Friday, July 30, 2010

Learning Color

It's been a while since I have been here. Dear hubby laid a laminate floor in two rooms & a hallway. Son and family came for a wonderful week with us and now we are getting house & stuff ready for our month adventure in Boston and Harwich Port.  I have been selling my art books through I had one fantastic book with lessons on seeing and painting color based on "the school of light" that began in Provincetown, MA. under Charles Hawthorne and Henry Henche.

Many years ago I attended a morning workshop there with a student of Henche, and had no idea what they were trying to teach me. I left early because it was so confusing to me that it I was almost sick trying to see color that I could not see.  When I realized that I had to mail out my book I gave a whole day to writing down each color assignment and taking photos of the pages.  I now think I understand why the whole color thing was so disturbing to me... My training and strength has always been in drawing and value perception. I spent a whole year just drawing in black and white.  This was another world!!!!!

These "color people" teach that if you put spots of the right colors next to each other you will make a picture without drawing or value perception... but you have to paint the color you see and not the color that your think it is. "Don't think of things as objects, think of them as spots of color coming one against the other." Hawthorne.."Everything that you can see in the world around you presents itself to your eyes only as an arrangement of patches of different colors." Ruskin.  "There is no model: there is only color" Cezanne.

This is very difficult for me.. I love to draw and color has always been mostly a guessing job. The photos show how I am beginning my struggle to learn. I am using palette knives and  7 oil colors (Alizarine, Cad red light, cad orange, cad yellow pale, phthlo green, phthlo blue, ultramarine blue & make the 12  pure spectrum colors. Then I will mix the complimentary colors to make all grays and lights.  You can see the 16" by 12" set-up box where I change wall colors to observe color changes on the objects and shadows that I paint as I play light on the set up.  This is all controlled and outdoor painting is much more difficult and will come later.  I hope to learn enough so I can practice on vacation on the Cape.

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