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Creating with Colors from the Landscape

Walking through the streets of Bordeaux, France I saw these beautiful faded purple doors. Against the grays and browns of the buildings and the weather that day, the violet color brought a subtle and rich dimension to the street view. Photo: Cristina Acosta
Inspired by the colors in the landscape of urban city streets I’ve been exploring the colors by painting textiles. The sheer matte quality of the silk is the perfect substrate to convey the feeling of the colors from the street in Bordeaux, France. My intent was not to replicate the colors visually as much as to convey the sensations I received while walking through the colors in that landscape. Photo credit: Cristina Acosta

Color inspiration comes from nature and the human made world. A walk down a city street anywhere in the world can be full of interesting color combinations.

The landscape around us effects how we perceive color. The geography of a place along with the cycle of seasons as well as the weather and light  combine with the presence or absence of human culture to create the colors of a place.

In my  paintings and drawings other concerns (like image or texture) overtake this concept, so I decided to work with these color ideas in textiles.

Painting silk scarves for myself or friends is a relaxing way for me to play with color stories.  (And I have something fun to wear when I’m done!) This week I painted this silk scarf directly from the inspiration of some recent travels. I’ve been fortunate to be able to travel with my teenage daughter, Isabella Barna during her fencing competition season. She competed in a few fencing World Cups, so we both enjoyed traveling to both small and large towns in Europe for the events.

The many changes in landscape I’ve experienced this year contrast in my mind, mixing with the sensations of place. Each memory has a different palette of colors and values. Playing with these memories and translating them to visual ideas allows me to re-live the sensations of the memories as I create visual structure around them. It’s sort of like selecting photos for a scrapbook page, I select among the thoughts and feelings of memory for the creative expression.



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