Before the course begins, I would like you to do the following:
-Gather all your materials
-Read this article about artist Olafur Eliasson and his work with colour experiments in the round. This was my initial inspiration for our course.
-Watch this video about Olafur Eliasson's installation at the TATE museum which was my initial inspiration for this course.
-Choose a painting or two that you would like to deconstruct from a colour perspective
-Think about whether you would like to stitch your personal ode as a goldwork ring, or in a straight line in another technique, or something else.
-You may decide you want to do a series of these based on the work of a particular artist or museum. For example, you can call your embroidery: Dutch Master and then work up three circles breaking down the colours of 3 paintings from Vermeer. Or maybe you call your piece Monet's Garden and you break down three paintings of his from his garden series. Or perhaps you call your piece insanity and you look at Van Gogh's last three paintings that fade out in straight lines to represent his life ending in a disjointed way. How about a tribute to the watercolours of Beatrix Potter? You get the idea....
-Research the work of J.M.W. Turner. Specifically look at how he uses light and the contrast of colours and light vs. dark. Consider making an electronic collage of his work and see if you can find common themes.
-Research and put together a visual reference on the work of French Chemist Michel Eugène Chevreul, the most important and influential European colour theorist during the 1800s. This can look like/be in any format that suits you. It can be quite in depth, or very brief, depending on how much you wish to explore his work. Think along the lines of a concept map, mind map, labelled diagrams, pictorial timeline, collage.......see example of a mind map from test student Heather McKinnon at the bottom of this page.
This article from Elle Decoration (2020) is an easy introduction to his work, written by one of my favourite colour authors, Kassia St. Claire. A bit more in depth is this one which has painting examples.
Or, for a more academic reading, here is an overview of his life published in 1889 by the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Have fun searching for visuals to help you understand his colour work. We will discuss this in the first half of the course.
Or, for the REALLY keen student, below is a digital copy of the 3rd edition of his book published in 1860 for you to download. The whole book is well summarized in the 20 pages of the section called Translators Introduction: Explanatory of M. Chevreul's Principles. Happy reading if this is your kind of thing!