Sunday, November 17, 2013

Colormen, Communication & Color Continuity

Last week I posted an open letter to two colormen Winsor and Newton and Da Vinci Paints. My point in approaching them was rumors and information about discontinued colors and the reduction  or elimination of  some toxic paints such as Cadmiums.

Dan Vinci Paint were quick to communicate back that they have not and are not planning the reduction or elimination of any of their colors. Furthermore they have stayed in touch furnishing more information, and I have invited them to guest post in this blog to keep the communication going with artists.

Winsor & Newton were disappointingly less communicative. They posted a small statement on my Facebook post and on my blog to say that they indeed were no longer manufacturing Cadmiums in 37ml tubes but were continuing to produce them in 15ml and 5ml tubes, attributing that to concern about environmental issues. I am not sure how that makes sense since someone determined to use 30ml of cadmium colors will now have to by 2-6 tubes to do so. This would clearly create more waste. I hope they can explain that at some point. When I asked if they had informed artists of that change, they said that they were thinking of informing the artists through their site or newsletter. I checked their last newsletter which was issues late this week,  and nothing was mentioned there.


Meanwhile I have been asked to engage Daniel Smith about their Quinacridone colors as well as their Cadmiums. There was mention in a popular art podcast that they will be phasing out these colors from their extensive line. I will post this blog to their Facebook and Twitter accounts for hope of some feedback.

The point of these blog posts is not to get the backs up of any colormen, but to compel them to start direct and honest communication with artists about the media that they produce and that we rely on for our work. In this age of instant communication there is no excuse for not having the consideration of informing consumers of what is happening and what is coming down the road. The colormen who step up and meet this challenge are the ones who will earn respect and trust from artists – their consumers. Those who remain cryptic and / or refuse to share information will lose the trust they have built and erode confidence.

While this blog is being offered as a platform for this communication – I invite all comments and guest posts from colormen – it doesn't have to be the platform. I am not looking for traffic for my blog. They can and should share this information broadly through their sites/social media/newsletters. We all deserve to know what colors are being phased out, why and when. This should be just as visible as when they announce new colors that they would like us to try and add to our palettes.

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