I began today with yellow. I deemed yellow as a color that represents the past, a topic that fascinates me. My color metaphor for the past is yellow and sepia. I have 12 different yellows in my paint box so I tried to arrange them in order from the greenish lemon yellow to the orange-brown Naples yellow. I used a 1/2 inch flat brush to paint parallel curves of each of the yellows.
I couldn’t decide what to do next so I set the sketch aside for a while. Even after this, nothing about the composition suggested what to do next. By rote, I surrounded the mass of yellow curves with their complementary color, purple. I changed to a blue complement to surround the orange-tinted yellows.
I thought the other edge of the yellow shapes would benefit with a red surround. A red/yellow border does not present as stark a contrast as a purple/yellow border. This was the look I wanted.
After more incubation, with the sketch out of sight. I decided I wanted some stark colors in the middle of the yellow field. I used ultramarine blue and white to paint the upper part of a curved shape; I also combined this blue with alizarin crimson to create a purple curve directly in contact with the original yellow stripes still visible. I scraped away some of the oil paint to reveal some of the watercolors I first set down on the paper.
So much for the best laid plans.