Yellow Courage

Making of "Heart of a Butterfly", 2018
Making of "Heart of a Butterfly", 2018

There came a moment this winter when I was longing for yellow. I was fine with any shade of this light and ease bringing color: absinthe yellow, Veronese yellow, pale yellow, Indian yellow, vanilla yellow, Goya yellow, Neapolitan yellow, or saffron, king of spices. Reading the labels alone refreshed and put me in a happy mood.

But yellow is also contrary to positivity. It is the sun, enlightenment, golden, bright, friendly and at the same time it stands for envy (next to green), greed, and egotism. In German yellow belongs to the same word family as bile, the place where anger dwells.

"In mediaevel times yellow was the color of all outlaws. A sumptuary law in Hamburg around 1445 dictated prostitutes to wear a yellow headscarf." (Eva Heller, Wie Farben Wirken)

Working with yellow on the canvas demands great courage. Only a fool believes he can apply it as any other color. Yellow is unapologetic, extremely confident, and takes no prisoners. It will laugh at you and will never wait for you.

So why work with it? Alas! There is nothing more marvelous.
When I can keep up, it invites me to unimagined flights of fancy. Sublime spheres filled with joy and brilliance.
Incidentally a big dose of confidence rubs off on me. Who wouldn't be willing to go down that path? Yellow courage! Moving on to pastures new.


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