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Joining the ISCC Board of Directors

I’m very honored to be joining the Board of Directors of the Inter-Society Color Council (ISCC) for a 3-year term starting in January, 2017. The ISCC is the premier professional organization for color science in the United States, founded in 1931 and whose first member was none other than Dorothy Nickerson, assistant to A. E. O. Munsell, son of Albert Munsell, the creator of the Munsell Color System that I use and teach. Ms. Nickerson is deservedly well-known and regarded in the world of color science professionals, but not known as widely outside it; she did enormous amounts of research and hard science over a long career in a field popularly dominated by other names, but I believe she is due much of the credit for the success of the Munsell system. To be on the board of the organization she was a founding member of is humbling.

I will work to represent the fine arts within the ISCC, with the endless goal of educating the public in general, and artists in particular, about the exciting uses of color science in art, and combating the ongoing plague of misinformation about color that bedevils art instruction in the United States.

For more information about the ISCC, see their website at:

http://iscc.org

Cleaning the studio

Some people thrive on chaos and disorder. It has its place, but I have never been good at clearing my mind and focusing on tasks (creative or cognitive) when there’s mess everywhere. Once every so often I go berserk and blast through a massive clean-up and reorganization of my space, and avow that I will never again allow it to descend into chaos.

I presume we all know how that goes. If anyone doesn’t, I don’t want to hear about it.

My studio is an utter disaster at the moment, and I’ve been neglecting it for far too long. I have devoted this week — all week, if necessary — to a monstrous clean-up, so I can settle into a distraction-free and hopefully highly productive fall and winter. I have many pieces I need to devote huge swaths of time to — quality time — which is impossible with the way things are right now.

For me, there are three basic principles to consider here:

  1. The environment’s physical layout has to enable quality workflows (tools in logical groups / easy reach)
  2. The environment’s state of cleanliness has to be high enough to allow workflows to proceed with minimal distraction or logistical impact
  3. Ideally, the environment’s physical layout should make keeping it clean easier.

In other words, if the layout of the environment makes it harder to put something away than it does to just put it down, then it’s going to lead naturally to clutter. This is probably always a question of degrees, but designing a layout that’s as easy as possible to keep in order, and restore to order, should hopefully result in less frequent stop-everything cleanups that bleed away your precious studio time.

So it sounds simple enough, but isn’t always for me: if you have different materials that you work with, store them near where you work with them. I need to keep my painting, drawing, sculpting, and research materials near where I actually use them, not all in a “materials” section of the studio. If I have a materials area and a work area, then I have to move materials across the studio to use them, and guess what? That’s where they tend to end up. And that creates the mess you see above.

 

So before I just dive in and start putting things away, I’m going to spend a little time reflecting on what I want to do in here, and what layout would serve best for doing that. I don’t want to put things back into places they don’t belong, and will just escape from again next time I need them. My studio also isn’t big enough to set up dedicated zones for all of the various things I will do in it, so multi-tasking areas are going to be important.

By the end of the week, the situation will be better. I can’t wait to have my studio return to being a place of mental relief and focus, rather than the anxiety-provoking distraction that it currently is.

New show in Brookline, MA

Today I hung some work in the Guild Room at All Saint’s Parish in Brookline, MA, not far from where I grew up.

It’s always fun to see work arranged in new ways. They had a nice reception for me and I spoke to a lot of people afterwards; I will talk about art, art education, skills development and of course color theory until everyone is dizzy. I hope no-one got dizzy. Or too dizzy.

The work will be viewable for a couple of months. I might add a couple more pieces next week if I can get them on loan from their owners.

Hung the Sunburst gallery today

I added this setup to the show currently running at the Henion Bakery in Amherst, MA today. Though I did these paintings several months ago, this is the first time I’ve actually hung them as I intended them to be viewed. I’m pretty happy with how it looks. The display is about six feet across and high.

Creating the installation was a bit of a challenge in itself; based on the Munsell 10-step hue wheel, I needed 3 concentric rings of steps 36° apart, and they needed to be spaced far enough apart to not overlap. I mocked the installation up in Adobe Illustrator, calculated the scale, used a piece of string marked with the centerpoints of each piece along each radial line, used the printed wheel itself as a visual template for the angles, aligned the string along it and taped it down, then overlaid templates at the appropriate sizes on these centerpoints, placed supporting tacks underneath the templates, and then finally mounted all of the pieces.

It was actually the first time I’d mounted this particular installation. It’s nice to see it up. I’m planning a lot more work exploring the concepts in these pieces.

Long overdue

It’s been a while since this website was refreshed/updated. It’s long overdue. Not having enough to do is not one of my problems.

Still, it needs to be done, and I’m finally doing it – completely rebuilding the site to be easier to navigate (particularly on mobile devices), easier to maintain, and easier on the eyes.

I’m actually pretty excited about it. Facebook is fine, but this is where my content goes.

Launching in a day or two.