Image: Ken Kewley ,"Olympia" (after Monet)Thanks to Undercover Painter who alerted me to this fabulous article from Painting Perceptions (title link) - an interview with an artist previously unknown to me, named Ken Kewley (images above). It's his musings on the process of painting and seems to encapsulate all the things I have been telling my students, and his theories are backed up by his wonderful paintings, which makes him worth listening to.
Color is used to create steps to direct the eye around the painting parallel to the vision of the artist.
Each color needs to be chosen in consideration of the whole. Color does not become itself until the whole work is completed. A painting that earlier in its making resembled a poem, as it gets filled in, cluttered with too much color that changes or dilutes what was there, loses its poetry. If a painting isn’t working I find it is not because something is missing but that there is something that is not needed and therefore hurtful.
Put down the one color that excites you the most, then the next, relating it to the first. This is the relationship that excites you the most. Then the third color, relating it always to the whole. You are emphasizing what interest you and minimizing other things by putting them in the service of your true passion and leaving out altogether what distracts. Keep it simple.
Each color plays their part. Less is more. Each element is made to do more.