By Carleton Varney- Special to the Palm Beach Daily News
I have just returned from Ireland, where my family and I have a home and where the grasses and hills are green and the flower gardens are filled with color, thanks to lavender plants, pink roses and late-blooming tulip trees. So much wonderful color!
As you may know, I am a color person.
So I become confused when I hear people say that paintings should only be hung on neutral-color walls — white, beige, gray, all the hues that truly are my dreary colors. This must be what the colorists of the National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin felt when they drenched the walls there in white.
But south of Dublin at the Hunt Museum in Limerick on the River Shannon, the walls are colored in lavender, blue, greens and garnet, providing a lovely background for the paintings that hang upon them. On view through the end of the month, “Jack B. Yeats and Paul Henry: Contrasting Visions of Ireland” is a show that has proved very popular. The curators thought the paintings would look best on colored walls — and they were spot on.
So, there are two sides to every color story when it comes to museum exhibitions.
At home, you can feel confident that paintings will look just fine in rooms with colorful painted walls. When you’re planning your own drawing room, library, family room or bedroom, rest assured that work of any medium — chalk, crayon, watercolor or oil — can be displayed to great effect on deep-color walls. Think rich garnet, russet or blue.
And for those who prefer beige, cream or white walls, remember: Your works of art — whether the subjects are abstract, traditional, landscape or floral — can bring your room to life. A vase can be beautiful on its own, but fill it with flowers and it becomes even more beautiful.
A beige-and-cream room can be mellow and serene, but a beige-and-cream room in which colorful paintings grace the walls makes a statement indeed. Beige rooms need accessories that say, “Color me beautiful!”