Wednesday 29 June 2016

A journey through Colour.

Ever since I can remember I have always been captivated by colour. One of my very first memories is of when I was given the job of adding water to the powder paint before Nursery and staring into the colours I had made. As a child I was forever drawing rainbows in different patterns hypnotized by how the colours blended together.

My interest in colour never went away often spilling into other projects. I am particularly attracted to blue glass, my house is full of blue glass and if I ever see anything blue when we are out shopping my husband rolls his eyes and tells me to stop stroking it.

Things had been tough my Mum had been very ill and I wanted to do something for myself, something fun. The idea of splashing colours around sounded perfect and so I started my year long journey through colour.

Paignton Beach with Illuminations.

By pure good luck a retrospective of Sonia Delaunay's work was being shown at the Tate Modern that summer and I was desperate to go. We arranged a day so I could escape and could go guilt free and I was in the exhibition for hours. I discovered Robert and Sonia Delaunay when I was at secondary school, the book was on the shelf and the colours on the cover just drew me in. Robert and Sonia Delaunay were influenced by Matisse and Cubism and used colour to convey moods and movement. They even went as far to create a new alphabet using only colours and whole poems were painted by Sonia. My favourite paintings by Sonia Delaunay were the paintings that captured her, her husband and her friends out dancing under electric coloured lights and you can see the joy radiating out of the colours. 

My sketch of 'Rhythm' by Sonia Delaunay 1958.

Uninvited Art - Circuit Board.

I had recently completed part of a project called Uninvited Art where art could be found or injected into the most unlikely places. This sprang from workshops where everyday day objects were being recycled and made into new things such as clothes and jewellery. We had been donated some old computers and we took great delight in taking them apart to discover what was inside. When the keyboards were taken apart I was amazed by the circuit boards inside; they were on clear transparencies and the metal lines made intricate patterns which could be layered on top of each other. The way the patterns and colours, when I introduced them, changed when I overlapped them was too good to be true. Then introduce light from behind and create mini stained glass windows, I was a very happy girl!

There were too many things telling me to do something with colour to ignore, so I thought I had better get on with it! I started revising everything I had been taught about colour theory, something I loved and used every time I created anything. I made as many colours as I could in as many varying pigments and tones. I collected colours from magazines and paint charts putting different combinations together looking for that special something.

I love the process of painting and collaging, I love the results when you see different colours radiating and reacting against each other. But. It has all been done before by better people. My problem was how do I make a project about colour contemporary, not about paint which has been done many times before? How do I capture the electric lights and the light through transparent colour I love so much?

'Window for Tate Gallery St Ives ' 1992 - 93 by Patrick Heron.

I started to experiment starting with the things I loved; colour, transparency, light. Which led me to cellophane, acetate, glue, tissue paper, glass paints and most important of all bright sunlight. There was no looking back after that!

The finished pieces will be on show in Open for Art by Jelly Arts Reading and Reading Arts Week 2016. For more details go to and

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