This summer I said cheerio to my favourite purple abstract painting. It was snapped up by Jo, an old friend I would go dancing with to Alice in Wonderland and The Sugarlump nightclubs. Also included would be another artist friend Rona Innes whose work you should check out here.
Waaaaaay back in the late 80s! How did that happen?
I’m very happy that Jo now has Purple Haze in her house. And yes, that’s a nod to the music they played at those clubs. Indeed, the painting itself takes me right back to those happy times. That’s when a small group of twenty of us would continue the party on the nights home because clubs would shut at 2am. Whoda thunk it?.
Meanwhile, back in 2018, I’ve been inspired to write a post since reading Lizzy’s post on Pantone’s Colour of the year, ultra violet. Lovely Lizzy writes about the calming qualities of this colour among other things. And it made me think about how much purple and violet has seeped into my artwork and my wardrobe. As well as how the colours in the world around me influence my paintings.
I often go through a phase where I paint in mainly one colour. I have more blue abstract paintings than any others, perhaps. But purple is catching up fast.
When I did Purple Haze I was aiming to create something more calming than dynamic. Hence, I pictured a yoga room or a quiet spot for meditation. It’s painted on linen canvas which makes the paper colours glide and settle beautifully. I added some soft black for definition, texture paste and egg shell. Rounding it off with some gorgeous grey and silver chiyogami that I’ve long since used up.
Meanwhile, Murasaki Madness is a much redder purple (murasaki is Japanese for purple). And it does pertain towards the energetic with lots of bright red and gold embellishment. As you can see, both works are framed. It’s remarkable the huge difference that a wooden box frame can make. It finishes a painting off as a handbag does a favourite piece of clothing. A trip to the framers is well worth the investment, plus makes your work ready-to-hang and more saleable.
After experimenting with Purple Haze, I decided to create postcard-sized artworks. Small paintings are a great way to use up all those tiny scraps of Japanese chiyogami that I can never justify throwing away. In addition, it means I can cater for lower budgets.
Right now, I’m creating lots of small works after a few months of artist’s block. Watch this space!
So let’s look at why I’m inspired to paint with purple. My current love affair with purple has spilled over into my wardrobe and I do love my frocks. And it’s lovely how old outfits bring back memories.
Here I am top left making a stained glass screen which I sold on to another friend when I moved from London. I do miss that beautiful standing screen which was part of my degree project many years ago. On a sunny morning it would throw beautiful light all over my little, white-walled flat. But once again, I’m delighted it went to a good home.
I was also delighted when I posted a photo of it on my Instagram and glass artist Brian Clarke gave it a like!
Meanwhile, here’s a Betsey Johnson dress that still fits, but is too cold for most of the year. Plus a visit to Queen’s Park in Glasgow last autumn when I just had to wear my new purple frock. And a happy memory of my Big 50. That’s when I climbed up a rock on North Berwick beach – and couldn’t get down again!
Spring, my favourite time of year is still six months off (unless I fly to the southern hemisphere, which does admittedly sound like a plan!). At this time I soak up the inspiration around me that sprouts out of the ground and in the sky, making colour swatches for future paintings. For a colour that’s supposedly rare in nature, there’s no shortage of it.
Purple is also the colour of the crown chakra which governs intuition and connects us to everything around us. So all in all, purple both inspires and is inspirational.
My antennae are twitching!
Are you a purple fan? Which colour inspires you to be creative? Leave me a comment.