11 May, 2017


Yellow is one of those weird colours on my palette. I consistently use it IN a mix and rarely on it's own.
Cadmium Yellow Light
Cadmium yellow Medium
Indian Yellow
Yellow Ochre

I don't like Naples yellow. That might change when I find an application for it.

I like yellow, but I own no yellow item of clothing. The thing that may be considered the yellowest item of clothing is a sad t-shirt that is probably yellow from age. I am only just beginning to wear green after wearing blue for so long. The yellow seeps in slowly.

Turner and Van Gogh are the artists I think of when I think of yellow. Klimt too, but he was more about gold.

I see yellow as a challenge. One of those mindfulness exercises that I set for myself: Use yellow in a painting. Use it today.

Oil on canvas

Oil on Gessoboard
15 x 15 cm

Muslin used to hold spices when I made a curried chutney
Inadvertent pear.

Alex Kanevsky wrote a lovely piece about yellow. 
He titled it: Yellow.Reluctantly since 2006.

Yellow is difficult. But it seemed easy to Van Gogh. Maybe I should spend some time in Provence. Pierre Bonnard said that you can never have to much yellow. Yellow was one of the four colors found in Piet Mondrian paintings. Indian yellow was originally made from cow urine but not anymore. Its powerful tinting ability makes it very hard to control. Yellow is the color most susceptible to dramatic changes from even smallest additions of other pigments. Naples yellow ranges from astonishingly ugly to very beautiful, probably because nowadays it is a mix, and its composition depends on the maker’s preferences. It is one of the oldest synthetic pigments, dating from around 1620. The actual pigment is toxic, like many good things in life. I always have a tube of Cadmium Yellow (how could you not?) but almost never find any use for it. Yellow is the first color to fade from the sun exposure. White paper and fabric, on the contrary, turn yellow from exposure. Nobody uses yellow in paintings sparingly and reluctantly. It is either with abandon as did Turner, or not at all. Matisse was not afraid of yellow, but I wouldn’t call it an embrace. Morandi stayed safely within Naples Yellow and Yellow Ochre, only rarely venturing into insane Cadmium Lemon Yellow excursions. Zinc Yellow used by Seurat was unstable and turned brown. Although the leader of a stage in Tour de France gets a yellow jersey, he is not considered the winner of the yellow jersey, only the wearer. Yellow is the first color introduced into fresh white snow as dogs are taken out for a walk early in the morning. In Russia, a colloquial expression for an insane asylum used to be "yellow house.” At the moment, my favorite yellow is Sennelier’s Light Yellow Ochre that also has a wonderful german name “Gelbocker Hell”.

I shall continue to use yellow.
I like it because it's not natural, feels weird. That seems as good a reason as any.


  1. Yellow Jen. I tried to call you, but the phone just went green-green, green-green. No answer. Anyhow, I left a message. All I said was black-black-black-black. Pink !

  2. Yellow? Who's there? Did I hear a bell ring? Yellow?( we are related, so I know you will understand this!) xx


Sorry for the hoops you have to jump through to post a comment, but I am being assaulted by spammers. I would love to hear from you, so please persist! Thanks, jennie

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...