Monday, December 30, 2013

Red And Green Christmas?

There are those who say that heaven and hell are of our own making. If it’s true, I had a glimpse of what heaven can be this past week. I had the absolutely best Christmas gift a person could have, and I did not even have to unwrap it. You couldn’t put it under the tree,  it had no glitter and it didn’t smell of pine. What was it?

I got to go painting with two of my grandkids. One had been with me before and the other had not. They are both teenagers and it was a true gift to be able to spend the morning with them. It was even better that they wanted to go and paint. It took a real effort of will to get one of them to give up a precious morning of sleep on their holiday break. And the other was interested but knew that he was red/green colorblind. So we prepped a bit before we went.
Painting With Grandma 2 days before Christmas
I had read pages 154 through 157 of Al Gury’s book Color For Painters on how to approach painting for those who could not tell the difference between certain colors.  I have not found a great deal of information about teaching painting with this in mind. In fact my grandson told me that his art teacher in high school had just assumed that the students knew what the colors did and how they worked. Seeing a real omission there, I was very thankful to have just read that particular passage of Gury’s book. We found a color wheel, and we talked about how the colors interact when they are mixed and when they are alongside each other.
I know that talking about it is not seeing it. But if on an intellectual level, some understanding is reached, perhaps that, with the color wheel in hand, is better than no help at all. After all, without intensive testing, who is to say how very pronounced or not is a body’s colorblindness? How can you tell, where challenge starts, if you are not challenged in that way?

Granddaughter's painting of Leonesse Winery, Temecula CA
I am proud of the effort that they both made, but in awe of my grandson and his willingness to paint with me. Even Winston Churchill was intimidated by a white canvas, and so are most of us at one time or another.
A not red and green landscape and its creator.

Their paintings were wonderful. Soft and light filled, with wonderful colors and great recession. His painting was not heavily green or red. He did most of this with what he could differentiate without trouble.

Christmas this year was sunlit, hazy, soft and warm. Yeah, Christmas is not always red and green.

Favorite quote:
Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air.                                                       (John Quincy Adams)