Thursday, July 22, 2010

Somewhere over the Rainbow...

"Pushing color" is an art expression that describes amping up the intensity (artists call it saturation) of color in a painting. One of the criticisms of the Impressionists, back when they were considered rebels, was that their color was too vibrant.

Saturation has only gone forward from Monet. Intense, vivid color is something contemporary eyes expect. Images in magazines, movies and on television all push color, sometimes to the max. The trick for the artist who also pushes is to keep harmony in the midst of the intensity. If he/she doesn't, it's a discordant confusion. Of course sometimes, that may be exactly what the artist intends.
The pink trees and rainbow sheep above are examples of color pushing that's meant to be harmonious. And though the colors are exaggerated, it was spring, the trees were sort of pink, the sheep sort of glowed.

Sheep's in the Meadow 20x24 oil. Displayed through Aug. 5 in the Leu Gallery at Belmont U. in Nashville, TN.


  1. Such pretty colors!!! Love the painting!

  2. My first impression when I saw this painting in the gallery at Belmont, was "it's spring!". It is a new thought to me, that the intensity of color can convey a message.

  3. Thank you both for your comments.
    I find spring to be a season of vivid color. To me, there's nothing more clear and intense than the new greens of spring.

  4. Beautiful paintings. Love how you push your color, and it is in a harmonious way. Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog.

  5. Shirley, These sheep and pink trees are just beautiful. I also like your open studio painting of the woman in the window and the one of the lady in red. Shoot. I like them all. Your style is uniquely your own.


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Pieces by (clockwise from left to right) : Susan Harlan, Janet Garner, Shirley Fachilla, Mike Martino and Topper Williams. So many ...