This excerpt in Art and Artists from July 14, 1907, Antony Anderson's weekly art column in the L.A. Times caught my eye. Interesting read. "Can Color Be Taught?"
"The colorist is simply a man in whom a certain set of nerves are unusually sensitive, but those nerves by training can be made still more sensitive, and can be brought more completely under the control of his intelligence. While he remains untaught he is unable to use his powers effectively, because he does not understand them. His successes will be accidental, his methods will be erratic, and the results at which he arrives will be disconnected and probably unconvincing. Subjected to discipline, however, he will become more consistent, and he will find out exactly what he should do in order to convey to others the impression that exists in his mind."
"The man who would teach color must himself be a colorist exquisitely sensitive and perfectly trained; he must be able to dissect and analyze the most subtle combinations, and to explain the details of the most elusive harmonies, for of all sciences the one with which he has to deal is the least susceptible of being governed by hard and fast rules."
"To arrange color by rule is to make it lifeless and without meaning, to destroy its power of exciting emotion, and to reduce it to a mechanical balancing of color areas. What I understand by the science of color is the accounting for the relation between the pitch and area of the colors used in a properly adjusted combination, and the explanation of the manner in which varying color tones can be brought into agreement so that the result of their juxtaposition is absolutely harmonious. That this science is subject to laws which call for complete obedience I admit, but these laws must be taught by demonstration, not by text-books. And can you tell me of any school in which teaching of this kind is available?" (reproduced from The Lay Figure, in International Studio).
I'll be teaching two workshops next month in which we'll focus on color and discuss a lot of these points. How do you make good color without subjecting it to formulas? Color has always been considered part of emotion, hard to control; the opposite is found in the reserve and control in academic drawing - the classic battle of the Florentines v. the Venetians, of line v. color. Color is extremely personal, but it can be used to communicate as well.