Michelle Wegler is a wonderful Duluthian painter, who shared a piece of her art on Facebook 10 days ago. I commented on it because her painting hit my peaceful nerve. It was a simple birch wood with three Autumnal yellow leaves on it. Somehow, those shades of yellow really spoke to me.
Then a day later, she shared a vimeo link — Kaffe Fassett on Color. It’s about a painter whose art became expansive because he was obsessed with color. The more he explores, the deeper his discovery of limitless possibilities has become. “It’s like breathing. I’m taking in oxygen … If I’m feeling ill, or depressed, shove me into a garden of color, I’m revived. It’s life enhancing …” he says. He likes a lot of color around him. He knows for sure he’s learned more about color through working with textile than he ever did as a painter. His work becomes more interesting and alive because he has a ritual of keeping baskets full of yarn — seeing color balls collaborating together like an ensemble of music for the eyes, seeing how each plays with the others and taking away the ones that are distracting, then put them somewhere where they shine.
I was fascinated watching Fassett talk about art and color. I had an A-Ha moment similar to this when someone explained dogs to me a few years ago. For the past eight years, I moonlight every summer managing a campground in town. After years of checking in guests with pets, I noticed many of them couldn’t name what breed their dogs were when asked. Almost all of them put either a combination of a two-breed dog in the description or they would say, “Oooh, I don’t know, he’s a mix.” Then one day, I commented, “Very interesting, I hardly see pure breeds like I used to see when I was a girl. Most dogs then had a one-word description to their breeds. Now, new names show up and almost all of them are mixed dog breeds.” This guest’s explanation was mind opening for me. “Pure breed dogs usually don’t or can’t live long. My family had to go through years of sadness piling up year after year when each of our dogs died. Finally, we settled for mixed breed. They’re stronger, and we get to enjoy our family pet longer as well.”
This is truly what life is about. What I learned from dog breeds and color was simple yet profound. We are stronger when we weave our abilities, skills, and talents together. We are alive and live longer when we collaborate, support, and raise each other up. We are more productive when we allow everyone to come to the table, contribute, and listened to. The mix of human breeds enrich the color palette of the world. Fassett says it well, “It is one of the most powerful forces of living a spirit.” (And I say amen to that). It transforms the total well-being of humankind. And for colors to come alive as one stunning piece of work, they require proportion. White is simple, pure, and clean. Yet, how simply monotonous it is without red, and yellow, and black, and brown, and other colors? How dull life can be when we only live and mingle with those like us. “I don’t want to marry someone like me.” (Jerry Seinfeld said it well). He has seen enough of himself in the mirror and heard himself in his head every day. Why would he want to live just with and by himself forever? It’s boring.
The Universe provides unlimited skills to discover, talents to enhance, colors to explore, breeds to expand, possibilities and opportunities to embrace so we can live our inspired life to the fullest. Why limits what the Universe has made available abundantly? Explore, embrace, and enjoy! Be prosperous and generous. After all, people who need people are the luckiest people in the world, Ms. Streisand says. And it’s still true.
Check out Michelle Wegler’s work here – www.michelleweglerart.com
Here’s Kaffe Fassett on Color — https://vimeo.com/255715599?fbclid=IwAR0I9_i5Ua-NNZgU34OSzQIqLBaxoIGy7FXcJdt9hMs-DOthSFZOcW1qDMw
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