Luminary speaks on Eye Fatigue

Dick Nelson studied with Josef Albers at Yale years ago. This clip is a short sample of Dick Nelson’s workshop at ARTstorm, the day of arts celebration at the Hui sponsored by sourcemaui.com. In this clip, Nelson, discusses the impact of eye fatigue on painting techniques.

The Color Wheel you learned in Kindergarten was wrong: Cyan, Magenta and Yellow: Primary Additive Colors (True Color Wheel)

Think back to the first color wheel you made… for that matter, recall the most recent color wheel you made. In all likelyhood, you used yellow, fire engine red and a cobalt blue. Thinking it an incompetence of mine at the time, I remember the blue and red mixing to make mud. OK, perhaps it wasn’t that dramatic, but it certainly wasn’t the stunning purple that is so often portrayed in classic color wheels.

Years ago, Dick Nelson noticed that the despite the fact that printers had already modified this classic color wheel to the correct trio of Cyan, Magenta and Yellow, most art classes were stuck with an innacurate set of primaries. He developed and began teaching the tri-hue method.

Further evidence of this is that the primary colors of light are pretty well confirmed to be red, green and blue. If you’ve never seen this to be true, I highly recommend getting out a magnifying glass and looking at this monitor. If you don’t have a magnifying glass, a small drop of water will do. Yes, water on the monitor. (My lawyers are telling me I can’t say this, but it’s too important). Really once you see that every color and shape on this monitor is literally made up of three simple colors, once you see it with you own eyes, through a drop of water, you will have a greater understanding of how additive color mixing works.

By the way, the funnest way to get a drop of water on your monitor is to face your monitor about a foot away, put your lips together tightly and blow– the old raspberry. You don’t need to use too much moisture at all. This will pepper the monitor with tiny water drops, inside of which you will see  Red, Green and Blue light dots.

DISCLAIMER: Color is Relative assumes no responsibilty for damaged monitors– and hey, if you’re complaining about a messy monitor after following these steps it was probably time for you to clean your monitor anway.

So, as I was saying, Red, Green and Blue are the primaries of light (additive). It follows that their complementary colors are the primaries of ink and paint (subtractive).


I previously posted this video on facebook. Some of the comments on this video from the facebook page:

  • “Fascinating! Thank you for sharing this!” –Shannon Del Vecchio

  • “amazing that you sent this to me. cause just in the past few days I have been seeing such colors. it started a few days ago when i decided -who knows why- to start making some beaded necklaces for myself.the colors i imagined in my mind did…n’t really look good when i strung them up. so i started selecting others.and it got into my dreams all night long dreaming of color combinations.then when doing my psychic readings i started to see colors a with each person i was doing a reading with. i went to borders and started studing color combination books. swimming underwater with eyes closed i saw amazingly beautiful color combinations.i was telling my friend last night whose in Israel right now trying to solve peace problems. about this i new color phenomenna thats taking over my mind. when i receive this form you. connected to the mind intelligence of the universe we are. mahalo”

    Helen Kritzler

Franklin: Come to your Senses!


I was asked by Dick Nelson to summarize my experience of his most recent class. At the same time, Franklin asked me to Come to my Senses!

Following other presentations on the senses, I shared revelations on the interaction of color that I learned in Nelson’s class and explained some of them using biological insights from Margaret Livingstone in her book “Vision and Art: Biology of Seeing”.

Tutorial for Cudra: Adobe Illustrator, making arrays

I tried to come by Cudra’s studio to show her how to make blends using Adobe Illustrator but didn’t have time. I thought others might benefit from this tutorial as well. Creating an Array is the start to creating artwork that leverages the beauty of halation. Arrays are simply blends of colors created in equal steps.

This tutorial shows you how to use the blend tool, the grid for clean placement, the selection tools, and finishes  with an example of simultaneous contrast.

What does a painting sound like? You vote.

At the bottom of this post are 4 paintings I created. In the video, the Ebb and Flow ensemble looks at ONE painting and improvises music. Watch the video, guess which one and vote in the poll.



Click here to find out which of the four paintings the musicians were viewing: The Answer