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Smashing Color News - November 2014

Hi Color Explorers -

I spent the last few weeks traveling. My first stop was Racine, Wisconsin for the Polymer 2.0 Symposium. It was wonderful to see my work in two shows - one at the Racine Art Museum and one at the Johnson Gallery. After a few days visiting my parents in Ohio, I was off to North Carolina to teach. It was a bit of a whirlwind!

Now I am home in Portland for the next 10 months and raring to take off on my Year of Color Exploration.

Happy to have you join me!

Maggie Maggio

Munsell Color Tree at VIA Artistica

Now that I'm back, I am busy transforming one end of the teaching studio at VIA Artistica into a Color Exploration Studio. This will be "color central" for the next few years as I try to figure out the best ways to teach 21st Century Color at all age levels.

I've already moved my collection of books, posters, charts, and color models into the space and plan on adding my own versions to them over the next year. 

Understanding color spaces - how color works in 3D - is at the heart of all my color studies. I use the Munsell color space in all my classes so the addition of a Munsell Color Tree to my collection is a dream come true!

Many thanks Werner Bonitz of Asheville, NC for his generous offer to give his Tree a new home at VIA. Check out this recent blog post for the story.


New Color Scales Workshop at OSA

With the help of generous support from Muse Art and Design, our local independently owned art supply store, I’ve spent the last year exploring color in traditional media – acrylic, oil, watercolor and gouache paint,  ink, colored pencil and pastel.

As a result, I am now offering a workshop on making color scales in all media. The first of these classes - Color Scales for Artists – will be Friday, November 21st with the Oregon Society of Artists. This workshop is a companion class to Rene Eisenbart’s "Color Mixing Demystified" workshop at OSA on November 14th.

This fun, hands-on workshop is open to all artists who want to explore color while learning more about their materials.

Info and Registration: Muse Art and Design
Blog Post: Color Scales for Artists

Muse Art and Design Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Muse turns ten years old this November!

To celebrate, they are having special one-weekend-only sales from Friday, November 14 through Sunday, November 16.  10% off everything storewide, plus additional surprise discounts and prize drawings with every purchase over $25!

If you are in Portland, Oregon be sure to visit Muse this weekend and help celebrate their anniversary! 

Muse Art and Design
4220 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
Portland, Oregon 97215
11am-6pm, seven days

Oscar the Grouch was Magenta

Speaking of anniversaries - Sesame Street celebrated it's 45th birthday on Monday. As part of the celebration, PBS shared #45 Facts.  

Can you believe that Oscar the Grouch was designed to be Magenta!

They changed the color to orange due to problems in early color TV. He turned green for Season 2 after a visit to Swamp Mushy Muddy.  Must have been the slime!


More Color on NPR

NPR is also featuring a collection of stories about color this week. Each of the segments is a fascinating "tip-of-the-iceberg" peek into this complicated topic.

My favorite segment?

"Is It Time to Reappropriate Pink?"

My answer? Yes!

How can we start to teach that Magenta is a primary when it is considered a pink - and pink is considered just for girls?

I wonder if Pink/Magenta would have a different image if Oscar the Grouch was Magenta? Hmmmmmm.

Feature of the Month: Optical Illusions

The classic Albers color interaction exercise above is included in one of the recent NPR stories. The X's are the same color but appear to be different. This is just one of many ways to create optical effects that fool the eye. Some illusions involve color, some play with lines and forms, and all confuse the brain. I just spent four days exploring these phenomena with a few hardy polymer artist/guinea pigs in North Carolina. Crazy but fun!

Watch out! Here are some of my favorite optical illusion links:

For Kids: National Institute of Health
Michael Back: Hering Illusions and many others
Akiyoshi: Illusion Pages 
Recent: 21 Mind-Boggling Optical Illusions That Will Melt Your Brain

More on Josef Albers: Hirshhorn Collection

Adobe Kuler is now Adobe Color CC

Adobe Color, formerly known as Adobe Kuler, is an internet application from Adobe Systems that lets individuals try out, create and save various colour schemes. It's fun to play with - even if it's limited to a traditional hue harmony system using only five colors in equal proportion.

There are many sites out there that let you create color combinations. They are easy to use but do they really help?

Next Feature: Color Scheme Sites

Thanksgiving is coming up in two weeks here in the US of A. I am grateful for so much good in the world despite all the bad/sad news.

Thanks and Big Hugs to all!