Friday, January 17, 2020

Colour Play - Mothercolour

How do you use and play with colour in your art? 

This year the Intentional Creativity Guild and CoW students are delving into color theory to bring more coherence to our work and teachings. After Shiloh began her art career, she started as an Art School drop out - frustrated with the rigid Rules and emphasis on creativity stifling critique - can you relate? 

I loved my HS art class, and was one of this kids who drew in the margins of her notes, sketched the neighbors' horses, and played with geometric patterns. I'd get a paint by number set, then use any left over paint on a canvas from the Dime Store. A couple of college art classes were followed by occasional occasional Community College or Art Guild classes, with color theory part of the mix.

The Color of Woman method has relied on a more intuitive use of colour, with the intermittent use of glazing for unification. This year, Guild members from several traditions are bringing in color theory and teachings on using Mothercolour in our paintings. Our first Mothercolour lesson came from Australian artist Jassy Watson
Mothercolour swatch
A Mothercolour is created by mixing several colours together (often 3), and then experimenting with adding different amounts to each of the pure colours. Thou see this in some of the paintings of the old masters. 
The glazing process we use, covering the canvas with a thin coat of a transparent color at least once, has a similar unifying effect. The recommendation to have several colours on our palette, and dip the brush into ones we wish to use together, rather than thoroughly mixing them before painting, also contributes. A tip from Shiloh's teacher Sue Hoya Sellers was to add a new colour in at least three spots around the canvas.
Mothercolour swatch #2
I was reminded of a quilt show in the 80s - one group chose a fabric for each woman to use in her square, and set the squares with strips that harmonized. The colors were more cohesive and pleasing than the random sampler block quilts from other groups.

Jassy studied color with the Australian Flying Artist, Merv Moriarty, who learned to fly so he could take art classes to romote areas around AU! Now in his 80s, Moriarty is still passionate about color, art and education! Both Watson and Moriarty are influenced by the Australian landscape.
Among the Tree Sprites 10-19
In the online Treesister class last fall, Jassy encouraged us to look to our surroundings for shapes and our colour palette, and limit the colours we used. In the first class I took from Jassy, painting Gaia in 2014, she also invited looking to our environment for inspiration. The leaves were from the Rowan yes in my yard, and the amethyst colors from a crystal in my collection.
Mama Gaia - 2014
This video from local artist Flora Bowley offers another way to explore colour and contrast with the paints in your collection. This is a good time to pull out some of those rarely used, and experiment! 

What are some of your favorite exercises for exploring colours? Do you have ways you bring unity throughout the piece or a series?
Share in the comments below - and HåPpÝ Paint Party Friday!


Valerie-Jael said...

Thanks for explaining about the colours, very interesting. Valerie

Nadya said...

You're welcome!
This is going to be an interesting exploration!!

Christine said...

Beautiful work!

Crafting Queen said...

Wow, these are wonderful. Enjoy your experimenting with colour.

Sue (this n that) said...

Really interesting reading. Your artwork is stunning. Happy PPF ~💙✨~

DVArtist said...

I always love reading your posts and seeing your amazing art.

Tammie Dickerson said...

Really interesting and gorgeous work!!

Elkes Lebensglück said...

that is so beautifully these pictures, fantastic!!!
greetings Elke