Living in Florida has greatly affected my work as an artist. Years ago my artwork coming from Philadelphia, PA., a blue-collar and gritty Northeast city, was much darker with a heavy vibe to it. My palette was full and rich with Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Blues, Yellow Ochre, Pthalo Green, all very rich robust oil paints heavily influenced by my city life. Shortly after moving to Florida I noticed “The Chameleon Effect” influencing my color palette. The chameleon is the artist of the forest. Scientists believe chameleons change color to express their mood as stated in this article from wonderpolis.org. My work began to morph into a vibrant and lighter color palette as I adjusted to my new coastal life here in Florida. It seemed very sudden that my work began to change color. I guess my mood began to shift quicker than I thought, matching to the new environment I was living in. It was an emotional response to the nature, the unique landscape and the big blue endless sky of Florida. I felt transported to an exotic Island. For me it was an almost surreal experience as I lived my entire life near a big gritty city. At first, I rejected it thinking it was not my style. Above you can see my two paintings juxtaposed to illustrate this. “Cocoon #2” on the left, is an early painting I did in my last year of art school and the oil pastel “Radiance” on the right is my current work. Nature themes are present in both of these pieces. However, “Cocoon #2” was a very internal response to my yearning for nature and for solitude. Surrounded daily by concrete buildings, crowded streets and dark colors the city was claustrophobic at times. Whereas, “Radiance” was an outward response to the nature and bright sunny colors of the Florida landscape. My palettes have shifted, as I have shifted since first arriving here in Florida many years ago. Uniquely expressing my moods through changing colors, I as well have adopted the innate traits of the chameleon.
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