Yesterday was my first meeting with the Art Club I’ve started at school. My brilliant PR campaign was an absolute success, students were tickled by the internet meme posters and when the bell rang at 3:45 my hallway quickly became jam-packed with kids waiting to come join us. I wanted to do a quick “getting to know you” activity with them all, something I realized I rarely extend to my actual art classes, shame on me. I printed out a long list of color words from The Phrontistery – juicy, evocative adjectives like aubergine and jessamy. I had the students basically play the name game with color words, i.e., “I’m Russet Rachel and she’s Tangerine Tara and he’s Rubious Ronaldo and he’s Black Brett…” (Yes, they went there.) It was super fun. I haven’t made an official count from my sign-in list yet, but given the amount of chairs I know I have and the amount I had to borrow from another classroom, I’d say I had almost 60 kids show up to the first meeting, mostly ones who don’t have my class and are happily seeking a creative outlet that I’m super psyched to provide.
I also came across this fascinating chromachronology (I thought I did at first, but actually did NOT make that word up! Score!) from Crayola. I discovered the story of colors that have been retired through the years on account of political correctness, and it was a total blast from the past to read about the colors I remember clamoring over as a 3rd grader. My best friend Lauren K. and I oohed and aahed over vivid tangerine, vowed to paint the walls in our bedroom jungle green, and wore poor cerulean down to a nub before the pack was a week old. As a grown-up, art teacher, and tattooer, I look back on the memory of my Crayola Big Box (#spoiledsinceday1) and realize how important color is for developing a sense and love of design. For me, going to Utrecht and picking out a new Prismacolor marker is like buying a delicious, gourmet piece of candy. Walking up to the Fusion Ink booth at conventions is more fun than walking into Menchie’s to craft an extravagant yogurt sundae, as I so often do. Composition, line, content are definitely the meat and potatoes of a good piece, but color is definitely the blueberry pie for dessert.