New Colors

60″ x 24″
sami Peterson 2020

This piece has been sold, but if you like it we can commission something similar. Contact me for a free consultation.

‘My client asked for a piece in the theme of “fresh start.” I decided to create “New Colors” for her, a piece inspired by new life, newness, transitions, turkey tail mushrooms, rainforests, close ups of butterfly wings, Fern Gully, passionfruit flowers, quartz, and refracted light. The recipient of this piece is always changing her hair color across the rainbow spectrum. Purples, greens, blues, bright reds, pinks, yellows. I used to do the same with pieces of my hair (and might again soon once the vaccine kicks in and I can hire someone to help me). Choosing and applying a new color to my hair was a way of both being my true self and becoming a new self.

“New Colors” speaks to me about the beauty of transitioning into myself. Both in a trans* way, and in a holistic way. I am gender non-binary and genderfluid; I transition between the different genders that are contained within me. It is just one part of the overall transitioning I do as I grow and change and emphasize different parts of my whole person.

I have also put a lot of thought into how the themes of this piece also apply intimately to my client, but in a totally different way. I won’t share her private story. But I wanted to comment on the way that art captures the Venn Diagram of our experiences. In its multiplicity of meaning and interpretation, we begin to eclipse each other in the similarities of our human natures, a shimmering moiré effect of existing as unique individuals in the same physical space of the artwork’s dimensions. Much in the same way as the many parts of myself collage upon each other to form my Self.

And we extend beyond our own minds through our communities, literally because our brains and bodies co-regulate with the people in our lives and impact our neurochemicals and physical functioning, and also through the cultures and societies and systems in which we participate. The pandemic destabilized all of this. I felt parts of myself sloughing off like landslides without the rootholds of getting to touch and share air with my friends. I found scaffolding to shore myself up by finding new ways to connect.

Finishing this piece is timely with my vaccination, as I imagine a fresh start. Things will not go back to normal. But they are transitioning again to something New. Something better than this past year has been. And I believe with my stubborn gladness that this life will be full of Color.


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