Artist Date 8: Color Hunt

Artist Date 8 Color Hunt

Here’s Artist Date Idea #8

Color Color Color! Go on a color hunt. 

Weekly artist dates fire up your imagination. Get down and whimsical. Do things totally differently than how you usually do. Let your imagination and your body play.  Feed your creative self by filling up the well of ideas.

This week, take your camera with you for a color-hunt-walk — rain or shine — choosing “color” as your focus for the day. If it has recently rained, notice wet colors are more intense! For us in Helena, Montana, we are coming to the end of winter and approaching spring. The colors outside are still mostly muted neutrals and sky blue.  About this time of year I start craving the bright yellows of daffodils and other garden flower colors. I love taking walks with my camera and setting myself a specific visual goal each time. This week I’m going to go on a color hunt with my camera and hope the colors sink into my imagination then flow out through my paint brushes onto canvas.

Here are some ideas for a colorful artist date:

  • Even in winter, when the colors of your surroundings seem to be all about low-key and neutral … turn your thinking around and try to find some intense colors in the midst of the drabs. Remember to look down at the ground when you are hunting for colors — look up too!
  • take your camera to an art supply store. Do closeups of colorful materials in such a way that the photos look almost-abstract. Hone in on colorful patterns like the embroidery floss display in the photo at the top of this post
  • Look for just one color on your color hunt. Try to photograph as many variations of that color as you can. Back in your studio, see if you can duplicate those shades with your chosen medium.
  • Set yourself the task on your color hunt, of finding many examples of color harmonies such as complimentary or analagous colors. Or cool, warm, saturated or desaturated colors.
  • Limit yourself and your camera to a progressive series of color photos of the color wheel. Pick a color to start with (say, green) photograph something green. Next look for blue … then purple then red and so on. Limiting yourself forces you to really look while you are walking, for specific colors.
  • Paint each toenail a different color (yes, even guys can do this — just get wild and have fun)
  • Replace one of your home’s lightbulbs with a different color bulb — notice how it changes everything in the room!
  • Walk around wearing a wild color of glasses. Ignore the stares. They’re just jealous. lol

Above all else have fun on your artist date! Add your ideas in the comments, too. Cheerio. Pip-pip and all that!

Here’s a small gallery of March (late winter) shots from previous years  — with muted grays, blues, tans and yellows. I love Montana winters partly because of the subtle color palette. Still … right about now I’m craving brights like the embroidery floss photo at the top. Here’s to the coming Spring!


Okay … did it. Took a walk today to do a colorwheel color hunt. Started with purple on my back porch. Found every color but I really had to hunt for a good blue. 😉