-By Donato

Chuck Close

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.

Jules Bastien-Lepage

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!

Gustave Klimt

Mark Tansey

Philip Pearstein

J.M.W. Turner
J.M.W. Turner

Peter Paul Rubens