This workshop will focus our attention on the color environment in and around Rancho La Puerta with the aim of increasing our observational acuity and color perception while examining the emotional, cultural and personal foundations of our chromatic preferences. The workshop will be modular, with daily activities to include: making a simple hand-bound Italian-style sketchbook, collecting color palettes through direct visual observations in gouache, collage, and colored pencil, using language and color together to create visual records of experiences in non-observational ways, exercises in seeing the ways that colors interact with and change each other, experimenting with local materials as colorants, etc. The workshop will utilize simple materials and will be designed for non-experts to have success while stretching their understanding of how we see color and how it can be used. Participants who attend multiple sessions will accumulate pages within a color journal that will be a visual record of their color experiences at Rancho La Puerta.
Clayton Merrell grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, and Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela. He holds an MFA from the Yale School of Art and received a Fulbright Grant for research and creative work in Oaxaca, Mexico in 1996-97. His work is exhibited widely, with recent exhibitions at: the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum; Penn State University; Concept Gallery, Pittsburgh PA; the A+D Gallery, Chicago; the Westmoreland Museum of Art, and the Strohl Art Center, Chautauqua NY. His work is in the collections of the American Embassy in Belmopan, Belize, the Smithsonian Museum, the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and numerous private and corporate collections. He was the 2005 Artist of the Year at The Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, and in 2016 was named Creator-of-the-Year by the Pittsburgh Technology Council. He has received awards and grants from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Skowhegan, The Millay Colony, Blue Mountain Center, Vermont Studio Center, and the Roswell Artist-In-Residence Foundation. In 2015, the Pittsburgh International Airport completed a 69,000 sq. ft. terrazzo floor based on his design. He is currently the Dorothy L. Stubnitz Professor of Art at Carnegie Mellon University, where he teaches Color, Painting, Drawing and Concept Studios.