Confessions of a Color Junkie

10:14 AM

Yes, I am a color junkie! Let me say that loud and proud! I have enough paint to last me another 137 years and that's if I painted everyday! If I paint at my current schedule I could probably stretch it to closer to 188 years. Maybe more. Yes, I'm definitely a hardcore color junkie.

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Handbook Watercolor Journal
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, 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!"

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27 Creative Thought(s)

  1. There's just something about an array of colorful items on display, isn't there? So tempting.

    I thought of you this weekend when I saw a friend's daughter's bedroom: apple green walls and a bright fuschia striped comforter--it was a Laure room!

  2. I'm a color junkie also but my palette is limited. Keeps me true to my colors.

  3. Funny reading about your hording of colors/paints. I just came from the garage where I was going through my fabric stash. Do I have a hundred years of art making materials out there, quite possibly. But could I find what I needed for this current project? Not sure. Brought something in but will it work? Remains to be seen. All that and yet not the perfect color, size, fit???? How can that be?

  4. LOVE this, Laure! And yep, I've done that I put the new, experimental colors off to one side and hope I remember. I tend to try to arrange my palette (er, PALETTES, plural!) in the same way, too, so I have a clue what I'm getting into.

    But yep, I have discovered a few new must-haves. Love Quin Gold...and did I mention Quinacridone Burnt Scarlet?? OH yeah...

  5. Laure you are a sister in spirit! I am JUST the same. A color junkie - I just picked up 9 new tubes of watercolor paint for my birthday! A palette junkie - I am making several new ones as we speak. :-) But it's such great fun! It's nice to hear someone else say it out loud. Cheers! *lol*

  6. OK, I confess. I am a color junkie AND a palette junkie. LOVE this post!

  7. Must be exciting to try new colors.

    I like your quote, I should come out of my comport zone more.

  8. gosh... i LOVED this post! it makes me want to paint, paint, paint!

  9. oh these colors and shades are amazing....

  10. Guilty as charged. Any time I go to purchase a certain color I come home with at least one other color that just "sounded" interesting. I don't even have to see it. I just want it.

  11. Yes, KJ, very tempting and I apparently am weak!

    Toni, I'd say you're probably the smart one!

    Isn't it odd how we can't find what we need when we want it? Good luck on your project, Lynn!

    Hey, Kate, I do arrange the palette(s) in a similar order or I'd really make a mess! But I just don't seem to ever use the "exotics" so this is my attempt to get them into use.

    Hi, Sara! I'm wondering if we need to start a support group! Looks like you and I have quite a bit of company!

    Vicky, I can't say I'm surprised! It seems to go hand in glove with artistic personalities.

    Oh, Brigitte, I do hope you'll join us out here in the wild—just be warned, color is highly addictive!

    Randi—get those paints out and get busy!!

    Thank you, Diana!

    I hear you, Lisa! I'm the SAME way!

  12. You are having way to much fun with all those new colors. How do you keep tract of their names if you put them in little boxes like this? Just curious. I have so much fun coming here to see what you are up to. A relative of mine left me her watercolors when she passed away a couple years ago. They are rather fun even if I dont know how to use them well.

  13. Hey, Cris, I make a "legend" of all the colors' names, the manufacturer and the pigment number when I put them in the palette. I make it as small as the palette so that I can carry it with me.

    When I remember.

  14. I hear a resounding response to this post! I am also guilty as charged - I've been know to spend an entire evening looking at my art supply catalogs...always getting stuck on the Daniel Smith watercolor page. How dare they lay everything out so enticingly? maybe you should start a paint exchange!

  15. Hmmm, a paint exchange......any ideas on how to make that work?!

  16. I love doing color studies. Sometimes that is all I do... play with my colors!

  17. Busted.... I have boxes of tubes...taking your class had me go through them. I plan to give away some of my exotic but similar colors to the women in my Tuesday group.... I am a sucker for an unusual name... it sounds so interesting... E.

  18. Elizabeth, I think that's a stellar idea! I'm going to be getting rid of some of mine as well but since they fugitive or unstable, I'd rather give them to kids rather than an unsuspecting artist!

  19. Me too, Jacqueline! In fact I took a year off from painting to do color studies and color theory a while back!

  20. I made up a palette of my newest colors and set it aside to dry...hmmm, a month ago? I guess I need to find it and use it!

    I see you are trying out Jacquelines background idea. I chickened out on making the tape divisions at the last minute. I didn't think my page was large enough but it is and I think I'd better prep another one. Yours looks so nice.

  21. I too am easily drawn to colors - paints, fabrics, food, beads, flowers, towels, gelato, .... Oh, so many yummy, colorful things that tempt my eyes!

    I love your page that you posted - the layout and colors are very appealing!

  22. Get that page prepped, Timaree! You chickened out?!! And get that palette out too!! We're burning daylight!

    You know, Claire, I didn't even think about beads and fabrics, or GELATO until you said something, but you're right!!! I'm giving Jacqueline's idea a run to see what I can do with it.

    Come on in, Marisa! I hate to admit it, but I'm the same way when I go into an art store though I have been "better" lately about just getting what I need. Of course, when I don't get something, I feel like a kid who didn't get their toy! LOL!!

  23. Glad I'm not the only one. I recently bought 8 tubes of M. Graham color, and while the couple I've tried have exceed my expectations and I love them, why haven't I used the other 6 yet? Time to clean out and re-stock the palette!

    BTW.... love that little 24 well palette. What kind is it? Where you do find one like that?

  24. What kind of little palette is this? Where did you order it from?

  25. I am the same! I have so many colors I never or rarely use. But o.. I love the new colors and
    The names are irresistible !!!


  26. T, get those M. Graham's out! They're fabulous!!!

    Deb and T, I'll be posting on the palette soon. I'm trying to get some info from the shop (small independent) where I bought it.

    Suzanne, it seems this is just one of the "downfalls" of being an artist—a very nice one too, if you ask me!

  27. It reminds me of a cute little mini-palette I bought at Desert Art Supplies a couple of years ago! It was a Romney, and has WEEEEE pans, smaller than half. I prefer full pans so I seldom us it, but it lives by my bed in case.


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