Collecting Color: Tracking your personal color trends

Can you be homesick for a sport? My favorite sport of all time is skiing, but part of why I love it is because I love being in the mountains and on the mountain. I taped 2 TV shows this week about skiing, (feeling very nostalgic about fun days in Vail) and suddenly realized how so much of my color sense is influenced by winter in Colorado.


Leon Gaspard (painting seen above) was a Russian born American painter I discovered in New Mexico. I love how his sense of winter color was magnified by his imagination. This is something I really relate to in my own work.

Some say blue is the color of spiritual life. I truly feel that connection all the time out in nature, do you? I enjoy the color blue as it contrasts with yellow and orange in our Colorado skies, from subtle to bold.

Alpenglo sketch for painting

Alpenglo sketch for painting, KGT

Once I developed a fascination for color in art and life, I started to revisit not only my sketches and photos taken for painting ideas, but also all my other collections like greeting cards and magazine tear sheets. Collecting color you love will build your color memory bank.

Night city palette, acrylic, in preparation for a painting, KGT, 2012

Night city palette, acrylic, in preparation for a painting, KGT, 2012

This set of colors has been my recent go-to trend of choice in making night cityscapes. Blues and grays/blacks seem to dominate, with brights as accents, and white is there. What is interesting to me about this palette is what is missing. No true reds or browns, no primary greens, only tiny bits of purple. Sometimes what you leave out of your “full spectrum” palette is more telling that what you use.

Do you think about color in a personal way? I have a theory that most of us do have subconscious color preferences in our lives, but do we really take some time to pinpoint our artistic choices made in the back of our minds? It might be illuminating…

What do you think? Have you ever said to yourself upon seeing something in your world, “this color collection is ME!”? If you did, please share!


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2 Responses to “Collecting Color: Tracking your personal color trends”

  1. Ruth J. Kary & John W. Baar Says:

    Hi Karen,

    I love pinks, purples and blues. But I really like to use the combinations of blue and orange, yellow and purple, and red and green – opposites on the color wheel which give great impact. I also like to use the secondary color combinations of these. I’m finding that mixing these colors to use in my paintings help with keeping the colors complimentary to each other within a painting so it all comes together naturally in the end and enhances the final outcome.

    I’ve been forwarding some of your e-mails to my Art Club and have had some complimentary feedback on them. Maybe I’ve gotten some to actually subscribe to your Notes. Thanks so much for taking the time to send them out. I miss Colorado sometimes, having lived there for 30 years, as I now live in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, so I really appreciate seeing your photos of the area. I also used to ski.

    Thanks for verbalizing some of the things I’m thinking about!

    Ruth J. Kary

    Photographer & Illustrator

    (expanding into jewelry and quilting)

    P.S. I’m working on a quilted wall hanging entitled “Pinwheel Party” that I designed myself from a painting I’d done a while back. It’s for a show called “A Woman’s Perspective” in Fargo, ND with the theme “Rituals”.


    From: Hue Bliss: Color & Art notes by Karen Gillis Taylor [] Sent: Friday, January 04, 2013 10:11 PM To: Subject: [New post] Collecting Color: Tracking your personal color trends

    karen posted: ” Photo of Vail Village, Colorado, Travel en Vogue Can you be homesick for a sport? My favorite sport of all time is skiing, but part of why I love it is because I love being in the m”


    • karen Says:

      Hi Ruth,
      Thanks for your comments on a well-thought-out process for your use of color in painting. You sound quite busy with many art forms! Say hello to the Art Club people from me. 🙂


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