In the world of colour there are certain combinations that create a resonance that simply cannot be ignored, even if you strained to do so. These arrangements, often termed ‘complementary’, harmonize and enhance each other to vibrate in a way which is quite outstanding when viewed. They are the mainstay of an artist’s palette, yet we are all attracted by them. They are: green and red (Christmas), purple and yellow (Easter) and orange and blue (autumn hues). Introduced in their raw clarity by the French Impressionists, most artists have practised with them endlessly and I confess that I have been totally fascinated for years with their concoctions.
Each spring the orange and blue mixture comes blasting at me as I drive along the highway. The golden colours of Scottish Broom appear first and simply cannot be ignored, although many people would like to see this invasive shrub disappear, others love it as it bursts into bloom with scores of fragrant, cheery yellow blossoms. As if this display were not enough, its complement, the lupines, pop up all along our roadsides. This juxta-positioned display is an example of how powerful complementary colours can be. The painting shown here was done on Highway 19 close to Port Hardy and the airport turnoff. These are images that I go back to year after year and have painted many times. Spring is a great time of year to sit in the sun (where has it been?) and gaze at the thousands of amazing lupines that are often placed among the ‘cheery yellow blossoms’ of Broom. I guess I’m addicted to ‘The Blue and the Gold.’