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Color: A Natural History of the Palette

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A book "Color: A Natural History of the Palette" by Victoria Finlay

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Broaden Your Palette
As Nature in New York narrows its Palette for the winter months, it is a great time to think about the colors that you are using in the studio. Do you want to restrict or broaden your palette to learn how to get the greatest range from your instrument?
Victoria Finlay’s book entitled, "Color: A Natural History of the Palette" is a good place to start thinking about the history and symbolic uses of colors and how color meanings can vary from culture to culture. In Goethe’s study of color, his hero wore a yellow vest to signify a dark side that was decadent, while Cleopatra used saffron yellow as a color for seduction.
Finlay traveled all over the globe to research the origin and complex acquisition of many of the pigments that we can conveniently squeeze from a tube. This book is both a natural history and a travel journal through the rainbow. The author is a travel writer as well as an art writer, which makes her work entertaining and fascinating to read.
The combination of reading this book on color and actually setting up some color experiments for yourself in the studio will surely increase your sensitivity to the little plops of mud that we make magic with. By the time Nature is ready to broaden its palette in spring you will be ready to handle the richness of possibilities in new ways. Plus, this book will give you tons of conversation fodder to entertain friends with during the dark days by the fire.

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