An old friend from Houston texted recently, after seeing a photo of a recent piece "You're an amazing colorist! I've always thought so" . Nice comment I thought, but it really made me want to look into this question of being a good colorist. My body of work from the late 80's, early 90's used color, but nothing like the way I use it today. Even the work from 2007 used color in a much more graphic way, adding it to black and white, rather than the color explosion of more recent times.
When people have looked at my work I have heard the expression "I love your colors", this reaction makes me wonder if I have access to some special unusual colors. I think what they mean is "you are a skillful artist who places colors together in pleasing ways". At least I hope this is what they mean.
My use of color I think has been influenced by where I live. As a child growing up in Wales with a lot of muted cloudy sky colors, its affected me as much as living under the relentless beauty of the California sun does now.