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Talking Colour in Art

In a recent Q&A session, popular Art2Arts artists, Caroline Ashwood gave us an insight into her relationship with and approach to colour.



How do you choose your colours combinations?



I’d like to say I always refer to the colours of nature, which is partly true. But, more often than not, the commissions I get are based on creating something that will work best in an interior design situation. Either domestic or a business environment. That’s a commercial reality I respect and a challenge I enjoy. Michelangelo had rooms to decorate, so why not me? He had the Cistine Chapel. I get loft apartments in Chicago or Wapping. Art has an inextricable historic connection to architecture. Whilst I once had a client who re-carpeted their living room to go with one of my paintings, usually I have to keep in mind their environment when considering my colour palette. Plus, many of my most supportive clients and collectors chose my work because of my personal approach to colour. So it’s never a compromise.




You are known for your intense, vivacious colour work. How do you make your colours 'sing'?



Actually, it’s colour that makes me sing! I am constantly searching for new colours. When I find one that has real depth and intensity I’m like a kid in a sweet shop. I start to dance and sing. Literally. I’m drawn to colours that are as close to the colours of nature as I can find. Right now, I have some Lobelia growing in my garden. I dream of finding a blue pigment I can paint with that will give me that richness of ultra-blueyness! Hey there, Mr Blue, we’re so please to be with you …… I sing all the time in my studio. The more colour I use, the better. Like in the movie Pretty Woman when Julia Roberts gets into the posh hotel lift ‘Colour me happy!’





Why do you think we respond so strongly to colour?


There’s a Darwinian answer to that question which my husband who is an avid amateur anthropologist, would answer more eloquently. It’s primal. It’s biological. What sets us apart from other animals is our compulsion to seek meaning in everything. It all begins with nature. Then we can’t stop ourselves adding further meaning to a visceral reaction. Survival of the species. The desire to find a suitable mate and procreate. That’s it. It’s all about sex!


For a better sex life, add more colour. If it goes with the carpet, even better.


By Caroline Ashwood
View Caroline Ashwood's Art Gallery

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