As you may have noticed, all of my paintings include the word LOVE with the O replaced by a yellow rose. And I'll bet you're wondering, "Why yellow? Why not a red rose? Or a pink one, or a white one?"
Well I'm glad you asked. I have four reasons: Design, Symbolism, Flexibility and Sentiment.
Yellow is Good Design
The first reason is simply because yellow works better visually. It's not too bold like red or too shy like pink and white. Check out this text version and you'll see what I mean:
If I used a red rose, it might stand out too much against the other elements of the picture. If I used pink or white, it might not stand out enough.
The Symbol of Friendship
I also like the symbolism of yellow. While I'll admit that many of my paintings are very much about romantic or passionate love (which is what pink and red roses stand for), the series as a whole is about neighborly love. I paint about LOVE because I want to remind myself (and everyone else) to love our neighbors, and to be kind and friendly in daily life.
A yellow rose fits right into that happy vibe:
It's just a friendly color.
The third reason I use a lot of yellow is that it's changeable. Years ago (I won't say how many years) my art professor in college (who was known as Sunny D) told me that yellow is an untrustworthy color. Add a drop of red and suddenly it is orange. Add a drop of blue and suddenly it is green. A true yellow is often hard to paint.
Since I have such a wide range of designs in this series, I can use that to my advantage and paint "yellow" roses that are green or bronze if I want to.
Are they truly yellow? Well, that's the nice thing about being the painter: I am the decider.
Last but not least, I admit to a secret sentimentality left over from when I was very young and my mom used to play this song on the radio:
When I grew up I decided I was much more sophisticated than those corny old country songs, but nowadays I look back on them and I like them again. Reminds me of when the world seemed simpler, and sentimental was a good thing. I don't want to be sophisticated any more. It's overrated.