I enjoy experimenting when painting, and complementary colors—hues that lie across from one another on the color wheel—is one of my favorites to explore. Similar to the series Reds and Greens which juxtaposed those two colors, this painting of a bright yellow daffodil against a violet backdrop explores how bright will the yellow appear when placed within its opposite hue. The edges where the two opposing colors meet almost appear to be vibrating.
Another exploration in this piece was the shadow. Since violet appears to be inherently dark, how would it be possible to create the shadow darker than the violet in the lighted area while still maintaining the violet color?
These explorations invite a more concentrated attention to what is being seen, aspects such as the shapes of the colors, how soft or hard are their edges, and how light and dark are they compared to each other. Carefully noticing these qualities is part of the practice of artful awareness.
Daffodil, original oil on canvas, 5″ x 4″
Original paintings and prints by Seamus Berkeley.