Before I begin to write about the colour yellow, I think I should say something about the new privacy rules in Europe. We abide by them. The only data collected will be on those who wish to order a painting printed on paper or canvas, and for that you will have to use the contact form. Yes, people who write comments are also asked to add some data to the contact form. so we know we are dealing with a human being we can write back to if need be. We won’t be selling any data to anyone else and if we need to give a third party anything about you to send you a print, we will make sure to have your permission first. That said, as I write this the folks who host this site have the reins in hand to ensure we abide by the rules in Europe.
Now about yellow … my art teacher, used to tell me how the skies in Italy are all Naples yellow, not the blue, but the colour behind the blue of the sky. The Mediterranean may be painted in that colour first, the colour of the ground. Not the ground beneath your feet, but the ground you set down before you paint a picture on top of it. It is the colour that will pull everything else you paint together. Subtle, muted, the colours you see when you half close your eyes to shut out the glare. The colours washed out by the sun.
The painting I have selected is called Light on water, you can download it and create your own digital print. (https://rosemaryallisondigitalprints.com/product/light-on-water/)
It was my attempt at catching the light that reflects off the surface of water moved by a breeze. The yellow is more Yellow Ochre, another colour I have a great affection for, but it was not always that way. Yellow Ochre, the colour of the earth, of dried wheat in the fields, but then they could also be painted in Naples yellow, depending on the light, the clouds, whatever is happening with the wind.
It is distracting to work outdoors, there is so much to paint, so much to draw. How can I get it all down in time before it rains again?
Then I look down at my wet rubber boots, they are black, damp from walking in the long grass to check that the electric fence is still standing. They have bright yellow petals stuck to them, genus Rununculus, poisonous for the horses, but they won’t eat them anyway. I wonder about painting these shapes onto my boots, but they they would not be the same.
There is usually a lot of yellow in my paintings, now it is more muted, more a mellow lemony yellow, but I think that for some people my yellow is still bright. Full of light.
I like the walls of my home painted yellow. They haul the light right in from outside, into the darkest corner, and wake up the night.
I had a yellow kitchen once, in the coldest house I have ever lived in, too expensive to use the central heating, I would sit in the yellow painted kitchen, beside the lighted wood fire, listening to the crackling of the wood as it burned. But, in that house, when the wind blew, when it was really cold, there was no way to light the fire. Something about how the chimneys had been built. There were two fireplaces, one in the kitchen and one in the living room. But the living room fire was just for show. Perhaps it would have felt warmer if I had painted a roaring fire and it would have heated me up just the same.
Of course yellow, as a painter, is very useful, because mixed with red it gives us orange, with blue it gives us green, and I might add, as many unimaginably wonderful colours in between.
Where I sit now, the back wall of the room is painted a pale yellow, the colour I see on older buildings in Italy. It gives the room one elegant wall, the rest are still painted a dull white, but that will soon change, as soon as it stops raining and we can open up the windows.
And finally, just a few words about my dear childhood friend, since we were in Kindergarten in Hove, Sussex. The only thing we ever really fought about was who would get the ‘yellow one’. Her memories are finer and more detailed than mine, but I know that even she has a yellow painted kitchen that hauls the light in on a cold and rainy day and wakes up the spirit.