The Beauty of Cleaning

Palette - mid-cleaningOne of the best things about being an artist is the beauty I see everywhere I look.

When I was cleaning one of my palettes this past week, the running colors were so gorgeous, I had to capture them with a photo.

(Note: I paint with water-soluble oil paints, so I can clean them in the sink without toxic cleaners such as turpentine. My cleaning product of choice is Incredible Pink, a biodegradable general cleaner from Maine.)

At left, that’s my palette in the sink. The picture was taken without a flash.

From left to right on my palette, here are the colors I routinely use for my paintings:

French ultramarine blue
Alizarin crimson
Cadmium red
Cadmium orange
Cadmium yellow
Lemon yellow
Pthalo blue
White (sometimes Zinc white, sometimes Titanium white)

For some paintings, I also add Sap green and/or Burnt umber.

Of course, in the photo above, you’re seeing the residue of lots of mixing on every square inch of the palette.

This is the same palette I photographed — before cleaning it — for this website’s header graphic (as of Jan 2011).

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