Morrow explores appreciation of color, emotions in painting class | Gaz

When Deon Morrow sees the color yellow, he thinks of spring and flowers. Just seeing the color can put him in a good mood and help him feel more grounded and connected with his emotions.

For 13-year-old Laura Poersch, the color was far less appealing, but green and red brought her joy.

Realizing how you interact with colors was just one focus of Morrow’s “Express Yourself” art class on Saturday afternoon at the Emporia Arts Center.

“I think people react to color, they just didn’t see it that way,” said Morrow. “That makes them think more about, ‘Okay, this is your favorite color, but why is it your favorite?'”

Morrow, who has a background in advertising, said people react to the colors around them whether they realize it or not. For many people he noticed marked differences in mood at different times of the year when flowers and trees bloom in spring, compared to the somewhat muted lack of color in the winter months.

“I’m just telling them what color does and why they like it,” he said.

Morrow said his appreciation and understanding of color was developed thanks in part to his father.

“I grew up with my father, who was creating art around me all the time,” he said. “He would explain why he used colors. When I was younger I could look at something and say, “OK. This is how you feel about it. ‘I was very attached to my feelings and got very engaged just because he used his. “

Morrow’s class is aimed at college aged students and focuses on open conversation with the aim of creating a work of art that will make the artist feel happy when looking at it. Instead of using a brush, Morrow had Poersch and the other participant, Isaac Partridge, apply the paint directly to the canvas. Then they used wooden popsicles to scrape the paint across the canvas.

The result was colorful and unique abstract pieces.

“I really like it,” said Poersch, dragging a stick through shades of red and green acrylic paint. “I usually draw certain things like in sketchbooks and such, but it’s nice to just do something that isn’t supposed to be anything.”

Across the room, Partridge used shades of purple and black. Together on the canvas, the colors merged into a galactic scene.

Morrow said he wanted to offer more classes like this in the future and encourage people to explore different classes at the arts center.

“If you want to take a class, speak to the arts center, we can set something up,” he said. “I would like to teach a wide range of people. I never thought I’d become a teacher, but it’s something I lean more on. Art has helped me a lot and I just want to help other people. “

The Emporia Arts Center is located at 815 Commercial St. Visit for class listings or call 620-343-6473 for more information.

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