Thursday, March 30, 2006

I Don't Like Pink

Brilliant Rose, 2006, Oil on Panel, 9x12

I have always hated pink. You'd be hard pressed to find a picture of me ever wearing pink. I have never had any kind of pink home furnishings. When my first daughter was born, I made it clear to everyone that she would not be wearing pink, especially pastel pink. Of course my control over pink went out the window the minute my second daughter turned a year old. That was when she discovered pink (and purple, and anything shiny, sparkly and fluffy) and began to literally have the tantrum from hell if she couldn't get the pink shirt with the rhinestones. So with my blinders on to my daughter's wardrobe and belongings, I continued my dislike and avoidance of pink. Until recently.

Lately, I have been infatuated with pink in my work. It started with Brilliant Rose by Old Holland. Tired of using predictable colors in the landscapes, I did a pink sky and fell in love. Normally I don't do a lot of mixing of color but to get a good pink it is usually necessary to do some. So I mixed Brilliant Rose, Titanium White and flesh colors with every red and purple paint that I had to get a whole variety of pinks. I painted everything pink at one point or another; trees, skies, roads, lawn, signs, fields, barns, everything. Some things were more successful than others. The fields usually didn't really work while the roads, skies, trees and barns would sing. There is nothing like the feeling of getting just the right screaming pink color in just the right place in just the right painting.

I recently purchased a tube of Dianthus Pink by Williamsburg Oil Paints and it's my new very favorite color (I can be fickle). On it's own, it's too light colored for me but when combined with Caesar Purple I get this wonderful pink purple color that I think is just perfect and that is also amazing difficult to photograph (I am proud when I get a color that doesn't photograph well-I think it's a good sign). So now I have a whole new array of pink options. I will probably go on to use Dianthus Pink ad nauseam until I find a new pink pigment or maybe even move on to a new color. There is always a possibility that my lesser obsession with purple could take over.

Believe it or not, despite this loving ode to pink and despite the fact that I actually now own and wear a bright, (but kind of earthy) pink shirt, I still don't like pink.


arthur said...

There's a big difference between wearing pink--which has all sorts of cultural and gender connotations, many of them potentially negative--and using it in landscape painting where it doesn't have those associations so much. Anyway, it works well in your paintings. I like your "Blushing Barn" a lot.

william wray said...

I see sexual symbolism here, but maybe I'm a freak.

Mom said...

You are wearing a light pink dress in my very favorite pictures of you ...the one where you're leaning against the tree.....

Tracy said...

Arthur, it's true, I have definitely not liked pink because of the girly connotations it has for me. Well, and also because it is not a particularly flattering color on me, because I am a shallow kind of girl after all! Anyway, when I am painting many associations do fall away from me and I choose colors and subject matter from a different perspective. Instinct rather than conscious thought, I think.

Bill, shush! My mom reads this blog!! Only good clean discussions of art here. heh.

Mom, ok, ok, you are right! There is a photo of me in pink, so that's one and in high school I may have had a pink turtleneck-but I have had maybe 2,670 black shirts over the years, just to compare.

Rebecca Grantham said...

Hi Tracy, I am so glad to have come across your work! I have five little ones and am a painter too, so it is refreshing for me to read your comments on balancing your art and family! also I grew up off Lake Ontario.
Your paintings are magical, refreshing and so joyful!!
You've inspired my day.

I wish you all the best,

ps my nose is wrinkled at pink too, but it's stunning in your paintings, I am much more a black or Red kinda girl!

Tracy said...

Hi Rebecca, Wow, 5 kids! I think one more would put me over the edge! Thanks for your compliments and observations about my work and I am glad to hear from another mom/artist.