Friday, March 20, 2009
What Color are Ghosts?
The art council I sit on the board of here in New Mexico is having a themed show this fall in conjunction with a paranormal conference to be held here. The theme of the Moreno Valley Arts Council show will be Illusions.
I like themed shows. They are a good opportunity to stretch. This theme seemed made to order for my visionary style of art so maybe it is not as much of a stretch as some themes are. I already paint canyons that turn into goddesses and rivers that become geckos. So I decided to push my own envelop by doing haunted churches.
I was really thrilled with one of my sketches that had ghosts carrying crosses pouring out from under the door of an old mission church. But when I set to paint it the problem of what color to make a ghost hit me. I certainly did not want to make them white. Would be too much like Casper the Friendly Ghost of childhood cartoon. I finally settled on a rather ethereal blue with hints of lavender and silver. They look great!
But I usually make my pathways lavender. So I had to deal this morning with what color to make the path to the door of the church. I settled on Indian Red in a thin wash and then felt compelled to have blood red pouring out from under the door and down the path beside my blue spirits.
A statement about the bloody history of the spread of Catholicism through Spanish conquest here in the southwest? Well, not intentionally. It certainly is not where I began on this particular painting. But when I left off this morning to come work at the gallery while the paint dried I was very happy with my ghosts, but wondering just a little about the control they had on the process.
All the major color blocks are now laid in and I will begin work on the details tonight. Never fear I shall post the finished product here.