Sunday, December 20, 2009

idee fixe

I don't know why, I can't lay off these poinsettias! It'slike I'm painting them against my will ...

We had a big snow here starting late Friday night: it was like magic--I woke up Saturday and everything was covered in six inches of snow, a rarity here at the shore. I don't even have a snow shovel, but I do have a very nice neighbor, Jamie, who's outside shoveling my walk and driveway right now, while I sit inside and play with my paints (and bake an orange kugelhopf for Jamie).
I don't have snow boots, either, but the sun is out which means 1) beautiful shadows on the snow and 2) the snow won't last long, so I have to get out there and try to get some photos, even if it means wet feet.

Ever since Jan Hart, with whom I have taken two workshops, explained to me that instead of choosing paints by their names, I should look at the numbers on their side--e.g. PB36 = cerulean**--I have tried not to buy tubes of paint that are mixes of colors I already have and especially not to buy mixes that include white. Having said that, I just bought these three tubes from Cheap Joe's, thinking they might be useful in the Virgin Islands, two of which have white in them. This swatch really doesn't do the coastal fog justice--it's got a nice warm glow; and the mint julep does accord with my memories of shallow Caribbean waters. I'm waiting for a tube of Old Holland's "Caribbean Blue," before I finalize my travel palette.

** For more on and a better explanation of the labeling of pigments (or for anything pertaining to watercolor, for that matter!) see Handprint.
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Cathy Gatland said...

I'm glad you didn't lay off the poinsettias - so very beautiful - who would think you could fit so many subtle colours in and still make them look perfectly like a poinsettia!
I've never heard of numbers for paints - do all makes have numbers on the side? - I will have to check mine.

RHCarpenter said...

Gorgeous poinsettias! Really beautiful and light. Nothing wrong with white in a tube's just going to be more opaque and might be worth dropping into wet color for water reflections, swirls during your trip :)

Sandy Maudlin said...

So beautiful and sensitively painted. Wonder what your next obsession will be to paint???

debwardart said...

Lovely poinsettas - and years of Christmas cards??? Can't say I'm a fan of Cheap Joe's paints (I'm a Daniel Smith fan) but a friend has that Coastal Fog and loves it. Aren't good neighbors wonderful! Hope you are not snowed in when it's time to leave on your trip.

Ruth said...

The poinsettias are luminous. I do love the lighter shades and remember when they were outdoor landscaping plants when we lived in Pasadena.

How nice that you got snow, and that you have the Caribbean to look forward to!

Ann Buckner said...

Beautiful paintings! The best to you in 2010!

Mark McC said...

I love the poinsettias! You definitely need to make Christmas cards for next year.

You've probably left for the Caribbean by now, but I hope you have a fantastic, productive vacation! Can't wait to see the results.

Merry Christmas

AutumnLeaves said...

I think your efforts at Poinsettias are just so beautiful, Laura! I also thank you for the link on paint colors as I keep trying to learn!

Barbara M. said...

Your poinsettias are the best.
Just beauriful. Those flowers
are not easy to paint. Super colour and light.

Take care,


kanishk said...

Gorgeous poinsettias!

Work from home India


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