In Celebration of Color

Lithopinion 16It’s amazing the things one can find in old magazines. Below is an article I recently stumbled across in issue 16 of Lithopinion: The graphic arts and public affairs journal of Local One, Amalgamated Lithographers of America published in winter 1969. The article was written by husband-and-wife artists Eugene Fleury and Bernyce Polifka, both of whom had worked in animation. By the late-1960s when the article was published, they were teaching at Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles as well as exhibiting their fine art.

Earlier in their careers, Fleury had been an in-house instructor at Disney and background painter at Warner Bros. on shorts like The Dover Boys and The Aristo-Cat. He had also worked in the Army Air Force’s First Motion Picture Unit and Lantz. Polifka also designed backgrounds at Warner Bros. (most notably on Wackiki Wabbit,), worked on UPA shorts like Hell-Bent For Election and Giddyap, and art directed Frank Tashlin’s short The Lady Says No, which we’re currently offering on CartoonBrewFilms. Both Fleury and Polifka also contributed to Lou Bunin’s puppet-animated feature Alice in Wonderland.

Their article, “In Celebration of Color,” is about how we perceive and appreciate color in art. It’s a fairly abstract examination of color, but then again, color has always struck me as being a fairly abstract concept. Beyond the application of basic color theories like hues, values, complements, and the like, there’s a second more expressive and pyschological component to good color. Most artists are content as long as their colors are tasteful and harmonious and never consider that second part of color. But there are tremendous possibilities to exploit color for deeper meaning and effect, and this article does a nice job of encouraging one to think about those other possibilities.

(Notes: The article pages are presented in their original order. The last page is a large fold-out. I was too lazy to scan in the oversized pages so these are digital camera pics, which is why some of the pages may appear somewhat warped.)

Eugene Fleury and Bernyce Polifka article

Eugene Fleury and Bernyce Polifka article

Eugene Fleury and Bernyce Polifka article

Eugene Fleury and Bernyce Polifka article

Eugene Fleury and Bernyce Polifka article

Eugene Fleury and Bernyce Polifka article

Eugene Fleury and Bernyce Polifka article

Eugene Fleury and Bernyce Polifka article

Eugene Fleury and Bernyce Polifka article

Eugene Fleury and Bernyce Polifka article


  • http://its-a-wrap.blogspot.com hans bacher

    amid, thank you so much for posting that -
    what an incredible article…

  • Paul

    I agree that color is kind of an abstract concept. Consider someone who is color blind. They perceive colors very differently than someone who has normal color vision – and no, being color blind does not mean one sees in black and white (that’s only in the most extreme cases). What a normal-sighted person sees as “red” is very different than what a color blind person sees, yet how do you describe what you see to someone else without referring to the color itself – or without using a scientific definition of wavelength and such that does nothing to describe what’s being perceived? Concepts of “warm” and “cool” are easily agreed upon, but the actual hue remains an interpretation via each individual’s eyes.

  • Lippy

    Thanks for shooting & sharing this article, Amid. I look forward to settling into it with a big bowl of edamame.

  • Melissa

    I grew up living next door to this amazing couple! I was lucky to be influenced by them at an early age on art and culture. They were brilliant and kind. Thank you for posting this!

  • http://krissexton.com Kris

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I had a class with Eugene Fleury at Art Center in the early 80s, and Bernyce Polifka was teaching there at the time, too. Mr. Fleury used to tell us stories from his days at Disney, and it pains me to realize that most of the stories have faded from my memory. His influence as an instructor remains, though. It’s wonderful to have this article now – thanks again for posting it!