Bring My Painting Back From the Brink of Disaster

Lea Colie Wight oil painting, Sunday, oil on linen
Lea Colie Wight’s ability to pull subtle but rich color into a
painting composition is one of the things I most admire
about her work. Here, Sunday, oil on linen, 30 x 40.

Meeting artist and Studio Incamminati instructor Lea Colie Wight was a little bit like meeting a favorite celebrity and miracle worker all rolled into one. Lea’s execution and subject matter resonates with me, but it is her perseverance and desire to share common experiences in painting that really lights the way, inspiring me to turn works of art that I’d given up on as disasters into paintings worth saving.

“When a painting or drawing goes off track–that can be extremely valuable,” Lea says. “Not everyone’s painting proceeds flawlessly from start to finish. You have to develop the ability to go into a painting and re-simplify, recognize when it isn’t working, correct it, and steer it back in the right direction.”

For Lea, the right direction starts with sound oil painting techniques to make works of art that are beautifully painted and foundationally correct. One of those cornerstones is color. “I love the colors that come and go in the human form,” Lea says. “The way the color on the pit of the neck turns into this beautiful violet shimmer, for example. If an artist catches that–I am blown away.”

Lea Colie Wight oil painting, Third Floor Light, oil on linen
One of the things that intrigues me about
Lea’s work is her ability to compose a painting
with visual interest, no matter the subject matter.
(Above, Third Story Light, oil on linen, 22 x 22.)

But seeing color in form isn’t all about what is rational. Lea says to get your left brain out of the equation because our subconscious instincts as painters are more often true. “The mind is a complicated computer,” she says. “Try to tune in and listen to that and just go with it. It isn’t about a ‘Candy Land’ idea of beauty. There’s another side of beauty–something a little bit deeper that has to do with humanity. A poignancy or mystery that goes beyond the surface.”

Lea’s philosophy and skills with painting–especially her celebration of color that isn’t hemmed in by conventionality–have illuminated the creative direction I want for myself and my work. That knowledge is a gift, and after studying Lea’s work you can see how well she sees color and how the rich hues she creates. The works are simply a feast for the eyes. I have only one thing to say to that: Yes, please!


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Courtney Jordan

About Courtney Jordan

  Courtney is the editor of Artist Daily. For her, art is one of life’s essentials and a career mainstay. She’s pursued academic studies of the Old Masters of Spain and Italy as well as museum curatorial experience, writing and reporting on arts and culture as a magazine staffer, and acquiring and editing architecture and cultural history books. She hopes to recommit herself to more studio time, too, working in mixed media.