Palettes of the Masters - II

Live from Philadelphia, United States

Fine artist Clarissa returns to lead a color exploration into the palettes of two more Master artists; influential realist George Bellows and inspiring symbolist Odilon Redon. Join us for this two day series and learn how to incorporate these rich, expressive palettes in any material you work in.

Color is powerful! It has a mysterious, complex language and vast system of symbolism, and has been used deliberately and thoughtfully by artists throughout history. By examining the work of artists who’ve come before us, we can learn to make informed choices about color - how it’s best used to convey a feeling, a tone, an atmosphere, a geographical location, or a narrative.

On Saturday April 24th and Sunday April 25th, we'll meet for an inspiring slideshow, lively discussion and applied color exercise on each palette. We’ll explore color relationships and symbolism, real world examples of that palette (like in interior design, fashion, film) and how to incorporate the palette into your own work. Together we will develop an appreciation and understanding of how color is a highly individualized language, reflecting the spirit of these artists, and how it fits into their respective art movements in history. We’ll also begin our own love story with color and discover how it fits into our journey as artists.

All levels are welcome. There will be plenty of time to share, get feedback and meet other participants from around the world.

Joining us from a different time zone? Be sure to convert the time.

April 24: Session 1 George Bellows - Ashcan school, The Eight, American Realism

Palette to bring in - neutral earth colors - blacks, greys, browns, umbers, as well as prismatic blues, violets, pinks, and greens.

George Bellows is an American realist painter bridging the late 19th- and early 20th- centuries. A member of the Ashcan School of urban painters, he focused on the gritty, unvarnished reality of urban life, painting subjects such as tenements and boxing matches. However amongst the dark and desaturated colors of his urban scenes, there’s a remarkable amount of pure, bright color, in the golden hour of the sky, or in the water or the snow. His palette is more subdued than that of Parrish or Van Gogh, however, it’s complex and broad.

We’ll look at his work (and method of working) and talk about how and where we see this kind of relationship and particular palette. 

Palette: Extended earth, some prismatic

April 25: Session 2 Odilon Redon - French Symbolism

Palette to bring in - Prismatic, high key color! Primary colors - red, blue and yellow, along with some greens and aquas.

Redon was primarily a Symbolist painter, as well as pastellist and printmaker in the 19th and early 20th century. His works were dream-like and full of allegory and symbolism, as was the genre he represents. His late-career paintings and pastel drawings were created in an extremely saturated palette, favouring primary reds, golds, yellows, cobalt blues and softened somewhat with more muted secondary colors.

Palette: Prismatic

What to bring

  • For discussion, bring anything that reflects that week’s palette - artwork, photographs, something in nature, a textile.
  • For exercise, bring whatever material you want to work in, that reflects that week’s palette. It can be paint, pastels, coloured pencils, photos or papers cut as 'pieces of paint’ etc. 

How to join

We'll be hosting this VAWAA Online on Zoom. We'll send link and details to join via email 1 day and again 30 mins before it begins.

About Clarissa

Clarissa is a fine artist who studied at several of the oldest art schools in United States, while accruing over 40 credits in film and television as a scenic artist. Her paintings are largely inspired by cinematography, photography and other issues of filmmaking, which examines all the ways that elements of film pertain to painting - composition, visual cues, symbolic use of color, lighting/value.  

Clarissa’s work embodies the same spirit of visual storytelling, and she loves nothing more than talking about film and pop culture and how it relates to art history.

Visit her artist page to learn more about her in-person VAWAA.


"This is the kind of learning experience you never want to end. Clarissa is a knowledgable, experienced and inspiring teacher. You can't help but have fun while you're learning. I highly recommend her classes!" - Joyce

"Fascinating subject presented by a delightful and knowledgeable artist who clearly loves her subject." - Jennifer

"Thoroughly enjoyed. With Clarissa it is easy to stay present as one would not want to miss a word as she has much to share and does so in an easy, experienced, manner as she is passionate about her topic. Classes are readily accessible for all audiences to understand. Insightful. I applied my learnings to a self portrait I was working on. This is a class I would enjoy every week for a long while and an immersion would be great.  HIGH MARKS!" - Lisa

"Clarissa is an excellent storyteller. I learned so much and really enjoyed the process." - Autumn

"Clarissa has a great way to deliver the material that highlights different context." - Fransisca

Sessions are ticketed to support artists, makers and our small team. If you’re experiencing financial hardship, please do reach out. We may have a generous participant who has paid it forward and would ask that you pay the love forward by sharing online sessions with 3 new friends.