How the Creative Process Can Snowball
December 20, 2017
I was elated to learn that the Pantone color of the year 2018 is Ultra Violet 18-3838.
Purple has always been one of my favorite colors.
A few facts to consider: Purple was the color of the first dye made by man. Leonardo da Vinci believed that the power of meditation increases ten times when done in a purple light, as in the purple light of stained glass. Purple represents the planet Jupiter.
So, with great anticipation for a successful creative process, I began sketching a snowman for this years Christmas card. Using watercolors, I applied a wash of purple for the background. After the happy figure began to appear, I painted various holiday colors to create the scarf.
I paused for a few minutes to allow the watercolors to dry a bit before adding the hat. Looking out the studio window at the late afternoon sky, my thoughts wandered to childhood memories of playing with my siblings in newly fallen snow. We would lay flat on the ground and slowly move our arms back and forth over the snow. It was really hard to stand up carefully without falling down again. Brushing the snow off our jackets, we would turn around to see angels in the snow.
Often I joined my seven sisters to roll snowballs down the hill near the swimming pool (ice skating pond in winter) to throw at our four brothers after they knocked down our beautiful snowman. And, of course, the first ones up in the morning got to shove the sidewalks for some nice change from Grandma. After the walks were clean, we always enjoyed a bottle of Coca Cola and freshly baked cookies. Then it was back to building more snowmen with colorful scarves and hats.
Suddenly my daydream was interrupted with a flock of noisy birds heading toward the river before night fall. It was time to finish the figure. A bright stocking hat, eyes and smile came next. A soft gray shadow was used to create a snow drift and a spray of white was added for the falling snow.
I took a photo of the artwork and desk with my iphone and emailed it to my desktop for the finishing touches. The purple border for the card was created in Photoshop, along with the message:
Have a Very Merry Christmas & Happy New Year
As a parting thought, it will be interesting to see how many times Purple finds its way onto my palette and into new paintings in 2018.
November 23, 2017, "Happy Thanksgiving"