The power of orange

For those of us who saw the Super Blood Moon last week there was no better reminder of the power of the colour orange.

We are also reminded of the warmth that emanates from an orange sunset as highlighted by Colin Morris' photography in The Setting Sun.

And it is an orange day when we get to welcome a new member to our AnArt4Life blog group. Come aboard D.T. in the UK - you are most welcome.

By nature, orange elicits feelings of warmth, excitement, and amusement. Artists like Monet, Gauguin, Renoir, and Toulouse-Lautrec used the color to great effect. Monet incorporated orange into his sunsets, while Toulouse-Lautrec used the color to symbolize the frenetic energy of Parisian dance halls.1

But perhaps no other painter was as indebted to orange as Vincent van Gogh. Van Gogh would mix his own orange hues and use them to contrast with the blues and purples he incorporated into his work.1

Willows at Sunset by van Gogh (5)

Vincent van Gogh frequently expressed his preoccupation with color in his writings. He wrote, “…the painter of the future will be a colourist the like of which has never yet been seen. But I’m sure I am right to think that it will come in a later generation, and it is up to us to do all we can to encourage it, without question or complaint.” 6

He was deeply aware of the relationship colors had on each other and wrote, “There is no blue without yellow and without orange.” 6

Self portrait as a painter by van Gogh (6)

Here on the AnArt4Life blog we have amongst the artists we regularly showcase two great exponents of the colour orange and its closely related hues. The first is John Pickup - the last surviving member of the Brushman of the Bush.

John's paintings (below) of the Australian stockman Nat Buchanan plus his rendering of an Australian dust storm in King Air on Finals demonstrates his skill as a painter and the power of orange.

The other subscriber and lover of the orange is naive artist John (Rowdy) Wylie from Port Elliot in South Australia who also knows the power and engaging quality of orange especially when it is teamed with the red and purple shadows which are an integral part of the Australian outback scenery.

Below in Red Desert Miners you can see the wonderfully intense use Rowdy uses to highlight the energy and engagement that rises from this orange landscape with the distant purple hills acting as a natural frame to the desert.

Linking John Pickup and John (Rowdy) Wylie is far more significant than their joint love of colour and love of the Australian outback. John Wylie has asked me to pay public respect and appreciation for the role John Pickup has played in his development as a painter. As Rowdy says:

With the inspiration from the Broken Hill Master Artists - the Brushmen of the Bush I commenced my art journey upon retirement. I was absolutely fascinated with Broken Hill & the unique landscape of North Western NSW and at this stage I became aware that I needed to learn more about art and the different paint mediums, tools and equipment required to create art works.

Through the AnArt4Life blog I was able to link the two Johns up and John Pickup generously took on the role as remote mentor.

Rowdy Wylie sends his heartfelt thanks to John Pickup for the challenging homework and tremendous effect his advice has had on the development of his painting technique.

Tomorrow Rowdy Wylie has invited us back into his studio where he generously shares some thoughts about his artistic journey and some of the influences on his works not least of which is that, like John Pickup, his main painting tool is a palette knife.

2. the
7. With pemission from John Pickup
8. With permission from John Wylie