13 October 2009

Staying In TOuch ...

I haven't blogged in awhile and given my recent absence, I thought I'd let everyone know that I'm okay. If you follow me on Facebook, then you know that I'm at my mother's house in Arkansas. I was first absent because I was getting ready for my trip and now I'm scarce because I don't have good internet. My mother just has dial-up; rather than fight with that, I'm going to town every few days to use public wi-fi with my laptop to check my mail, make blog posts, check my online classes, etc. Right now. I'm sitting at my mother's kitchen table, writing this post that I will post tomorrow when I'm in town.

I'm way behind on all my projects, between getting ready to travel and having a disrupted schedule. I shipped (FedEX, actually) some art supplies to Arkansas so that I will have an opportunity to catch up. I'm still readingn The Joy Diet by Martha Beck, although I haven't posted about it recently. I'm enjoying the book. I'm struggling with the processes because of my disrupted schedule.

I'm used to having my days to myself, so that it's easy to do my meditation and other processes without scrutiny or explanations, but now I'm sharing the house with someone else. I also have a tendancy to sleep more at my mother's house for some reason. In fact, I had a hard time getting out of bed today, even though I had plenty of time to sleep. It was a dreary day, which always makes me want to stay cuddled in bed -- preferably with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate.

Speaking of a good book -- I just finished reading Julie & Julia by Julie Powell. I loved the movie, so my sister lent me the book. I loved it! In fact, I'm inspired to do some kind of cooking project. I'm not all that interested in "mastering the art of French cooking" but I am interested in working with my cooking skills.

I am definitely a recipe/technique cook -- much like my skills in art! I really enjoy tackling a new recipe or technique, messing with it until I perfect my skill; then I may never make that dish again! I remember when my parents grew eggplant in their garden that I decided to master the flavorful Greek dish, Moussakka. I made it two or three times that year, each time getting it a little more "right". When I perfected it -- and it was YUMMY! -- my dad even said, "This is really good. I guess we'll never have it again!" That's been years ago, and I haven't made a Moussakka since then.

Since I love to cook, and I'm very much a recipe cook, I'm considering choosing a cookbook and cooking my way through it, just as Julie Powell did with Mastering The Art of French Cooking. I don't think I'd set a strict year deadline, or endeavor to cook each recipe in order. I'm considering either the Barefoot Contessa's Back to Basics, or a Southern Living Annual. My mother also has a couple of cookbooks that I really enjoy, so may look at those, too.

Any thoughts???

01 October 2009

My Personal Palette

I am taking Carmen Torbus' online workshop, Spill It! One of the first things she asked us to do was to determine our personal palette. She tends to paint with the same few colors over and over -- colors she absolutely loves, her personal palette. She asks us to find the colors that we love and to paint with them, instead of the colors she uses. She recommends two or three transparent colors and then another two or three other colors that we just love.

I'm funny when it comes to color. In my closet are mostly the cool colors that I look best in -- pinks, blues, purples. And, in fact, purple is my favorite single color and pink, orange and yellow is my current favorite color combination. When it comes to flowers, I tend to lean toward the warm, vibrant colors of autumn. I love the mums that brighten our gardens this time of year. I love fall leaves, with their reds and goldens. Really, I just love color, and at any given time, just about any color can speak to me. There are very few ugly colors!

So, how to narrow down a universe of color into four to six bottles of paint? And, how to do this without spending a fortune buying new paint?

I finally decided to limit myself to paints on hand -- after all, I'm bound to like the colors I already own, right? I looked at my bottles; I took them out of their clear plastic shoe box and started lining them up and arranging them. I wasn't completely satisfied with the process, so I decided to make my own paint chips! I cut a few sheets of 110 lb. acrylic paper into squares and proceeded to cover each square with a single color.

After they dried thoroughly, I labeled them with brand and color information. When I was all done, I put my paints away and laid out my paint squares so that I could see all my colors. Some of them got eliminated immediately -- all the whites, blacks, iridescents, and interference colors. Next went the browns and an odd flat light pink that didn't seem to go with anything else.

I started moving the remaining several squares around, noticing how certain colors looked next to each other. I consulted the Golden's Transparency Chart. I finally ended up with the six colors that will make up my personal palette during the workshop.

They are all Golden products (although I do own a few Liquitex paints). The colors of my personal palette are: Nickel Azo Yellow, Transparent Red Iron Oxide, Alizarin Crimsom Hue, Permanent Violet Dark, Turquois (Phthalo) and Cobalt Turquois.

I can't wait to start painting!