Color Evolution: Crusade 52

 When Michelle Ward asked if our color palette changed from winter to summer, it was a hard question to answer. When you live on the Sonoran desert floor, the tendency is to quiet down in the summer. When people in other parts of the country are running around outdoors, we desert dwellers are looking for every scrap of shade we can find. It was 111 degrees F today, and it will be 113 tomorrow. That’s just not running around weather. Talk to me again in last September and October when our temperatures are in the 80s and I’ll be perkier.

Back to Michelle’s question–do the colors you use in your  artwork change? I wanted to check on something slightly different–color evolution. I’ve spent most of my adult life on the East Coast. The light is different, the culture is different, surely the colors I used in my art journal pages were different.

What I had forgotten is exactly how much those colors had changed. Let’s take a look. This is a drawing I did after my first visit–nothing wrong with pen and ink, but it is a bit spare.

In my East Coast days, I limited my drawing to a small area, and my hand lettering yearned for the traditional.

This drawing was made when I was already in Phoenix. It spreads across the page, but it’s still kind of restrictive.

The color doesn’t surprise me as much as the space use and technique. I sprayed ink randomly on the pages, then created a map. Much less control, much more randomness. Notice the title, “The world turned upside down,” is actually upside down.

Again, full spread in uncontrolled colors. Also cut paper, stitching, and writing in different directions. There is a line of words up the left third of the page that says “If you aren’t failing some of the time, you aren’t trying hard enough.” It’s written in silver sparkle ink–a color unknown to me on the East Coast.

I’ve always loved found poetry, and always used it. But I rarely spread it out across a page and used red so heavily. On the East Coast, I didn’t own red. It was a color I didn’t like. Here, well, it adds heat. The poem reads:

Your Choice

He does not know that he is in love with her.
His mind slammed tightly closed, a violent “no!”
His life suddenly seems unaccountably sabotaged.
“Never mind. It doesn’t matter.”
A woman in the kitchen, her eyes so blue.
She wanted to be out of the
quiet swiftness. That meant nothing.
Then, suddenly, like a hand passed over his face, his smile would come, transforming it.”

I knew I’d changed my color choices, but I didn’t know how much. It’s good to watch your own growth.

What’s changed in your life? Check out Michelle Ward’s Street Team Crusades and join the fun!

–Quinn McDonald is the author of Raw Art Journaling, almost ready to ship!