The colors I choose to paint with are my palette. Many artists have a standard palette of colors they learned to use in painting classes in high school and college. An instructor gives a list of supplies at the beginning of class and this becomes a palette. My basic colors are based on art classes. The titanium white, yellow ochre, burnt sienna, alizarin crimson, and pthalo blues and greens are fairly standard. I originally started with ultramarine blue, but moved to pthalo as I just liked it better. It seemed more complex. I added the dianathus pink and celadon green when a friend mentioned a project he was doing that included using colors he had never used before. I have been using them ever since. I use acrylic paint and pigment sticks.
At the tail end of 2012, I did a commission piece for a dentist where I based my palette on the colors of his logo and his décor in the office. It was challenging and fun.
The bright colors I have been using work really well on a brick wall. But in 2013, I have decided to make another change to my palette. I am planning to use the more muted ochres and reds that I see in art in the stores to appeal to a wider audience. It is a challenge for me and I have no problem adjusting my palette. It is always fun to experiment.
I use acrylic paint and oil paint in stick form, R&F pigment sticks. I love the oil sticks. I am so thrilled someone introduced them to me in the early 90s. And R&F sticks are like butter, smooth and bright.
My palette changes depending on what I am working on and what season it is. I also often think of a project a friend of mine did for an art class in grad school that was to use completely new colors and materials from what he was used to. That experiment led me to the new pinks and light greens that I was working with in 2012. In early 2013, I wanted to change my palette to warm beiges and reds and natural greens and blues to focus on the colors so popular in interior decorating.
The colors of mesh available also affects the overall look of the piece. I did a small 12×12 in 2011 that was all greens and golds and whites, but worked marvelously with the copper mesh I had. I have recently started using the mesh as a texture and painting right on top of it. I like how it looks, but it is very time consuming to make sure all the spaces are filled with color.
Color palettes change. I would not choose to continue with a palette if I got bored. I love my brighter large red and blue paintings from late 2012. I also find something intriguing about the metallic paintings I did in Summer 2012 named after rappers. But I have not figured out where to go with that. I continue to paint better when I am focused on the process. I saw the results of that in 2012 and I used my new knowledge in 2013. I especially loved doing a commission for my dentist. That was a whole new palette that really helped challenge me color wise. Every new painting is a chance to create something new in terms od composition and color and in the beginning, I never know where it will end. I love it.
I am off to a slow start already and trying my best to get in a painting routine. However, I work while Lil J is in school. So a routine is proving more difficult than I would like. However, I do have to finish this commission as soon as possible.
Here is my first layer of paint.
As an artist I tend to work sporadically. I dream of being a true full-time studio artist, but also worry that it might get, well, boring. I also have read about different types of workers. I believe I am a cyclical or sporadic worker.
It all started with semester end deadlines in school. From there I moved into the art departments of various magazines, and found myself most busy during one week a month. So that was cyclical. Now I teach and I live my life 16 weeks at a time. With a young child in the house, the only time I get to paint is while he is in school.
Why? Because as much as I like to think of painting as something I could do anytime, like a regular job, I invest so much emotionally. I can’t paint when someone else is around. I always wanted to and always thought I should be able to. I do want it to be my job after all.
But being productive and being creative are two very different things. I can design brochures and do the teaching online thing anytime. I can put on the face and teach in a classroom no matter how I feel. But if J and I had a big fight, I can’t work. I am in turmoil. I cannot make anything happen with paint and emotion. So being productive and being creative really do not mix.
But I keep trying. I am sure you do too if you are an artist. If you are a collector, this may be a good thing. You get my undivided attention as well as the best work I can do. I am currently in the process of destroying the not so good paintings of the 52 series from last year. There are a few. If you purchased one, you have a good one. One I may have created in a fit of inspiration, but one, in the end, that I am truly proud of, and I am proud you have it on your wall. Because that is when I was productive.
I went to Blick. Here is what I bought. Pretty??
I had a very hard time choosing between 2 paintings for February. I did a piece with my son that I was really proud of and at first I wanted to use that one, but ultimately, I had to go with my biggest accomplishment, Transformations.
From the blog: I have an accomplishment for this week that is not quite a painting in a week, but it is very important to me because it is what started this journey to begin with, way back in September. I started a large 54×44 painting in September but seemed to hit so many roadblocks in terms of space and time that I stopped working several times. But because I do not give up easily, and because I have the opportunity, not working full time for so long, I had to give it a shot. And I worked past all the blocks and ended up here.
I did some experimenting, with half woven, half not woven as well as dripping paint on the finished canvas. I really love it and look forward to starting the next one. I feel a real sense of accomplishment, having completed the painting. It will hang in my dining room until I exhibit and sell it. It is a symbol for me of working past the ugly.