Things have been busy lately. One of the things I am working on is a series of paintings on my newly minted Wall of Shame. For those of you unfamiliar with my strangely titled work space, I like to display a row of blank canvasses on a wall that I can see frequently. The sight of those empty canvasses is enough to shame me into finishing them... hence the name.
Over the holidays, I was dragging my feet to get started on a series of work that are solely drafted by me. I realized I needed something compelling to get me going. After taking stock of what was lacking and I realized I needed some boundaries. Taking my cue from how people typically feel in the beginning of January, I decided to put myself on a bit of a diet. Over the years, flashy tubes of paints have been making their home more and more in my studio. While I love colour, I feel like I’ve been seduced with vibrant rainbows, living in a place where the hue saturation is always set to the loudest volume. This is where my diet from colour comes in – my palette cleanse.
When I first learned to paint, we were restricted to a limited palette for years and years, mixing everything as close as we could with only a small choice of colour. I am very thankful for those years because I am pretty accurate when forced into it. My latest studio work will be a return to my roots, executed with a 5 tube palette of yellow, red, blue, umber and white. I’m still tweaking the exact hues and I may experiment with an even more limited palette later on, but for now this works.
As I’ve been working like this for the past couple weeks, already I’m feeling refreshed. Having to pay closer attention to the values, stretching myself to mix greys that aren’t too muddy and spending more time composing the layout are all benefitting my work. I just booked a show at the Cochrane Ranchehouse in March where I plan to debut some of these pieces.
My work outside the studio is not necessarily going to follow those rules. This weekend, I am honoured to be painting live at the Airdrie Mayor’s Night of the Arts (tickets available here) and I might be sneaking some tubes of green and violet with me!