Archive for May, 2008
I’m behind on posting. But I’ve been painting. See?
A whole new painting to look at. This is a collection of souvenirs from Chris’s adventures recently. There’s a painted tile from Tunisia, a terracotta box from somewhere (maybe Syria?), a small carved figurine from Easter Island and a bottle filled with sand from Jordan. The blue bowl is from the far off distant land of Anthropologie, but I wanted something blue-green and round, sort of as a symbol of the world. And looking inside the paper bag was my idea of exploring new places from a different angle. Also, it was pretty. Here’s a view of my set-up.
I haven’t yet painted the red handles and they’re an important part of the composition. I still have a lot to do before that though. The color inside the bag is really important. I want it to glow, so that your eye is really drawn in to the bag. I’m trying to get everything else nailed down nicely before I really work on the bag.
Several people lately have told me that they can see how much progress I’m making. I’ve been doubtful, but I can see changes in my approach with this painting. I’m much more deliberate about things when I have a problem now. It’s exciting to finally push past a plateau.
Also, you have no idea how satisfying it is that I can’t see the difference between my painting and the wall in the top photo. I worked so very very hard to get that wall color right!
At the end of 2007, I made a few goals. I’ve written about them before, so I won’t go in to a lot of detail here, but as we’re almost halfway finished with 2008, I’m getting ready to evaluate and see what’s going well and what still needs work.
2008 for me was the year Jolie goes pro with her art.. It’s still scary, but I’ve made a lot of progress this year already. For example, I told myself that I wouldn’t order business cards until I had actually made some income. Chris helped me figure out what that number would be–though it seemed incredibly high and nearly impossible, considering that I had not made one red cent until that point.
But this week we realized that I had more than doubled my expectations already–and the year is only halfway over.
I ordered business cards yesterday.
Writing this out makes me realize how amazing this is. Sometimes I think I really may be able to be a working artist. (Of course, most of the time I think this is a pipe dream…)
Either way, I’ll have really cute business cards.
In my studio over the past couple of days, we’ve been talking about an interesting system for organizing our palette. The Fletcher Palette system is based on the idea that colors and music are linked. It’s a pretty complex system (for me at least) and I can’t find a link online that explains it clearly, so I guess I’ll attempt an explanation. Bear with me.
There are 12 musical notes and 12 colors that the palette is based on. The colors are all really intense chromatic colors, so forget about browns and beiges and grays for the time being. Think of a color wheel with Yellow, Yellow-Green, Green, Blue-Green, Blue, Blue-Violet, Violet, Red-Violet, Red, Red-Orange, Orange, and Yellow-Orange. You’re also allowed to have White.
It looks a bit like this:
Ok, now in this example there are lines connecting complementary colors– colors directly across from each other on the wheel– like red and green, or purple and yellow, or orange and blue. The Fletcher System insists that these colors mixed together on a painting result in flat and muddy color. However, if you were to connect Orange to Blue-Green (instead of Blue) you would have a cleaner, crisper mixed color. So if you want to paint something that isn’t so intensely chromatic, you would mix colors across the color wheel following a set pattern.
Here’s where this relates to music. Fletcher’s idea was that the 12 chromatic colors can be set up on a scale similar to the 12 tones in music. You then choose a color key for your painting, somewhat like choosing to play a song in the key of C. Once you’ve chosen your color key, then you mix your colors in intervals based on music as well. Another example: if you were to play a song in the key of C, then you’d play the notes C, E, and G to create a triad–or a major chord. The E note is third in the key and G is the fifth note in the key. (Chris had to explain this part to me last night.) So if you decide to paint using the key of Yellow, then following the circle around, you’d use Yellow, Red-Violet and Blue-Green which are spaced around the circle in intervals of three and five from Yellow. Look at the circle to figure this out. It’s a little confusing.
You’d use those three colors mixed together to create a neutral gray, which you’d use similarly to a major chord in a song. It’s the predominant harmony throughout the painting. And this system of arranging your palette allows you to have brighter and clearer colors in a painting.
As you can see, it’s a bit complex. I’m intrigued by the idea that these intervals are so deeply ingrained that they can transfer from music to color, but there are a few holes in the theory for me. One, this only works with music based on the 12-note scale. Music in China, India and other parts of Asia, use a completely different scale, so I can’t really buy in to the idea that this system has a universal appeal. Secondly, it’s a bit frustrating and time consuming trying to mix a color that looks like Yellow Ochre when you have a tube Yellow Ochre right in your taboret.
Maybe the results are worth it. I’ll let you know.
Look over there to your right. You’ll see a small list that says, “look at these, too.” At the bottom of that list, you’ll see a link that says, “my etsy store.” If you click that link, you’ll see how I kept myself busy while Chris was away. There are 18 new listings there today. They’re all jewelry and they’re inspired by paintings I’ve done.
Feel free to click the order link as well.
A request from a friend…
These are the top 106 books most often marked as “unread” by LibraryThing’s users. As in, they sit on the shelf to make you look smart or well-rounded. Bold the ones you’ve read and italicize the ones you started but didn’t finish.
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Crime and Punishment
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Life of Pi : a novel
The Name of the Rose
Pride and Prejudice
The Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies
War and Peace
The Time Traveler’s Wife
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
Memoirs of a Geisha
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales
The Historian : a novel
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World
The Count of Monte Cristo
A Clockwork Orange
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible : a novel
Angels & Demons
The Inferno (and Purgatory and Paradise)
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Sound and the Fury
Angela’s Ashes : a memoir
The God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present Cryptonomicon
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake : a novel
Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values
In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
The Three Musketeers
Friday night was lovely. Lots of friends came and a grand time was had by all, I think. If you didn’t RSVP or if you RSVP’d a “yes” and didn’t come, then you missed out! Sadly, no one had a camera, so still no photos of the event. However, I did get a photo of the rainbow jello later– so here it is.
So I came home Friday night and really felt grateful for my friends and that they were willing to come out to support me. And even stay to help me clean up! (Thanks, Kelli and Rosie!)
But then Saturday several things conspired to make it a really tough day. And Saturday evening, I just curled up in a chair with my knitting and tried to adopt the “tomorrow is another day” philosophy. But Scarlett O’Hara failed me yet again. Because Sunday wasn’t really any better. For once, I really looked forward to Monday. I had a good long talk with a friend. Chris comes home this week. Painting is going well, even if other things aren’t. Someone reminded me to cut myself some slack– and I’m trying. And today has dawned bright and beautiful.
Yet I feel like this–
*Photo Credits: Jenn (Rainbow Jello) NYTimes (Rainy Seattle)
This is the most important– it deserves it’s own post.
Mary is 16 today! Happy birthday, Mary Monster. Chris and I are really proud of you and hope you have a great day. You’re an amazing, funny, smart, beautiful and fun to be around. We love you a lot! We’re looking forward to celebrating your birthday properly in a few weeks with an ice cream tour of Seattle!
I know I keep whining about this, but it’s really hard to come up with something to post here when I don’t have a camera to show you what I’m talking about.
However, good things are happening. I had a terrible afternoon Wednesday, but then went for sushi with a friend and managed to salvage the day in to something quite nice. Then the rest of the week has been devoted to getting things ready for my open studio party tonight. It’s just a small get together to celebrate my work this year, but I’m still excited about it.
And finally, my amazing husband was mentioned in a New York Times blog today! I’m really proud of him! Only 5 days until he (and the camera) get home! I’ll be really excited to see both of them!!