"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Friday, January 28, 2022

The Colors of Western Skies

"Western Skies, " 8 x 10 acrylic on canvas panel, palette knives, brushes

"I love mixing paint," I told a friend recently.

Long ago in my first watercolor class, one of the first lessons was that you don't need many colors, that you can mix the ones you need.

Then an artist in an oil painting workshop I attended said he could have entire lessons on mixing colors.

When I started trying to teach myself acrylics, mixing colors became essential, but there was a difference--palette knives.

I've always admired palette knife paintings, but picking one up and mixing colors became a new tactile experience. You can get lost in trying to get the colors you want, and feel for a painting, even before touching the canvas..

Just as when you're painting, the rest of the world goes away. These are problems to be solved, to my satisfaction.

Those a some of the stories behind this painting, trying to capture the mood of the skies in my beloved Southwest. And then, something else happened  that I didn't intend, but came from mixing colors because you never know exactly what you'll get. . As with previous paintings, I ended up using complementary colors, emphasizing opposites--yellows and purples, blues and oranges.

This has resulted in brighter colors and contrasts, and will also influence my future watercolors as well. No wonder I love mixing colors.  

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