Developing An Eye For Color

text by Jessica Stammen
painting reproductions by Sarah Mitchell, Tom Cox,
Willow Grinnell, Nancy Albertson & Shawn Albertson

For the past few winters, during the weeks that are made of the dark cold days between holiday festivities and mud, I have been lucky enough to join a dozen or so eighth graders at the local middle school for a special class exploring color.

The class is now complete and pictured here are examples of the final project, to reproduce a master painting using only collaged Color Aid paper. It is an exacting endeavor, but entertaining and wonderful to see the inevitable interpretations on such well known works as “The Scream” and “The Girl With The Pearl Earring.” One student out-Hoppered Hopper, leaving the lonely people out of the late night diner to make it the loneliest image ever.

“Hundreds of men can talk for one who can think, but thousands of men can think for one who can see,” wrote John Ruskin. I teach every class to help students learn to see; by doing so I hope to learn the same lesson. Like Josef Albers, the pioneer of color theory, I do believe that seeing can change the world.