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  • Sophie Perkins

Green Is Nature's Basic Colour

'green is nature's basic colour, because green marries easily with all other colours.'

'Green is nature's basic colour' is named after a quote by Charles Baudelaire from his essay 'The Salon of 1846' taken from the book 'Colour' as part of the Whitechapel documents of contemporary Art series. Baudelaire considers the poetic aesthetic of colour in the analysis of nature and landscape in life and in the eyes of painters and colourists. Colour reaches beyond the visual makeup of an entity, rather, it is in its actuality that colour becomes, only as you experience it. Light, and the changes in light, is in the very foundation of how we perceive colour, and in this circumstance the interplay of reflection or shadow create an array of colours in nature's colour spectrum by 'casting over them transparent and borrowed glazes'. Where as the visual world has it's own natural harmonious colour palette, it is only from the experienced world that you are able to find the melody of colours, here, Baudelaire explains how the melody of colours leaves an 'unforgettable' memory in the mind, whereby the colours create it’s own meaning within the context of the individuals narrative. The harmony of colour is the basis of colour theory, however the melody of colour is the unit of colour or a colour scheme.

Although I translate the same soak-stain technique in the smaller works than I do in the larger ones, my approach changes with scale. As I go smaller, I am more aware of the space I am limited to. The consciousness of the arrangement of colour, tone, shape and space is heightened, an although the process of painting leads the composition there is more decision making that goes into the placement of wash and stain. The smaller ones tend to be more stripped back in form and composition, I use the smaller frame to experiment with colour, and to become devices to compliment and inform the larger work which tend to be neutral in tone.

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