Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Workshop with Dick Nelson

Tuko and I attended a workshop at the East Hawai'i Cultural Center given by a teacher who I knew way back in high school. Mr Nelson was the advisor for the stage design club, of which I was the student president. Even though for some reason I never took art classes at Punahou, he still made a huge impression on me. He was cute and funny and full of wise suggestions. Although now both of us are pushing forty years older he hasn't changed all that much....

His Big Thing is color theory, specifically the notion that all colors can be derived from three pigment primaries, Cyan, Magenta and Yellow, and that numerous magical effects can be obtained from the knowledgeable manipulation of colors. We did a few of the many color exercises that are handed down from the master classes of Joseph Albers, with whom Dick studied at Yale University. Using small colored papers we tried to obtain the illusions of light, transparency, shade and tint. Not as easy as it would seem.

I'm looking forward to applying these lessons to my own painting to achieve heightened effects of glowing illumination and mystery.

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