Muted color

I have a group of friends I've been hanging out with for nearly 30 years. I feel we are similar to the Bloomsbury group but without the money - we are all creative types. I've painted nearly every one of these friends, and they are quite accustomed to my taking photographs of them at every event. This is JoEllen. I painted her only one time before (JoEllen in Yellow Hat). She is a regal woman, retired from Oberlin College where she made costumes for the student operas and some other performing art events.

Here, I wanted to emphasize the luminosity of JoEllen's white hair and skin, so I decided to use cool, muted hues as a backdrop. My artwork has always been about color and while some might think this palette isn't typical of my work, it illustrates the path of my recent thoughts. More and more I am using color smartly. Using muted or grey tones along with brighter hues allows the the color to sing! I continue to fuss with the fence. Darkening it was a good choice, but I think the color will eventually be a marriage of the original blue (a viridian green and light ultramarine blue mix) and the green umber it is now. I always save the fun for last as a reward for my labor - I'll be bringing all the colors together in a beautifully patterned wrap draped around JoEllen's shoulders. Stay tuned.

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