Colour in a New Light

Cenote Sun, painting by Janet Taylor

Cenote Sun, 2024, Acrylic and Mixed Media on Canvas, 48x36x1.5"
Available through Arta Gallery

I’m finally coming up for air following this year’s Artist Project. Every year, it is a different show experience. The most amazing thing for me this year was watching people respond to the colour in my new work.

For the last year or so, much of my painting has tended toward a pretty subtle, muted palette. Recently colour has sidled back in. Actually, I shouldn’t say sidled–more like burst, shouted, jumped.

This year’s booth was hung with a mix of the more quietly coloured paintings and paintings with a much more intense palette. The experience of seeing people being drawn in by the more colourful paintings was astonishing. It wasn’t just that they liked them, or preferred them, it was that they responded almost as if they couldn’t help it. People were drawn out of the show aisle towards these big panels of jewel-like colours, and just stood still in front of them, soaking them in. Some of these people I don’t think even cared much for my paintings (unbelievable, I know 😉), but their response to the colours happened at a deeper, almost visceral, purely emotional level.

Watching this happen, over and over, showed me the importance of colour as a communicator in a way I hadn’t really considered before. Of course in art school, I learned all about colour and how to use it to represent objects and light, and to illustrate ideas, but this was different. The colour was almost subversive. It captivated viewers and drew them into my world. It started a visual conversation with my work that might not otherwise have happened.

I’m excited to get back into the studio and see where this new understanding works its way into my future paintings.

Cenote Sun, one of the jewel-toned large paintings is now available through Arta Gallery >>