Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Magenta Landscape, 2006, Oil on Panel, 18x24

Tuesday was an excellent day in the studio. I either finished or nearly finished seven paintings and I am pleased with all of them. Usually, there is at least one per batch that doesn't work for whatever reason. I also found a color combination that I liked, purple (sort of) and green, and used these in a number of the paintings, including the one I posted today. While this does make most of the pieces similarly colored, I split up the group when I send them off to galleries so there is a variety of color.

I go in phases with color. At first I painted in dark, dreary colors, then moved into autumn colors, lots of red, yellows, ochres and deep blues. Lately, I have lightened up even further, using pinks, purples, light yellows and greens. Many of my color choices come from new paints that I buy. I don't do a lot of mixing, because I like the luminous quality that I get from glazing a pure color. So having a wide variety of colors is important to me. Of course, having said that, my new favorites do involve mixing. Tuesday, I used a lot of Mussini's Ruby Lake Deep, mixed with just a touch of opaque pink and Gamblin Olive Green mixed with a bit of light green. I have been really enjoying the Olive Green. That is one of the colors that I do mix often and I love the various greens I can get out of it. I really enjoy the colors that are loud and intense, but I am finding myself interested again in dreary looking blues and greens juxtaposed with zingier colors like bright pink and cadmium yellows and oranges. Constantly changing my palette is one of the things about painting that is really exciting to me.

Thursday, I will finish up a nifty pink/purple (even I am not sure which color it is) barn surrounded by a dreary green sky and mossy green land, and will post it on Friday.

On a different topic: I have been noticing, because I am obsessed with myself and my stats and check them constantly, that the number of hits that this blog gets has been going up over the last few weeks. I am certainly not in Ed Winkelman territory, but it's more traffic than I ever thought I'd get when I started this project. So it's nice to know that there are at least a few people out there listening or making fun of me or whatever. Most of you all seem to be lurkers, which is totally fine, I understand, and am actually one myself, I don't make too many comments on the blogs I read either, but I am hoping that those who don't usually comment will say hi today, introduce yourselves, let me know your general geographical location and maybe give us all some interesting tidbit of info about you or your life. De-lurk just once, it won't hurt, I promise.


Schuivert said...

Well.... I don't think you want me to de-lurk as I have been commenting before... but someone has to be first...
Subscribed to your blog with bloglines and your new entry usually pops up at about three or four o'clock in the afternoon in my part of the world which is often a reason for a short break with some nice reading.

Bart Westgeest

Anonymous said...

Even tho I sometimes make a comment I am most often a "lurker".
It's the only way I can find out what you were up to when you were away at school in Mpls and Philly!
(I can also find out what people are saying about you and your work!)


I have found my color to change with the weather, greyish in winter, bright in the fall.

martha said...

I'm a full blown commenter, so you know who I am! I knew you would be popular. You are irresistable, because somehow you manage to not only blog nearly every day, but to post a lovely painting to boot.

I will check out the olive green, as I find green among the most difficult colors to work with satisfactorily (god, is that a word??). Also, I think working with a combination of subdued colors and vibrant ones can work really well- I will look forward to seeing those.

Ed Maskevich said...

Well, I also lurk in the background. Whenever I'm new to a situation (job, social circle, etc.) I am quiet at first but given time you'll regret encouraging me to speak up. Anyhow I have noticed the uniqueness of your color combinations. It is interesting because the images are so quiet and serene and very often there is an edgyness to the colors, and this is with the muted colors.

When I was young, my colors were dark and brooding because I embraced dark and brooding as romantic. Now I love light and sunshine so my colors reflect that attitude. I now also try to see just how many different colors I can get on a surface without having it completely fail.

I also had a teacher in college who used nothing but flourescent colors in her paintings. Her theory was that all intensity equaled no intensity.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tracy,

I comment once in a while, and you've heard from me before. I'm impressed with your stamina - I thought I was reasonably productive, but I'm a dreamy slacker next to you.

Hope I get a chance to see some of your paintings in a gallery out here someday.

Anna Conti

Tracy Helgeson said...

Bart, Thanks for jumping in and being the first! I am always glad to hear from you and am happy to provide you with a break during your day.

Hi Mom, I am not opposed to self-censorship, just in case you think you'll ever actually know everything about my college days.

Aaron, My colors change with the weather a bit, but since I am the stubborn type I go bright in the winter and dreary in the summer.

Martha, Thanks for calling me irresistible, sadly, that's not normally an adjective used to describe me. I like Chromium Greens too, but they can be a bit tricky.

Hi Ed, I also enjoy hearing your comments and observations. So did the teacher's work have intensity or no intensity?

Hi Anna, Thanks for the compliment about my stamina. However, I suspect you get a lot done yourself. I only wish I could get representation in CA! I was going to send some info to Steel but heard they are closing. I may try Thomas Reynolds sometime.

I hope ya'll are checking out everyone else's blogs!

Tracy Helgeson said...

Thanks for the comment and compliment J.E.Patterson. I am always happy to get the attention, belated or not!
Glad the recordkeeping info was of help to you.