Thursday, November 30, 2006

Complimentary Complements

The American Heritage Dictionary says: "Complement and compliment, though quite distinct in meaning, are sometimes confused because of the context. Complement means 'something that completes or brings to perfection' : The antique silver was a complement to the beautifully set table. Compliment means 'an expression of courtesy or praise' : He gave his hostess a compliment on her beautifully set table.

I would say that a perfectly thoughtful compliment is the unparalleled complement to any conversation.

In the case of art, what this blog is about, there is such a thing as complementary colors. These colors are exact opposites on the color wheel. For instance, the opposite of red is green, therefore they are complementary colors.

In the newest painting in the works, I decided to paint the entire background basics in complementary colors. So far, the sky is a pale orange, the shrubbery is deep red, the tree is dark yellow, and the rest is a cross between tan and pale yellow. It looks pretty cool, and my daughter, Anna suggested that I work in solids for the whole piece. Maybe. When it dries, I can start working in the complementary colors to create the piece/painting that's already in my head. The complement of the sky will be a pale blue. There will be a variety of greens in the shrubbery. The tree's basic color scheme will be lavender, with violet blues (or blue violets) in the background. Some of the background colors will peek through on the finished piece.

But I just so happen to think that these colors will also be excessively polite to one another. "Oh, aren't your color variations stunning today?" "Oh no, not me, I insist that it's you who has the lovely hue."

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