The Identities of Yellow

  • by Sonya Shoptaugh ON October 2, 2012

    Yellow. It is way more than one color. It is a field of colors, a symphony, it smells like fruit or summertime turning into fall. Each broad category of color has within it a multitude of identities — and this was what I was hoping to offer my daughter — the chance to experience ‘yellowness’ more intimately, more expansively.

    After AC went to sleep, I set up empty jars, paints (yellow, white, black) and paper with the intention for her to make different yellows. I cut squares of paper so she could paint them and keep track of the different yellows that joined us on our journey.

    The next morning when AC came into the studio, the first thing she said was, “Oooh! This is BEAUTIFUL!” She sat down and immediately began to hold yellow in her hands, and in her heart. I could feel her engagement. She accepted, with full participation, the invitation to explore yellow-ness.

    Children approach things with a strong sense of perception and empathy – my daughter reminds me of this fact daily. She got right to work making yellows, giving them their right to be vast, complex, extraordinary. While she worked, she narrated how she was bringing to life the colors she was creating. “Let me tell you what this one needs. It needs a little more vanilla white.”

    With great pleasure, she would squeeze or pour color into the jar, and begin to stir – and then, with the expectancy of a great alchemist waiting to see what might emerge, she would lift her brush, analyze the color, consider what next, then begin again.

    If she liked the color, and deemed it finished, she would paint a square and then give the color a name. Near the end of our morning, she said with much emotion and wonder, “These colors belong in a museum!” She was in awe.

    The paints will now take on a life of their own, offering their bold or quiet statements of yellow through her paintings, or sculptures or other avenues we have yet to think of…

  • Comments(1)

    Would love to hear your thoughts! Please feel free to comment.
    • Danielle
      October 4, 2012 @ 6:27 pm

      Sonya, I love the site. Thanks for sharing the link on facebook. I re-posted it and also put it up on Pinterest. Good luck with this adventure. Just wonderful

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