ORANGE Challenge entry, Liane Seffern

Liane Seffern
47 x 39 canvas with floating frame
Acrylic, ink, and sand

What I think about the color orange?
For me the color orange means warmth and enthusiasm. It is often the focus point in the painting. Because it attracts the human eye. Being used all over the world as International Distress Orange, for everything from life vests to survival suits to smoke signals. It happens to be also the color of my home country. So, it means observing a part of The Netherlands.

The history of orange in The Netherlands:
Our first king William of Orange was born in 1533 in Germany as William of Nassau. William’s cousin, Rene, was the boss of the French principality of Orange. When the cousin died, he left all his possessions and his orange land for our king William. William then leaves boarding school; he made a career in the army; and becomes eventually Knight in the Order of the Gulden Vlies. He becomes part of the Catholic Church, and then he can call himself the Prince of Orange. That color became the flag during the Eighty Years’ War: it was the Prince Flag, “orange/blanje/bleu’ (orange/white/blue). With orange on top, of course. For unknown reasons the orange became the color red. In 1596, the red-white-blue tricolor became the flag of The Netherlands. And so became orange of the Prince of Orange, the only true national color for the country. It’s therefore fortunate that William inherited the principality of Orange from his cousin, otherwise we would not have so bright a color to wear on Queen’s day, soccer matches and other national festivals.

How do I use orange?
To use orange in my paintings is something stimulating. One of my favorite things to do is mixing colors. Mixing red and yellow gives so many color ranges that I created a painting, titled ‘Yellow’ only using yellow and red colors. It is a part of the series ‘red/yellow/blue’. I love the beautiful color fusion of gold and orange. Hardly known but very warm and different. Using orange on a canvas is very powerful to me, a kind of mystical part on the canvas.

The purpose of orange in my piece?
In this painting called ‘Windows’, I used the color orange as a window to look through to see part of the painting. Seeing the world through orange instead of pink! The glass in front of the painting carries a layer of orange ink. This piece of glass can be moved higher and lower over the painting, whatever part one wants to cover with the orange. It is a transparent panel to enhance the blue/black/white painting. Without the orange the painting has a sense of darkness. The orange is the complementary color of the blue in the painting. They reinforce each other symbolizing light in the darkness.

Orange is a “go-to” color on my palette
I use orange often in my paintings. One purpose is to bring the painting alive, especially next to the blue/purple colors.
The artist (and painting) I think of when using orange
Of course Vincent van Gogh, the famous Dutch painter. He was the master of the orange color! The paintings that remind me of orange, is his collection Sunflowers. Even one of his famous quotes mentions orange: “There is no blue without yellow and orange.

My thoughts on the challenge subject
The subject makes the challenge inviting and encouraging. Because of the subject I wanted to be part of this challenge. More orange in the art to express freedom. With one wing of technique and the other of faith. Sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. We need both wings to fly.

Liane Seffern
My web address

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