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September 2013



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There is no One Right Way...

I am forever looking to lighten and simplify my load, to do more with less...

Not because that's the RIGHT way, but because, in part, I feel the need both mentally and spiritually, and because I'm no spring chicken!  The simplest things feel much heavier and more difficult now; my cat's cage, a 5 lb. bag of flour, my purse--my art supplies!

You may have seen my ultralight, lightest EVER watercolor kit in THIS POST...and it works great.  It's 1.4 ounces, even with its carrying case, a full waterbrush and a couple of pieces of paper towel.  (In fact it's almost TOO light...a good stiff wind would send it flying!)

I like it, and I DO like to simplify..."lighten up" doesn't just refer to my attitude!

Above is one of my simplest kits, made from a candy tin.  Three primaries (Cad. Yellow, Quinacridone Gold, and Phthalo Blue, plus a couple of convenience colors--Burnt Sienna and Indigo...and a half pan of Cobalt.), a wee eraser and pencil sharpener, a tiny pencil and ink pen, and I'm set.

But it is SO much fun to spend time with a friend who goes at it completely differently!  Mind-bending...

My dear friend Maria Hodkins came for her almost-annual visit a few weeks ago, and we got to go out sketching.  She carries a couple of kids' backpacks with art supplies, to keep her hands free and the weight evenly distributed--and three, yes, THREE palettes!

Maria loves color, and it shows!  We got to go out to Tryst Falls to paint on one of the last really warm days this fall...here she has her work spread out around her...

We had breakfast together at the historic Elms Hotel the next morning, and I asked if I could shoot a photo--wish it had turned out sharper!--and that I knew what all those amazing colors ARE. 

She has one warm palette, one cool, and one kind of specialty colors...

AND she lets me play with whatever I want to try out...I've picked up more than one new favorite from Maria over the years!

Here are the ones I explored this year...and thank goodness made notes next to them (yes, Maria DOES label the colors on her palettes, with nifty tiny little labels...)  You can click on the picture to see it larger--and read those labels! 

Obviously, I only tested a few...I LIKE the Quin Deep Gold, Deep Scarlet and Kyanite Genuine, but I see I mislabeled something as Undersea Green. 

Wonder what that other green was!

She shakes me out of my little rut and inspires me in new directions as a good art friend can do...

We always talk about life, and art, and bookbinding and nature and spirituality...balm for my soul, her visits are!  It's a delight to see Maria, and even more so to get the chance to paint together.  This year was no exception...I'm glad we could make it happen, it almost didn't.



What a lovely time with a good friend. They do say opposites attract, right? hehe!
Always, Rita
We had a ball, Rita, thank you!
In my next lifetime I want to be an artist just like you! Your life feels so rich...
Sometimes entirely TOO rich, milady...a wee tad exhausting, a bit complex. *G*