Colour Theory

Introduction Colour theory has to do with both the science and biology of colour perception (by humans), and the psychology of it – what minds make of the information they receive. The originators, Goethe and Chevreul in the 19th century, seemingly coming to it from quite different perspectives, provided the working principles by which artists could actively choose colour combinations for their impact rather than relying on instinct. This is from Wikipedia which aggregates the bones of the subject: …two founding documents in color theory: the Theory of Colours (1810) by the German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and The Law of Simultaneous Color … Continue reading Colour Theory


I came across the term chiaroscuro many years ago and subsequently forgot what it meant then confused it with sgraffito. A little analysis would have clarified that, given the latter’s close approximation to graffiti. Chiaroscuro is about light and the use of paint to create that illusion on canvas. Sister Wendy Beckett (Beckett, 2001) notes an early example of this (see above) and makes the link back from this Roman piece to Hellenistic art. I find this painting startling in its realism; representational without being frozen. It looks alive. The small glass vase in particular has a fragility to it, and a … Continue reading Chiaroscuro

Extracts: response to tutor feedback Assignment 3

A key piece of advice, and one that has just been reiterated by my Painting tutor, is to slow down and take more time to explore. I’ve commented there and it’s relevant here that I think this is due to my still being in shallow waters and that I am expecting this to change in due course. When I have more depth of relationship with the material, depth of perception and focus will follow. I have been an expert in my field for many years and so this feels like floundering. It’s uncomfortable but that bodes well for action. You … Continue reading Extracts: response to tutor feedback Assignment 3

Paula Rego – BBC documentary and Gompertz review of exhibition

Dame Paula Rego: Will Gompertz reviews Obediance and Defiance show in Milton Keynes. BBC News, Entertainment and Arts, June 2019 I’ve just watched the BBC’s 2017 documentary, Secrets and Stories, on Rego (which is due to expire in twelve days from now but just in case of a reprieve, this is the link and found my first speculations about the deeper issues referred to in short biographies to be both justified and deepened. Being born in Portugal into a world in which fascism and repression – particularly of women – meant much of what was real in terms … Continue reading Paula Rego – BBC documentary and Gompertz review of exhibition

Assignment 3 self evaluation

  Demonstration of technical and visual skills – materials, techniques, observational skills, visual awareness, design and compositional skills. I thought I could handle perspective but it’s proved unexpectedly difficult – I can see when it’s wrong but correcting it is quite problematic, especially when I bring it into conscious focus. I concentrated on the flyover/underpass images because these were a) the most linear of perspectives but b) because errors couldn’t be fudged, and I developed a technique – drawing out the lines on a photograph – to help me establish the angles. This seems to have worked for me and … Continue reading Assignment 3 self evaluation

What’s it worth? The Banksy art dilemma

As an art trail survivor (with two more days to go I worry that might be fake news) out on a limb away from the centre of the action, I’m questioning again what it’s all about. There are two of us, we’re in a tent, and every time it breathes in, we throw ourselves at the collapsing exhibits to preserve their dignity. With just two venues in the village, we’re the Pluto of the town’s art trail/summer fair helio-centre and traffic is so light it may as well be helium. But there’s more to it than just distance, there’s display … Continue reading What’s it worth? The Banksy art dilemma