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February 9 - Collecting Colors and Noticing Relationships

Yesterday, we began to notice color in our environment through choosing a single color to search for on a walk.

Today’s invitation is to collect and record colors, to create a palette of colors from your neighborhood, home, or a favorite photo or object. You might also start noticing relationships among colors.

Today’s practice is inspired by a book called Local Color by Mimi Robinson. It feels particularly fitting now as our lives are increasingly focused on our homes and neighborhoods.

I discovered this book at a time when I was starting to sketch with watercolor. I was intrigued by the invitation to begin with the colors in a scene; it felt like a freeing first step.

One thing I love about this practice is that there is no wrong way to do it. Two people could walk in the same neighborhood and notice very different colors.

Practice - Create a Color Collection

Today’s practice is about recording colors. You might try this practice sitting outside or observing through a window. You could take a walk and record colors you remember when you return home. Or, you could work from a photo or a single natural object.

Feel free to label or name your colors and to add notes about where and when you created the collection.

For further inspiration, visit the Local Color Collective website.

The pair below includes a collection of colors beside a watercolor landscape of the same scene.

I was thinking of this practice last week as I walked in the snow. With snow still coming down, the colors were very muted. I anticipated selecting crayons to match the gray greens of the river and sky. At home, I chose to record the colors on brown craft paper for a bit of contrast.

Inspiration from Art: Alma Woodsey Thomas

"Man's highest aspirations come from nature. A world without color would seem dead. Color is life. Light is the mother of color. Light reveals to us the spirit and living soul of the world through colors." - Alma Woodsey Thomas

The photo above is from the collection of the National Gallery of Art. It is titled “Pansies in Washington.” I love how it both evokes the colors of these overwintering flowers and also creates a vibrant abstract mandala.

Read more about Alma Thomas and see images of her work at this Smithsonian Link.

In addition to biographical informaiton, the link includes images of 30 works from the Smithsonian Collection. Notice her playful titles. “Grassy Melodic Chant,” “Wind and Crepe Myrtle Concerto” and “Red Azaleas Singing and Dancing Rock and Roll Music” are a few of my favorites.

Below are three images from an Alma Thomas exhibit I visited in New York. Each is constructed of carefully painted segments of color. The colors you collect might be used for this sort of abstract play and creation too.

Thank you for being a part of this newsletter community.

Thank you to everyone who has been sharing images and creations.

Please feel free to share anything you are noticing or creating.

Respond to this email or share on Instagram with hashtag #papercolorearth

Thanks, Kathryn

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