Face Making

Artist Gwenn Seemel’s bilingual blog about art, portraiture, free culture, and feminism.

My own color theory / Ma théorie des couleurs

2010 . 11 . 03 - Comments / Commentaires (6)

I can’t explain how it is that I choose the colors and shapes that I use in my paintings, but I can show it!

Je n’arrive pas à expliquer comment je fais pour choisir les couleurs et les formes que j’utilise dans mes peintures, mais je peux vous le montrer!

I work on many paintings at the same time and that way of working has an enormous influence on my seemingly random color choices. I mix a color for one painting—like one half of this diptych—but then find a place for it in everything else that I have going on in the studio at any given time—whether it’s the other half of the diptych or the miniature portrait of a baby as shown in the video above. It’s how matched paintings come together as a pair, and it’s also how I build randomness and possibility into the layers of my paintings.

I’m currently Skyping with one of the high school classes that I mention in the video, and last week an Illinois news site featured a mini photo essay about us!

Je travaille sur de nombreux tableaux en même temps et cette façon de travailler influence mes choix de couleurs. Je mélange une couleur pour une peinture—comme par exemple une moitié de ce diptyque—puis je trouve une place pour la couleur dans tous les autres tableaux que j’ai dans l’atelier—que ce soit l’autre moitié du diptyque ou le portrait en miniature d’un bébé comme le montre la vidéo ci-dessus.

Chaque semaine je communique sur Skype avec l’une des classes de lycéens mentionnées dans la vidéo, et un site web d’infos en Illinois a fait un mini reportage en photo sur nous!

painted diptych of a couple

Gwenn Seemel
Curnis and / et Becky
acrylic on canvas / acrylique sur toile
17 x 26 inches (combined dimensions) / 43 x 66 centimètres (les deux ensemble)

detail image of a painted portrait

detail image of Curnis / détail de Curnis

detail image of a painted portrait

detail image of Becky / détail de Becky

- Seeing red
- A funny kind of family
- Learning to harness a rainbow

- Beauty / La beauté
- Pansy / Pensée
- Do you call yourself an artist? / Prenez-vous le titre d’artiste?

CATEGORIES: - English - Français - Practice - Process images - Video -

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(6) Comments / Commentaires: My own color theory / Ma théorie des couleurs

-- hena tayeb -- 2010 . 11 . 03 --

thanks for commenting on my blog. i’m glad to know you’d like recieving art as a gift and I love that you blog in both english and french.. makes it all the more interesting.

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-- Terry Regan -- 2010 . 11 . 04 --

You have captured my friends Becky & Curnis’s souls.  These are amazing paintings and I absolutly love your work.  Great job with both of them.  You have a very special gift.

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-- Gwenn -- 2010 . 11 . 05 --

Thank you, Terry!  Becky and Curnis made my job easy: they are lovely!

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-- Rob Robinson -- 2010 . 11 . 05 --

Gwenn, thanks for sharing this video. It is very interesting to see how dramatically the overall paintings change, almost like looking through a kaleidoscope, working toward the vibrancy, energy, depth, and color of the finished paintings. Whether or not it was an effect of the video, the warmth in the final frame was like flipping a switch, bringing your subjects to life.
I have to see some of your actual paintings. I can imagine the intricate effect of the layers of paint that might be difficult to see on the computer monitor.

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-- Tania -- 2010 . 11 . 08 --

I really enjoyed your video and seeing you at work, I love your technique and use of colour. The insertion of all those little decorative elements add such a uniqueness to the portraits.

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-- Gwenn -- 2010 . 11 . 09 --

Thank you, Rob and Tania!  And I hope that the paintings look better in person than in reproduction…I think they do, but then I also look at them from just millimeters away…! ;p

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