Color Relationships 2, Fall 2016 week 8

The eighth and final session of the Color Relationships 2 class for Fall 2016 was held on Wednesday, October 19. The majority of class time focused on the critique of the final assignment, Freedom!, which, as the title suggests, had a wide range of interpretation. Dick shared some of his personal thoughts on education and continual learning; we went over a brief end-of-class test; and we watched a short video to finish off the series.

Critique – “Freedom!” assignment

True to the title of the last assignment, the class brought in a variety of work which showcased the range of interests and talents in this group. There was much to talk about, and each selection of work raised unique discussion points. For brevity, I organized a few key points that Dick made during critique, followed by a photo gallery of each student’s work.

On creative problem solving: “Get to know the phases of problem solving. What phase are you at in your work?”

On knowing your boundaries and constraints: “What is your theme? Do you know your boundaries? Once you set up the theme, everything either supports it, or goes against it. What is not part of the conversation? What goes against your theme? … It’s all about consistency, and if you are consistent in your theme, the choices make themselves.”

On how to critique: “When critiquing, get specific. Don’t just say you like the colors – what [do you like] about the colors? What [do you like] about the design? Does everything belong? Does it act as a unit, or as separate pieces?”

On design: “When we design, all we have to do is look at nature: what begins, is carried out [through the whole structure] … It has unity. It all relates.”

Class gallery

Jane brought in fabric samples that she dyed herself. She had full chroma pieces, and also a couple examples of mixed colors. She also shared some color chart sheets, which are made up of individual fabric squares organized very methodically.

Chenta brought in a felt piece she made this past week. She had written down her boundaries, and included a well-crafted artist’s statement which further helped explain her piece. She also shared an unfinished shadow study, and a past work from a 2012 series of felt “geodes” in a variety of sizes.

Elizabeth Ann shared a collage she assembled from digital photographs, with a theme of “backlit”.

Susan brought in several pastel and pencil studies of Maui landscapes, exploring the problem of how to apply veiling in pastel. She also had explicitly defined her “fence posts”, and used a matrix to guide her color selection to keep them related. She plans to use the fence posts concept in the future to help her focus on individual technical or creative options.

Keri shared with us a mixed-media piece, using metallic paint, multicolored threads, and different kinds of fabric. It incorporated several of the visual phenomena studied in this class in an abstract composition.

Joyce also brought in fabric work, sharing with us a small woven study which attempts to portray translucency and ‘Make one color look like two’. She also brought in two samples of past work.

Leonard shared two watercolors he did over the past week. He was exploring the concept of films in the balloon piece; and the visual phenomena of translucency and volume space, along with the theme of rest, comfort, and security, in the church exterior.

Reflecting on the course

To help the class recognize how far they had come in learning to see color objectively and independently, Dick played a video clip from the Interaction of Color iPad app of Christopher Farr speaking about his own color expertise. He provided a handout with some questions to provoke this discussion.

Dick shared some personal thoughts he had written out a few years ago, about Albers’ effect on his life, and how important it is to keep learning and keep growing.

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A brief quiz also allowed students to assess their own learning from the Color Relationships 2 (Visual Phenomena) class.

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To sum up, Dick shared an image he found on the internet, with the message to keep utilizing these lessons once the class is over: “If you don’t use or incorporate these lessons [into your work], they will be washed away like footprints in the sand.”

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