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Old 04-30-2004, 05:01 AM
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jackiesimmonds jackiesimmonds is offline
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Using purple

I have a vague memory floating around in my head, about a comment in a thread about the use of purple in paintings.........someone said there was a book which showed the artist's love and use of purple, and someone replied saying that they too loved using lots of purple.........sorry to be so woolly, call it a senior moment...........

anyway, I cannot find the thread, and would love to know the name of the book, so if anyone knows what on earth I am going on about here, do please let me know
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Old 04-30-2004, 05:38 AM
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Re: Using purple

purhaps it's in the Book & Video Reviews thread which I found very useful.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/show...ghlight=purple
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Old 04-30-2004, 05:53 AM
weckster weckster is offline
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Re: Using purple

I vaguely remember reading the same thing....maybe I'll just go searching...BTW have your beginner's pastel book - it's great!!
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Old 04-30-2004, 06:33 AM
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Re: Using purple

Found it - it was Dee's post in that thread on books, and it was Wolf Khan's book, which I have to confess I sent back, having looked at the illustrations, decided I really did NOT like his work at all, and therefore did not read the text. Perhaps that was a bit hasty.

Jackie
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Old 04-30-2004, 06:38 AM
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Re: Using purple

Quote:
Originally Posted by weckster
I vaguely remember reading the same thing....maybe I'll just go searching...BTW have your beginner's pastel book - it's great!!


Glad you are finding it helpful.
Jackie
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Old 04-30-2004, 03:03 PM
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Re: Using purple

Jackie,
I have two of Wolf Kahn's books and love reading them! He has a way of stating the obvious with simple terms that make more sense after I've had a really bad day painting the landscape!....and I'm always saying to myself, "why didn't I think of that!"

carly

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Old 04-30-2004, 04:00 PM
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Re: Using purple

OMG! I hope this person was not denegrating the use of purple??? I'm with Carly on this. I could not paint without it. Purples invariably work best in shadows, on rocks, etc. I have the set of GAW grays, and have nearly used up the grayed purples in that set. They are marvelously versatile colors.

I don't care for Wolff Kahn's work either but that raises an interesting question. I select my instructional materials based on whether I like the artist's work. Based on your comment Jackie, is that a good criteria?
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Old 04-30-2004, 04:43 PM
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Re: Using purple

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1mpete
OMG! I hope this person was not denegrating the use of purple??? I'm with Carly on this. I could not paint without it. Purples invariably work best in shadows, on rocks, etc. I have the set of GAW grays, and have nearly used up the grayed purples in that set. They are marvelously versatile colors.

I don't care for Wolff Kahn's work either but that raises an interesting question. I select my instructional materials based on whether I like the artist's work. Based on your comment Jackie, is that a good criteria?

I was just wondering that myself. I did find out that signing up for a class with a teacher whose work I didn't care for was a BIG mistake. But maybe just because someone's art isn't to our liking isn't reason enough to disregard everything they have to say about art?
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Old 04-30-2004, 04:52 PM
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Re: Using purple

I also choose my instruction books based on work I like. I thought that was normal. Don't tell me that I have another aberation!!! Though it sounds like I'm in good company.
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Old 04-30-2004, 05:40 PM
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Deborah Secor Deborah Secor is offline
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Re: Using purple

I think this man has some very valuable things to say, whether you like his paintings or not...

Wolf Kahn Pastels

From his chapter on Color:

All coloristic gambits are subject to immediate review by the eye. There are no foolproof prior directions; all information regarding color must pass through severe screening, and the more attractive the colors used, the more severe are the requirements of coloristic decorum, to avoid and excess of charm and "stroking." The colors should at all times enhance each other, without becoming "color-coordinated" and thereby losing their autonomy. Colors should never be allowed to merge too easily into their surroundings. If a color "drowns" in the tonality, it loses its energy; it might not have been used at all. Like a good guest at a dinner party, a color should participate in the occasion but must not be allowed to take over the conversation to the point where other guests, who also wish to participate, are squelched, and cannot be heard.

And what I quoted before....

From his chapter on The Color Purple:

Laying down a good-sized area of purple is all I need to start a picture. That color is expressive in so many ways, and so special in others. Its range from light lilac color to nearly black, goes through a number of discrete tonalities, some of them useful for gray-violet skies and water, some for denser areas of middle distance, deep purple for nighttime, and deep shadows for the eye to drown in. Purple/violet is theoretically related to green. While I do not rely on color theory to guide me in any direction, I must admit that green and purple do something for each other, which green and yellow, green and blue, green and red do not. There are wonderful associations of purple and green in the work of other painters, especially the way Matisse and Bonnard used them in large areas...

...The smallest variation in density of tone is significant. Purple can be made to appear airy or heavy. (Try to make a heavy yellow or an airy black.)...

...I use purple to get me going when other colors fail. It never disappoints and never becomes ordinary....

I can jump-start a painting with purple, too. It was such a delight to find someone who understands that...


From his chapter on Bright Orange:

There remains the question of when, exactly, to employ this useful color without leaving oneself open to accusations of hedonism, or vulgarity, or worse yet, capriciousness, or worst, self-importance and attention-grabbing. The answer is: in fall, and at the time of brilliant sunsets.

Deborah
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Old 04-30-2004, 09:51 PM
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Re: Using purple

Another artist that uses purple in landscapes beautifully is Elizabeth Mowry. She has 2 books--"The Poetic Landscape" & "The Pastelists Year".
I got these books thru the Northlight Book Club.
She is very inspiring & no stranger to all shades of purple!!
Annette
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Old 05-01-2004, 02:15 AM
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Re: Using purple

As forthe question about whether one should like the artist's work in order to learn from them.......well, it is difficult to take advice from someone whose work displeases you, you doubt the efficacy of the advice from the word go, don't you.

Dee has made the point that Wolf Khan has some good things to say, (tho i would take issue with him over the comment re "orange".) and clearly, even tho I did not like his work AT ALL, I should have taken a little time to read the text and then make up my mind, rather than discard the book on the basis of the images. One should always be open-minded, and I have to admit that I was not. Talk about double standards too...I always berate people for only looking at pictures in books instead of reading the text, and here I was, doing just what I tell others not to do!

I am afraid it was a knee-jerk reaction. I really thought the paintings were uninspiring and I just did not want to look at them at all, and having paid a lot of money for the book, I was rather cross with myself for buying something sight-unseen, and I simply used the same packaging and "turned it around", sending it straight back to Amazon.

Perhaps he did have useful things to say, and this was a lesson for me to learn.

Jackie
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Old 05-01-2004, 09:28 AM
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Re: Using purple

Jackie, I did the exact thing! My bro-in-law bought his book and the first thing I did was open to the pictures and in seeing his work was completely "turned off" from the rest of the book. I'm glad this thread was here, I'm going to give this book another look. (I'll just not look at the pictures)
-Cristy
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Old 05-01-2004, 01:21 PM
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Re: Using purple

Over the years many of my students have given me books, which have been such a blessing because I've come into possession of ones I might not otherwise have chosen. There are some painters whose work does not excite me, but from whom I've learned a tremendous amount. In fact, I read what John Carlson said long before I ever saw any of his work in color (except for the cover of the book, which looked washed out to me.) Once I saw his work I realized I never would have counted him as an authority based on the paintings. No light, no sparkle, which is what I wanted to paint here in NM, but he has incredible riches of information on the technical side of how to paint the landscape, things like value structure, aerial perspective, linear perspective, etc. And although some of you (most other people) adore the work of Elizabeth Mowry, I've always found it too sweet and simple for my taste--again a matter of light--but she has some wonderful things to say. (I like Elizabeth a lot as a person and admire some of the things about her work, but would never aspire to 'paint like her', you understand.)

The books have served, in part, to help me realize that there are more ways to do it than the way I'm doing it, but also remind me to foster in others the talent they bring to painting, to help them strengthen the things they value, rather than imposing on them my way of doing it. In reading the advice, thoughts, and methods of others, even whose work I find uninteresting, I'm reminded that I am not the ultimate authority on anything but my own work!

Deborah
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Last edited by Deborah Secor : 05-01-2004 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 05-01-2004, 02:43 PM
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Re: Using purple

Bravo, Deborah.

.................................................. .....
Did you know.........
It was the painter Donatello's interest in the female nude that made him the Father of the Renaissance.
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