Friday, February 21, 2014

What's new about placid blue?

What's new about placid blue?

It's not a new color at all. It has always been with us. It is what we want to see when we get up in the morning and look out the window at the sky.

It is one of the top ten Womens's Pantone Colors for Spring 2014, which makes it noteworthy. 

Placid Blue is a soft pastel that is a wonderful compliment to the strong and bold Dazzling Blue.  Pantone describes it as a picture perfect, tranquil and reassuring sky that induces a sense of peaceful calmness.

                 Placid blue bracelet upcycled from artist palette

What is great about placid blue: 
It is calming.
It works well as a background color.
It harmonizes with soft pastel greens and violets.
It is a great solution for "what to wear with jeans"   

Here's a recipe for placid blue, according to Bustanoby's Color Manual, copyright 1939:
 It was called Forget-Me-Not Blue

"Slightly neutral tint of blue, resembling the delicate blue flowers, with yellow centers, of this perennial herb, which grows in wet or damp places in the United States, Europe and Asia."

16 parts Zinc White
2 parts Cobalt Blue
Forget Me Not flowers
1 part yellow Ochre
Trace of Burnt Umber

From this list of ingredients I can tell you that placid blue is mostly white with a little blue, and the yellow ochre and burnt umber would act to tone it down. So it is a tint of blue with a bit of its complement added, making it a gorgeous gray blue. 

What will you wear with placid blue this season? 

Monday, February 10, 2014

You never know who will walk in your booth

   Several years ago I was participating in an art show in Delray Beach Florida. What I sell is jewelry which I make from the dried acrylic paint from the artist palette. 

During the show, a woman walked into my booth and was studying my jewelry pieces. I mean, really inspecting them more closely than the typical customer. I started to share with her my story, how I start with the palette and go from there. 

She listened, then said “Yes, I can tell they’re made from paint. I make paint.”

Well at first I wasn’t sure if I heard her correctly, not having ever met anyone who makes paint. Then she introduced herself. “I’m Barbara Golden.”

To me this was akin to meeting a Hollywood star! I had a celebrity in my art booth!

She went on to tell me about some of the more interesting and unusual applications artists have found for Golden Paints.

 She later came back to my booth and we had a delightful conversation about the hand painted tee shirts with the Golden colors on them. (My favorite shirt for years).
I was inspired and thankful to have met Barbara and appreciative of her interest in my jewelry pieces, which can be viewed at
One never knows who will walk into one's booth at an art show, but this was one of my favorite. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

How do you make gray?

How do you make gray? Well the obvious answer is to mix black and white.

But then how do you get a reddish gray, a bluish gray or a warm gray?

I was once commissioned to make a detailed color chart for a color consultant. That was when I learned how to make gray.
     For those of you not in my age range, let me explain. Back in the 80's, everyone was getting "their colors done". You were analyzed as being one of the four seasons, as far as the colors that look best on you. The palette was based on your skin tones and the color wheel. 

The left side of the color wheel is the cool colors, or the winter palette, and the right side is the warm colors, also known as the spring palette. But what about the warm muted colors of autumn and the cool muted colors of summer? Where do they get those colors? 

The color wheel holds the key. Take any color. Let's take red, for example. 

Okay start with red and draw a straight line down to the opposite side of the wheel and what do you find?  Green. This is its complementary color, and here's the deal. Any two complementary colors will gray each other down. So start with red and add a little green and you get tomato red. See the difference? It is a grayed down version of red.  Now if you continue to add green you will gray it down even more. 

So now if you take white and add a bit of your grayed down red, you will get gray, but it will be a lovely shade of rich, vibrant, reddish gray, instead of the dull black and white mix. 

So next time you want to paint tree bark,  you will know how to make its beautiful muted warm color palette.

Complementary colors are harmonious when blended because they gray each other, giving a  more natural effect. 

What about yellow and purple, you ask? Yes, they are complementary colors and yes, mixed together they make gray. Here is a beautiful example of using complementary colors in a painting. It is called Dawn Beach by artist Fred Cuming. 

The yellow of the sky is muted down with violet. The deep cool violet on the horizon is muted with its complement, yellow. The effect is soft and harmonious, a lovely blend of total opposites. 

So how do you make gray? Black and white works. Or any two colors opposite each other on the wheel, plus white. 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

So what do you do?

      So what do you do when you are an artist and you find yourself away from your work, your home, your husband, your cats and your art studio for several weeks because you are called upon to care for a loved one who is recovering from surgery? When you are not making money or going to work, but being a caregiver for someone you dearly love, someone who is not in a dire life and death state, but who needs you all the same.

5 things to do while care - giving

1. Be the best caregiver you can be. Everything else can and will wait. Being the best means getting enough calories, sleep, and exercise so you can give of yourself. And lots of coffee. 

2. Re-discover blogging. Need ideas? 
Here's enough to keep you blogging til the cows come home:

3. Spend time drawing every day. Drawing could be doodling while on the phone, doing quick sketches for that collage you've always wanted to do, or simply recording what you see in your daily life. Who cares what it is, just draw!

For a great example of an artist that spends time daily with her sketchbook, visit

4. Plan. Could be a financial plan, vacation plan, or a calendar of juried art shows you plan to attend. Write it down. There is something powerful about committing your plan to paper. 

5. Replace old stale thought patterns with fresh, new and sparkling ones. Where, you may ask, do I find such thoughts? Why, the fountain of truth, of course! 

Here's where to find new sparkling thoughts

Remember: You are giving and this is a temporary situation. You will look back at this and thank God that you could be there and not lose your mind in the process.