I’m here in Tucson helping Laura Liska at the Whole Bead Show. The room is filled with her color coordinated collections of bead mixes, fiber bundles and fabric squares all beautifully displayed in baskets on tables covered in hand-dyed cloths. I can’t tell you how many times people walk in and say, “Ooooh, these colors are just so gorgeous!”
Laura is the best colorist I know. Yes, she has studied color theory. But there is more to creating gorgeous colors than just doing color exercises. Laura also has a deep, intuitive understanding of color that flows from her soul as amazingly beautiful color combinations. I am in awe of her color sense.
We have spent many, many hours over the years talking about color, and about our personal explorations of color. We share observations from books we are reading, from classes we have taught, and from nature. Though we share a passion for color, we are not on the same path. She often kids me about being so “intellectual” because she explores color from a different place – a place of emotional connection.
The names of her colorways give hints to some of these connections: Chalcedony, Summer’s End, Whisper, Blue Moon, Rain, Green Tea, Allure, Matsutake, Lotus, Petal, Incense, Mango Season, Caribbean, Foilage, Bella Rosa.
I learn so much from being here every year, surrounded by “gorgeous” colors and digging into the mysteries of color with Laura. I go home with the reminder that if I set aside thinking about color for awhile and focus on feeling it, my relationship with color changes – and I return to the studio energized by a sense of wonder and gratefulness for the beauty of the world.
PS There is no way my photos can show the subtleness of Laura’s colorways. They really do need to be seen to be appreciated.