Showing posts from January, 2009

Meek Gray

I'm a colorist. I love sassy, saturated colors that bounce and vibrate on the page. Give me a loud purple, a brassy orange or a lush yellow-green any day. But last fall I recognized that my palette lacked neutral colors, and not long after that my friend Maggie Price came out with a lovely selection of gray pastels made by Terry Ludwig, the Essential Grays. The name started me thinking...are grays essential?
I can't deny that grays have an important role to play. Too many sassy, brassy, bouncing colors on one page and all you have is chaos. None of them look good--it becomes a 'look at me' competition that no one wins. If all I use is purple, orange and yellow-green I have a garish, blatant color scheme that's actually offensive. Neutral grays become the support system that lets each color have its proper place and function. I use them in my paintings to make colors look wonderful!
And then it suddenly hit me. For years I've been teaching that value is a basic p…