Sunday, quiet day at home

Did some painting – finished this which you might remember I did an on-site sketch for on Friday:

I’ll say that the smaller dabs on the palette are colors that are new to me, maybe seen in a video. I’ve used and tried them but not regularly. But, I’ve more spaces than colors I feel I must have so what the heck – put ’em on there. I usually put a splotch of that sort of color in the mixing area or on the inside of the lid if I want to use some. Also, the space thing comes into the payne’s grey and indigo thing. Lately I’ve been mixing all my greys but I have found indigo useful for darkening areas already painted, and sometimes for skies. Looks red heavy but cad red is mainly for mixing darks.

There you go – my second palette layout in my big palette.

Tuesday, Paint Adventures

Threatening rain now but earlier today there was a narrow window of sun. I went out and had a quick breakfast, catching up on a friend’s trip and then headed off to work on the next phase of my travel kit prep. In the days when I did a lot of teaching at my quilt guild I put together a travel box with duplicate common tools. That way it was always ready to go and I never was missing things in my work room or at a meeting. Worked out great. So why was I trying to shuttle paint brushes inside/outside/inside etc?

Went off to Arlene’s with a short list of brush essentials for the paintbox. Managed to come home with what was on the list and only a little more. I did get some cobalt blue because I love to watch the UK guys dab it around for skies. And I also got a very greeny-gold color because that’s around a lot this time of year. Looks like it will grey up nicely too for darker olives and browns.

This first one needed to dry some so I can go back and add bluer-green shadowy areas.

Of course, it would have made more sense to do those the opposite way around, but on the second, all I really wanted to do was to try this 1″ hake brush. That’s going to take some practice to get color vs water right.

What’cha been doin’?

I’m waiting for the paints to set up in my new travel palette. What colors? Hansa Yellow Light, Quinacridone Red, French Ultramarine, Indigo, Sap Green, Hooker Green, Burnt Sienna, Sepia. All Daniel Smith except the sepia which is Winsor Newton.

And through circumstances too difficult to explain, I ended up with a wad of my own hair from combing and brushing and set it out for the birdies to use as nesting materials. A tufted titmouse got right to work on that.

It’s here at last!

The UPS man finally came this afternoon with my box from Judson’s Art Outfitters:

I spent some time cutting one piece of plastic corrugated board the right size to fit inside and one that’s just the size of the box – 10 x 13″ – which fits the paper size I most commonly use. Now I get to fiddle around with what gets stowed permanently in the box etc, along with what palette is going in there. I think I’ll fill the new little Schmincke box and see how that goes. Still need to figure out what everything will go in – water bottle, etc. Most people put everything into a backpack I gather. I’ve been using an llbean totebag.

Have to say I’m super excited. This is a “second” from the Judson’s site and I found one little ding on the wood. Nothing that wouldn’t happen in the normal course of things so I feel like I got a great deal!

Today, FedEx came early

Just as I was getting into my car this morning, the FedEx truck pulled up and the nice young man gave me my two boxes from Dick Blick. Whoa. Big flat box with some big paper, some watercolor artist board (watercolor paper mounted on board I guess) a couple of collapsible water holders, and a new watercolor palette that I gave in to, and empty pans to go with it. Now what? Have to decide what colors go in what size pans etc etc. That center section comes out altogether and some people just fill up that area with half pans, anchoring them with magnets or sticky stuff of some kind.

And now a moment of gratitude for people who post watercolor videos without the looped music that came with iMovie. Thank you.

Tools and Thankfulness

There’s nothing like going down the road of “researching” something – maybe a tool that might be useful in what you’re doing. More like a deep hole than a road, where occasionally you wonder – do I really need this thing? Need… Want… You know what I’m talking about. You read about something on one website or see it in a youtube video and then it’s everywhere. Seems useful.

Suddenly I was seeing pochade boxes everywhere. But seriously, couldn’t I get it all there with my big tote and a few ziplock bags? Of course but… And couldn’t I maybe just make a tripod-mounted painting surface… sure…

Anyway I went far enough down the road to start comparing various brands and reached that predictable point where I had some serious questions and a lot of confusion. In a moment of clarity I wondered if the manufacturer had their own website. Turns out – YES! And a well-organized and easily explored site. And there it was, a “seconds” listing. “*Note: “Seconds” are fully functional products with minor cosmetic blemishes.” I can deal with that.

So I ordered the box and a few of the basic accessories (for less than I expected to pay just for the box!). Today I got an email saying I’d ordered the wrong extension, not to worry, they’d put on the right one and give me a refund for the difference. How nice. Saved from my own confusion.

So, since I left my small tripod in Wales, I ordered a new portable tripod with quick release mount. Oh and the funky little “stone hammock” that helps lower the center of gravity and weigh the whole thing down. Thanks B&H.

Thanks everyone for helping me out! take my money! fix my flubs!

NaPoWriMo Day 2

Bear with me while I expound a mite. The suggestion from NaPoWriMo/FB was “Today’s Prompt: Write a poem inspired by your favorite painting or piece of art (feel free to post that image with your poem)”

On the website, the challenge was “write a poem inspired by, or in the form of, a recipe! It can be a recipe for something real, like your grandmother’s lemon chiffon cake, or for something imaginary, like a love potion or a spell.”

Sorry, didn’t quite do either of those but was perhaps inspired by the first. I call bonus points for a Latin title!

Nullae apologiae

I am fond of my tools. No apologies.
I have made others swear
not to touch my scissors.
I am loathe to let the unwashed
use my cast iron pans.
This is not to say that I care for all
my tools equally. That would be a lie.
Many tools are just here
because of something broken,
something that required a
larger pry bar or higher step.
But my real tools… Continue reading