Some painters transform the sun into a yellow spot, others transform a yellow spot into the sun.

Pablo Picasso


I have an affinity for yellow and I relish using its varying shades from light to bright to metallic in my paintings. For me, yellow is a cheerful color full of promise and one with a high visibility and a somewhat, submetallic luster. Yellow stands out more than any other color of the spectrum. Yellow makes me feel happy.

Wassily Kandinsky (1866 – 1944) wrote about the “psychic effect” of colors, the “sound of colors” and “scented colors”. He said: “Generally speaking, color is a power which directly influences the Soul. Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammers, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand which plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul.”

However, not all things yellow are vibrant and healthy. A yellowed lawn suggests a deprivation of certain nutrients; yellowing zucchini leaves suggest insects or disease; yellowing enamel paint and paper that turns yellow, suggests dilapidation and chemical decomposition. As for yellow teeth, well, possibly, neglect:

 I told my dentist my teeth are going yellow. He told me to wear a brown tie.

Rodney Dangerfield

Brown and yellow do indeed work well together. Black and yellow, too. Yellow has team spirit and works well with other members of The Artist Palette so you can never have too many shades of yellow. On Paul Cezanne’s palette, there were many yellows: Brilliant Yellow, Naples Yellow, Chrome Yellow and Yellow Ochre. The yellow on Vincent Van Goch’s palette included Yellow Ochre, Chrome Ochre and Cadmium Yellow. Chrome Yellow (which he used extensively) on his sunflowers with Cadmium Yellow, were toxic. Fortunately, alternative pigments are generally used today to achieve those colors. Vincent Van Goch had a love of color and most certainly of yellow. He used Chrome Yellow pigments for his “Sunflowers”. Chrome Yellow was used extensively by the artists during the Nineteenth Century – Turner, Manet, Cezanne, Monet, Pissaro and most of them, used Cadmium Yellow, too.

My house here is painted the yellow color of fresh butter on the outside, with glaringly green shutters; it stands in full sunlight in a square that has a green garden with plane trees, oleanders and acacias.

Vincent Van Goch

Yellow is the color of Saturn, Venus, of sunshine, optimism, gemstones – the yellow-canary-gold Golden Beryl found in Brazil as well as in the United States and Madagascar. It is a luminous color of Yellow Topaz, the Yellow Sapphire, of many birds – Yellow Canaries, Yellow Goldfinches, Yellow Warblers, of flowers – Yellow Tulips, Yellow Dahlias, Yellow Roses, Yellow Sunflowers. It is also the color of yellow cabs, yellow road signs and my yellow paintings  – and also, the cover of my book: I TOUCHED A STAR IN MY DREAM LAST NIGHT.