Monday, October 21, 2013

October 2013... The School Year Has Begun!

The Free Columbia 2013 - 2014 year has begun. Already three weeks in, we have completed quite a bit of work, as depicted in the photos below. Plenty of time has been spent outdoors doing nature observation, first through black and white sketches and eventually in color pastel. We have done simple exercises that have taken us out of "realism" yet at the same time encourage us to really "look" at what we're seeing. 



Here we each painted a red circle using the same paint. After staring at each of our own circles, everyone experienced another color circle when they switched their gaze to a white sheet of paper. Then we each mixed paint to match the "after image" we each experienced through staring at the red circle. This confirmed that we all experienced another color through this exercise, and that our colors were fairly similar. If you're not sure what this means exactly, a new blog will be posted shortly with some of the exercises.

We also experimented in finding the after image of a human being.

 It is hard WORK trying to match these after images.
Especially when looking at two similar shades of blue.

Here we have our full color chart. The primaries (2 blues, 2 yellows and 2 red/pink) were the colors we painted from the tubes. The remaining colors were the ones we experienced as the after image. Each person contributed one color circle to each color group, so as you can see, our "compliment" colors (orange, violet, etc...) are all quite similar.


Experiencing the Geothen Color Wheel through a simple wet-on-wet painting exercise. We are currently working on larger scale layered water color paintings with this exercise, and these will be shown later as they progress much more slowly.

Some of what's to come in our color notebooks... 

Color exercises from nature observation, taking us out of realism. Here we were only allowed to use three colors, choosing at least one we didn't like, and preferably ones that were not commonly seen outside. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Art Dispersal - SUNDAY, MAY 5th!

Art - Accessible to 100% of people

ART DISPERSAL May 5, 1-7pm
84 Main Street, Philmont, NY

Last May, Free Columbia ran an Art Dispersal Event where 116 original works of art were dispersed to people who took on the responsibility of being a steward of a piece of art. Many people participated both by donating work and by becoming stewards. The event was a huge success in many ways. So we are going to do it again! On Sunday May 5 we will have an Art Dispersal Event. This year we will hold it at our space at 84 Main Street in Philmont NY.

As a society we have placed original visual art outside of the financial means of the majority of people. At the same time we have impoverished most of our artists. At Free Columbia we are trying to turn this situation around. This means that you can become the steward of a painting. That means that you can live with the painting for as long as you like, you can pass it along to someone else who wants it and, if you no longer want to keep it, you can return it to the artist who created it.

You may ask, how much does it cost to become a steward of art? It does not cost. You cannot pay for it. This opportunity is freely given. Of course it does cost something to bring a painting into existence. Someone has to buy materials and have food and shelter while they work. But you can’t pay for that to happen in relation to the paintings available at Art Dispersal. It has already happened.

And if the question then occurs, “This is a good thing, this art dispersal, what can I do so that it happens in future years?” The answer is - you can support the conditions that make free culture possible. You can make a pledge or a donation to Free Columbia.

Let us see what happens when we ask people to support the conditions for creativity instead of purchasing artwork.

Participating Artists:
Laura Summer
Nick Pomeroy
Nathaniel Williams
Martina Muller
Brooke Nixon
Patricia Homan Lynch

Friday, March 1, 2013

Painting with Luster Colors

We've spent the last three weeks studying what Steiner called "luster" or shining colors (red, yellow, and blue). Next week we will continue with "image" colors (black, white, green, peach blossom). We began to study luster colors by working with a large layered watercolor painting, first focusing on color movement (for weeks!) before allowing form to come into being. 


Simultaneously we've also been working on various smaller lustre color projects that began more through line than with color. We took inspiration from the lines of trees, or color-themed still lives, set up by our teacher Laura Summer. Each exercise began with a color wash of either red, yellow, or blue. We then used the lines we had drawn as a means for finding and working with both color surface areas and structure. As we moved out of our initial lines and into colored surface areas, we could bring in other colors, while keeping in mind the color we first began with. These paintings were often layered with paper or white primer to help us adjust our prior layers and bring forth structure. Below are some examples of these color-themed paintings...




And a few other variations, including some from trees...

And for those who can manage all of the above in three weeks time, we have further instruction for a blue and orange-based layered watercolor study for understanding image colors!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Update on Puppetry!

It's finally February and the full-time Free Columbia students have begun the second half of their year-long painting and puppetry courses. Our puppets-in-progress have been patiently waiting for us to return to them, and here we are, adding the final layers of papier-mâché. It's a bit of a messy, gooey progress, but really wonderful to see how their faces are turning out since we made the smaller clay models earlier in the year. If you're in the town of Philmont on Tuesday, stop by our space next to Family Dollar to get a glimpse at our progress...