Meeting notes, October 26, 2017

At todays meeting: Becky, Elo, Joanne T, Joanne K, Loretta L, Loretta U, Paula, Cheryl, Stephanie, Judith, Jeanne, Dorry, Sue, Kay, Tracie, Annie, Tom, Mike, Dave, Sharon, Eunice and me, Celeste.

Suggested table topic: Painting with just 3 or 4 colors --Zorn or any other limited palette. What has been your experience?

Celeste: I know that this is a subject being taught in Za's classes right now. I see her student's lessons appearing sometimes on Facebook. In the spirit of this topic I painted a still life with Zorn and a pair of shoes with just Cad red, viridian and white. I was surprised how black it looked! I used Arches gessoed paper for the still lifes. I am also showing a recent life painting session done with the Zorn palette (Cad red, yellow ochre, white and blue black).

Loretta: I have often painted with two colors and white. I brought a painting that is just Ultra blue, burnt sienna and white. I will try the Zorn palette.

Jim: Michael Chesley Johnson uses two varieties of violet and 2 yellows. It is astonishing how many colors you will get from that combination! I am showing a recent still life and plein air, done with limited colors. The "seasonal" still life is orange and violet and white. The plein air is meant to denote a rainy fall day.

Joanne T: Currently, I am working to understand greens. I am showing two is done from a photo from Tim Young (thanks, Tim)! The other is an experiment. It is purples and green yellows. I have discovered that Payne's gray lends itself to green very well.

Tedd: I have discovered Tibor Nagy. I really like his colors and he uses a very limited palette. I also ran off some other outstanding limited palettes from other artists (see photos and click to enlarge). The portrait/flesh limited palette is surprisingly beautiful. I brought in a painting from my archives of an outdoor market in Mexico.

Susan: Well, as you know, it isn't all that easy to "limit" your palette when you use pastels. But, when I oil paint I use Joe Paquet's palette. I am showing some recent demos from my pastel class that I teach. One of my student's brought in this red glass and blue glass...a big challenge to paint! I learn so much from teaching. I am learning how to best set up a still life set up.

Chris: Thanks to you Tedd, I cleaned up my studio (Laughter)! I brought in a night scene that I did that is just black, purple, orange and white. I am also showing a portrait I did with just burnt sienna, Thalo blue and white. I started with the burnt sienna grisaille and then added the gray over that. It looked really ghastly for awhile (laughter)...I got it to a point that I felt was right and left it there.

Cheryl: I have been working on Canson board, it makes it so I can't blend (which is what I want)! I am working on not overworking! I painted at Sauvie Island and what I wanted most here with this one was to express mood. In this one, I noticed when I brought it in, it seemed darker than when I was out there. I am interested in rich color! I am also showing a nocturne and a recent still life (roses).

Stephanie: A limited palette with always help you. It helps you to set up your composition. I loved Andrew Wyeth's limited palette at the Portland Art Museum. I saw the film where he described his work (especially compare to his father's) as "starved". That sounds derogatory--"starved"--but I know what he means...he ratcheted back color while his father and son embraced color. A lot of color is more drama...less color is more subtle and quiet. I am showing recent paintings.

Judith: I am showing paintings I am doing for my class at PCC. We have to do a series and we have to provide the reasons "why" we are choosing to do what we do. I am showing a barn owl and then the progression to a barn own in front of Jupiter. Barn owls are meaningful to me (and how connected they are to everything). Some people who have seen this thinks it is a reference to Harry Potter. It isn't. This is interim...a work in progress.

Jeanne: I was recently at the coast painting and there was a yellow haze there (probably fire related). I painted this yellow cast in...and I am thinking that the world often offers the "limited palette" (this is, if you are trying to follow what is happening in the atmosphere). I almost always put out all the colors that I usually put out! I may not use them all, but I want them there, in case I need them. I am in the Oregon Birding Association and we went to this spot --I opted to paint this day, instead of birding.

Loretta L: I took a class with Jennifer Diehl. She really dislikes Aliz Crimson.  She impressed me so much with this dislike that I actually feel a little guilty if I put it on my palette (laughter)! I am showing a painting I did in the Michael Lindstrom workshop. He doesn't have any green on his palette...and I am used to having some green. I think this painting is a success for me. I realized while painting value is so important.

Kay: I took a workshop with Za on portrait and she taught us about the Zorn palette. I am showing a portrait I did from a photo during that time. I have been downsizing and I came across this old book (on Sargent). I picked it up thinking, surely I can get rid of this one, but then I opened it and realized: uh, no (Laughter)! I did this color chart with Gamboge lake, Rose deep and Indigo.

Sue: Because of this topic, I went online to learn more. I found out that  the term "limited palette" covers a lot of ground! In my mind, limited palette is usually any combination of red, yellow, blue and white. I did this chart and realized that I didn't even come close to depicting all the colors I could get from these three. I am showing a recent plein air painting (Sorry, Sue, I think I missed photographing your painting).

Dotty: I have worked in pastels for years. Lately I have been oil painting. I like Kevin McPherson's limited palette in his book. I used that for a long time. I found that I like to add some colors to his, for example, I like sap green. I am showing a recent painting (a lake south of Ashland).

Paula: The advantage of a limited palette is that there will be better harmony. I took classes with Marla Bagetta she would ask us to use a "grouping" of selected pastels and this is an example of that. I am also showing a fall tree that I painted recently. There was an underpainting beneath and it was remarkable how much it helped the tree to emerge.

Tracie: I am a big advocate of the limited palette, and I have no proof of that. (Laughter)!

Annie: I showed you all my gouache swatches project...where I would match colors out of magazines..and then put the swatches in respective boxes (green, red, blue, etc). That project has grown to where the boxes are bigger and more filled. How many zillions of colors are there? I saw a painting where the trees were magnificently dark and I asked the artist how they arrived at that. The answer was Paynes gray and Hooker green. Then the sky holes were represented as sort of purple. I love color--sometimes it just carries me away.

Tom: I use a limited palette, a little out of practicality. I have about 5 colors that I rely on. I unearthed a sculpture I did as a high school student recently...and I painted it! I also painted this alley (plein air).

Mike: I was inspired by the Wyeth exhibit! But of course, no one except the Wyeths can paint like the Wyeths! This is a painting I did of the coast in Pacific City. I am showing my "abbreviated" watercolor kit that I took to Europe. This was so compact and I could even reduce the colors even further. The marketing people are always coming up with new tantalizing colors to sell us, but we don't really need them! I keep thinking when you all say "Zorn" palette that you are saying "Zorro" palette (Laughter)! (editors note: Zorro sounds even better)

Dave: Color is my favorite thing! I did all the charts recommended in the Schmid book. My limited palette would be Ultra blue, Cad red, Cad Yellow and Zinc white. Titanium white cools things off so much, I really prefer Zinc instead. You might try it, if you've experienced that cooling of colors. I also use grays and have them with me when I plein air paint. I am showing a recent painting of a golf course/ mountain.

Sharon: I am happy to be here for the discussion!

Eunice: I will pass on this topic

Becky: I was given a tube of Old Holland Kings blue. I used it with other blues in a limited way and the results were really intriguing! I usually paint with a warm and cool of each primary and I am interested sometimes in what the dominant color of my painting is (and keying the entire painting to it).

Elo: I don't paint with any sort of reduced palette. I did read a lot about gamuts in James Gurney's book. But, the only way I'd limit my color is if I ran out of it (Laughter)!  I am showing a recent painting from reference.

Za: It is good to be back! This group is so popular! I am a huge fan of the limited palette. I'll be honest, sometimes I look at some paintings that have too much color represented and to looks like the candy "skittles"! (Laughter)! I have come to accept that personally a lot of color is not for me..I like neutrals with some color, but saturated color is never going to be my thing. If you take a class with me, I will put you on a color diet! (Laughter)! I am showing paintings that were done with the Zorn palette. Much of the time I am much more interested in mood than color. Maybe I just like to punish myself (Laughter)! I brought in a big painting that is going to be in my upcoming show (I need to deliver it today, and thought you might like to see it first)!

Joanne: I went to Sauvie Island yesterday with Cheryl and did these 4 paintings, all with limited palette. I sometimes "restrict" myself too. It is really important to know what your colors do and how to create the temperatures that will describe the day.

Here is a photo sent from Jim Syfert--his wife Sandy just started painting too! (We are a good influence on her). Keep up the good work, Sandy!


Big thanks to Tedd Chilless for the tour of his studio in the Eliot building. Also, thanks to everyone for coming out and making it a great "Field Trip". See photos on Facebook

Za Vue and Yong Hong Zhong Art on the Boulevard, Reception, First Friday Nov 3

Pixel Point Artistry has moved new address 4470 Hall Blvd. If you need any photography of your work, this is the place (Thanks Susan Kuznitsky)

Susan Kuznitsky considered one of the world's greatest pastelists (Huffington Post article) Congratulations, Susan!

Joe Paquet workshop (Susan Kuznitsky's mentor):

Jeanne Chamberlain at Sitka Invitational (Congratulations, Jeanne)

Friday and Saturday at OSA with Joanne Radmilovich Kollman

To be added to the waiting list for Za Vue's Tuesday or Thursday classes email Za:

Next Meeting, Thursday: Nov 2, suggested table topic "Suggestion"! Do you ever use suggestion of implication of not-so-important details? And/or is suggestion and implication an important ingredient in your work? If so, how? (Example from Wyeth show: background shapes are "implied").

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