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Yellow is a Happy Color

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Pantone has long been known for its ability to detect and influence color trends that impact every facet of our visual day-to-day lives. Every year Pantone selects two "Colors of the Year," which help furniture, textile, fashion, makeup, and technology designers decide which colors to use in their products. This year the colors are Ultimate Gray and Illuminating Yellow.  These chosen colors are a culmination of years of aesthetic fires and misfires and long experience with color creating various emotions, whether pleasant, jarring, soothing, or joyful.

“The union of an enduring Ultimate Gray with the vibrant yellow Illuminating expresses a message of positivity supported by fortitude,” Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, said in a news release. “Practical and rock-solid but at the same time warming and optimistic, this is a color combination that gives us resilience and hope.”

PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating inspires positivity!

The Pantone Illuminating Yellow is such a lovely color and one that we find very joyful here at The Erin Hanson Gallery. It has inspired us to collect some of our favorite Erin Hanson paintings that feature yellow tones. We hope these paintings brighten your day!

Here are some paintings inspired by the color yellow:

Dappled Ocean, oil on canvas, 2021 

Dappled light of sunset flickers across the ocean in this impressionistic oil painting. Broad strokes of pure color capture the vivid hues of the setting sun reflecting on the ocean waters.

Layers of Afternoon, oil on canvas, 2018

Layers of afternoon light fade into the distance, abstract shapes interacting to form a medley of color and light. This painting captures the coastal range of Paso Robles, California. The brush strokes are thick and impressionistic, capturing the texture of the moving grasses and scintillating light.

Dawning Lupin, oil on canvas, 2020

Endless fields of rich purple lupin blanket the coastal hills near Big Sur, California. This painting captures the vivid colors and wonderful sense of standing out of doors in the bright springtime morning.

Aspen Mosaic, oil on canvas, 2020

An exuberance of color dances on the canvas in celebration of the colors of autumn. The aspen trees glitter with hues of gold, the pale blue sky peeking out between the branches. The impressionistic brush strokes are thickly applied with a loose, painterly hand

Wildflower II, oil on canvas, 2015

Yellow beads of color burst between the springtime grasses in this small impressionist oil painting. Each wildflower appears a precious, fleeting jewel of color, captured in a few expressive brush strokes.

Collection of The Allegretto Vineyard Resort, Paso Robles, CA. 2015.

Sunflower Hues, oil on canvas, 2019

A brightly colored backdrop brings out the hues of a vase of sunflowers. The brush strokes are painterly and impressionistic, capturing the curving stems and flower petals. With a nod to Van Gogh's sunflower series, I have also created a series of sunflower still-life paintings, always striving to bring to life their transient beauty as the blooms begin to droop and change.

Mustard in Abstract, oil on canvas, 2020

This painting captures the unique view of looking at the coast through the abstract branches of the iconic mustard plant, which blooms with vivacious yellows all along California's coastline. The abstract forms of color capture the movement and colorful beauty of California in the spring.

Crystal Impressions, oil on canvas, 2020

An impressionist vision of a country landscape, this painting re-captures nature with scintillating color and impasto brush strokes. The dramatic shadows invite you into the painting, to spend some time with your imagination.

Discover more joyful Erin Hanson paintings! Explore available originals here.


ERIN HANSON is a life-long painter, beginning her study of oils as a young child.  Her passion for natural beauty is seen in her work as she transforms vistas familiar and rare into stunning interpretations of bold color, playful rhythms and raw emotional impact. Her frequent forays into National Parks and other havens of nature include backpacking expeditions, rock climbing, and photo safaris.  Hanson's unique painting style has become known as Open Impressionism, which is now taught in art schools around the world. With thousands of collectors eagerly anticipating her work and millions of followers online, Hanson has become an iconic, driving force in the rebirth of contemporary impressionism, and she is quickly recognized as a prolific, modern master.

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