In the early years of my painting training I sought out the best teacher that I could find and who would be a good fit for me. I didn't know if I wanted to paint landscape or still life, but I did know that I wanted to learn to paint well. I got really lucky and was referred by Jeanette Le Grue to Susan Sarback, School of Light & Color, from whom I learned the effect of light and color when it is translated into oil painting. She taught me the direct experience of seeing how light and color create form and space.
Susan teaches painting in the lineage of Monet, and one learns to mix paint on the canvas, not of the palette. She also taught me about Josef Albers and the relativity of color, that color is constantly changing, always being seen in relation to the colors it is surrounded by. For this education I am eternally grateful. My work has always been influenced by color relativity, because it was instilled from the start.
Color is understood through experience. We need to train our eyes to understand color and begin to see the differences between colors. Through comparison and contrast of different colors one begins to understand how colors interact and how to apply this to color usage.
As I continue to learn and grow I find I have so much more to learn about color, that there is a great, delicious, unending chasm left to explore.
Quite some years ago I had the opportunity to go to the Kunstmuseum Bern. I had just met my husband and we took a trip to Switzerland for a family wedding. I was enamored with Klee's work, bought some postcards and brought them home. I did not know at the time that this brief meeting would be the beginning of a new artistic journey for me. I was fascinated with the colors, their depth and shape. And for some reason, I just loved those rectangles.
Klee taught at the Bauhaus in Germany from 1921-1931 as well as his contemporaries, Johannes Itten and Josef Albers. Well, if you know any of these painters and designers, then you know where I am going . . . deep into color, rectangles and squares.
Blühendes by Paul Klee
Paul Klee Biography Educator, Painter (1879–1940)
Paul Klee was born in Münchenbuchsee, Switzerland, on December 18, 1879. Klee participated in and was influenced by a range of artistic movements, including surrealism, cubism and expressionism. He taught art in at the Bauhaus in Germany until 1933 , when the National Socialists declared his work indecent. The Klee family fled to Switzerland, where Paul Klee died on June 29, 1940.
Klee’s artistic breakthrough came in 1914, after a trip to Tunisia. Inspired by the light in Tunis, Klee began to delve into abstract art. Returning to Munich, Klee painted his first pure abstract, In the Style of Kairouan, composed of colored rectangles and circles.
“A line is a dot that went for a walk.” —Paul Klee
Luminous Color Explorations