I recently decided to shift how I think about myself as an artist – from polymer artist who teaches color, to colorist and teacher of color who uses polymer clay as my medium for color explorations.

Why? Because I want to focus on sharing my love of polymer clay and what I am learning about color with artists of other media.

Over the past ten years I’ve taught my Smashing Color workshop at numerous polymer and fiber arts events using polymer clay and dyes. I soon realized that the teaching of color basics is not media specific and that many artists could benefit from looking at color from a new perspective. Sure there are differences between what a weaver needs to know and what a painter needs to know but these are details. What’s important is seeing color with new eyes.

I am a big believer in collaboration.  I wanted to teach the ideas behind Smashing Color color to more than just polymer artists so I invited some painter friends to be my guinea pigs for six months. We met once a week or so and went step by step through various exercises using acrylic paint. I even came up with a fairly foolproof way to do color scales in acrylics. We had fun experimenting and I learned tons from their feedback.

Once we were done I decided I wanted to bring more artists together to explore color. Rather than meet once a week, I found a big house in Portland to rent for the last week in September and am inviting artists of all media to come for an inaugural Color Retreat. We will spend the mornings in workshop mode with exercises from the book “Color Inspirations” by Lindly Haunani and I, the afternoons exploring color in our own media with time for troubleshooting and feedback, and the end of the day sharing with each other what we learned.

I see this as both an exciting way to get together with others who share my passion for color and as a way to offer an affordable week long event.  We can all learn from each other!

There are still some spots in the first Color Retreat.  For more information September Color Retreat.