Tuscan Dream Journal
Watch over Dorothy’s shoulder as she paints the villages and vistas of Tuscany.
Thinking I might capture quick portraits of the kids playing in the water, I hauled my painting gear over the dunes and set up my easel near the water.
Instead, 10-year-old Fiona watched me paint her mom and dad side by side with their kites ~ being kids!
I showed her how to block in the colors. Not too serious, simple shapes to make the eye think it is looking at a real kite!
Who knew I was talking to myself?
Looking at the picture of Fiona painting her ocean of dreams, with her dad watching over her ~ I see myself and my own dad.
Painting with Fiona that day shifted my gears. Somewhere between the paintings, I took my own advice and played with chunks of color.
It happened first as I played with this small painting of the lighthouse. At first I didn’t see the lighthouse. I knew it was there, so I walked down the beach to get a closer look.
Selecting this vantage point, I blocked in chunks of color. At first the lighthouse was light against light clouds. Then I changed angles slightly and began to see it as a shadow shape in front of the light background.
Seeing darks and lights is a lot like seeing the cup half full or half empty. I had become so avert to looking at the dark side of life, it was difficult to see the dark shapes. Light and dark define us. Einstein said everything is relative. And so it is!
Adding the line of dark dune grasses defines the foreground ~ and creates space beyond for us to see the lighthouse.
Does it look like lady liberty to you too? or is it just me?
I did see the light that day. Without even realizing anything had changed, I painted “World on a String.” While three of the kids flew their kites in the dunes, I played with color.
Simple and to the point. And yet …
It’s taken me a couple weeks to realize the shift in these paintings ~ and in myself. I set them aside and worked on my fabric project. Coming back to them, I feel the utter playfulness and joy I felt that day.
And I realize their exuberance and joy is now mine to treasure for a lifetime!
If you don’t already know which of these 3 palettes is YOU, take a moment to scan the 3 images below.
Which one draws you in?
Which feels most comfortable to you?
Which one IS you?
Is there one you hate?
How do the Jewel tones make you feel?
Jewel tones are pure pigment, or nearly pure pigment. Very saturated colors. Intense.
The colors in this painting; Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Violet, Vermilion, Magenta, Veridian, Cadmium Yellow, Turquoise have been mixed with just enough white to bring the color identity to light.
The dark center of the flowers is Prussian Blue pure pigment. It appears black, but is not. If black were substituted for this color, it would appear lifeless and dead.
Charvin Jewel Colors
Ruby Red, Rubine Lake, French Red Light, Diamond Orange,
French Yellow Orange, French Yellow, Anise, Meadow Green, Peacock, Emerald, Intense Turquoise, Deep Turquoise, French Cobalt Blue, Deep Ultramarine Blue, Prussian Blue, Rembrandt Vermilion, Rembrandt Quinacridone Rose, Sennelier Rose
Now let’s look at the colors in this pastel palette. How do these colors feel to you?
Pastel tones are the same pure pigments, mixed with white. This dilutes the pigment. The dark in this example is actually Shadow Green. Mixed with Provence Blue, the color beside the full strength Shadow Green feels pastel.
Please note: this is an oil painting, not a pastel painting. My discussion here is about pastel tones, not the medium of pastels.
Charvin Pastel Colors
Naples Yellow, Incarnat, Celadon Green, Green Gray Light, Water Green, Tropical Green, St Remy Green, Deep Opaline Green, St Remy Blue, Caraibes, Royal Blue, Bright Linen, Leaded Gray
How do Earth Colors make you feel?
Earth colors are created from pigments found in the earth, Carmine, Red Earth, Yellow Ochre, Raw Umber, Siena, Charcoal, Zinc White. These elements are literally dug from the earth and ground up fine like sugar. This granular pigment is then used to create oil paint, acrylics, watercolors and pastels.
Charvin Earth Colors
Yellow Ochre, Raw Siena, Transparent Yellow Ochre, Pouzzoles Red, Aubere Pink, Raw Umber, Savana, Green Shell, Deep Celadon Green
Here is a section of my pastel palette with one of my color charts. Which palette would you say this is?
HINT There may be more than one right answer!
I see y’all are voting heavily for the Jewel Tone Palette! Me too! However, there’s something I’ve discovered about balancing colors that requires all three. In doing my artist residencies in France and Italy, I’ve discovered a Color Fusion Palette that creates harmony. Here’s an example.
Can you see the difference between Waking Dreams IV and Blooming? Waking Dreams incorporates all three palettes. Learn more about my Color Fusion Palette in my Awakening Hearts Series and how you can use it in your home to create wellness, serenity, and vitality.