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Color Theory: Art by Christann Kennedy

A painting of two abstract geometric volumesTwo Geometric Ideas, oil on canvas

Vancouver-based artist Christann Kennedy uses oil, acrylic, and silkscreen techniques to create abstract geometric images that utilize color theory to great effect. The artist’s works are heavily focused on composition, with special attention paid to the points where different hues meet or interact.

A painting of an oblong shape on a pink backgroundUntitled (Pink with Portal), oil on canvas

I enjoy the way Christann uses color to create a sense of volume in her works. The artist’s knowledge of how colors play with one another on a picture plane is always in the forefront, regardless of the forms or materials she’s working with. Gradually lightening tones of similar colors, Christann creates the illusion of three-dimensional shape. By slightly blending the edges of darker colors out toward the background of a canvas, she creates shadow, the suggestion that there might be something behind an abstract and purely painterly form.

A photo of a gallery on Christann Kennedy's art websiteThe artist's gallery of Expanded Painting


I also appreciate the way that Christann uses titles to give her viewers a jumping-off point on her works. Pieces with relatively simple compositions take on extra dimensions of symbolic meaning when viewed in conjunction with a simple but revelatory title.

A painting on rag paper of two lozenge-shaped formsTriangle Lozenges, watercolor and gouche on cotton rag paper

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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