Tag: color combinations

Now Showing in ‘Celebration’ at Octavia Art Gallery in New Orleans

February 4th, 2017 | No Comments

grant wiggins in celebration at octavia art gallery new orleans
I will be showing four minimal, hard-edge paintings in Celebration at Octavia Art Gallery in New Orleans, February 4 – 25, 2017.


I am thrilled to announce that I will be showing at Octavia Art Gallery in New Orleans throughout February, in the group exhibition Celebration.

Four of my minimalist, hard-edge studies will be on display in Celebration, which Octavia Art Gallery describes as “an exhibition that reflects the joie de vivre during the Mardi Gras season, concentrating on the celebration of life through art.”

Fellow artists showing in Celebration are Muffin Bernstein, Sara Carter, Marina Dunbar, Shirine Gill, Diana Greenberg, Betsey Gravatt, Ken Nahan, Tom Nussbaum, Max Ryan, and Sam Schonzeitz.

grant wiggins in celebration at octavia art gallery new orleansAn installation view of Celebration at Octavia Art Gallery in New Orleans.


As artists, not only do we have Celebration in common, but we also have collaborated with Octavia Art Gallery recently to create artworks for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, with locations in New York and New Jersey.

As art curators for these spaces, Octavia Art Gallery has sought to provide “soothing and healing environments for patients and administrators.”

“Our approach is to provide artworks that have an inspirational effect on the well-being of others,” the gallery explains. “Research concludes that art can change an individual’s physiology and have a calming and therapeutic influence. Through a careful selection of artworks and commissioned pieces, the gallery focuses on works that transcend the viewer.”

Last autumn, I produced a series of colorful minimalist paintings for Memorial Sloan Kettering’s corporate offices in New York City. I was encouraged to work in bright and cheerful colorways, in an effort to convey positivity and contribute to an uplifting and inspiring environment.

It has been an absolute pleasure and honor to work with Octavia Art Gallery Director Kristina Larson over the past few months. Repeatedly I have been impressed by Kristina’s professionalism and positive attitude throughout our creative collaborations.

Thanks to Octavia Art Gallery, you’ll also be able to find my work listed on Artsy.net and 1stdibs.com.

Octavia Art Gallery is located at 454 Julia Street, in New Orleans. Learn more at octaviaartgallery.com.


Fiesta Bowl Color Combinations

January 6th, 2010 | 4 Comments

fiesta bowl color combinations
Texas Christian University and Boise State University showing off a Fiesta Bowl color combination extravaganza. Photo title: gd13, originally uploaded by tcuphotos via flickr.


On Monday night, not far from where I live, the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl happened. If you don’t know much about — or have an appreciation for — American football, I shall describe the event to you like this: A team of men — who wore super-bright orange pants, white shirts, and blue helmets — converged around a green rectangle with another team of men — who wore purple-black-and-gray pants, purple-and-black shirts, and gray-and black-helmets with red trim — to battle for possession of a dark brown ovoid.

Fans of each team wore the aforementioned color schemes as they sat, stood, and jumped around while all of this happened for about three and a half hours.

I did not watch this game. (I seldomly watch college sports; no real reason why.) Apparently, though, it was an entertaining game to watch.

Regardless, there was something in this game that reminded me of an idea that has rolled around in my mind for a long time: When two teams — with two very different mascots and geographic constituencies — match up against each other, their respective color schemes are destined to collide and create an equally horrible and beautiful overarching color scheme.

In the case of the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, the big, overarching color combination can be extrapolated — more or less — into this eye-twisting set of stripes. (Thanks to stripegenerator.com.)

fiesta bowl color combinations

Consider the clash of colors that was witnessed in Super Bowl VII, when the Washington Redskins played the Miami Dolphins: burgundy, yellow, aqua, coral orange, and white. And when the Green Bay Packers play the Arizona Cardinals this weekend in the NFL playoffs, there’s going to be plenty of dark green, athletic gold, cardinal red, black, and white on display. (Egad.)

Do you have a favorite sports color combination? I invite you to share your story below.


Vintage soccer jerseys

December 26th, 2009 | No Comments

From an art and design perspective, I find soccer jerseys are a tremendous source of inspiration. For new and recent jerseys, subside.co.uk is a great place to scan the latest looks of the world’s clubs. And for vintage shirts, I fancy classicfootballshirts.co.uk; you’ll find hours of eye-popping color combinations and patterns there.

I don’t know where else you’d find the wigged-out, op-art splendor of the 1995 Yokohama Flugels shirt and Manchester City’s 1998 away shirt. Brilliant stuff!


The fabulous colors of ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas!’

December 18th, 2009 | 2 Comments

grinch who stole christmas

No question about it, no matter how many times I see it, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” makes my brain malfunction every time.

“How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” is 26 minutes of pure retina-wrenching, adrenaline-pumping color combinations. Sure, the tale is rich with imagery of seasick crocodiles and three-decker sauerkraut and toadstool sandwiches with arsenic sauce. And the story’s heartwarming conclusion is a classic.

What really interests me, however, is the kaleidoscope of colors happening in practically every scene. The film’s approach to color alone is enough to make any misanthrope believe in the good of humankind!

Is there anything like the town of Who-ville, seen from the slopes of Mount Crumpit? Can sense be made of how the magenta-washed houses of the Whos take on a purple tincture in the dim shadows of night? Can words adequately describe how the Grinch, in his limegreen glory, casts a bilious aura upon everything that surrounds him?

Last time I viewed the movie, 25 scenes caught my eye. Next year, another set of totally different scenes may interest me. Every time I watch “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” the movie rings true and anew.

One scene in particular that stands out in my mind is when the Grinch realizes the true meaning of Christmas — that this horribly overcommercialized holiday is about more than gifts after all. (That’s because it’s about color combinations! Green and red! Silver and gold!)

Just two minutes before the close of the film, we witness the Grinch careening down Mount Crumpit, with Max in tow, with the glowing morning sun of Christmas day intensifying in the sky. Here, yellow, purple and brown come together in an dizzying onrush. The irony: The Grinch’s Christmas transformation is portrayed in completely un-Christmaslike, complementary colors!

In appreciation of director Chuck Jones and his genius staff of animators and colorists, I’d like to share with you a few of my favorite scenes, and their color combinations’ hex values:

how the grinch stole christmas
The Grinch and Max begin their descent down Mount Crumpit.


how the grinch stole christmas
As their descent continues, a rocky background alternates with blue trees, producing a visual rhythm.


how the grinch stole christmas
The Whos’ fantastic élan for interior decor exemplified.


how the grinch stole christmas
Who-ville on Christmas morning, seen from Mt. Crumpit.


how the grinch stole christmas
The Whos join into a circle on Christmas morning.


how the grinch stole christmas
Bells ring in the center of Who-ville.


how the grinch stole christmas
What’s going on with that crazy lapel — whatever it is?


On that note, I wish you a fabulous holiday. See you in the next decade!


Eley Kishimoto’s autumn winter 09-10 collection

November 28th, 2009 | No Comments

The Autumn Winter 09/10 collection of Eley Kishimoto absolutely amazes me. I am transfixed by the collection’s graphic patterns and wild color combinations — and the way patterns and colors are remixed from one piece to the next!

See the full Eley-Kishimoto collection at eley-kishimoto.com.

I find Eley Kishimoto’s work completely inspiring. Their work has renewed my interest in making so-called “maximal” paintings, like my abstract art painting Ultraam Aeterrix.


Painting and color

August 7th, 2009 | 5 Comments

painting and color

Where do I get my ideas for painting and color? Like many artists, I’m sure, I find inspiration from just about anything.

I never know what will inspire me to create my next painting — and color is often source of my inspiration.

Right now, a textbook I enjoyed as a first-year in college is inspiring me. The book is titled The Meaning of Life: Questions, Answers and Analysis, edited by Steven Sanders and David R. Cheney.

In school, the chapter titled “Nothing Matters” really resonated with me. Today, it’s the book’s cover, designed by Infield/D’Astolfo Associates. My next modern painting and color scheme are very much a tribute to this book’s jacket.

painting and color

The intense clash of violet, ultrabright orange and white — and mixtures thereof — turn my eyes absolutely stark-mad crazy!

At my mixing table, I did my utmost to match paints to the cover:

painting and color

Yet, as I modeled this on my computer, I found that I wasn’t thrilled with using white.

Below, the first and second images are with white The third image eschews white altogether (Leave it to Verner Panton to talk me out of using white!), offering a variant of the second design.

painting and color

painting and color

Of these three, do you have a favorite? Let me know in the comments below. I’d appreciate your feedback.

All of this proves that, just like the meaning of life can be anything to anyone, inspiration for painting and color can be anything to any artist.


Rock it fine in ’09

January 2nd, 2009 | No Comments

The holidays have come and gone, and I look forward to getting back into the groove in ’09. Hanging out and celebrating and all that has been fun, but now it is time to get back to business, as if there were no time to waste!

Amid the holiday downtime, I did find time to watch several episodes of the classic anime series Space Battleship Yamato (aka Starblazers). The first series was produced in 1974, and it offers hours of stellar outerspace illustrations and—my favorite part—mindblowing color combinations. I have found so much inspiration in this series. It is so completely outdated and anachronistic by contemporary standards, but I still find it amazing. And the background music for the first series is ineffably strange and beautiful.

The holidays also have allowed time to peruse a couple of books via Interlibrary Loan. One of them is Verner Panton: The Collected Works. Among the many things I admire about Panton, here are two:

1. Panton was trained as an architect, and he saw himself as a designer and architect. But I find this fascinating: According to the book’s introductory essay, “He regretted having brought so few buildings to completion and never having gained a real foothold in the profession he had trained for. To be sure, he made a number of starts. Panton occupied himself again and again with ideas for construction projects, he participated again and again in large architectural and urban development competitions, with considerable expenditure of time and energy—but he did not succeed even once.”

2. Panton is quoted as declaring “Color is more important than form.” While I truly love line, I find a transformative power—almost a chemical reaction—in combinations of color. I’d have to agree.

In closing, while I have written this before, I really do want to post to my blog with more frequency. Yet, I do find it difficult to find the time and energy. I don’t know why this is. Perhaps I should retroactively make “blogging more” my New Year’s resolution? If so, I guess I’m on my way to keeping it. Anyway, I welcome your ideas for blog posts.


Randomized color combinations can’t always be trusted

May 1st, 2008 | No Comments

Random color combinations are an unfailing key to artistic inspiration. I’ve used everything from having an “art lottery” format — where I’ve assigned numbers to a chart of colors, and picked the numbers at random using a bingo drum (a long story!) — to using random.org’s random number generator to select CMYK values.

Last night I bumped into the ColorSchemer Studio software app, which is a nifty tool for building color schemes. It also has a randomize feature (exactly what I was looking for), which assigns groups of colors according to triads, tetrads, etc.

After messing with the randomize feature for far too long, I have decided once and for all that random color combinations can’t always be trusted, because of the eye-irritant stuff that they yield most of the time.

For example:

randomized color combinations

In the past, when I deliberately used multiple discordant colors in one painting, this randomization strategy could prove very handy. But now I prefer schemes that are more direct — I leave less to chance.

While I have eschewed color randomization, I will say that I have very fond of an another app made by ColorSchemer — a free app, at that — called Color Pix. This tool lets you read the hex numbers & CMYK values of anything on your screen. Works great.


Ideas for art color combinations

January 7th, 2008 | No Comments

art color combinations
Two of my newest paintings from the Motus series: Motus 006 (Suzani) and Motus 005 (Steel Wool). I based the former on a vintage box of SOS pads (See Fans of Vintage Packaging, Rejoice!), while the latter is a riff of a pillow from Anthropologie (below).


art color combinations
art color combinations
Top: The Anthropologie pillow that inspired the colors of Motus 006. Above: Vintage SOS, the inspiration for Motus 005


When it comes to art, color combinations can spring from anywhere. I enjoy interior design colors because they are typically colors that most people enjoy living with. (Go figure!) When I mix paints to match color combinations found in interior design magazines, I typically go in the opposite direction of what I gravitate toward.

(I’d live in a fluorescent orange house with fluorescent orange windows if I could! Or perhaps just one room would be that way.)

For Motus 006 — the aforementioned painting inspired by the Anthropologie pillow — I added 2 parts gray and 2 parts light blue to 10 parts titanium white; the mustard color is hansa yellow with a couple of drops of burnt sienna, a touch of mars black and lots of titanium white.

These art color combinations is very muted in a surprisingly wonderful way. These are interior design colors I normally wouldn’t mix. But I’m very happy with the outcome.

The Steel Wool piece uses the bold colors of packaging design: yellow, fluorescent red and white. It’s an eye irritant. I find inspiration in packaging and race cars for that reason. They’re all about grabbing your attention. Fluorescent colors are an easy choice. A race car is much easier to spot from a mile away when painted fluorescent orange.

art color combinations
Inspiration for Motus 8, via tyga-performance.com


The next piece in the Motus series will feature the classic navy, red, and gold scheme made famous by Rothmans cigarettes — and the beautiful paint schemes on race cars and motorbikes that Rothmans sponsored for years.

However, all things considered, interior design colors have a subtlety and gravity that racing and detergent box colors aren’t designed to employ. So I’m thinking about producing more interior design-inspired work in the future. Growing my palette a bit.

And now for something completely different, some random cool things for your consideration:

My friend Robert Bell has produced a completely boring video involving a pay phone, titled Rainy Day Interesting Video. You’ll find it to be the most interesting boring video you’ve ever seen. (Or perhaps it’s the most interesting video about boringness. Or maybe it’s the most boring video that might actually interest you?)

An entirely mad gallery of mad Russian beer coasters. The site’s in Russian, which is all the madder to an English speaker like me!

I have another friend who’s friends with one of the new American Gladiators. How utterly tough is that?

And on that note, I feel like 2008 is off to a good start. Got some good painting in last weekend. And I have a few ideas for more pieces. Lookin’ forward to what’s ahead.


Random thoughts for October 29, 2007

October 30th, 2007 | No Comments

Just a few random observations for today:

The commute to work today offered a bumper crop of cool trucks to look at. Almost as if guided by destiny, I saw a Safety Kleen truck and a Mesilla Valley Transportation truck, side by side. What color combinations! In one lane, fluorescent-ish pea green, red, black, and white. In the other, pearlescent blue, red, lavender, lime green, and white. That was cool.

The New York Times offers an inspiring slide show of works by Karl Benjamin, which are on view at Louis Stern Fine Arts in Hollywood.

A new BMW TV ad campaign surveys the car-maker’s history in kind of a random, desultory way. But nevermind the cars. The star is Roy Lichtenstein, who is shown painting his art car, which is glorious and inspiring. See video about the art car on YouTube.

I was saddened today to learn about the passing of Robert Shields, who had an obsessive quest to document every moment of his life. He wrote a 37.5 million word diary. This got me thinking: If you’re always writing, all you have to write about the process of writing. The concept is fascinating, yet harrowing.