Studio News for 6 Dec 2020

January (and part of February) classes, individual coaching opportunities, topics for upcoming Second Sundays, and some book ideas for a blast of color to counteract the gloomy winter days.

January Classes Are Open for Registration 🙂

I think you’ll be excited about the lineup I have for you starting in January! Skies big and small, negative painting, small group personalized coaching, and Journey through the Rainbow, a deep dive into a more expressive use of color in your paintings. Check ’em out here!

There will also be some additional offerings in February and March—more Small Skies Clinics (on different types of skies) and few other offerings I’m still working on.

Individual Coaching Openings

I also have a few new openings for individual coaching clients (on Thursday afternoons/evenings and Sunday afternoons/evenings for now). To make sure it’s the right fit for you, please have a look at this page, and then contact me for more information and scheduling information.

Upcoming Second Sunday Live Demos

I haven’t gotten the listings posted yet, but I do have the topics figured out, if you want to mark your calendars.

  • Jan 10: Free Fun with Color—My favorite web resources for exploring and experimenting with color and how I use them (I’ve been “wasting” a ridiculous amount of time playing with some of these as I prepare for Journey Through the Rainbow!)
  • Feb 14: Making a meadow—how I use a variety of texture techniques (and just the right amount of brushwork detail!) to easily create a colorful meadow.
  • Mar 14: Watercolor Rescue!—Tricks for “recovering” failed paintings using watercolor pencil, watercolor ground, gouache or acrylics.

Books for Your Favorite Artist (or Your Own Library)

Speaking of preparing for Journey Through the Rainbow, I’ve been filling my winter days with color by re-reading some favorite books on color. If you need something to pull you out of the dark and gloom, or a great gift idea for an artist friend, here are some great reads!

Color: A Natural History of the Palette, Victoria Finlay. Fascinating collection of “stories and anecdotes, histories and adventures inspired by the human quest for color”. Chapters arranged by color

Bright Earth, Phillip Ball. Ball is a physicist with an undergraduate degree in chemistry, and a masterly writer. This books traces the intertwining of art, commerce, and the technology of pigments and dyes. (It will definitely make you appreciate the wealth of non-toxic and lightfast colors we have!)

A Perfect Red: Empire, Espionage, and the Quest for the Color of Desire, Amy Butler Greenfield. The story of cochineal. From the cover blurb: “A Perfect Red evokes with style and verve this history of a grand obsession , of intrigue, empire and adventure in pursuit of the most desirable color on earth.” Reads as fast as any novel.

The Secret Lives of Color, Kassia St. Clair. Stories/histories of 75 different pigments/colors, arranged in rainbow order. Wonderful to dip into here and there for inspiration.

Color Choices: Making Sense Out of Color Theory, Stephen Quiller. The title says it all. This is the book that made color theory finally “click” for me so that I could actually use it. (Plus, Quiller’s paintings and drawings illustrating the book are drool-worthy.)

Making Color Sing, Jean Dobie. More extremely practical advice on creating glowing, jewel-like color in watercolor. And, although it’s not the topic of the book, directly, studying the paintings is a wonderful education in the power of simplifying shapes and strong design arrangements to create impact and showcase the luminosity of watercolor.

The Anthropology of Turquoise: Reflections on Desert, Sea, Stone and Sky, Ellen Meloy. Essays on natural history and human relationship to the landscape, revolving around turquoise (the color, and the stone). So of course, I loved it!

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Like most people, I did some rapid “pivoting” (otherwise known as “flailing”) during 2020. It’s time for me to get back to the core mission of my teaching: to help you be more successful using watercolor as an artist, that is, to use watercolor to explore your own thoughts, ideas and emotions, record your responses to the world, share your experiences with others, or express something personally meaningful. That means learning to plan your own paintings, but how?

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