Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Violet~ Trending With Color

Symbolic of royalty, violet or purple, is on trend in decorating. In challenging economic times, what could be more comforting than living with color fit for a king?

As I consider the color’s various associations with serenity, mysticism, and creativity, I am reminded of a report I wrote about Phoenicia in the third grade. At that tender age, Phoenician culture fascinated me, particularly its artistry. Ancient mariners, it was the Phoenicians who extracted indigo dye from mollusks, using it as a means of barter to build wealth. The rare and treasured color was affordable only to royal families.

To a colorist, violet’s wealth is in its balance of opposing forces. It is combination of two primary colors, red and blue. Red’s qualities are active and advancing; blue is passive and receding. Tension and equilibrium of these qualities offer subtle, expressive possibilities to the artist, decorator, and landscape designer.

The painting, entitled Violet, explores the abundance of variation within this single hue. Subtle shifts in value, intensity, and color temperature cause pleasant stimulation in the cones of our eyes. Restraint of color allows for exploration of textural contrasts and sharpness versus softness of edge. These visual attributes engage and draw us in, the same way that one focuses to hear a whisper. The elegant aesthetic of Violet is the result of nuance.

Melody Phaneuf is a Boston Artist, working at Fenway Studios. Phaneuf is well known for her evocative still life and landscape paintings and has achieved significant acclaim for portraiture. She has exhibited at Galerie Herouet in Paris, The National Arts Club in New York City, and with Art du Monde, a traveling exposition in Japan. Phaneuf’s paintings are regularly displayed at the Guild of Boston Artists, 162 Newbury Street, Boston, MA.

Melody The Artist Home, founded with photographer and color specialist, Martha DiMeo showcases the artist’s original paintings on tumbled marble tile murals and coasters, fine art prints and note cards. Online ordering at

Violet, is a 20 x 16 Oil Painting by Melody Phaneuf. Fine art prints of this image are available at

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