Colour Talks

Green and cream dappled dots – my newly painted spring scarf drying in the wind.

Quitting the city and the overblown Barbara Cartland pink blossom I drove through the rainy early morning to Rye for a day’s work on the Collier Campbell archive. As I reached the flatlands…. I was struck by vistas of green and white dots – the speckle of spring – fields full of leaping shivering lambs – babas and their mamas – errant clumps of cream narcissi, watchful bossy gulls, soft white meringues of swans their beaks tucked beneath wings.

And the willows against the pale sky covered in millions of tiny growing missiles of life – bullet points. Even at 40 miles an hour the quality of the grass is discernible at distance – from rough tussocky meadow to the smooth smooth greensward waiting to be slivered and rolled up for turf. Memories of the year past, my sister ill and dying, preparing our exhibition, working on the book, profound changes, sit alongside this continuing landscape and reliable proof of renewal – the familiarity of green.

A blue sky – both reassures and liberates. At home these optimistic hyacinths in their splotched David Garland jug fill the rooms with their heady scent.

The artist  Pat Keay has paid me the compliment of referencing my handpainted scarves in some of her new paintings.

They, the scarves, and other work are in her show ‘Threads’  now up the road at The Scarf Gallery. Her handling of light and shadow in the bigger landscape paintings is compelling – maybe partly a result of years spent in the bright sunshine of Kenya coming from the softer light of Scotland?

The scarves have spurred me into action on that front again. I particularly enjoy these leaves sinuously meandering across the scarlet and cherry ground.

I’m planning to print some limited edition scarves to be available, like the greetings cards, via my website – and watch this space for details of my silk scarf painting workshop coming up at the V&A later in the summer….

How many times one sees complimentary couples: yesterday I walked up the hill behind two beautifully balanced pairs – I’m only talking about their clothes – surely an unconscious symmetry – checks and balances.

I was once at a meeting where the seating provided was a very varied collection of chairs and cushions. Each person made for the colour that most closely matched their own clothes – their comfort zone?

The yell in yellow: I put it down to Michelle – the popularity of yellow dresses – they’ve become very fash, though they hardly compliment pasty pale faces. As the new first lady Mrs Obama was seen sporting a glorious daffodil coloured outfit. Soon after M&S ran a poster campaign advertising a similar yellow dress worn by a dark-skinned model. Now they’re everywhere. Yellow’s a joyful colour – I’m pleased to see it making number one.

Last May I was painting a wall at the National Theatre – the last job needed to complete the exhibition’s installation. It was a bitter-sweet time. The colour – the rich, luscious, glowing yellow – and the doing, the physical painting of it – were far more restorative, uplifting than my imagination could have predicted.

Yellow sketches on my table today:

Now I’m off to Asia House in town – their Fair starts today, 26th – for fabrics, artisan crafts, food and colour – naturally!

With thanks to Alan, Molly and Virginie Guiraboye for the photograph of me painting.

12 thoughts on “Colour Talks

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  4. Hi Sarah..I can’t agree more with many of the comments on here…you are such a poet with words as well as your hand and brush and it just radiates the most wonderful ‘joy” and ‘energy’..thank you s much for sharing your spring moments with is indeed a beautiful renewing time and I have just returned from ibiza where the fields where covered in wild poppies, wild garlic in flower and meadows of the lightest and most delicate greens….look forward to your next blog! hugs Robert

  5. Sarah – I love the way you look at the world and then translate and transform it into your own vision of colour and pattern. I think there’s only one other person whose designs can be so transformative of the both the outside world and the viewer’s mood, and that’s Raoul Dufy. Brilliant stuff from both of you!

  6. The color and creativity in this particular post leave me speechless! And of course I must have one of your scarves when available – gorgeous!

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