Thursday, January 7, 2010


A Monet colored sky greeted us this morning.

It was so beautiful. If I hadn't had an appointment, I think I would have set my easel outside to capture it in all its glory. Who cares if there's snow...

If my students are reading, I hope you looked out the window and examined the range of colors. This photo doesn't do it justice, but the color changes from cerulean to ultramarine were clearly defined and separated by a band of clouds. It was a perfect lesson moment! I wished you were all here. What a perfect opportunity it would have been to analyze and discuss this together. The ideal visual to accompany my lesson.

I work hard with my beginner students to blend a range of colors for their skies. It usually involves a creamy start at the horizon and ranges through cerulean to ultramarine, perhaps with pinks or purples within the mix. We spend an entire class session blending this transition. I always wonder if they think I'm crazy making them work so hard to achieve this. Usually someone will come in at a later date telling of how they stared at the sky only to find all the colors I taught were actually there! I love this moment. Its comes with widest eyes and the look of surprise and wonder. (confirming they thought I was crazy, ...until now)

I know from this point on, they will never see the same again. A whole new world opens up and I get to enjoy their excited descriptions as they begin to view things with new eyes of a child. I love bringing this to people!

What a gift. What a gift to give. What a gift to receive!

It puts a huge smile across my face every time someone shares their enlightening moments of discovery with me. Many can't believe they've gone so far into their lives and missed all this before. I smile writing about it. I suppose its why I teach. It isn't simply the act of putting paint on canvas, but the whole package around this event. New channels open up in the brain. What was merely seen as objects before are now seen through a knowledge of color, which in turn, sparks emotion. I love the descriptions when a student stared at something for a long time trying to decide what colors they might mix to capture what they're finally observing.

Many comments of puzzled, non-understanding spouses arrive as well. Harken non-creative people. We're not crazy. We're just seeing things you haven't observed yet...

I hope your day is filled with surprising color!


  1. You sound like a wonderful teacher, I wish you were in my neck of the woods! That is a beautiful picture by the way. Have a creative day!

  2. I have been watching the evening sky and it has been beautiful! pinks and blues

  3. Nice sky! It's when you get to green and yellow skies the problems begin!

  4. Ton ciel est effectivement magnifique. Lorsque je pilotais mon ulm je m'enivrais de cette beauté gratuite que nous offre le ciel, un véritable kaléidoscope !
    C'est peut-être pour ça que mes nuages ressemblent à des parachutes !
    Je rejoins le commentaire de Jaime... Bisous

  5. Susan!

    It was smart of you to at least take a picture. Daily schedules get in the way of our painting sometimes and capturing those amazing colors on the spot isn't always realistic. A photo is better than nothing!

    Good for you for trying to get others to "see more". It's one of the wonderful things about being an artist. You can see what others usually miss.

    Thank you for sharing your found beauty with the rest of us!



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