Although I have always loved art I have no talent in that sphere. From an early age I realised this (yet still delighted in art classes) and began to think in terms of colour and texture. I gathered and grouped items according to how they caught and reflected the light, how they felt underfoot or when stroked.
|Woman in Yellow|
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
I still love being enveloped by colour. There is some thought that colours equate to scent, and it is easy to imagine. For me colours have auras.
|By The Style Files on Flicker|
I think Yellow is a hard colour to live with, often too bright, too weak or to uniform. Getting it right is difficult. Once upon a time I found a paint that was as marvellous as it's name, by the late great John Oliver, called Chinese Imperial Yellow. I painted all the walls in a small downstairs toilet in this, outlined the window in Turquoise and hung brass framed mirrors and pictures. It was a warm rich yellow that saturated your senses. By day it glowed with sunshine. The room was at the back of the house, off the kitchen. At night we left the door ajar and burned candles in mercury glass jars on the windowsill. The candles flickered on the glass casting shadows on the golden walls and the room glimmered like the dying embers of a fire. It hugged you. I shed tears when we sold the house and I had to paint the room in white to make it instantly saleable.
Our cottage is now so small all that remains of my Mellow Yellow days are accents. A glimmer here, a glow there. Isolde by Audrey Beardsley, some faded golden cushions on a pale green chair, and an old quilted throw made by an Auntie I never met.
|Isolde by Audrey Beardsley|
Aubrey Beardsley knew a thing or two about yellow. His illustrations for The Yellow Book, of which he was the Art Editor, are outstanding.
From the Wikipedia page.
The Yellow Book, published in London from 1894 to 1897 by Elkin Mathews and John Lane, later by John Lane alone, and edited by the American Henry Harland, was a quarterly literary periodical (priced at 5s.) that lent its name to the "Yellow Nineties".
It was a leading journal of the British 1890s; to some degree associated with Aestheticism and Decadence, the magazine contained a wide range of literary and artistic genres, poetry, short stories, essays, book illustrations, portraits, and reproductions of paintings. Aubrey Beardsley was its first art editor, and he has been credited with the idea of the yellow cover, with its association with illicit French fiction of the period. He obtained works by such artists as Charles Conder, William Rothenstein, John Singer Sargent, Walter Sickert, and Philip Wilson Steer. The literary content was no less distinguished; authors who contributed were: Max Beerbohm, Arnold Bennett, "Baron Corvo", Ernest Dowson, George Gissing, Sir Edmund Gosse, Henry James, Richard Le Gallienne, Charlotte Mew, Arthur Symons, H. G. Wells, William Butler Yeats.
When Donovan released the album Mellow Yellow everyone wondered where he got the title from, and most guessed it was some kind of drug, probably hallucinogenic. They were wrong. Many rock stars were well educated and well read and their songs and album covers were strewn with literal references. They were the modern pre-Raphaelites. The phrase "mellow yellow" appears on page 719 of the first American edition of James Joyce's epic Ulysses, where it is used to refer to Mrs. Marion Bloom's buttocks. It has not been confirmed in print that Donovan got the phrase from there. However I did ask him once and he replied, "Probably." I still love this album and really wish that I had continued to move my vinyl copy from house to house with me.