Pantone recently announced that Very Peri (Pantone 17-3938) is the color of the year for 2022. Very Peri is a blue hue with warm violet and red undertones. That’s very cool news because I have been painting in this lavender, periwinkle blue since moving from New York City to Los Angeles 20 years ago.
I was amazed the first time I first saw this color…calming and uplifting at the same time. I spotted the color in the purple blossoms covering the streets of Los Angeles one Spring… turning them into a blanket of purple. This color lasted for two months and was always right around my son’s birthday and Mother’s Day. The first time I saw it, I had to know, what is the name of this tree and where did it come from? With some research I learned that it is the Jacaranda tree, and it is native to South America. The Jacaranda may have been brought to California during the gold rush. Why did it look so amazing? Well…the seasons don’t change much here in LA, not like they do back east. In LA, the seasons kind of blend into each other making the years fly by. So, when the trees drastically changed from green to purple, I took notice and began my series of Jacaranda paintings. These acrylic canvases are abstract landscapes and are displayed as a unit in a grid format.
I am often inspired by nature, especially the coast and I believe we have a responsibility to care for our beautiful earth. While the sky and the oceans are blue, blue flowers are very rare in plants because of the physics of light. Pigments appear the color of the light they don't absorb, but instead reflect. Less than 1 in 10 plants has blue flowers. For me, this light blue purple is a calming color and I continued to paint this series through the pandemic. As Claude Monet, (one of my favorite artists) said, when he painted his waterlilies during World War II “I needed calm.” Monet also said, “I must always have flowers, always and always.” I know what he means, and Very Peri is a color I plan to continue to paint with for a very long time.