Colorful Language

Michele Yellin
Several of the paintings that I created for this year’s featured artist exhibit carry a secret inside of them.They are filled with colorful language. By that I don’t mean that I have painted curse words all over them, although at times I am tempted, but rather, I have first written a phrase in paint on the surface of the canvas.This is a good way for me to get a painting going. It provides a  structure for the painting, and an interesting or profound thought to keep in mind throughout the arduous process of creating.
 Michele writing
In the painting Giving Up On Being Perfect, this is what is written in the underpainting:
“The thing that is really hard and really amazing is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.” by Anna Quindlen.
After I paint the phrase, I fill in the rest of the surface with lots of color creating an abstract
painting that eventually obliterates the words. Hopefully I have taken the time to write the phrase on the stretcher boards on the back of the painting, because if I am lucky, the title of the painting will come from that phrase and be perfectly appropriate.
 Michele underpainting
The next step for me is to look at the abstracted painting, and discover what images are hidden in the paint and texture.Using line and color, I will start to define what I see in the paint. Bit by bit, I will add to the painting until the composition is complete.
While I don’t create every piece this way, I use many of the same practices when I am creating art. Color says the things that I can not find the words to say. It is its own language.
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