Thursday, April 21, 2011

"Color is my day-long obsession" Color Choice Confessions of a Traveling Artist, PART I

Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment. To such an extent indeed that one day, finding myself at the deathbed of a woman who had been and still was very dear to me, I caught myself in the act of focusing on her temples and automatically analyzing the succession of appropriately graded colors which death was imposing on her motionless face.”   Claude Monet

My Daniel Smith Metal Palette


I can relate to this quote and it often runs through my head.  It was running through my head as I prepared my palette for my upcoming trip to paint poppies in Provence.  The torment is which colors to bring along and which ones will be left home!  But first I had to decide which palette to take.  My very favorite metal Daniel Smith watercolor box can hold up to 24 colors in 1/2 pans!  Or I can switch some out, and bring full pans of the colors that I use the most.  It just doesn't seem to hold enough paint for a 2 week trip with painting everyday. Sadly, I chose to not use this one.

My next favorite palette and the one I recommend to all my students.  It is the Heritage palette.   I love it because it has a lid and a gasket which lends itself very well for travel.  Also it is very affordable.  It also has a removable plastic tray that I slip a painted reference card with the colors that are on my palette.  

Heritage Brand, also know as the Mijello Fusion Air Tight Palette
My tiniest of all!

Then there is the little palette that I pull out on the airplane.  Ok, ok now you know that I am obsessive!  I can't go that long without painting!  I love painting on those long plane rides.  I mean, what else are you going to do? I bought mine in France but there are lots of adorable mini palettes out there to choose from.

 There are also some great travel brushes that will fit inside the mini palettes.  My palette came with the tiniest of brushes and I have since added a Daniel Smith travel brush.

  Do you have a favorite traveling palette?  What is important to you when you travel and paint?   Which is more important to you - the amount of paint you can bring or the variety of color? 

Next I will be blogging about how I chose the colors on my palette.

Oh the agony of it all!


Laure Ferlita said...

From one junkie to another, I feel your pain and your obsession! The quote is very apt. Occasionally, when I drift off from a conversation with my husband, he'll ask me what I'm painting (in my head). And usually, he's right. That's what I'm doing! LOL

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

Will you be close to Art stores there in case you run out? or do you take some extra pans of your favorites along just in case? I do oils, so I know more about them. I dable in watercolors a bit and read everything I can on them. Thanks for the info on the blue birds, but we havent seen them since Monday. Someday I hope they will stick around.

Jacqueline said...

Oh I do a lot of head painting too Laure! Unfortunately those are my best! Chris, there is an art store near where we are going and I am looking forward to visiting it. They carry more Japanese art supplies than our stores do!

Sydney said...

I haven't really starting thinking about which palette to take on my trip in July but I definitely appreciate you sharing the thought process and angst you are going through - hopefully it will help me with my decision! I have a small travel palette like the smallest one you described which I love but, like you, think it probably doesn't hold enough for two weeks of painting. I did just make an order to DS for a travel brush like yours, though, and a tube of Quin rose so I guess I am actually starting to think and dream! Fun to see your new posting, as always!

Kate (Cathy Johnson) said...

What fun! (I am actually embarrassed by how many palettes I seem to have collected or made...)

Claire M said...

I have the Heritage Palette and the Windsor Newton one that you included -- probably the two that I use the most. But.... of course ... I have others too.

Jacqueline said...

Sydney I would love to hear what you end up taking with you to France and even your thoughts when you return! Kate how funny. One would think that us artists would only need one palette - Wrong! Claire we think alike :)

Kate (Cathy Johnson) said...

OH no, I keep trying out the perfect travel palette! I still use my beloved old John Pike palette for big stuff at home, but I keep a tiny palette by the bed, a couple by the couch, one in the kitchen, one in the shed, one in each vehicle...and then of course some for gouache... :-)

Jacqueline said...

Kate how funny! I love that you keep one by your bedside! So that is another thing to do when sleep won't come at 3 a.m.