Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Palette Talk

Like most artists, I love the stuff that goes with the job- luscious paint, new brushes, clean sharp palette knives, a big roll of my favorite canvas, a new kneaded eraser....I could go on and on. One thing that did not get updated much for many years was my palette. The first one you see here is about 20 years old and as you can tell, its been around the block a time or two. It is wood with a laminate surface. That's a tuna fish can for medium up there is the left hand corner. It is heavy!

And, over the years it has been abused and used.  It got bashed in in the back of my Suburban a few years back. For the last few year's I have not used it much- just taking it with me to demos when I need a portable, large mixing surface. It is about 27" wide at its widest point. I love it, but truthfully it is not only past its prime but also way too heavy for me to hold for any length of time these days.

For many years I used an Open Box M for painting outdoors and of course the palette is part of that rig. So I just needed something to replace the old clunker for studio work. So, I got this. I have had it for about 10 years. The mixing surface is glass with a neutral grey underneath. It has great storage for paint, brushes, medium, gamsol, etc. It's on wheels so it can easily be moved around the studio. It is 64" wide.

About a year and a half ago when I started to work on the Lennox Woods work and to tackle some larger canvases, I realized that there were times I might need a smaller palette. Oddly, the larger the canvas got, the more I seemed to need a small palette to work on specific areas. Having a small arm palette was the perfect choice. So, I got this. It is a small Turtlewood palette which is about 13" across. I have also been taking it with me out in the field since I switched back to using my Julien easel outdoors. It's a beautifully made,  really light small palette.

I really enjoyed using an arm palette again and liked having my colors right in front of me as I worked, particularly on a large canvas. But, sometimes the little Turtlewood was just too small. So, I just got this today - my New Wave Expressionist palette! It is amazingly light for a large palette- 25 + "- and has this very cool shape- which just happens to be ergonomically designed. It is so beautiful I just want to look at it and I will feel bad when it's awash in pigment and solvent and medium. But, I'm pretty sure I'll get over that...probably first thing tomorrow!

1 comment:

Linda blondheim said...

This was a fun read for me. I have used a million palettes over the years too. Right now I'm using a 12x16 inch piece of sanded plywood. I have it oiled in nicely and it works great. I've always liked fairly small palettes and use them on an old microwave cart with wheels on it, to move around.