‘My paintings are colorful principally due to early understanding that paintings equals color.’ A rather down to earth response by Meghan Keane on why her paintings are colorful. We could end the article here, but Keane has more to add. She’s been around, and been brought up with art too. ‘From the very beginning I was taught that art that was beloved was about color impact.’ (all photo’s: meghankeanestudio.com)
‘As a kid growing up in the American heartland, my mother and grandmother surrounded themselves with Monet, Renoir, Degas, Van Gogh, and other popular Impressionists.’ As is often the case, being exposed to art as a child (whether or not you like it at the time) can play a role in appreciating it later. But there comes a time when everyone has to explore for themselves.
Keane explains: ‘Fast forward to university years. After spending a year drawing exclusively with graphite in the Parsons architecture department, I took a study abroad to Ecuador to regroup from the rigor of the program. It was in Ecuador, living in a technicolor flora-fauna paradise, that I became a painter. I realized I didn’t want to design the buildings: I wanted to paint the buildings. The tropical basin and Andean highlands of South America have deeply impacted my commitment to colorist painting, even if it isn’t visible in a literal way in current work.’
‘The early learning that great painting equates color painting, coupled with an Ecuadorian life of living in saturated landscapes and light-filled mountain air (basically: living in a painting) has never left me.’ To Meghan, these are the two determining factors in her appreciation of colors. Sure, there are other cultures, places and painters that influence and inspire Keane. But often certain experiences stand out when you look at how you’ve become, like Marc Allante (Color Objects August 5th 2012) who started using colors more when he moved to Asia. It’s often the case that people are positively influenced by new colorful environments. Finding the environment that inspires you can be up lifting.
Why the monochromatic red paintings above all of the sudden? Don’t get color-psychological about that, there’s a very practical reason for that. ‘I had two gallons of bright red and ugly bathroom pink I couldn’t bear to throw out. I knew it would be a challenge to create a compelling painting using only two colors. From that, a series was born. Much like many scientific discoveries, it has the beauty of the partially haphazard.’