PINK – The Sweet Side of Red.

I’ve been exploring pink for some time in my work. Looking back on the last ten months, 90 percent of them feature a vibrant selection of pink.

I’ve read that pink can symbolize:

  • youth
  • harmony
  • friendship
  • affection
  • inner peace
  • approachability

It’s no wonder I am using pink so often in my paintings right now.  These are the concepts I unconsciously reach for every time I get to my palette and start mixing it up; concepts which are my “true north” when I feel a bit overwhelmed or discouraged. That’s the great thing about creative work and painting in particular, you immediately benefit from the visual beauty before you…which you control, which in turn nourishes your mind and body.

When placed next to light greens and green-blues, pink will vibrate electrically, as in my painting “Abstraction” on the left.  When I include it in clothing against darker skin tones it reveals a fresh, striking, yet simultaneously soft, contrast.  My recent painting “Multicolor Housing” features pink prominently (see the painting on the left,) even in the reflection on the water. I find I often choose pink when I am searching for innocence, vulnerability and tenderness. I enjoy exploring how to utilize it to its maximum capacity by experimenting with its range of hue or temperature.

I know I’ve been greatly influenced by the famous American-German landscape painter Wolf Kahn.  I am the lucky owner of two of his paintings, chosen because I love his incredible color combinations of pinks and oranges, which are truly delectable. These paintings have been hanging on my wall for decades and I feel lucky to be able to soak up their beauty each day.

As an article in the Atlantic says: Pink wasn’t always “girly.”  In the novel, The Great Gatsby, I appreciated how Jay Gatsby wore a pink suite. I remember reading that description in the novel when I was a young artist hopeful, and feeling happy that a man could pull that off: it felt like confidence, sophistication and intelligence.  I was later amused to learn that in the 18th century, it was “…perfectly natural for a man to wear a pink silk suit with floral embroidery,” says fashion scholar Valerie Steele, Director of the Museum at the Fashion Institute Technology. Only in the relatively recent past did pink acquire its feminine connotations.

If you are so inclined, there is a great article you can read in the Atlantic which shares more interesting stories about the history of the color pink.

As I look around my home, I see lovely pink curtains hanging in my living room window. There’s a pink linen shirt I bought at a thrift store which I’m about to put on to start my day off right.

Enjoy your day and try to notice the incredible pink in tonight’s sunset!

Mark

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