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  • Writer's pictureSilvia Maria Rey Arts

My lifelong love affair with the color yellow

Silvia Maria Rey

I have always had an affinity for the color yellow in everything except clothing since it makes me look jaundiced. Yellow reminds me of the vibrant sun and warmth of my Cuban homeland. It is also the color associated with La Caridad Del Cobre, the patron saint of Cuba, and her African syncretism, Ochún, who constantly reminds us that we must have pleasure in our lives if our lives are going to be truly worth living. And last but not least it is the color of my mother’s favorite flower, the yellow rose.

It is a color filled with positivity, enthusiasm, and enlightenment as well as being an attention-getter. To me as an artist, it represents the opposite of dullness and darkness. It is also the color that I find most challenging to use whether I am working in pastels, watercolor, oil, or acrylics since it can very easily be muddied if not handled correctly. So, I keep on experimenting and refining my skills with different yellows in both the warm and the cool ranges.

The color is also associated with some negativity, such as sickness, cowardice, and sensationalism. Although yellow is also associated with mental illness, I find that as a person who has struggled with depression for my entire life, the color yellow invigorates me, stimulates my nerves, boosts my memory, and encourages me to communicate. Studies have shown that yellow is indeed a color that helps to promote interaction and activity.

The color of sunshine, hope, and happiness is common in my work. It helps to enhance my positive vision of the world. You will usually find a touch of it not only in my floral work but also in my still-life, landscapes and portraits.

These paintings, "Pond Waterlillies", “Lonesome Sunflower”, “Black-eyed Susans”, Yellow tulips at Heckscher Park" convey the theme of happiness. They encompass my love of nature and the color yellow. It also embodies the quote that I fervently believe in “Life is art. Live yours in color.”

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