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A Review of Margaret Best’s Class, “A Brush with Blue”

By Cristina Baltayian

Eight of us BAGSC ladies got together with Margaret Best in Sally Jacobs light-filled, beautiful studio in Los Angeles. Our goal was to learn all about the color blue:

  1. How many varieties of blue (green shade, red shade. Indigo anyone? Or maybe cobalt? Is cerulean the bad-guy blue in the botanical palette, or does it have any redeeming qualities?);

  2. What’s the difference between Winson-Newton Ultramarine and M. Graham Ultramarine?;

  3. And what’s the scoop on reds? Which pairings make the best purples? The best greens?

Working hard in Margaret's class.

Along the way, Margaret, being Margaret, taught us a lot more than how to use blues in botanicals. We learned about matching colors for the automotive industry, and how we can apply some of the same principles in our own color matching. How the light in Bermuda can give a plumbago a different shade of blue than a plumbago in L.A; we had a contest, and won a prize. I could go on and on.

The mood was positive, we were excited about learning so much about a color that can be so daunting to a botanical artist, and we had a wonderful time.

From left to right: Carmen, Cristina, Norma, Jesslyn, Margaret and Bonnie.

I only  wish I could have taken Margaret’s other classes on colors. But maybe I’ll have to wait  for her book…

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