Friday, May 20, 2011



Oh my dear, beautiful pistachio color. I wish I could remember how I arrived at you.

You were buried under so many other layers in my "muddy greenish stuff" space in the little pallet. But after the grey stuff in that square was used up in that street in that painting, now YOU have surfaced. I'm wondering where you've been all my life. You are different from that yellow-green color (though you maybe can't tell from this photograph). You are much richer in appearance. More subtle. You have Magic. Grey certainly, just a lingering whisper. Also possibly peach, lavender. You are benefiting from so many colors all mixed up. I know there's a yellow-green is the base -- the one I purely mixed though, not the one I tweaked from the bottle.

I used to mentally scoff at one of my art teachers who fastidiously made a color key every time she mixed a color, because she didn't always use the colors she mixed and she must have had hundreds of color keys she never used. And the most common colors ("white" skin tone especially) were mixed so often you quickly ceased to rely on the recipe. So much of it was flying blind anyway. One was always adding a touch of this, a touch of that, to get something to look just right for a particular project. So why bother?

Well. You bother for this very reason, right here. I am actually kind of bewildered now as I realize almost all of my colors on the pallet right now, while not straight up mixed from process yellow, red and blue (I am not nearly that talented), is all tweaked from what comes out of the bottle. Some of it I am not happy with, and am relieved that they are slowly disappearing. But some of the others, the major standbys, are dwindling and I have no idea how they got there.

And still others are like this gorgeous pistachio color. Serendipitous accidents that I will use everywhere until I can pinpoint the formula. And then I will write it down, so I don't lose it again.