Thursday, June 16, 2011

GPP Street Team - Crusade No. 52

The lovely Michelle Ward continues her evidence series with her latest Crusade “Seasonal Wardrobe”. She poses the question “Do you change the colors of your work palette with the seasons?”

It's an interesting thought, but I haven’t been doing this long enough to notice a pattern. I started thinking about my clothes and the palette shifts from winter to summer.

There are certainly consistencies – I wear a lot of black year round. I never wear red. I do not own a single pastel color. One thing I noticed is that my winter clothes are all solid colors and my summer clothes have more patterns. The cold New England winters (and my cold New England office) mean bulky sweaters October-April. I loathe patterned sweaters. I lived through the “Cosby” era and have had enough thank you very much.

So my winter palette tends to be shades of green with denim. Shades of black and grey, with denim. Maybe some rusty orange, or deep plum – with denim. Since I wear jeans almost exclusively these days, I don’t own any blue tops. (one of my rules – can’t wear blue with denim).

(winter uniform)

The hot, muggy New England summers (and lack of air conditioning at work) bring out the floaty skirts and light tops. I wear more hot pink in the summer. Pants are light colored, so I might sneak in a blue shirt once in a while. Skirts can and should be patterned, but pants can NEVER be patterned. (another of my many fashion rules!).

(summer uniform)

Does any of this carry over into my artwork? I don’t know yet, but in the spirit of collecting evidence for future study, I took a closer look.

My work table is always covered by paper. I work on it until it’s so covered in paint it’s distracting, and then roll another sheet of paper right over it.

I excavated through a few layers of paper to see what I could learn. I saw evidence of specific projects or temporary trends (i.e. I used that stamp on everything for about 2 weeks), but what drew my eye was the common color combinations. By looking at my blotter papers it’s clear I combine orange and pink a lot. I also use blue and black, and shades of green, sometimes mixed with yellow.

I cut pieces of blotter paper and glued them to "evidence tags" then went digging through my scrap pile for further evidence. I absolutely LOVE to paint papers. I have stacks and stacks of my experiments with marbling, paste papers, gelatin printing, acrylic inks, etc. The color trend continued here and I punched circles from the abundance of supporting evidence.

Here's the 2 page spread, followed by the details of each section.
It will be fun to look back at my journals in a few years to see how my palette shifts.


  1. Karen - this post totally rocks! You covered it all! First showing us your wardrobe and explaining your go-to colors for clothing based on the seasons AND then you rifle through your table scrap paper to gather evidence of color trending. You could be a forensic scientist. LOVE that you assembled these pages by color. I think you will love looking back on them not only because they document your choices of color, they are evidence clippings of the style of painting you've been doing. I am clapping wildly for this awesome visual tour of your seasonal wardrobe. Thanks for sharing with the team!!

  2. Thanks Michelle - you made my day!

  3. I also loved your post, though i am not as famous as Michelle Ward (lol). I am a blue person, I see it my clothes and my art, my favourite go to colour turquiose blue,I dont take to many chances in my wardrobe, I live in Jeans, and yet do wear blue shirts, one rule is no patterned pants, no white after labour day, no white before labour day (rules my mothers always followed lol), and no socks if I can help it.

  4. Love to see samples of alle those beautiful papers you paint. It is so inspiring and the pages you made look very good. My fashion rule: never combine black and brown.

  5. I chuckled at you fashion ru.les, and thought about my own, black too, but lots more blue and yes to patterned pants. You color sample pages are a terrific way to play with energy and design. Worktable, yes I love to stuff paper everywhere too, paper is enticing. Great post, I really enjoyed it. xox Corrine

  6. I loved reading this, and hearing your rules - isn't it interesting how we come up with these for ourselves...
    Black clothes - yes. Then I wear blue, red, purple mainly. Oh, and did I say black? :-)
    Love the oranges and pinks - very vibrant.

  7. Layouts from the scrap pile is just fantastic - and having enough to create great layouts is very clever.

  8. This is such an awesome post! I love how you made evidence tags and used your scraps.
    I love the finished look of the spread too.

  9. Fantastic post! I was thinking wardrobe, too. Mine follows roughly the same patterns yours does, even down to the rule against patterned pants ;) Thanks for the virtual peek at your workspace, and the fabulous results of it. Love seeing the bits of paste paper. Paste paper is so fun to make :)

  10. What a great post. I really enjoyed your analysis of both wardrobe and paint colours. Having had my colours done (!!!) many years ago, I wore nothing but brown it seemed every winter (I am an autumn) but since I left my job and went freelance, I have moved into all sorts of glorious colour and am enjoying the freedom! I am sure Michelle is right - you will enjoy looking back on these pages. Thanks for sharing.