) quite muddled. Maybe, you can tell us a bit more about your color journals? I think that would be a great help. What a lovely morning for me today :)

Kris Cahill said...

Neda, thanks for your comments. I promise I'll write more about my color journals, since I love them so.