Sydney Helfman


Capra Reclining
(85k GIF image)


View from Chilean Mesquite
(75k GIF image)


Color Statement

My primary objective is to create a visual feast of color. A two dimensional arrangement that produces an immediate response in the viewer. Although painting is obviously a flat medium, it is not always treated in the purest, essential two-dimensional manner.

By this I mean that every color and form placed on the canvas is considered for its interactive effect on all the colors and forms on the format. A specific hot green in the lower left corner of the painting augments and enriches a deep red form in the upper right portion of the canvas.

I seek a meaningful (or magical) interaction of at least two colors in the early development of the color process. Each additional color from there on must be considered in its relationship to those two colors. As the surface is covered with paint, the relationships become more crucial and meaningful.

There is no formula involved; the whole process is intuitive, spontaneous and often surprising to the painter. I accept invitations from the paint and brush. The act and rhythm of applying the paint is important to the process; sometimes the brush leads the way. I have little interest in modeling and perspective--they are concerns that rarely result in art proper. They more often lead toward craft. Since I am a figurative painter, I concern myself with the suggestion of space and volume.

It is the push and pull of warm and cool colors, and the selective omission of line that is most important in suggesting space. The initial drawing of the motif on the canvas is also critical in establishing the spatial illusion of the work. Color cannot correct poor drawing, but when the drawing is right, color enriches it.

There is a simultaneity between color and form, but the color often lives a life of its own.

"An audacious colorist and figurative painter of real merit."
Henry Seldis, Art Critic
Los Angeles Times, 1961

"Contemporary painter takes on Gauguin --on his own terms."
Jean McKig, Art Critic
The Desert Sun, 1999


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