|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."
||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!