It was not always easy to love orange.
This was something that troubled me at a young age. There was a time when having a “favorite color” was a pre-requisite for essentially all academic pursuits and the cornerstone for any casual conversation with my elders. But, as a kindergartener, selecting “orange” my favorite color presented serious problems.
In kindergarten, orange is a troublesome color.
Orange is unruly – the class clown. Unlike red or blue or even yellow, who have an embarrassment of rhymes, orange is notoriously un-rhyme-able. Furthermore, it takes the supporting role in arguably the most popular punch line (“orange you glad I didn’t say banana”) which for many, is the first acerbic tinge of a bait-and-switch.
But orange is more than just its jagged and irregular sound. And to prove it, we have curated the “Best of: Orange” Collection that restores justice to orange and gives this eye-catching color the attention it deserves.
So from abstract contemplations to rooftop tessellations, here are five orange works from the “Best Of: Orange” Collection.
In this mixed-media work, Path to Maxma, Adriano Ribeiro brightens his canvas with a powdery cloud of orange in the left side of his canvas. The puff of color hazily hangs over the highly textured gray blue background, giving the painting an ethereal heat.
Karen Hale goes for orange’s softer side in her acrylic painting Long Distance. The color – rendered in layers upon layers of paint, glazes and washes – seeps down the canvas, like a dye’s graceful run down cloth. The fluidity and depth of the painting draws out the properties of the color orange. She shows that purples, reds, and greens are entrenched and enrich into orange.
Elizabeth Elkin paints the town – in orange. In this low-flying birds eye view of the southeastern France, the rooftops and buildings become a show of orange. Even the sky appears to be a tiling of blue, violet, and white that is whole-heartedly holding back a truer orange sky.
Kent Sullivan tinkered with Copper Creek for a while before it was finished. “This is one of those paintings I painted over several times, making those changes until it finally looked like I wanted,” said Kent. In order to capture an image of setting the creek in an orange blaze, it seems rather fitting that this subject matter would be continually altered. It is as if it is a brilliant replication of Mother Nature’s own exquisite fussiness of constant change to produce constant beauty.
Jakki Kouffman painted Sheep’s Crossing, Near Questaas the demonstration canvas at an en plein air workshop in New Mexico stationed 800 feet above the Rio Grande. These blushes of orange are what she was just moments before a crackling and gusty hailstorm. She calls the scene her painting captures, “a precious interval that it is my ambition to enshrine.”
Orange is the color of energy and intensity. It the color of widening mornings and sun-sunk seas. It is the absolute aura of fall. It is the color of a giving fruit whose juice wake us up and whose rinds give us giggly after-soccer smiles. We love orange for all of these reasons, and for so many more.