I'm currently exploring mixed media abstract work inspired by the Sonoran Desert. I have a particular interest in expressionist or intuitive painting where I can meld the impressions of my surroundings with the expressions of my inner world.

receive my studio notes:

Setting the Stage with Color

Ever notice how an area seems to have it's own color story? A wise artist once told me, "When you draw from life, your painting has life.", (Thanks Jane Burton) I feel that it's the same with color. When you discover the true colors of your subject, you're able to translate the atmosphere of your subject to your canvas.

For me, the first step is to actually mix the color I see.

I begin with 3 primary colors and begin by mixing the most obvious color, (in this case, green). For each step I take, I ask myself, is it:

warmer or cooler?

lighter or darker?

more or less saturated?

The desert is happy to give me a little color lesson each time each time I make the effort.

Using Quinacridone Magenta, Phthalo Blue and Indian Yellow

Since my paintings are abstract, I can certainly push the colors to whatever degree of saturation I like, but knowing how the color exists in the landscape gives me the intuition to do so more effectively. I'm not saying I have this figured out. There's so much to learn! But the ongoing mixing has made such a difference in my color decisions. It expands my color horizons and adds complexity to my paintings.

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