Have you ever walked into one of those huge makeup stores and just looked?! Oh my goodness, all the shades of color, sparkles and glitter! Not to mention the combinations of different pigments! My blood just starts to hum and I'm not into makeup at all!
What about one of those candy stores where all the candy is in clear plastic bins?! Do you ever notice the "accidental" color pairings of a red next to a green?! Or pink and lime? And all the different shades of browns in the chocolate section? Too much fun! These are obvious color inspirations, but really, inspiration is just about anywhere you look! Nature is fabulous for pairing unexpected colors and Fall is a fabulous time to get out and look around....but I digress. Back to my confession...
Like many of the artists I know, I have some "tried and true" pigments that wind up on my palette no matter what. Oh yeah, palettes. Did I mention I'm a palette junkie too? Hmmm, that's probably too much information for one post so I'll leave that for another time....
Anyway. I have found that I'll buy some intoxicatingly beautiful pigment, try it, and then drop it into a box thinking, "oh, I'll use that later." Apparently, much later as it never seems to happen. So in an effort to use, explore and exhaust some of my....supply, I've been creating some smaller palettes such as the one above with colors I don't normally use. Blue Apatite, Quin. Fuchsia, Natural Turquoise, Mayan Orange, Trans. Brown Oxide, Gold Ochre as well as a few tried and trues....and this is all fine until I'm on location....painting along....not paying attention....and I dip into a well that I think is B. Umber and it's not.
It's Trans. Brown Oxide, which is much redder than B. Umber! And sometimes I like what I get and sometimes I don't, but let me assure you that it wakes me up, kicks me right out of my comfort zone and into the scramble/learning/recovery zone! Someone recently forwarded me this quote:
"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone."
— Neale Donald Walsch
And I would add to that, "or inside an unexpected touch of color!"