Richard Raiselis: Interview

Richard Raiselis, Dewey Square, 2012, oil on linen, 16 × 16 inches (courtesy of Gallery Naga)
Richard Raiselis, Dewey Square, 2012, oil on linen, 16 × 16 inches (courtesy of Gallery Naga)

Larry Groff interviews painter Richard Raiselis.

Raiselis comments: " I often say that I paint what I see. I do my best to paint the differences that I perceive where colors touch, both inside a form, like the change of color on the sunny and shady sides of a house; and outside the form, like where a roof meets the sky. Every pair of colors that meet make a “join”, like the place where two bricks touch. My job is to analyze each pair for lightness/darkness, color, and intensity of color (dull red, or red right out of the tube?) But it’s not that simple, you know. Light that reflects off a granite building has light of every wavelength reflected from every surface. It’s a virtual color stew. If I see red-ish, blue-ish, green-ish, and yellow-ish light in the same shadow, how do I choose a color? Analyzing the biggest color 'joins' for relative contrast establishes the foundation. Then, moving from larger to smaller, and from general to specific, I worm my way into the picture. If there are 1000 more color pairings, or 10,000, each “join” must be measured and balanced for relative hue and luminosity, both individually, and relative to the larger field. That’s where the “tonal complexion” of the picture shows its face. Sometimes that face is not too pretty. I tell myself that the first color I apply in a painting can be anything. And that the last color I apply can be only one thing."