I'm no stranger to colour, given my work as both a visual artist and graphic designer. However my formal training is further in my past than I care to admit and I felt I could benefit from a week of immersion in the topic of colour. And thus for five days straight my life was devoted to better understanding that very thing that is fundamental to my work as an artist. After a couple of days, words like hue, value, chroma, shade, tone, intensity and saturation were swimming in my head, along with visions of colour charts, colour wheels and colour swatches. When I closed my eyes I saw a kaleidoscope of every hue of the proverbial rainbow. When I walked down the street, the bright autumn leaves took on new meaning, speaking the language of colour in a way I hadn't interpreted before.
Every evening after the workshop (and after my arduous commute home from the city) I worked to apply the things I learned to my own work. On my art table was a drawing I had commenced a week or so earlier - a nuthatch that I had observed and photographed outside my studio window last winter. These lively blue-grey and buff coloured birds present a delightful subject in terms of both form, habits and colouring. I continued working on the drawing, filling in the background with colours I would not previously have considered, working with hues of greens, blues, red-violet and burnt orange.
|The nuthatch bathed in a lively compliment of colours.|
The drawing then served as my inspiration for the final project of the week. In combination with colourful found objects such as autumn leaves and a magazine cover, I devised a pattern based on the shape and energy of the little bird, and then experimented with colour combinations to better understand their relationship and effect on one another.
|My collection of items that served as inspiration for my final project.|
|My final project.|
With the workshop a few days behind me, I now find myself analyzing nature's colour schemes in terms of how each colour relates to another, and the effect they have (or don't have) upon one another in their various combinations. It's as though way I perceive the world has been altered in a fundamental way. The fall timing of the workshop could not have been better as the brilliant fall colours we're experiencing at the moment offer exciting fodder for thoughts about colour.
I look forward to seeing where my invigorated perceptions of colour will lead me as I move ever-forward on my artistic journey.