Saturday, December 1, 2007

Tabula rasa

After messing around with all sorts of color over the past year, I'm building a new palette and thought I'd document the process, more or less. Here's my favorite part. Clean, clear, white and bright. Ahh.....

I love the smooth, creamy white surface of porcelain. I work with plastic out in the field but only because it's practical. I might add a metal enamel palette one day but my Winsor Newton field kit serves me well so why mess with a good thing? I ordered this big Tom Lynch porcelain palette so that I could have all of my colors on one plate with a nice size mixing surface. I like it well enough but it's very heavy and I have to leave it stationery — can't plop it up on the painting table next to the paper.

As it turns out, I have to use additional plates anyway and my old stand-by deviled egg plate for colors I want to add while in the middle of a painting or because there aren't enough wells for all of the colors I want to have on hand. I find the latter excuse hard to take because I really believe in working with a minimal set of colors. It's beginning to look like my minimal is now a set of 21!

For the last few years, I've been working with the egg plate and other white china plates in assorted sizes that I pick up at yard sales and second hand stores but it gets kind of wild with half a dozen or more plates going at one time. It seems like I should be able to organize all of my colors in one place. Maybe I'm fighting my natural tendencies or maybe I'm trying to put the cart before the horse but I'm going to give it another shot.

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