I’m evolving. I’m embracing gray.
Once Upon A Time…
About 12 years ago I was called a “colorist”; I took it as a compliment. I still do.
I had several paintings hanging in a gallery and it was Art Walk night. A gentleman came by and we were chatting. He observed that I was a “colorist”. And, indeed, my paintings were colorful.
A Little Art History
I have been studying color as long as I can remember. I bet you have too. Remember crayons? Did you ever layer reds and greens to make black? Or, consider color choices when getting dressed in the morning? Or, decorating?
My father taught my siblings and I the primary, secondary and tertiary colors. He told us about opposite colors and how to mix them to make grays and browns. Still, it was colors like red, blue, yellow, pink, rather than gray that caught my attention.
When I started my development as a painter, my approach was as a colorist. In a colorist manner, I tended to use color opposites next to each other to achieve color harmony. This works as long as both colors are used at the same strength.
My watercolor painting “Red Hen and Eggs” is an example of a colorist approach. I used green and red as my color scheme.
Over time, I have accumulated more knowledge about the properties of color. Slowly, I’ve added mixed dark colors to my paintings. Still, I would characterize my approach as a colorist; colors are the focus.
As I said, I’m evolving. I’ve been studying the classical academic approach to drawing and painting under the instruction of artist Sarah Burns. The process is drawing, gray scale painting, then color.
Naturally, when I come home from class, I have to practice and experiment!
I’ve been working on this small acrylic still life painting. I decided to try to incorporate lessons I’ve learned from Sarah’s class. I purposely used grays in my set up and my painting. I liked the way the gray helps the red in the candlestick glow.
Bottomline. I’m happy I’m embracing the gray side. Its like having more tools in the tool box!