“Nobody can be anybody without somebody being around.”
John Wheeler

The Element

Mixing Paint


Over the last couple of months, I’ve settled back into painting with gouache paints. It took me time to warm up to brushes, to the different viscosities of paint, and to mixing colors … and to find something to paint (more on that soon I hope).

As anyone who mixes colors can attest, it is almost impossible to repeat a mix … to get the same exact color ratios. Sometimes, arriving at a desired color feels like a beautiful accident … I may be able to come close to it again … but it will never be the same.

Sometimes this is not a problem, sometimes it is even desirable … the colors shift slightly as a painting evolves and the colors take on a (and gift the painting) with more life. However, sometimes it does matter. Such as when I am painting a large area, or when I want to go back and touch-up a small detail with the same color.

One of the challenges I am facing, so far with mixed! results, is mixing enough paint. It originates from and evokes a sense of scarcity – some of it subjective and some objective. I have to make a conscious effort to generously squeeze the tube. I do not want a practice of scarcity to sneak into the practice of painting … but there it is!

I recently “indulged” and (finally!) made these color charts … which were, in a way, a complete (and priceless!) waste of paint 🙂 It took two days of emotional blockage until I was able to find softness and give myself permission to do this … and it was a lot more work than I imagined it would be!

… and then I stumbled onto this:

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