Thursday, February 10, 2011

Preparation Week

Sorry, no cool photos for this post. I've been spending my time doing lots of behind-the-scenes preparation. For what? Well, two things, mostly:

I'm going to have a Color Mixing Workshop in my studio next weekend, on Saturday the 19th, from 10 am to 4 pm. I had a difficult time with color mixing for many many years. When I studied art growing up, and in my first time around in college in the mid-70's, color mixing was a "black art". I could mix one yellow and one blue and get a bright green, but change one or both colors and wind up with something that looked like it crawled out of a swamp. Nobody could tell me why. About all the guidance I received was to keep mixing colors and eventually I'd know which ones to use. Well, "eventually" never came. I finally moved away from painting and did black-and-white printmaking instead for many years.

In the early 1990's, when I was studying painting at Maryland Institute, College of Art, one of our required textbooks was "Blue and Yellow Don't Make Green", by Michael Wilcox. This book gave me a clear and logical understanding of how artists' colors act when mixed. Finally, I understood why one pair of colors gave one result, and a different pair gave a different result. More importantly, I could deliberately choose my colors to get the specific effect needed. It completely changed the way that I thought about colors. As a result, I'm a painter now. Printmaking is secondary.

The approach taught by this book is still not taught very much in schools, though, and I see lots of new artists having a rough time with color mixing. So I'm going to have this workshop and show more people how to do it. Interested? There are more details on my web site.

Meanwhile, in the studio, I'm still doing color charts. And I'm still learning things about my colors that surprise me. But I'm itching to put that knowledge to use now, so I'll start working on something new within a few days.

The other thing that I'm preparing for is an exhibition of paintings at Mars Hill College. The show will be called "Residue of Conflict" and will be made up of paintings from the "Meditation on War" series as well as works done during and after my time in Iraq. It'll be up from March 7 to March 31 in Weizenblatt Gallery in the Moore Auditorium building, which will be open during working hours Monday through Friday. I've been preparing works for this show and need to do some final preparations over the next couple of weeks. So if you're in the Asheville, NC, area during March, take a drive north to Mars Hill and see the show!

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