When It’s Hot, Paint Cool!

Summer is still here. The outside temperatures make that quite clear. Though I’m not a plein air type of girl and regularly paint inside where there’s air conditioning, I often find myself needing to paint in response to the heat outside. In other words, I need to paint cool.

So…. what is painting cool? Stripping down to your underwear (or your birthday suit) when you paint? (Maybe.) Putting your easel and your feet in your kids’ plastic pool? Misting yourself with ice water? Physically, all of these would indeed cool you down, but that’s not what I mean.

For me, painting cool means two fairly simple decisions. Choice of colors and choice of scene.

Think about it. We are very influenced by colors and composition (i.e. the scene). Our brains equate certain colors with temperature and time of season. We indeed often feel what we see.

Want to beat the heat? Want to paint cool? Mix up cool blues, some blue grays, various shades of purple, some pinks, some colors that evoke the many shades of white… then paint a cold snow covered treeline, a barn in winter, a figure bundled up with the hint of flakes falling, mountains with their highest peaks covered in snow. Or, as I did above, paint a frozen lake. Even the colors of autumn will get your brain to imagining cooler days and nights.

Painting cool works. At least until you open the door and walk outside. One more thing, this winter, when you’re actually cold… paint warm.

View From the Cabin: Painting With Blue

View From the Cabin Confession

First of all, I do not have a cabin near a lake. I do not have a cabin near a river. I do not have a cabin near a stream. I do not have a cabin near a drainage ditch. I do not have a cabin at all. But if I did, it would absolutely have a view. However; I have been in various cabin type structures in different locations quite a few times during my lifetime. So this scene is kind of a compilation of the real and the unreal. Did it start out this way? Of course not! When I started this canvas, the only thing I was sure of was that painting with blue was the main objective.

View From the Cabin

The Need for Painting With Blue

You may or may not know this, but art galleries will often have exhibitions where they put out a “call to artists” and you need to meet the theme of that particular exhibition. Well, this particular gallery’s theme coming up is Blue. So painting with blue was the main requirement.

Easy peasy. I LOVE all the wonderful shades you can get using blue (any shade) adding small (or large) amounts of white or black. I decided to go for it. The entry fee was reasonable and I hoped the “jury” would take anybody who paid. (I’ve seen and been in a few shows where it sure seemed that way, but then to be fair, art is in the eye of the beholder.)

I pulled out my black, white, and ultra-marine blue oils and my little pot of cold wax. I slapped some lines of black. I swished large splashes of straight ultra-marine. I mixed various shades of the blue and let them dance across the canvas. I jumped back in with white. Go girl! Let loose! I had an abstract on my canvas!

From Abstract to Landscape

Once again, I just couldn’t leave it alone. Yes, there are shapes, colors, and values and all kinds of fun things in an abstract, but I kept seeing ghost images of things recognizable. And I couldn’t leave it alone. Hence, a cold winter night slowly developed on my canvas. I know that’s just how my brain works. I see recognizable images in just about everything. I also know that I’m kind of tired of summer temperatures still hanging on here in North Texas. Maybe subconsciously, I’m hoping for a future cold winter night with a view… from a cabin.

P.S.

My painting got accepted. I’ll be dropping it off to thegallery 8680 next month. HAPPY DANCE!!!! Let’s hope it finds a forever home.