Maggie Maggio

Smashing Color for the 21st Century

Flying to Teach

fiber-studio2.jpgI spent the summer flying and teaching.

My first stop was at the The Fiber Studio in Henniker, New Hampshire for a two day Smashing Color Workshop. The Fiber Studio is a colorful store filled with stunningly beautiful yarns for knitters and weavers – very inspirational!

The workshop was held in the store’s classroom; a sun-filled space surrounded by beautiful wooden looms of all sizes. We played with magazine collages, paint swatches, fabric swatches, dyes and polymer clay and had lots of fun exploring how to personalize color and compositional choices. It was great to see how liberating it can be for students to discover, and accept, their preferences.

After 31 years of running the shop, Pam and Laurie recently announced that they are retiring and leaving this month for Santa Fe and a whole new adventure. Bon Voyage!


smith-college.jpgMy second workshop was at the New England Weavers Seminar for a three day, intensive Smashing Color Workshop.

This was the first time that NEWS was held at Smith College. What a gorgeous campus!

I was teaching in a huge college art room complete with sinks, pinup boards, and enough tables and chairs for three separate working/demo areas for all 18 students. A teacher’s dream come true. We had a blast!

This was the first time that students brought in some weavings to analyze and I learned that critiqueing finished pieces is a fabulous way to see how colors can combine both successfully and unsuccessfully.


hotel-regina-palace-on-lake.jpgThe third workshop I taught this summer was held in the Hotel Regina Palace on Lake Maggiore, Italy.

A small group of very talented artists from the US and Europe came to the tiny resort town of Stresa to take classes with Louise Fischer Cozzi and myself.

Louise shared her luminous polymer techniques and I combined the Smashing Color and Watercolor workshops with looking at landscapes for inspiration.

We used photographs of landscapes but we could have just walked out onto the deck lake-maggiore-06.jpgat Louise and Gio’s condo. (That’s the view on the right.)The Italian alps reflected in the lake – what a fantastic place to be inspired by landscape!

Melanie West has wonderful commentary with lots of info and photos from the workshops on her blog – go back to July 31st to see all the entries. Betsy Baker also has fun posts about the workshop and there are some beautiful photos in Betsy’s photo album.


pingree3.jpgAfter Italy I went to a retreat with other artists in the mountains of Colorado. I didn’t do a workshop there, but I did do a simple demo of my watercolor technique.

Preparing for that demo got my creative juices flowing again and I am thrilled to be starting some new work now that I’m finally back in Portland, Oregon.


Four beautiful venues. Two months of traveling. Thousands of air miles. Lots of carbon emissions!

One of the reasons I decided to do a blog was to teach without flying. Air travel wrecks havoc with my ecological footprint.

There are many organization that talk about carbon offsets for flying. My favorite is the David Suzuki Foundation.

But my problem is that I love to get together with groups to share what I have discovered about color over the years. There’s so much that I learn that I would hate to give it up entirely.

I will continue to fly – just not as often. And when I do fly I will try to fiqure out some way to offset my contribution to global warming. This summer while I was gone we finally insulated our eighty year old house. Its not your Gold Standard carbon offset but it works for me.

Now that the summer is over its time to get back to tutorials. With all the traveling I wasn’t able to get together with my nephew, Joey, to do the third video. It now looks like it will be October before we get that one out. Thanks for your patience!




  1. admin

    September 11, 2007 at 3:35 pm

    Hi Kristina – Thanks so much for taking the time to do the exercises! I am finally back to blogging after taking the summer off to teach. I learned a lot and feel I am just about ready to do another video. So I made a date with Joey to finish the third video the first weekend in October. It will cover making a triangle from color scales. Should be fun! Maggie

  2. Hello from Slovenia. I have never left a comment yet but I always read the posts and tutorials. Thank you soooo much for wonderful tutorials up to now – I learned loads of new things. I studied them all year long and during the summer I sat down and started mixing colours according to the handouts – I couldn’t stop and I can’t wait for another video. Thanks again and I am already looking forward to your book.
    Best wishes Kristina

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