Sunday, August 8, 2010

New paints and palette

It was time for an upgrade.

Sometimes its wise to realize you've gone as far as you can with the tools you're using. I was there. My paints were student grade, washed down and inferior. I'd grown so accustomed to them, it never dawned on me to change them. But when a wise old man (maybe not so old) visited, necessary changes became instantly obvious.

A bucket full of new paints!

If that doesn't make me want to jump up and paint, nothing will. Big juicy tubes, full of creamy paint, hollering to be squeezed. Its like being a kid again with a new box of crayola crayons!

Better yet is my new place to squeeze them on. Oh, I'm playing with the big boys now... A glass palette. I have to tell you, I'd seem them used before, but never realized the difference it makes mixing your colors.

Its a whole new stimulant!

I'm showing it to you all clean. Really, I should have photographed it in living color. Patches and patches of mixed swirls of paint gradually change with every value and tone at your fingertips. My palette knife rest, if you can believe that. I was so hooked to it before for mixing colors, I'm shocked how easily I've been able to let it go.

So when I tell you I've made some positive changes in an attempt to improve my art, I wasn't kidding. Everything all at once. I've repeated how my head hurts from all the thinking required during these days of experimenting. My brain is in overload. Not just from adjusting to a new way of looking at things, but from working with all new toys.

Would I do it again?

In a heartbeat. I suggest an upgrade to any of you who are serious about your art and wanting to improve your results. I looked at it as an investment in my future. It wasn't cheap, but I'm hoping it will all be worthwhile in time.

I'm currently working on portraits. I hope to secure the lessons of my past workshop by experimenting with similar subjects. Mike's taken photos of family members in strong light so I now have plenty of material to work with. No excuses... I don't know how many I'll decide to paint. I suppose as many as it takes to drill the lessons into my head. Maybe when my brain stops hurting and they get easier to paint, I'll know its time to move on.

At the moment I'm working on a double portrait. It has problems. Hopefully I'll feel comfortable posting it after I resolve some of them...

So when the day is done, my palette gets cleaned. The days used paint is scraped into piles of grays to use tomorrow. And then, one two three, it closes up tight keeping my paints from drying too quickly, into...

A handy dandy, ready to travel, suitcase!

All these changes are helping me from falling back on old habits. There's nothing to fall back on. Everything's been flipped upside down...

Nothing like a whirlwind to propel you into a new direction. Hopefully its forward...


  1. Nice to see you so happy with your new acquisitions! happy painting!

  2. So happy for you! I just upgraded some items in my studio and sold a sentimental drafting desk that was consuming my space. Wonderful feeling...

  3. Congratulations on the new toys!! Very important, toys are...we need them to be fully human. May I suggest placing a sheet of a very neutral, mid value grey paper under the glass in your gorgeous new palatte? Mixing colours over neutral gray really gives you a better idea of value, hue, and chroma before you apply them to the canvas. Gamblin paints are wonderful...did you get some Gamsol also? Best, least toxic paint thinner cleanser on the market as far as I know. And use good brushes! You are going to see a big difference in your painting!

  4. lovely! it is always wonderful to trade up, I am personally in love with Golden... ciao bella!!

  5. If this doesn't inspire one to paint, nothing will!

  6. Wow, Susan! I'm so proud of you!
    It takes GUTS to let go of our comfortable processes, tools, and techniques.
    I'll e-mail you the rest; it's too long to put here. :-)

  7. I know you will be thrilled with these new treasures. I do have a friendly suggestion. I have used a glass palette for about a year and love it. I cut a piece of gray thin foamboard the exact size and place under your palette it really lets you see your true colors.

  8. Susan just looking at all of your "new toys" makes me want to paint :) Can't wait to see your next painting!!!

  9. Hi Susan!! I'm ready to order more new paints after Don's workshop now that I can see the difference. I like your lobsterman--great job.

  10. Woo Hoo... It's so much fun to buy new paints and supplies!!

    Have you tried the radiant line by Gamblin??? FUN colors!!!

  11. This is my first visit and you rock...I love the new box of paints...reminds me of the first day back to school and all those wonderful crayon smells. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

  12. It makes me want to paint just looking at the photographs of your new art supplies! I have recently started using Gamblin paints, and I am really pleased with the results. HAVE FUN!!!

  13. new paint and palette--can't wait to see what comes from your new tools

  14. Susan. I use this system and now I can't live without it. Also, I just put the whole box into my freezer drawer in the evening and the paint stays fresh....

  15. Wow!! Amazing!! I want one like this....:)

  16. how exciting! You must be leaping out of bed in the morning ;)


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