This winter, I took a trip to San Miguel, Mexico. This colonial city bursts with color, and it’s not unusual to see homes painted in bright yellow, reds and greens, enhanced with beautiful foliage. The many shops display handcrafts that reflect Mexicans love of color.
|The Colors of San Miguel
30" x 36", oil on canvas
That’s where art comes in. Many painters, especially those at Wilde Meyer, enjoy expressing themselves through the use of bright color. The gallery is known for its artists’ love of a strong palette, expressed in a variety of styles.
25" x 21", oil on canvas
Cathy Carey describes herself as a “contemporary expressive colorist,” and says that she strives to “use color to create emotional meaning and visual depth.” Although Cathy paints landscapes, she doesn’t use much local color. Instead, her goal is to communicate what the scene feels like to her, using strong hues. Cathy is very knowledgeable about color theory, and works with contrasts, such as warm against cool, light against darks, and brilliant hues adjacent to neutral tones. Her painting entitled “For Evermore” illustrates this technique. The purple mountains and vegetation pop against the bright yellow sky and paler yellow foreground. The tree trunk texture is created by warm hues against cool ones. Adding to the vitality of the painting are her beautiful brushstrokes, which remind me so much of Van Gogh.
|Sounds of Life
30" x 24", oil on canvas
50" x 50", acrylic on canvas
50" x 60", acrylic on canvas
|Bison on the Move
30" x 48", acrylic on canvas
Like all of us color-obsessed painters, Theresa says that she is inspired by the Fauves and Post-Impressionists. She adds that her color palette had been initially inspired by a trip to Santa Fe, when she was so enchanted by the light and the colors of the city, especially turquoise, red and coral. You can see this influence in her painting entitled “Bison on the Move.” The bright turquoise on the animal’s head and light yellow on its back tells us that it’s in sunlight. These colors, along with warm reds and browns enliven the painting and give it a contemporary look.
20 X 20", acrylic
Playing with color enables artists to explore creative possibilities and convey their emotions. Even though people say that “art imitates life,” I think that strong color can make art much more interesting than what we see!
You can see more work by Theresa Paden, Jack Roberts, and Cathy Carey at Wilde Meyer Gallery.