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Color Commentary: I’m Not the Boss of Them

by Marla Frazee

frazee_boss babyNot to be a baby, but trying to write this has turned me into a poser. I keep pretending to have thoughts I’ve never actually thought, or to have made color decisions I’ve never consciously made, or to remember color theory that I’ve long ago forgotten.

I’m ready to admit that I kind of know nothing intellectual about this topic. The best color results occur for me when I am pretty much checked out during the painting process. If I’m talking on the phone, or listening to music, or thinking about what I want for lunch, or daydreaming about becoming a barista on Maui, the colors emerge. And I’m often surprised. Whoa!

That’s not to say I don’t exert control over other aspects of my work, because I do. A lot. Too much, maybe. But colors — those high-strung, unpredictable personalities — are impossible to boss around.

From the January/February 2010 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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