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             oil painting, of river at sunset by John Hulsey
            Chiaroscuro             30 x 40"             OIl            John Hulsey

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  Having spent a lifetime exploring and finding purpose and fulfillment through art, we decided to build this art and painting website to share what we have learned and to inspire others in their creative lives. Much of the important content (over 400 articles) you'll find here is instructional - the steps to making paintings in oil, pastel or watercolor -  often illustrated by videos, slide shows and Step-by-Step demonstrations. As a member, each month you'll receive a new in-depth educational or art travel article along with a new, illustrated Voices of Experience interview with a top-flight artist. Enjoy the free content. We believe that you will find value and inspiration in it. If you do, please consider joining as a member now to access all the members-only in-depth articles and to add your valuable support to this important effort. And don't forget, members receive discounts on all the useful products, downloads, books and live workshops in our Store.
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       New Member Content This Month
        Photograph of John Seerey-Lester Painting   Oil Painting by Duane Keiser
                               Quick Draw                       Voices of Experience:
                         in Dubois, Wyoming                      Duane Keiser            
John Hulsey in Outdoor Painter
Page from the recent interview by Bob Bahr of The Artist's Road co-founder John Hulsey in Outdoor Painter (Plein Air Magazine). John shared with Bob his experiences this fall being filmed by PBS St. Louis while he demonstrated plein air paintiing high above the Mississippi River near Alton, Illinois.

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                     Enjoy this week's free Artist's Road Perspectives
               Van Gogh's Xanthopsia
                                                                        Perspectives No. 208

The Night Cafe, 1888, Vincent van Gogh

                                            The Night Cafe                1888                  Vincent van Gogh

   Vincent van Gogh was an artistic genius - no question. Although he may well have had psychological troubles, there is no proof that his distinctive use of color, especially those intense yellows, arose from an overdose of any pharmacologically active drugs, such as digitalis.

   There has been a mountain of speculation by art historians seeking to explain van Gogh's extraordinary use of color as proof of a pattern of drug abuse. The most popular hypothesis is that he was given digitalis by Dr. Felix Rey in Arles to treat seizures.

    A high-concentration of digitalis used over a period of time can induce xanthopsia, which causes a yellowing of the media of the eye, resulting in yellow vision. Cataracts and jaundice can produce similar effects. However, it is clear that the dosages and effects of digitalis were well-known at that time and the amount required to cause xanthopsia would have been so high that it most likely would have been fatal.

   If van Gogh did suffer from xanthopsia, as some have suggested, a significant number of his paintings would show a dominance of yellows with no white, blue, or violet. A few canvasses meet that description, such as The Night Cafe, but many more of his yellow paintings are balanced with an abundance of blues and sometimes whites as well, colors he would not have been able to perceive.

   What is known for certain, from van Gogh's own letters, is that he was intentionally conducting color experiments in his paintings. His letters are filled with discourses about the importance of color and its use. As a young painter in Holland, he had loved yellow and used it liberally in his early paintings, as in The Potato Eaters and Lane with Poplars, Nuenen. In August of 1884, he purchased Charles Blanc’s Grammaire des arts du dessin: architecture, sculpture, peinture, which proposed a basic color theory using a triangular arrangement for red, green and blue. In a letter he wrote referring to Blanc’s color theory in 1886, van Gogh described a series of flower paintings he was working on:

   “I have made a series of color studies...seeking oppositions of blue with orange, red and green, yellow and violet...trying to render intense color and not a grey harmony.”
Again and again, his letters emphasize that he was experimenting with color harmonies and shapes. He realized early on that he could express emotion through color and he needn’t mimic the colors of nature to make a powerful landscape painting.

   Perhaps the most iconic example of his deliberate study of color relationships is embodied in The Night Cafe. He wrote copious notes about the weird color effects caused by the citron yellow lamps, the blood red walls and the green pool table.
He was so captivated by the scene that “for three nights running I sat up to paint and went to bed during the day”, rather than rely on memory.

   Hindsight is 20/20 only when we can rely on the words of the artist, rather than look through yellow-tinted glasses.

   Read more about this in the fascinating book by Michael F. Marmor and James G. Ravin, The Artist's Eyes.

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         John Hulsey Painting Workshop Provence, France. ©J. Hulsey
                                                        John Teaching in Provence, France
  Few educational experiences can beat watching a professional at work for quick learning. If you are a beginner, John will show you how to get started the right way. Or, if you are an experienced painter and want to take your skills up to a new level, then this is the learning experience for you. You will be able to soak up valuable technical advice and pointers while watching John create a demonstration painting each morning. In the afternoons, learn the secrets of the pros first-hand, as John gives you the kind of individual advice that not only can make your painting stronger, but cuts your learning curve in half. Consider enrolling in one of our painting workshops today.
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book cover painting nocturnes the artist's road
New Release!
Our new eBook (also available in softcover edition), A Primer on Painting Nocturnes.
Get inspired and then get out there! Filled with examples of night paintings, technical tips, night palette colors and a step-by-step demonstration.

Quarter Past Purple -
It's Time to
Get lots of "complements"
with this fun and useful timepiece.
Check out the Leonardo DaVinci backward-moving watch, or the Salvador Dali rotating mustaches watch.

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About Us
Photograph of John Hulsey and Ann Trusty in Glacier National Park
We are artists, authors and teachers with over 35 years of experience in painting the world's beautiful places. We created The Artist's Road in order to share our knowledge and experiences with you, and create a community of like-minded individuals.  You can learn more about us and see our original paintings by clicking on the links below.
About Ann
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 Hulsey Trusty Studios

We are also regular contributors to the Plein Air blog at Artist Daily.

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