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Painting Marathon – VIRTUAL with Graham Nickson & Guests
The Green Line / The Romance & Logic of Color
The importance of color cannot be overstated, often derided as too emotional or romantic, its journey throughout history is helpful to know. We will study color from caves of 50,0000 years ago to the color of Egyptian walls, to Indian and European Miniatures leading to the colors of cities and to pastoral color.
The importance of color is its relation to the ‘whole’. When Matisse painted the green stripe of color on Madame Matisse’s nose, a revolution in depiction happened, the basis of modernist looking. We will explore this and see its implications today.
Going further back, to the ocean of red that holds the Villa of Mysteries figures together, the hallucinatory blue in the virgin’s dress in the Madonna Del Parto by Piero Della Francesco, to the saffron yellow in Bonnard’s Yellow Nude, the late paintings of Goya and his use of black, to the green of Constable who made landscape painting from nature again possible after the violin color analogy imposed by the Academy.
The dependence on local color and its being challenged has proved to be very rich territory to explore. Local color led to conceptual color, and then ultimately to perceptual color. Color has enormous effect on imagery, it can endorse the image and content profoundly. We will work on small paintings every day that show the students an understanding in new possibilities in harmonies, which will in turn affect the large paintings which they do. We will make transcriptions from unlikely works from different centuries and cultures of the deep past and of the present, these will be important and ambitious. Color, weight, scale and color mixing will be part of the program; Be prepared for an adventure.
Dean, Atelier Head of Painting