Tuesday, May 28, 2013


I like things to be neat, but unfortunately, I'm not a naturally neat person.  I have to work at it, and accept that sometimes mess happens.  I'll get around to ironing that pile of summer clothes, but it won't happen in the next five minutes.  I've learned to live with the dust bunny in the corner if I really don't have the time to go and get it.  There it will be, a couple of hours from now, waiting for me to take care of it.  And I do.  Honest!
The area where I totally must have order is in the studio.  All right, the art closet and bookcases can get a bit disarrayed, but my paints and palette have to be orderly.  To that end, I have all my watercolors sorted into color families and stored in little tackle box trays.  The box itself was long since tossed, as there was no room to pile the tubes in the trays and still close the box.  But the trays are neatly stacked in my tabouret and my palettes are covered to keep out dust, animal hair, and a curious cat.  I have one palette for each "set" of colors, Earth colors, greens and blues,  yellows and reds, and one smaller one for the purples.

 It may sound foolish, taking all the time to sort and store by color, but in the end, it saves time as I know exactly where to look for the color I want, either in the trays or on the palettes.  I can think about the painting more clearly if I know where the paint is and if my brushes are where they should be.  The paper gets stored carefully by type and weight too.
But once in a while, like today, I can drive myself a bit crazy with all this organization.  I had to buy a new palette today, as I had accidentally punched a hole in the earth tones one.  I decided to make the new one more orderly, with the colors going from dark to light all around the outside, and with the extra colors in their own little wells inside.  Nice idea if you don't get confused with which color you squeezed out color before last and forgot to label.  There's not that much difference between Gold Ochre, Quinacridone Deep Gold, and Quinacridone Gold until it's on the paper.  Talk about clean crazy!!  But I got it sorted, and now I'm feeling refreshed and ready to  paint again.  That nice pristine white won't last for long!

Heather Anderson

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