A recent trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art found me thinking about color and how I use it, and see it in others work. I used to paint with very local color as I began my career in artistic endeavors. Simplifying a color scheme and choices does make it easier to concentrate on other issues within a work,such as that of design, anatomy, edges, values, complexity, patterns, etc… I needed all the help I could get in the beginning of my career, thus color was not a primary issue for me to tackle early on.
But lately I have been gravitating towards a very messy color surface, and have been seeking out other artist’s who likewise rely upon loads of optical blending in their paintings. It is not that one approach is better than another, but rather it is reflection of the changing needs I perceive in my work. Gone is the need to crisply define every shape as distinct, thus I have opened to door to greater harmonic blending/unifying of forms through color overlapping.
Anything goes in this current marketplace of art. I see pure black and white works holding their own next to crazy saturated color plays. One of my favorite challenges I ttoss at myself during a project is to see what new color theme/scheme I will use to execute a commission. Will it be ultra limited color, highly desaturated, or hue shifted into a narrow band of chroma? Will I use a subtle complimentary structure? Will I seek out earth tones? Or choose bright, fairly saturated primaries? Will this be a ‘yellow’ painting? A dark, nighttime scene? The possibilities are endless, and exciting to contemplate.
I do not have much criticism to level at this issue, but rather just want to call attention to the fact that I love the use of color, in all its various permutations!
Born in 1967 and raised in Colchester, Vermont, USA, art was always a hobby for Donato as a young man, he would steal away into the basement of his parents' home to work on drawings, create his own maps for the game Dungeons & Dragons, paint figurines, read comics, and construct model tanks and dinosaurs. His love of imaginative play dominated his childhood, both indoors and out. At the age of twenty Donato enrolled in his first formal art class, the beginning of his professional training. Immediately after graduating Summa Cum Laude with a BFA in Painting from Syracuse University in 1992, Donato moved to New York City to immerse himself in the inspired and varied art scene. Formative years in the early nineties were spent as the studio assistant to the preeminent figure painter Vincent Desiderio, and long days of study in the museums of New York. It was then that his love and appreciation of classical figurative art took hold. He continues his training even now, visiting museums regularly, learning from and sometimes copying original paintings by Rembrandt or Rubens, attending life drawing sessions with illustrator friends and constantly challenges himself within each new project. Pilgrimages to major museums are his preferred reason to travel.Over this past year Donato has released the revised hard cover compilation of his works on the theme of J.R.R. Tolkien, Middle-Earth: Journeys in Myth and Legend from Dark Horse Comics.