I got some positive feedback when I got to present my Color Bridges at the Community Main Stage at last year’s Honolulu Biennial and it gave me encouragement to continue to follow my instincts on not only creating them but also sharing them both as finished works of art and as a method to learn to use color. Color Bridges are my calligraphic abstracts I paint using harmonic color to express a prayer to the beholder. There is joy in making them and enjoying them.
As a teaching tool, it is perfect for my students of watercolor because I teach my color theory, and basic brush strokes in the first lessons or my all inclusive Color Bridge workshops. It is abstract enough so people don’t get fearful of failing and focused enough to give them a target for their minds and hands.
As each section is built up with a color bridge of two or more colors joined by a pull, push or drop stroke, the painter is free to select colors they feel drawn to but following a few simple ‘rules’ of how to mix bright, happy colors. Working with, engrossed in color for an hour can be a intensely satisfying experience–and many times workshop participants are reluctant to stop or remark on how fast the painting time has flown by! I take this as a sign of success.
I completed a series of 49 on washi paper in Sweden and am working on a new series of full sheet pieces but my dream is really to have Color Bridges spread everywhere and with it, place into the hands of many a means to reflect on the assurance of someone wishing them goodwill and even to color in their own Color Bridges as gifts to others. I’ve tested my designs and know they work, if the person trusts the process and I hope this year will be the year they are seen by even more than last.
Some have commented that they think it is just a doodle, but for those wanting to improve their brushwork, color blending, color understanding, it can be challenging. What I like about this method is I can use it for complete beginners and advanced students and all will be sufficiently challenged yet in the end feel a sense of accomplishment.