The Color Of Spring

The Color of Spring  Kevin Liang  8/25/2020


Last year, in May, I visited the Brandywine River Museum, Pennsylvania. Outside the museum, were spectacular plants of living color. Bold purples and lavish pinks weaved intricate designs around the museum site and truly penetrated into the air.

I thought I found a perfect scene to paint. When I travel, always take my painting tools with me. Just like a writer who carries a notebook around and does not want to miss a moment of inspiration. So I set up my easel, put a white prime wood board on it, and began to paint. Sometimes people call a painter who paints on location is  en plein air painter, which comes from the French Impressionism movement. Famous artists, such Claude Monet and Vincent Van Gogh, liked to paint outdoor under the sun. Artists like to go outdoors to paint to study how the natural light affected color. When I paint outdoors, instead of brushes, I use a palette knife that is easy to clean and mix colors with. This technique is also called wet on wet. While the paint is still wet, I continue  use the knife to put another layer of color on the wet surface until it is done.It creates a very rich texture surface. You will see the painting appears in varies colors and texture when you look at it in different angle.


While I did not always paint in this style, one thing that has remained constant is my awe of the power of color. I use color both emotionally and conservatively. In the right place, I prefer small amounts of bright colors, like the pink edge of trees, a blue-green highlight on an angled rock, and specks of cobalt in a violet grove.

Early in my painting career I found that there was much more to color than just applying paint to a surface. I learned to carefully study the subtleties and nuances of each color. I discovered that I was most intrigued by how colors played with each other and with the light. Each new color that I add to my palette is like growing a friendship slowly. Like a friendship, I learn each color’s taste and preferences and how it reacts in different situations. 

I believe that each individual’s appreciation and use of color is defined by something deeply personal. It is the subtlety of each color that excites me and draws me in to observe the intrinsic beauty of barely discernible differences. The nuances of each hue are what speak to me and they are the same qualities that I want to explore, experience deeply, and weave into my life.