A Moment in a Week of Color
There is something exhilarating for me in meeting new people, especially people with whom I am going to share an experience. This excitement of being in a new place with a new group of people set the mood for our week in Hillsdale, New York, with the students in Free Columbia – a year-long painting training with Laura Summer and Nathaniel Williams. For this week we worked with the color wheel: painting colors, walking as colors, speaking as colors, and creating color sculptures. We also learned about the Threefold Social Organism with Seth Jordan.
One thing that stood out for me in all of this color work is how colors are affected and affect each other. Blue is Blue, and yet somehow Blue is different when painted on the page in a conversation with Green. Blue is again different when it meets Violet on the page. Blue is Blue, yet it is changed. How can this be? How can something be what it is, and also be completely different depending upon whom or what it is meeting? Just as I experienced the colors being changed by their environment, I also experienced myself changed. In the farmland and autumn foliage of upstate New York, the people there and the first snow of the year, everything felt fresh and new, and I was able to experience myself again with new eyes. We returned to Chestnut Ridge with arms full of paintings to decorate with, and I returned with a new experience of color, with new friends, changed, and still…Me.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Free Columbia Art Course opened with 6 weeks exploring color, we steeped in it for 15 hours each week. After such intense experience you can image the surprise to discover that the simple color explorations we engaged with the Christian Community Seminary students were so profoundly revealing. Imagine walking like RED, saying "Hello" like BLUE or filling yourself with YELLOW. Try creating a human sculptural representation of the color wheel or capturing the moods of traveling from one color to another as they circle the wheel. These simple but earnest explorations allowed each individual to develop a personal relationship with the colors, but, equally important was that our individual explorations, when shared, enriched and deepened into objective understandings about the character and qualities of each color and their relationships with each other.
Both groups met and worked harmoniously from the start and through the guidance of our instructors, wove an atmosphere of mutual trust, exploration, inquiry and playfulness. The work together served as both an out breathing of our intense work in respective areas of study and an in breathing of the deeper qualities of color in our outer and inner worlds.
Lisa Damian, full time Free Columbia student