A Color Workshop

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My art voice has been very quiet here lately. As I have become increasingly focused on fixing up my new home and moving in, I know that I have been neglecting the playful, art side of myself in a big way. Now, feeling totally overwhelmed, I’m quickly learning how very important it is for me to set time aside and regularly nurture that side of myself to maintain balance in my life. I think that when that feeling of overwhelm creeps into our lives, it is because something important is being neglected. All that said, I embraced my art self once again when I attended Lindly Haunani’s color workshop called Dancing with the Rainbow.

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With her soft voice and gentle manner, Lindly patiently brought us to a greater understanding of the world of color and, most appealingly to my inner “Color Kitten” (my favorite childhood book by Margaret Wise Brown), how to mix colors (oh joy!) to achieve a color palette that is a true expression of your artistic voice.

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Our homework before the workshop was to gather pure color images clipped from magazines. As described on pages 44-47 in Lindly’s book (written with Maggie Maggio), Polymer Clay Color Inspirations, our first task was to sort these images into subsets of color families, those colors that “went together”. We then chose the subset that resonated most strongly with our inner spirit. As we went through this process, Lindly spoke with each participant one by one and carefully observed their body language and listened to their voice very closely for clues to individual palette preferences.

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Once we chose our subset, we created a collage with the images. Out came the scissors and glue sticks and I felt like a little kid again, joyfully arranging my images onto a sheet of Bristol board.

Fall was definitely in the air that day as quite a number of us chose a similar autumn color palette.

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Once our collages were complete, we brought them together and carefully studied each one, choosing the polymer clay primary colors that best represented our collage colors. Zinc or cadmium yellow? Fuschia or cadmium red? Ultramarine or cobalt blue?  We used the Premo brand of clay but you can use any brand as long as you have a “cool” and “warm” version of each primary.

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One of the most amazing teachings of this workshop was about “mud”, the color you get when you mix all 3 primaries together in equal proportions. We all think of mud as being, well, mud brown. Well, the “mud” mixed from my set of primaries was actually dark green. And the neatest part was when we took small pieces of mud and mixed them into our primary and secondary colors to achieve the most gorgeous earthy shades. Wow!

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With a range of colors mixed from our primaries, we then began to cover a wood framed mirror that Lindly had brought for each person. Just when I got into the groove of covering mine, it was time to go home! Isn’t that always the way of it?

Here are some closeups of the beautiful collages and frames started.

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I passionately encourage you to run, not walk, to your nearest bookstore and pick up a copy of Lindly’s book. If you have the wonderful opportunity to take one of her workshops, even better. It will change the way you view color forever. It has with me and I am looking forward to studying again with this marvelously talented artist.

Lindly, you are truly my color hero and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your inspiration.

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10 comments on “A Color Workshop

  1. lindly says:

    Thanks for posting this- it was indeed a colorful weekend! and a very talented, generous and enthusiastic group of artists. Hope our paths cross again, soon. Lindly

  2. acrawley63 says:

    Hi Karen,

    Great write-up of a great weekend! I laid out my color collage, mirror frame, and custom colors on a work table in the studio so I see them every day. Soon I hope to get back to playing with them. You’re right; taking time to play and enjoy some form of creativity is very important.

    Thanks for a fun weekend, to both you and Lindly!

    -Amy

  3. Great class, great fun participants. Yep.. my head felt over full sometimes… but this class was sooo worth it! Absolutely worth it. Thanks for sharing the photos of the fun and learning!

  4. Steph W says:

    Lovely!!! 🙂 Gorgeous, and I just wrote about the importance of creativity today!

  5. […] Karen Park = Art and Tea […]

  6. Arline says:

    Great post, Karen. I’m doing a class on color in January for our Bead Society. I’ll have to look for Lindly’s book.

    Arline

  7. doras_explorations says:

    Awesome post, what a marvelous workshop !! I wish I could’ve been there. Your photos are fantastic, you certainly captured the ‘the wonderful world of color’ in those collage frames. I agree, Lindly’s book is fabulous. I did the exercises in the first chapter, including the ‘pivot bead strand’. I haven’t made my color collage yet…I don’t have any old magazines to tear apart, so I will have to ask around and see if I can get someone to give me theirs! I would love to take a workshop with Lindly some day….

  8. frivolitea says:

    That sounds fabulous! I loved reading about the workshop and I will most definitely search out that book. Thank you!

  9. artandtea says:

    My pleasure, Lindly. 😀 I hope so, too!

    Thanks Amy, I hope that you can find time to play really soon!

    My pleasure, Debbie, and thanks for all of the photocopying and organizing you did that weekend. It was great to meet you!

    Thanks Steph! What a great topic to write about. 🙂

    Thanks Arline! Yes, Lindly’s book would be perfect for your class prep!

    Thanks Dora! Sounds like you’re having fun with Lindly’s book. Sometimes you can get old mags from the library. Another great resource I’ve found is interesting catalogs like Acacia.

    Great Lynn, you’re welcome!

  10. Amy says:

    Hi Karen,

    I found your blog through searching for tea related blogs, as I am a lover of all things tea. However I was so inspired by your post on this beautiful color workshop! It truly inspired me, and just feels like it’s an artistic project that is absolutely accessible. So my deepest gratitude to you for posting and being an inspiration for others. You never know when your words, actions, and the sharing of your experiences will positively touch the lives of others. -Amy 🙂

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