Friday, January 1, 2010

Creating Balance

I thought I'd start the New Year off right by posting again--very aware that it has been seven months since my last entry. I've had lots to write about this year, but setting aside the time to sit down and write has been my challenge. (I think that's referred to as procrastination.) Teaching has kept me on the road quite a bit this year--so catching up with family and friends, and spending as much time in the studio while home, has been my excuse. With my resolutions for the New Year being "Balance and Organization" I am getting started again.


I took a drive this week up to Mt Vernon for some shopping at Dakota Pastels. It was a day trip with a good friend--a great time--and I brought back a big bag of pastels. I spent the day today completely reorganizing my medium Heilman Box. The contents had sustained a significant amount of damage this summer during a flight home, so it's been sitting around the studio waiting for help. I emptied and cleaned the box, then rearranged my color columns to suite my current thought process. The colums from l-r are blue violet, blue, cool green, warm green, red/orange/yellow, and red violet. (Keeping the color wheel flow while separating the blue and red violets was the idea.) This arrangement has worked really well for me during the past 6 months of painting, so I transitioned this box that way, too. I will discuss the color choices in the next section.


One thing I've been increasingly aware of this past year, is the importance of balance--in my work and in my life. As an artist, I'm finding more fullfillment and pleasure from having a bit more balance of luscious and neutral color choices in my paintings. The beautiful lively colors become more interesting when balanced with muted and subtle versions. I spent a couple of months this year trying to use the most greyed color I could, getting comfortable using them, and developing a way to incorporate the neutrals into a more integrated color palette. Balance. This way of thinking about color as 3-dimensional--value, hue, and chroma--has provided some pretty exciting painting adventures this year.

The newly revised pastel box contains a balance of warm/cool, light/dark, and high/low chroma color. The primary and secondary colors are well represented with all of their variations.
So back to my New Year's resolutions:
I've always prided myself as being sufficiently organized, but there's always room for improvement. Finding the balance in studio & plein air painting, reading & writing more about painting, and fending off the tendency to procrastinate with my blog, are my goals for 2010.
Speaking or writing one's ideas make them tangible. Sharing them make them meaningful.
Next time I'll be posting some new work. Until then,
Happy New Year!

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