New exhibit opening in October at 311 Gallery in Raleigh

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Vibrant Color in Art and Life at 311 Gallery a top Raleigh art gallery


Vibrant color isn’t a precise color term like hue or value so there isn’t a set definition for it in the lexicon of color theory but a firm understanding of color theory allows you to easily create vibrant or subdued colors. The purer the hue, the more vibrant a color may appear on your palette; surround it by another color and it may become subdued.

“Why do two colors, put one next to the other, sing?” Pablo Picasso

The color wheel is broken up to show the progression of hues created by mixing two of the primary colors; for example, between blue and yellow you have an array of yellow greens to blue greens. When these colors are laid next to each other, they are calm and subdued.

Colors across the color wheel from each other are called contrasting colors and when you place any color next to its contrasting color, it vibrates. If you place red next to purple or orange, it is subdued, place it next to green and you have created a vibrant energy that appears to jump back and forth between the colors.

    “I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way.” Georgia O’Keefe

When I was researching vibrant color, I discovered a holiday that is celebrated with a festival of colors! Holi is a national holiday that originated in India and Nepal and is gradually spreading to the rest of the world. Holi has ties to agriculture; it is celebrated in the spring as a way to say farewell to winter. It marks the beginning of a new year; a time to end conflicts and renew relationships. I can’t think of a better use of the vibrancy of color and the positivity it brings to our lives.

The holiday begins with a bonfire on the night before Holi which symbolizes the triumph of good over evil. The next day is a free-for-all of color! Anyone and everyone is fair game as people smear each other with pigmented powder or use water guns and water balloons to soak each other in colorful water. Amid all the color is music, singing, dancing, and of course, food and drink. In the evening you clean yourself up and spend quality time with your loved ones. What a wonderful holiday!

Color speaks louder than words. It affects our moods and focuses our attention. Vibrant colors create a positive energy that makes us feel good. 311 Gallery invites you to experience the benefits of vibrant color for yourself this month. Diana Coidan, Joe DiGiulio, and Lynda Harris use vibrant, intense color to create depth and make their images pop.

Diana Coidan works mostly in pastel, favoring blues and purples for her ever changing sky and cloud formations and swirling water. It’s the swipes of bright yellow that empower these landscapes and give them energy. 

Joe DiGiulio is an abstract artist that combines line, shape, color, and texture in his work. His palette is subdued, relying on line and texture to create energy. In addition to these four basic elements of his work, Joe has begun exploring merging symmetrical textures with his controlled chaos application of paint.

Lynda Harris draws on her love of light and how it plays off the landscape to create energy in her paintings. Her work shares a love of our world that is slowly disappearing through development and climate change. The way she handles light makes her work uplifting and happy while reminding us of what we have to lose.