Expand Your Vision

"We find only the world we look for".

- Henry Theoreau

EXPAND YOUR VISION

What does this black blob look like?

As a painter, I was taught to see a bit differently. Artists may also see more of the world than the average Jane and how does this help them and how could it help you? These are a couple questions I will address in this post.

We all started as artists but some people became more left brain focused and therefore developed a tendency to focus on details more. High dominant right brainers have a tendency to see more holistically.

Beginning artists are trained to "mass" objects together. Did you figure out what this grouping to the above right is? One object should be the giveaway shape. See the answer below.

 A. What does this appear to be to you?

A. What does this appear to be to you?

 
 

Did you see three pieces of fruit?

 B.

B.

Did the pear stem give it away?

Our brain fills in details which is why I try to not overwork my paintings by adding every detail. My intention is for you to be a part of the process and create your own story as you observe the finished piece.

Back to the three pieces of fruit on a table, one way to depict them is first as a single object as shown in diagram A. This depiction is also called a **notan** which is a Japanese term for simple black and white shapes.

Would you have included the shadows if you were asked to draw these shapes? Most people would not have even noticed the shadows because their eyes are fixed on the positive objects - the pieces of fruit. Learning to draw is valuable for anyone who wants to see more of what is in front of them. Have you ever been asked to find the milk in the fridge and it is right in front of your eyes but you didn’t see it? If you were asked to draw the contents of the fridge, you would have found it quickly.

Below is my “study” after making the notan “sketch”. A study is a depiction of that which the artist wants to capture figuring out the lines, shapes, composition, color, etc. before being committed to a larger “work of art”. A study is often not as valuable as an official painting of the same size by the artist. How do you know it is a study? Usually an artist will write the word study on the title or perhaps the back of the piece. Maybe it hasn’t been framed and is in a file in the studio. If you are new to collecting art or don’t have a big budget but want original pieces, perhaps choose a study to begin with from an artist you love. Works on paper usually have less value than on canvas (more in another post on the value of works of art).

 C.

C.

In the above tiny "study" you can see where I ended up from the initial notan "sketch". A sketch doesn’t involve as much time as a study so has less value than the same artist’s study.

The professional artist may start with a small "sketch" or “gesture”

and then do a quick "study"

before attempting to start a "drawing or painting"

which will end up the final "work of art".

Overall, seeing that which is not normally seen can be helpful in so many situations. When I worked store security, I noticed what kind of clothes other “shoppers” were wearing, did they have a bag with them that looked empty and did it look fuller as they walked around the store?

I was paid to observe. 98% of the day I walked the store and observed. 2% of the time I spent apprehending shoplifters.

Then as a makeup artist I noticed if people were wearing lots of jewelry or did they prefer a simpler look? This usually told me that they liked more or less makeup. I didn’t encourage them to buy products they would never use but only acquire that which they would love and then found a way to help them have these products by sharing the educational experience of learning to put on makeup and take care of their skin with their friends. I was always observing. I would notice what colors they wore in their clothing, the undertones of their skin and hair color. Then I could recommend proper colors of eyeshadow. These observation skills were valuable to me and helped me to earn two pink Cadillacs and train hundreds of other consultants.

Body language is easily picked up on when you know what to look for.

Simply listening to what a person says isn’t enough.

What are they doing with their arms when they speak? Are they folded across their chest saying,. “prove it?”

Are the eyes looking at you or constantly away?

Are they leaning in (interested) or leaning away (can’t wait to leave)?

There are clues that tells us about their honesty when speaking.

What color tie?

What kind of design on their clothing?

All clues about who they are and what is important to them.

All boils down to…

what do you observe? What do you see?

We can think we see one thing but right in front of our face is another.

Check this video out to test your observation skills. Click here.

This holiday, look at the fruit on the table differently.

See what shadows you see, what colors are in each piece. How would you turn a bowl of fruit into one single shape? Better yet, pull out a pencil and paper and try to do just that. Create a notan and see if someone can guess what it is. If you want to learn more about drawing or painting classes, click here. Come to Greece with us and learn to see what we see.

"We find only the world we look for".

- Henry Theoreau

Enjoy your Thanksgiving!

Using Art on a Vision Board

There is art and then there is the "I need to find out what is going on inside me kind of art" created in a soul searching experience. That is the kind of art that helps you evolve.

When going through the dark night of the soul, art was my saving grace several times. Some times this art is just scribbles and cut out pieces of paper showing imagery from magazines that represents the inner thoughts and beliefs.

 Learn to decipher your scribbles, a way your own soul can teach you. Don't you doodle? You are missing the point if you can't understand them.

Learn to decipher your scribbles, a way your own soul can teach you. Don't you doodle? You are missing the point if you can't understand them.

 

“We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.” – Mahatma Gandhi

 

Years ago I noticed that I had a sleeping women in my art pieces. Even in this self portrait, I looked asleep. Over and over I painted and sculpted women with the closed eyes.. until one day I had a awareness, a question...

"What am I asleep to?"

When you ask questions, you get answers. I got mine and it was life altering. 

 My energy at a younger age.

My energy at a younger age.

Art seems to be able to show us the truth. We each have a perspective and from our own perspective, things seem right. Only thing is, our own perspective is very small. Art can assist us in seeing another’s perspective, expand our own perspective and discover hidden beliefs we have that is hidden from us.

Art is always a self portrait.

You can't lie to yourself when creating art after asking questions you want answers to. The answers show up loud and clear. Well, until we are ready to see them, they may not be so clear, however, the clues are there. We only see what we are ready to see.

When you use the art as your teacher, you can find your way back to the light of day, evolving into a stronger, more loving and wiser self. Since 2002, this has been a weekly practice for me.

One night before sleeping, I asked

"What can I teach my students (at the college) about art that would profoundly change their lives?"

I got the answer in a dream. The answer, doodling, is what I teach in a Soul Vision workshop.

When you want to embrace a shift in your life, your business, your relationships, your finances, whatever, you are welcome to join us. Only the brave need to show up.  By brave, I mean someone who is willing to see their blind spots on paper and willing to shift them. It is eye opening. We don't dwell, we just expose and move on to shifting them. 

We simply play with art to create a vision board of what a life would look like that is inspiring to you. Inspiration brings passion and fuel for moving forward. You first need to see what your beliefs are to know how to not keep going through the same things. You don't even know yet what those beliefs are that keep you stuck. Do you know exactly what can make you feel fulfilled? Only your soul does. We invite your soul and spirit to show up and play in the form of art.

Here is a photo of me from 2008 and again in 2012 before I met my husband Mark. People asked me what my secret was. They said I looked ten years younger. My secret... finding out what my soul's purpose is and clearing the blocks that made me afraid 95% of the time.  

I was on a soul searching journey.  

The vision boards taught me who I was.  I got to discover things that helped me stay on track and they can do that for you as well.

 Last time I offered a Soul Vision Class someone who did this in Italy with me flew down to Sarasota from NY just for the day to experience it again and create another vision for a different part of her life. She then left that evening with a vision to assist her on her journey. Last I heard, she accomplished her main mission. Discover why a neighbor keeps coming back. She is already an artist but finds being in the group so rewarding. Others see what we miss. We help each other. We are growing together.  Another artist, the one pictured in this blog just got in her first gallery as a result of increasing her vision and belief in herself and her art.

Taking reservations now for Jan. 13 & 14, 2019. A few seats left.

Here is what one participant had to say from our most recent class. Click here to listen and watch.

Be the first to see what came through when I asked about the meanings of the colors of the rainbow. The words flowed from my hand onto paper and was very informative. When you keep doing this work, your creativity channel opens wide. I'll have you do a similar exercise. 

Register here.

Blue: wasn't always the most popular color.

   Early western paintings were dark and earth toned in color. Colors such as blue and purple were hard to come by and very expensive.

   Surveys have told us that today, blue is the most popular color of all. It was not always. According to the book “The Secret Lives of Colors” by Kassia St. Clair, at one time blue was associated with barbarians and degenerates. Celtic soldiers had "dyed their bodies blue" and women were accused of doing the same before participating in an orgy. Much has changed.

    In the  twelfth century a prominent figure in the French court named Abbot Suger believed the color blue was divine. He was responsible for the addition of cobalt blue being added to the windows in Chartres in Paris and Le Mans. Around the same time the Virgin Mary’s robe became depicted as a brilliant bright blue instead of a dark color that expressed the loss of her son, Jesus.  

 

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   A color called Ultramarine (Latin- “beyond” - ultra  and “sea” mare) became a color worth traveling for.  Lapis Lazuli (the blue stone in Latin) at one time came from Afghanistan.  There was a lengthy process to produce a color known as ultramarine ashes after grinding, mixing, kneading and removing the colors from the impurities it was laced with.  It was mixed with oil to produce ultramarine blue oil paint.

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   There are examples of blue pigment found in some fifth-century wall paintings in Chinese Turkmeistan. It wasn’t until the 8th century that this color would appear in Rome.  The price was extremely expensive and few artists could afford it. Italians from Venice became the first suppliers so the use of these beautiful blues began in many Italian paintings, like Titian’s Bacchus and Ariadne, painted in the early 1520’s.  Artists from Northern Europe often paid over 100 times more for ultramarine blue so they used it more sparingly. 

 

   Artists in the 15th century often included a provision for a trip to Venice in their contracts when they were painting a commission.  Today, we have synthetic paints and a variety of qualities to choose from ranging from student grade to a high quality professional grade.  

  

  One contract in 1515 for Andrea del Sarto’s  Madonna of the Harpies stipulated that the Virgin’s robe would be painted with ultramarine “at least five broad florins the ounce.”  A French chemist in 1824 finally came up with an alternative synthetic and less expensive ultramarine color now known as French Ultramarine.  

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   All paint is not equal. Students, use student grade paint because while you are still practicing, learning and more often struggling. it is way less expensive. I threw away most of my beginning pieces for a variety of reasons, one being that the quality of draftsmanship, painting skills and even the paint I used was inferior to what I wanted to put my name on.  A quality painting is proudly handed down generation to generation.  It is important to use quality paint, grounds and archival materials on artwork meant to last.  

    One of my favorite brands of paint is Gamblin which has both a professional and student grade line.  I also recommend Richeson's oil paints and have a double primary starter set packaged for my students that will be available soon. Currently there is a pastel set of my 80 favorite pastel colors at:    Art & Frame in Sarasota online or in the store.

    I found St. Clair’s book a fascinating read about the history of one of my favorite topics- Color.  Below is one of my latest paintings with my favorite versions of the color blue (although Island Sunset is a pastel). One of the reasons I love pastel is that the color that is placed on the surface remains true. When an oil paint color dries, the color dulls until it is varnished which allows the color to be restored. When varnishing, I like using Gamvar as this varnish is easily removed. Varnish is also important to protect the painting. Gamvar can be applied as soon as the paint is dry to the touch rather than a normal varnish that sometimes requires waiting for the painting to be totally dry, which sometimes takes a year. That is because of the color red which dries slower, but that is another day's blog.  

 Island Sunset 9" x 12" $975 Available at  Nikki Sedacca Gallery , Edgartown, on Martha's Vineyard

Island Sunset 9" x 12" $975 Available at Nikki Sedacca Gallery, Edgartown, on Martha's Vineyard

Learning to be Comfortable with Success 

 

 

    I’m still battling with the fear of success. That is right, success (not failure). Failure is part of the process of creativity and nothing worthwhile is ever gained without some failure from time to time. Success doesn’t come to us if we don’t put ourselves out there, sometimes again and again and again until we finally strike a good note. Welcoming success is another story. 

  Each year I participate in plein air events. Artists gather to paint outdoors often to assist an arts organization raise money.  Many months ago a young man said to me after realizing I won first place the year before… “I hated you”. I felt badly that he had that negative feeling about me. His work was very good and he and others also deserved to win. 

    The next day I totally self sabotaged unconsciously. Normally there are steps I take myself through when creating art:  Checking values on all the shadows, eliminating tangents, creating a study first for composition and color harmony, title the painting early on, making sure the focal point is strong and more. Yet, this day, I did very few of them.  I remember thinking “Que sera, sera”.  Instead, I thought about everything else including how I didn’t want to be un-liked.  Subconsciously I set myself up to not even be in the race so that I would not be dis-liked. 

     When I told this story to a successful man, he laughted and said “this young man had psyched you out to throw off your game”. “Do people do that? “I asked.  I didn’t think he did that though.  It seemed to me he was just being honest and revealing his feeling of envy.

  Unfotunately, having a few people being unhappy with you is part of the success equation. A well-known artist said that some people do and say things that are very hurtful as you begin to climb. 

  This week I got accepted in prestigious exhibit with artists from all over the world. Then on Facebook I read about a friend’s disappointment about not getting in again. Despite the fact that I have received my fair share of rejection letters, I held onto the thought of her feeling badly instead of celebrating my own success. Is this because I was afraid she would no longer like me?  Crazy, right?

   A good friend, Lisa Jimenez, said “It isn’t your business what others think of you”.  I guess the next time someone says “I hated you” I will just have to say, “Somedays I feel that way about myself “ and just laugh.  

 

 A new line of Signature pastels from Jack Richeson Company available by clicking the link:  Art & Frame

A new line of Signature pastels from Jack Richeson Company available by clicking the link: Art & Frame

 Join in the fun of capturing the Florida light on the beach this October in Sarasota, FL.  Click here for details.

Join in the fun of capturing the Florida light on the beach this October in Sarasota, FL. Click here for details.

Warm and cool colors

 Why is it important to know if a color is warm or cool?  There are many reasons!

Let's talk about warm and cool as it pertains to paintings. As a general rule warm colors appear to advance and cool colors seem to recede. (Notice that the above painting is an exception- there's always an exception.) 

Every color has a warm or cool character. A red that leans toward orange is more warm (red, yellow, oranges are warmer). A red that leans toward violet or blue is cool (blues, greens and violets on the color wheel are cool). 

When an artist paints a scene, if the warm colors are placed in the background the sense of depth is challenged a bit. Look at this beach scene and notice how the water is moved from green to blue behind the wave on the left. The green is cool but I moved it to a warmer green on the wave by adding a bit more yellow to it. This green helps the wave advance.  Then behind it I placed a blue to immediately create depth because the blue color is more relaxing, more calm and has less energy. The colors in sunlight that are warmer, are higher in energy. They seem to some people as a bit louder. I think of them as being more energetic or enthusiastic.  

 Summer Wave 16" x 16" Oil on canvas found at Nikki Sedacca Gallery, Edgartown, MA

Summer Wave 16" x 16" Oil on canvas found at Nikki Sedacca Gallery, Edgartown, MA

In this wave painting I've abstracted some areas while in other areas I painted a bit more realistically to create a balance between the logical (details & realistic) and emotional (colorful & abstract) mind. Balancing the warm and cool colors, the logical and the intuitive and the masculine and feminine energies is my goal when painting and living. What is your goal when collecting or creating art? 

 To order the new Color & Energy 80 pastels    C  lick here to order

To order the new Color & Energy 80 pastels 

Click here to order

Colors do speak to us

 

     When painting, decorating a room or even selecting what to wear, colors must have a relationship with each other.  Each color has a personality, a mood, a message that it gives off. The colors may mean different things in each culture though. 

    Knowing how to work with colors make painting or decorating easier. If you love blue, do you place an analogous color like green next to it because it is a color close to blue on the color wheel  (green also contains some blue). Analogous colors are next to each other on the color wheel. Or do you place it next to it an orange, the complement, which is the opposite on the color wheel? Opposite colors have the highest contrast and causes somewhat of a stir. You may choose a primary scheme like I have below- yellow, red & blue. Primary colors can not be made from any other color so we start with these three colors to mix all the rest of the colors on the color wheel.

    When painting, a secondary color scheme appeals to me as well- orange, green and violet. Neutral colors are found in nature, mixtures of the secondary colors are one way to achieve a muted color. Orange and green give a lovely color of a less intense green. Or mix two compliments like blue and orange to create a neutral and more colorful gray.   Using prismatic colors next to the neutrals help pop the prismatic color which help create a more high energy painting. To raise the vibration of your work, a room, yourself, raise the vibration of the colors you work with and offset them with neutral colors. 

 Neutrals can be placed in the background so you can express your favorite colors in a. painting or your home. Can you tell I LOVE COLOR?

Neutrals can be placed in the background so you can express your favorite colors in a. painting or your home. Can you tell I LOVE COLOR?

   Why do you pick the colors you pick? Are you ready to raise the vibration of your paintings or your life? Using color more boldly can assist. I just love the psychology of color. There is so much to learn from it. Here is an interesting decorating site that discusses the psychological effects of the color white and you can follow the website for more on other colors as well.

   Walk into your living room and notice the dominant color.  If you are a painter, what is the dominant color of your favorite painting that you just created? How does it make you feel? Calm, excited, relaxed, etc? 

    How do you think? Logically or intuitively? Pay attention to when you go to your closet to pick something to wear. Are you being drawn to a particular color and when you do pick out an article of clothing, how did you decide? Because it felt good or it did you choose logically because i matches something else you are wearing? Once you have it on, do you feel upbeat or tired? Color can play such an important role in our life and the more you know about it, the more help you can receive from each hue.

    Find an accent color located in your living room or a scarf that you accent your outfit with. An accent is a color that appears only a little bit but maybe is repeated a couple times when used in decorating a room or in a painting.  See how this accent color affects your mood. Hold this color (maybe it is in a pillow or a vase) close to you, let your eyes soak it in. Try to feel it. If you are able to feel it, what happens in your body, exactly where do you feel it?  Can you detect any differences yet? If yes, wonderful. Keep practicing this. If not, sometimes this takes practice so keep trying. 

     Another way to begin to allow your intuitive self to become more utilized and noticed is to go to a gallery or a museum and walk around. Pay attention when walking through the space if there is a pull from one painting. It may draw you back to it and if so, then ask yourself where in my body does this pull come from? Why is this painting different? What is it trying to tell me? Listen for answers from within. It takes practice to begin to hear the whispers from our inner wisdom.

    Our body speaks to us when we are tuned into it.  It is possible to learn about yourself through color when the time is taken to clue in. When studying with a shaman, as she took me through the energy centers of the body, I had experiences with color at the same time since I am so connected to it. I was able to share with her my experiences which helped her as well. Together we learned and expanded our consciousness. 

 Imagine painting your building this color- this person was BRAVE!  Love it.  UPDATE:  Someone just painted this building gray. Sigh….

Imagine painting your building this color- this person was BRAVE! Love it.

UPDATE: Someone just painted this building gray. Sigh….

     What is your favorite color?  Blue is the number one favorite color in America. Why? It calms us down and makes us feel good (certain shades). Blue also represents the voice, the way we communicate. It is the color of the throat chakra.  The 7 charkras within our bodies are a part of the rainbow that is our energy body. Don’t believe in the energy body?  Haven’t you ever experienced someone walking into the room and without that person saying a thing, the whole energy of the room has changed?  We are all energy. Everything is energy. We are all connected.

     There are rainbows everywhere. They lay across the clouds, across our face, and with practice you can see them as well. Part of the training I give in the Color and Energy workshops is how to see the rainbows in the shadows and in the light and how to capture them in a painting. For now, look at a landscape during the day and see what colors you see in the shadows. Since the sun is warm, the colors in light are warmer moving to Yellow (one of the primary colors).  It makes sense that the colors in the shadows are the opposite cool colors on the color wheel -  Violet (made up of the other two primary colors- Red and Blue). When you see the shadow in the grass, there will be an underlying violet but then the green of the grass will also add to the color you see. You may notice a darker cooler (blue based color) green rather than a light warm (a yellow based color) green. The more you learn color theory, the more color you will see in your surroundings whether you are a painter or not.

   The color workshops are for those who desire to paint better and those who want to  learn what is being communicated in your paintings that you create or love.  When you wear certain colors, do you know what these colors in your closet are saying? 

 What colors do you prefer to wear?

What colors do you prefer to wear?

     Did you know that the colors that you do not like can also can teach you about yourself?   I never used to like dark blue. It felt like it was an authority and overbearing. I liked baby blue (if felt kind and gentle) and teal blue (warm and loving) and indigo (insightful and deep) and royal blues (clear and concise)  but not navy. I discovered that navy (to me) represented being hushed, quieted down, not given permission to speak. Since blue is a color representing communication, that made total sense. Once I learned this, I didn't react so negatively against it. By shifting my awareness my response shifted about navy.  I realized that just because I was hushed during one period of my life, that is no longer happening so I could work with the color navy to get over this REACTION and bad feeling around the issue. Then I worked on being free to speak my mind to not feel fear. This was first practiced on paper with color where it was safe.  You can learn more about this in my Soul Vision/ Vision Board workshops.  What color irks you? Join us in a workshop to see how to use color to discover your best and more creative self? 

    Color brings up fear in so many people. I often hear people say "I am afraid to paint my room a color so I keep it neutral." Have you ever thought that? 

 When painting my kitchen from a dark neutral to a warm yellow it looked drastic at first. The yellow was so bright. Yellow is hard color to work with. I asked the painter to throw some white in the bucket and remix it to make the yellow a bit lighter before he painted the entire kitchen. It worked well. Try again if you don't like the color but live with the color on a part of an entire wall for a day before you change it. I once painted my living four different bright colors and it was shocking until I placed the furniture back and pillows and other accent accessories. Then I loved it. Be brave!  Working with the color wheel, learning how to mix any color helps you understand how to fill your paintings and your house or your closet with colors that bring the best out of you. Before repainting my kitchen, the color lowered my mood everytime I walked into it. Now the kitchen feels light, bright and makes me happy when I walk into it. We all love and see color differently. What turns you on?

When painting my kitchen from a dark neutral to a warm yellow it looked drastic at first. The yellow was so bright. Yellow is hard color to work with. I asked the painter to throw some white in the bucket and remix it to make the yellow a bit lighter before he painted the entire kitchen. It worked well. Try again if you don't like the color but live with the color on a part of an entire wall for a day before you change it. I once painted my living four different bright colors and it was shocking until I placed the furniture back and pillows and other accent accessories. Then I loved it. Be brave!

Working with the color wheel, learning how to mix any color helps you understand how to fill your paintings and your house or your closet with colors that bring the best out of you. Before repainting my kitchen, the color lowered my mood everytime I walked into it. Now the kitchen feels light, bright and makes me happy when I walk into it. We all love and see color differently. What turns you on?

    Knowing about color is fun and exciting.  Color theory is relatively simple to learn and once you have a handle on it,  you may become bolder when choosing a room color or you won't create muddy paintings ever again. If you do, you'll know why and then next time get even better at it. 

     In each Color and Energy workshop there will be an overall lesson for all using paint, the color wheel and color theory. There will be different exercises for beginners (and non-artists) and more advanced lessons for intermediate to seasoned artists. Beginners will be given templates and step-by-step instructions to help you gain more understanding quickly. Anyone can do these with instruction and demonstrations. The more advanced painter will be given an idea and the room to experiment and grow from what they already know. You pick the exercises that are right for you. No matter the level, everyone can feel comfortable growing as a group together because we never stop learning. We learn more and faster when working in a class than on our own or from a book because there isn't anyone there to point out to us what our blind spots are.  Plus, it is way more fun. And if you like details more than color, we can cover this as well. The workshops are safe places to learn and grow. We encourage each other.

    I have noticed the fun never stops as an artist. I just received my box of my favorite 80 hand rolled pastels that are now in the Signature Set of Linda Richichi  "Color and Energy"Pastels from Jack Richeson Company. Seeing every color gave me joy. This set was designed around the prismatic palette I use when I paint and the colors I teach with in my workshops. Call to  purchase this set from the A&F Art Store in Sarasota, FL.  click here.

    So what is your favorite color? What does it make you feel?

Find out more

 Photo doesn't include some of the backordered colors that were missing when I photographed the set.

Photo doesn't include some of the backordered colors that were missing when I photographed the set.

 What colors would you paint this little study if given only 20 minutes to fill in the shapes? What would determine your color choices?

What colors would you paint this little study if given only 20 minutes to fill in the shapes? What would determine your color choices?

Next triads

After studying with John Phillip Osborne at the Ridgewood Institute of Art in NJ for a length of time, I began to understand and see what was passed to John from his teacher Arthur Maynard and to him from Frank Vincent Dumond. 

 One student quotes DuMond as saying, “Silently glowing over this whole landscape is a rainbow. You must learn to see it. It is there always, and if you can get hold of that, you have something worth going after.”    

Once you've seen it cross over the sky, the land and even a face in a north light studio, you can't not look for it forever after. In my Color and Energy workshops we focus on the prismatic palette and how to capture the rainbow. 

First, knowing how to capture the first, second and third triads is invaluable. In my last blog we discussed the first triad - that initial Light, Medium and Dark value easily found when looking through red glass. Next, is the TRIAD IN THE DARKS. On the left of the DARK value on the nine step value scale is the High Dark and on the right is the Low Dark.  Look in the DARK value and see where is it a bit darker and establish those LOW DARKS. Where is it a bit lighter and establish those HIGH DARKS.                                                                  

 1. white  2. High Light  3. Light 4. Low Light 5. Medium 6. High Dark  7. Dark  8.Low Dark.  9 Black

1. white  2. High Light  3. Light 4. Low Light 5. Medium 6. High Dark  7. Dark  8.Low Dark.  9 Black

Look in the Dark shape on my painting below in the full color rendition. See where I made it slightly lighter (HIGH DARK) and slightly darker (LOW DARK) in the dark area? I've also changed the color up a bit too. 

Now look into the LIGHT areas and find where I made them slightly lighter (a HIGH LIGHT) and darker (LOW LIGHT). The medium value has hue changes but not value changes. You can also move the medium value toward the light or the dark to keep the painting more dramatic and reducing the values to 4 or 6 values only instead of 7.  

Illustrators often reduce a painting dramatically to make a story stronger and more easily read by their audience. 

The more you learn to control your values the stronger paintings are received. Then begin to focus on color. As you may have heard before... Value does all the work and color gets all the credit. 
 

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Notice how I also changed the amount of LIGHT in the sky making it the least amount. In the prior rendition, the LIGHT, MEDIUM and DARK shapes were all about the same. I made the Medium value more dominant to make the painting stronger. Something needs to be dominant, another shape a bit less and the last shape more of an accent. We don't want all three areas to fight for attention.  You must have one more dominant and reduce the amount of attention from there. 

In this case, the light gets the attention because it is the lightest, brightest and smallest and then there is Color to add to the mix- Mononchromatic, complementary, analogous, muted, prismatic, etc.

Learning to create fast color studies and working in a prismatic palette is the focus on my Color and Energy workshops in Sarasota, FL (aka paradise). Consider joining me in person and learn. For more information on workshops.

 So much to pass along to you including my new system for capturing the three values in a black and white study and then again quickly in a color study before tackling a larger painting. 

The First Triad

It was when I began studying with John Phillip Osborne that I really began to understand the value of the value scale (gradations from light to dark). When looking at a landscape there are so many objects, forms (like leaves on trees) and how does one begin to capture it all? Reduce everything down into just three values. Use a red glass or red cellophane to see value without color.

You will notice three values dominate... LIGHT (shapes massed together in sunlight). MEDIUM (the areas between the sunlight and shadows) and DARKS (areas in shadow). See below.

 By looking through the red cellophane outside at a landscape, the scene is reduced into three separate values- LIGHT, MEDIUM, & DARK. If you first find the horizon line and divide the scene into two values, the light and then everything else, you can create a notan- simple black and white (two values). The clouds in this case are made into a third value slightly darker than the light value. They are not quite a medium value but are not as light as the light so I've made them separate because through the red tool, they appear darker than the LIGHT.  I have chosen a simple scene to assist you in learning this concept.  I've made the black and white sketch below quickly and as simple and dramatic as possible.

By looking through the red cellophane outside at a landscape, the scene is reduced into three separate values- LIGHT, MEDIUM, & DARK. If you first find the horizon line and divide the scene into two values, the light and then everything else, you can create a notan- simple black and white (two values). The clouds in this case are made into a third value slightly darker than the light value. They are not quite a medium value but are not as light as the light so I've made them separate because through the red tool, they appear darker than the LIGHT.

I have chosen a simple scene to assist you in learning this concept.  I've made the black and white sketch below quickly and as simple and dramatic as possible.

Did you see the distinct three values when looking through the red glass? I have drawn them here in this quick 30 second sketch.

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Osborne spoke of triads, three of them to be exact.

He suggested we use a nine step value scale as opposed to the ones that offer more.  His teacher was Arthur Maynard, and his Frank Vincent Dumond. It is my belief that I heard that this concept was handed down to them over the years because it simplified the approach when learning how to capture the myriad of values . The first triad must be mastered before moving to the second and third triad. I have also developed a simple system to create a value study and then a color study. (See this in the article about the next two triads.) Register below to receive the next lesson. 

  Nine step value scale.

Nine step value scale.

 In this black and white version everything below the horizon line moves toward a dark value mass because as the sun sets, everything goes into a silhouette on the land making it simple to see it as a darker value.  The sky in light is painted as a LIGHT value initially. I've massed the cloud patterns as a medium value giving you three distinct shapes in the three different values of the first triad.     Next, I started to play with the size of each mass slightly allowing a dominant shape and value to appear.    By increasing the medium value so that all three values are not of. equal importance as they appear to be in the above scene the composition of my painting is improving a bit. In the finished piece (pictured in the next lesson and also on my home page) you can see how I have furthered this mission by playing with this concept of dominant value and shape even more.    Fill out the form below to learn about the next triads and see how this painting was improved.

In this black and white version everything below the horizon line moves toward a dark value mass because as the sun sets, everything goes into a silhouette on the land making it simple to see it as a darker value.

The sky in light is painted as a LIGHT value initially. I've massed the cloud patterns as a medium value giving you three distinct shapes in the three different values of the first triad.  

Next, I started to play with the size of each mass slightly allowing a dominant shape and value to appear.

By increasing the medium value so that all three values are not of. equal importance as they appear to be in the above scene the composition of my painting is improving a bit. In the finished piece (pictured in the next lesson and also on my home page) you can see how I have furthered this mission by playing with this concept of dominant value and shape even more.

 Fill out the form below to learn about the next triads and see how this painting was improved.

 Here is the first triads painted in color. All colors have value but that is a different lesson. I am not done yet with this painting. Look for the finished painting in the next lesson.  

Here is the first triads painted in color. All colors have value but that is a different lesson. I am not done yet with this painting. Look for the finished painting in the next lesson.  

You will notice that there are a variety of colors and some value changes in the Light, Medium and Dark value shapes. I've moved on to the next triads.  To receive an email explaining the next triads, click here and tell me what stage of painting you are in: Beginner, intermediate or advanced. A Value Finder (red cellophane and with the value scale) is included in the gift bag when you take any of my classes or workshops.   I'd love to share with you what was passed to me from the masters who I studied under by sending you the next lesson.  Learn more about upcoming workshops. Click here.

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 Copyright 2018 Linda Richichi.                             Fill this form out to learn more about triads and receive tips from time to time.                        

Copyright 2018 Linda Richichi.                      

 

  Fill this form out to learn more about triads and receive tips from time to time.                        

Feeling Color

 Birge Harrison had a belief that color can be heard. When I see his paintings, I believe he did.

Color has a vibration, it can be heard. It can be felt. Color can heal. How? Play with color and find out. Not just use color or look at color, but have a relationship with color. A serious one.

When I grab a pastel like the turquise one you can see me using below,  I know that most of the colors we see in nature are more neutral and not so prismatic as what I often use. Yet, if I select a color to paint on the canvas as I see it in nature, much duller, it doesn't come across the same when I look at it inside. It doesn't sing. It doesn't vibrate at the same frequency and I need it to feel the same as when I was outside.

I have heard color. Each color note has resonated in my body so that I recognize the feeling of a color when I am painting. Most often I need to grab a color that is a higher vibration so that when the painting is finished, the feeling is similar to what I saw outside both by my eyes and my inner being. If this doesn't make sense, I understand, as it has taken my years to try and explain it. 

When you look at color attempt to feel it in your body. Rather than experience it with your eyes, experience the sensations the color gives you within, deep within. Where in your body does it connect with you?  Look at the color red for example and figure out how that particular shade of red makes you feel. This understanding takes time and most people just won't commit to this experience so they will not comprehend fully what I believe Birge Harrison knew and used in his paintings. Each day I work to portray in my work a feeling more than a vision.

If you really love color, play with it, get to know it, see how it plays with other colors. Consider coming to one of my workshops and join me in my commitment to learning all I can about it. I am happy to share all I know with you. That also takes time.

Click here for more info.

 

 

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 Birge Harrison 

Birge Harrison 

 Linda Richichi  Coming Storm Study  5" x 7" Pastel   

Linda Richichi  Coming Storm Study  5" x 7" Pastel

 

See & Mix Color More Effectively

When I teach a color workshop the participants are asked to paint a color strip of the colors they see of something in nature that they plan to paint.

This exercise gives them an opportunity to learn to mix their colors more effectively (without muddying them up). They also learn how to make beautiful neutrals as well as seeing how the sky reflects on the surfaces in the light and dark areas. In the image below you can see we use a double primary palette.  When painting the landscape, there are so many different greens and yet... no green on the palette. What do you do? Green and Blue make blue-green. However, which yellow, which blue, do you add any red? I hear these questions at each workshop and students play with the different warm and cool yellows, blues and even learn how to add some red to make a variety of greens. 

 Isolate what you are looking out with a viewfinder or like me, the hole in your palette. I've put a Titanium White, Hansa Yellow Light, Cadmium Yellow Medium, Napthol Red, Quinadrone Red, Pthalo Blue and Ultramarine Blue on the palette.

Isolate what you are looking out with a viewfinder or like me, the hole in your palette. I've put a Titanium White, Hansa Yellow Light, Cadmium Yellow Medium, Napthol Red, Quinadrone Red, Pthalo Blue and Ultramarine Blue on the palette.

A prismatic palette was taught to me by John Phillip Osborne at the Ridgewood Art Institute in the early 2000's which I am happy to pass on. Osborne was taught by his teacher Arthur Maynard and his teacher was Frank Vincent DuMond

According to Wikipedia, DuMond… "From 1884 to 1888, he attended the Art Students League of New York, studying under Carroll Beckwith and William Sartain.[5] DuMond financed his art education by taking a job creating illustrations for New York's Daily Graphicnewspaper. As a result of his fine work there, he was offered a job at Harper's Weekly. He also later did work for such magazines as CenturyMcClure's,[4] and Scribner's.[1]

 By Frank Vincent Dumond

By Frank Vincent Dumond

He moved to Paris to continue his studies. From 1888 or 1889 to 1891 he attended Académie Julian,[6] where his instructors included Benjamin ConstantJules Joseph Lefebvre, and Gustav Boulanger.[1][5] He attained recognition in 1890 when a painting of his, Holy Family, exhibited at the Salon, was awarded a prestigious medal.[4]"

 

 By Frank Vincent Dumond

By Frank Vincent Dumond

My weekly trips to study with John Osborne assisted me in learning first to improve my portraits skills, working exclusively from life, seeing the different light and the entire rainbow fall across the face. This rainbow also falls across everything we see. I love sharing how to see this with students in the workshops and classes.  For more info join my newsletter list. 

Click here for more information about workshops. 

 

 As we progress in the exercise, participants mix up the colors they see using both the warm and cool primary colors to mix secondary variations. We look for the reflections of the sky, how it affects the colors and add the complimentary colors to create beautiful neutrals.    

As we progress in the exercise, participants mix up the colors they see using both the warm and cool primary colors to mix secondary variations. We look for the reflections of the sky, how it affects the colors and add the complimentary colors to create beautiful neutrals. 

 

 A pastel from the early 2000's still in my collection is a sample of what I was learning when working with a nine step value scale, prismatic color and capturing the greens in nature.

A pastel from the early 2000's still in my collection is a sample of what I was learning when working with a nine step value scale, prismatic color and capturing the greens in nature.