Ideas/Commentary

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.)

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