Prepping the palettes

Today was the day I sat down with my two “travel” palettes to refill and reorganize. I will be doing a week of plein air over at the Clark at the beginning of October so this will give them a little time to set up and behave. I’m waiting for the Fed Ex guy to arrive with my new tripod, having realized the other night the head on the other one wasn’t working right – it looks like it’s missing a part. It works but doesn’t lock the plate in place. So here’s to v.2.

My goal today is to get it all into a backpack. Come on Fed Ex guy!

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Painter…

I signed up for another weeklong painting class (not just watercolor – do your own medium, but plain air with some bonus stuff from The Clark) through IS183.org. October 1 is too early for real snow, right?

The painter of the future will be a colorist in a way no one has been before. — Vincent van Gogh

Another circle

round the sun yes indeed. There and back again.

Finally today the internet guy came and fixed my pitiful internet connection. And then he called my cell phone from my home phone number – probably from the outside box… ah the wizardry of internet phone guys.

So here’s to another year.

Tonight Mom and I had dinner:

Also the world needs more serene cat photos:

An unexpected bonus of trying to paint the geranium is that it’s still in surprisingly good condition, as are my other two, because frankly I paid more attention to them over the summer. Most of the time that involved dumping out the extra water left by torrential rain but for the hanging one it still involved watering.

I had penciled some thoughts onto my pochade box but need to find a way to make them readible and permanent:

INTENT • CONFIDENCE • RISK • PATIENCE*

(Standard caveat applies here, Persistence>Patience although in watercolor you do need patience to let things dry or dry some before continuing.)

And then I need to get out and paint more. But I did survive another August Postcard Poetry Fest – thirty-one plus poems written and sent out to people all over the USA and world. It’s a fun group.

I became a member of the Berkshire Botanical Garden (formerly the Berkshire Garden Center) so I can drop in to paint over the course of the year. That’s the plan – add more places to paint.

Palette Report – Mijellio Fusion Airtight

In June while I was getting ready for a week-long watercolor class I posted a photo of a “travel” palette I had set up with the colors suggested by the teacher. Several people asked about it and I thought now, having used it awhile since I’d give a few thoughts about it. Here it is right after I loaded it up with paint.

Here’s a closer look from the other day when I was out painting. I wish I had taken a better view but I was interested more in what was going on in the seal area.

This is after I washed it with just some water and a fingernail brush and a couple paper towels. I thought I would be taking out the gasket that you can see but it didn’t seem to want to come out and I didn’t want to dig it out and then not be able to get it back in.

There are a number of brands of this type of palette out there. I got one that is rather generic and this is a popular brand – Mijellio Fusion Airtight/Leakproof Palette. I honestly don’t see any difference between the two palettes (except someone had nicked the removable inner mixing tray out of the generic one, but since I never take it out of the one that has it, I’m not too worried about it) other than the color of the lid.

I do like the size of the wells and the size of the mixing areas and it is fairly light to carry. I set it on top of my pochade box in its travel bag and it rides flat. I started doing this because it wasn’t really dried when the class started and it was very hot and humid that week so it never really dried then either.

I don’t find that paint beads up, but I don’t worry about that anyway. I don’t remove the clear removable tray to use as another mixing area although I’d be tempted to put additional globs of paint on it for an extended palette sometime. Until then it just sits in the lid as my bigger mixing area.

I DO find that some colors – cerulean blue I’m looking at you dude – will not stick to its well. That one in particular but also the orange (also a stickier, less drying paint) and others have at times slid right out of the well into the mixing areas. I use a bit of broken credit card or plastic knife to scrape them back into the well but it’s messy.

This led to the messy edges but in all honesty nothing seems to escape out of the palette so I am grateful for that. Someone had asked if it kept the paint moister and I’d give it a “sort of” – the paints that are stickier by nature stay stickier and I’d say the rest are perhaps marginally easier to re-wet.

So there you have it yet another palette review for the world.

Sunday Road Trip

This morning, it couldn’t quite make up its mind re rain but then the sky opened up to blue and the car pointed northward.

I wasn’t convinced I’d get a chance to paint without getting rained on, so I headed up to Bennington. Wandered around the Old First Church’s graveyard where Robert Frost is buried and looked at a lot of other interesting gravestones. Many of them had quotes on them, including Frost’s with its oft-cited “I had a lover’s quarrel with the world”. There’s a nice little trio of birches planted near the Frost family graves.

I thought this was an interesting snippet of verse made more interesting by the problem of gravestones being vertical rather than horizontal:

Could modest worth elude the grasp of death
This virtuous fair had ne’r resign’d her breath
She ne’r had wing’d the long, the glorious flight
To seats of bliss, to realms of sparkling light.

Then I drove down 7 enjoying the views of Pownal VT. This led me right to The Clark. I went in and got tagged (being a member includes free entry) and filled my waterbottle before walking part way up the hill. There I sat in the shade and painted while people walked up and down the path. I could watch them visiting with the cows who at one point took over the paved path. A woman walked by with two chihuahuas and I soon heard serious barking but the cows didn’t budge. As the trio walked back past me I mentioned I’d heard some attempt to do cow-herding? The lady laughed and said these were city dogs and had never encountered cows before but now they had. And hopefully the experience would have tired them out for the remainder of their trip home.

Here’s what I painted, first in my sketchbook and then two on paper. Little kids were curious as were many adults. One boy asked me LOTS of serious questions: what was the second pot of water on the ground for (brush cleaning)? why were there no cows (will do them last. He pointed right to the spot where the cows SHOULD be!) had I done the painting lying on the grass too? (yes). A couple people told me I’d “nailed” the clouds. One lady told me she did acrylics because she didn’t get how to keep the colors separate in watercolors. Ah…

For more photos, here’s a Flickr album to click on:

22july18 roadtrip//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Happy Painting Mail Day

One of the folks I follow on YouTube said this was his oldest, most-used and most-valuable book. Found a copy VERY cheap on Abesbooks and it arrived today from the UK. I can see why he spoke so highly of it – it’s got sample paintings by all kinds of folks like John Pike and good basic how-tos and ideas, clearly demo’d and with lessons you can do yourself.

Rubberbanded to that package from a little box, a little something I’d almost forgotten about only because I’d preordered it quite awhile ago – a new larger Schmincke paint box with a beautiful colored exterior (normally they’re black) and filled with colors chosen by a watercolorist. Cool concept as a way to try new colors and for me a brand of paint I don’t normally use. I like that the box has larger mixing areas and that it can fit 12 full pans or a mix of full and half.

Had a little downtime at work today an did some clouds:

and then showed a co-worker how I approached doing clouds in Procreate on the iPad.

July the 6th – rain and coolness again

Serious rain this morning which cleared the air and made it in the 70’s with a nice blissful breeze. No sunset spectacle so I stayed home and put the potted plants to work.

cropped to square:

full:

my happy little roll of brushes:

The iPad geraniums I did earlier today at work