In each installment, a guest writer chooses one Pantone color they find particularly meaningful, intriguing, or just aesthetically beautiful—and tells us why.

By Holly Harrison, a mixed-media artist living in Concord, MA.

A few weeks ago, I had an idea of making a trio of paintings in three different colors: raspberry, sky blue and buttery yellow. Impatient to start, I grabbed what was available in the studio (a pair of my husband’s 30 x 30-inch deep-cradled painting boards), figuring I’d buy a third one later. I often work in white, but it was spring and I was ready for color, so I painted the panels and eventually completed the raspberry one. Then an interesting thing happened: the blue wouldn’t cooperate. I painted it out four or five times, but it was always too light, too dark, too flat, and I would sand it smooth and start over. As I worked, I drank tea from a wasabi green Pantone mug (no. 397), one of my favorites. One morning, almost on a whim, I abandoned the blue and mixed some paint to match the mug—and the painting suddenly worked. The acidity of the wasabi was just the right counterpoint to the sweetness of the raspberry, so now I have a pair instead of a trio. You just never know where you’re going to find inspiration and answers.

Holly Harrison, Into the Green, 30” x 30”, mixed media on wood panel

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