Ode To Yellow

Oh, yellow
She's a picky color
For she only gets along
With about half the others

Look at her wrong
And she’ll turn green
A neutral, sickly hue
Like none you’ve ever seen

But how I love her
When she is most pure
The most vibrant color short of white
A nine, for sure

The Benefits of Teaching

Lately, I’ve been taking on students for private instruction. Though it’s a path I’ve considered for some time, I was hesitant to move forward on it because I wasn't quite sure what area of expertise I wanted to offer. Two years ago, I taught several students: one was an experienced artist who wanted to learn oil-painting specifically and the other was learning to paint for the first time. After the sessions ran their course, I convinced myself it wasn’t worth pursuing any further, convincing myself I simply didn't have the time as I toiled over the inadequacies of my studio with excuse after excuse.

This year, I’ve had several inquiries from friends who were either interested in learning more about painting or wanted to further advance their techniques. After some coaxing, I agreed to develop curriculum specifically for each student. So for the past month, in addition to my own painting, I have created lesson plans that focus on the exploration of color. I started by reviewing my original plans from two years ago to revise and improve them while researching and organizing new information. Keeping a general audience in mind has forced me to examine details in a way that I hadn’t for quite awhile to disseminate information in a pragmatic way. In doing so, I am becoming reacquainted with some basic elements I normally take for granted. This process of taking a step back is not only enabling me to become a better teacher, but I am becoming a better artist.

Colorful Intentions

As I continue to advance my painting technique, I am taking greater care in my use of color. Conveying a sense of depth is paramount; more so now than actual content. What this means is visualizing the colors before I apply them to the canvas. This is a new concept for me. In the past, I have simply had a vague idea of what I was going to paint and thus, approached my work reacting to the initial thought through a stream of consciousness. I am changing method that now in favor of a more deliberate approach through color and value. The result will allow for more dynamic and dramatic work.

The painting to the right, (with the working title After The Storm) shown in progress, is what I would call a crossover painting in that I began the work before I made this realization. I am now finding myself retrofitting the painting with my new technique. It will be interesting to see the end result.