I took a watercolor class at the library about ten years ago and the instructor challenged the students to be bold with color. She said if you looked hard enough, you could find every color in the spectrum in your subject. "You think a palm tree is green? Look harder. In addition to myriad greens, you'll see yellow and blue, even fuchsia." Fuchsia? Really? I get the greens and yellows and even reflected blues, but pink? In a palm tree? Then she showed me.
She painted a dab of the most remarkable pink right next to the heart of the tree. Amazingly, it worked. Not only did it work, it made the painting more interesting and dynamic. What a fun and memorable lesson!
Of course my first thoughts of this challenge led me to the fuchsia palm. I sketched the pink palm with the green trunk next to a yellow sea and purple sky. Nice idea but unfortunately it only worked in theory. Other designs buzzed around my head like bees on a flower, but time ticked by and nothing congealed.
To say I'm not fond of the waiting phase of the design process would be an understatement. Rather than focus on the excitement of visions buzzing about the periphery, I feel pressured by time. I've always been a results-oriented person and knowing there is a deadline looming with a solution just beyond my reach is frustrating. My remedy? Play.
I used a glue resist on the cotton and then dyed the muslin, synthetic acetate and sheers with India inks.
Oh yes, my husband named it. He said it reminded him of "tangerine trees and a marmalade sky" from the Beatles song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.