floundering

after a long spell i started up again.

i don't remember what was happening in my life right then. i had left my start up company to be an executive at a large web site, so i must have been busy, and looking for a way to ease stress.

i was browsing through the appellof book again, and was intrigued with a chapter by jeanne dobie about the qualities of different paints.

she wrote about aureolin and rose madder and viridian and cadmium orange. those weren't in my pelikan pan paints! what were they?

she talked about transparency and granularity and intensity. words that didn't seem to apply to the pelikan pans in my paint set. and she used words like juicy and lovely that made this whole paint thing seem sensual and intoxicating.

i read through the appellof book and made a list of every watercolor paint it mentioned. i went back to university art and bought all the colors and more in winsor & newton paints ... $500 total retail. oh well, jeanne dobie liked winsor & newton!

i did a vermont landscape from a large color photograph far in my past. it ended up dead, overworked, lacking focus, the colors unharmonized.

(watercolors are like people: they turn out badly when you try to make them into something they're not. i didn't know what watercolor was, or could be.)

but color itself became fascinating.

i wanted to understand why new gamboge was different from winsor lemon, or why there were so many blues. did these colors have different uses? why were there so few oranges?

i made a single page of color swatches and wondered at the mysterious behavior of paints. how they swam and diffused in water, settled into grainy lumps, softened and paled as they dried.

ok, so paints have a lot of dynamic potential. i should learn how to control their behavior.

i bought more paints, like a lepidopterist collecting butterflies ... the extremely rare antwerp blue. i had no idea how paints or pigments were made.

i began cataloging the colors, and put the color list on the web. over time, the paint catalog turned into a web site.

you're reading it.

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