The Colour Yellow

Rilke would go to the Louvre to discover the particular parentage of Cezanne's colour palette. It was a time of artistic research, when fragments were wholes unto themselves, and artists would search for their inner necessity that would unify the fragments. When I wonder about why I spend so much time with image fragments, it helps to consider Rilke's words:

At bottom one seeks in everything new (country or person or thing) only an expression that helps some personal confession to greater power and maturity. All things are there in order that they may, in some sense, become pictures for us. And they do not suffer from it, for while they are expressing us more and more clearly, our souls close over them in the same measure... [things] will give me the names for those most timid devoutnesses of my nature which, since my childhood, have been longing to enter into my art!

Colours are wavelengths; they were determined a century and a half ago, "no contours but rather many vibrating transitions," hence the artist seeking the smallest basic essences, finding a thousand tasks around a single motif.

In Hinduism, yellow means willpower or achievement, yet English associations signify cowardice. I think of yellow as: the sun, light, sand. While it is true that sometimes the sun looks white, I think it is the golden associations that bring to my mind the sun when we say "yellow". Or, all the drawings of such things as a child.

It is hoped these fragmented images will lead to clarity of expression, if not now, then when the time is ripe. Incidentally, the Mayans thought yellow to represent ripeness. "Everyone must be able to find in his work the centre of his life and from there to be able to grow out in radiate form as far as he can," wrote Rilke. Like the sun. Or the star of the Archaic Torso.

Elements: pugly pixel.
This post was put together in honour of spring colour week over at poppytalk.

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