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August 3, 2018

Life Is Too Colorful to be Beige

By Jordan Hockett

Life Is Too Colorful to be Beige

One day at my previous job at an upholstery shop, a customer asked what colors of fabric we had. When asked if they had something particular in mind, they responded with beige or tan. I couldn’t believe that given almost unlimited possibilities of different vibrant colors and energetic patterns and prints, they wanted beige. Today I’m lucky enough to put all of my focus into art. I am currently a resident artist at Studios on the Park, the non-profit art center in Paso Robles. Color is the main tool I use to express myself in my art.

I am currently an abstract artist that works in textile, sculpture and acrylics, but I primarily focus on acrylic painting. My art is full of color. Many of the colors of paint I use when I begin a painting are straight out of the tube or jar. They are pure and vibrant. The paint is not dulled-down by mixing colors together. I do use browns and greys in my work because they are good a good contrast and help my other brighter colors stand out more. They are like the straight man in a vaudeville comedy duo.

Different colors have different associations for different people. I exploit those associations to create a mood in a piece of art. For example, most people that see my art seem to love the pieces that are primarily blue. Blue is calming. At least in many parts of the United States, people associate it with things like the sky and water. I use blue with these kinds of associations in mind, but I also use it to create urban night scenes, along with purples and blacks to depict darker scenarios. I also love using warm colors like red, orange, and yellow. These colors have associations with anger, aggression, lust, blood, fire, and let’s not forget that any cartoon of the devil will probably be red in color. All of this is true, but warm colors can also stand for passion, energy and love, to name a few.

I’ve been called weird, obnoxious, loud, colorful and complex. All of this is true of my abstract art as well. Life is too interesting and art is too important to be boring. I hope after seeing the sometimes extreme use of color in my art, people will leave with a smile. I’d like to think that my work is about fun and, for the most part, cheerful. My art can also be complex, much like the world I take inspiration from. I also like that different people can interpret my work in different ways and see things in it that even I didn’t when creating it. Abstract art opens the door for open discussion. My art is debatable not only for the imagery used, but because the colors’ meaning can change due to the viewer’s background and life experiences. At the end of the day, I’m having fun trying to add a little color to how people see the world.

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