The last bit of winter

It just occurred to me that maybe my lost suitcase is not sitting in an airport somewhere. What if, instead, it went home with someone else who is now painting with my palette and paints? With that in mind, I am attempting to take “the glass is half full” approach. I look at this as an opportunity to get acquainted with some of the pigments I may have purchased in the past but never used. You know, the ones that sit in the back of the drawer? Today I selected a primary triad of Ultramarine Light, Winsor Red and Hansa Yellow Light. This is close to another triad I use quite often, with the exception of the red, which is much brighter and warmer than the Permanent Alizarin Crimson I often paint with.

Painting with a limited palette really allows you to get to know your colours. Since I usually start by painting the sky, I was curious about what type of neutral I could obtain by mixing the three pigments together. As you can see, it’s a warm grey that sets the tone for the rest of the painting. From there I painted the row of buildings, choosing to use mostly purples, in contrast to a foreground that I knew would be predominantly warm. You can be certain that by working with a limited palette, even if all else fails, your painting will have a unity of colour.


37 Comments on “The last bit of winter”

  1. Lyn Seley says:

    You are too kind. Those paintings were precious, and deserve to be with you. I am still holding out hope that someone with a conscience finds your suitcase.


  2. Judy Salleh says:

    Ah it’s amazing what you do! I agree best to turn a negative into a positive and let it take you on a new path of discovery.


  3. Chris kopet says:

    Beautiful color and such a strong statement.


  4. timdada says:

    Maybe this was just Marcel Duchamp reminding you what “Dada” is?


    Seriously, I do hope you get that suitcase back and I have a feeling you will. Today at the ATM machine I saw a woman’s atm card on the ground. I intend to return to that Wells Fargo branch tomorrow.





    • I bet that woman was just as happy to get her card back as I was to receive my bag. Just received it a short time ago and I have never been so happy to perform the tedious task of unpacking…


  5. David says:

    Thanks for the tip and reminders, I always put them to good


  6. Mary McLaughlin says:

    Shari – I’m so sorry your suitcase hasn’t show up yet. It’s one thing to lose your paints but to lose your paintings – that hurts. I’m so impressed with you showing up and making the best of a challenging situation. Your painting is lovely and I appreciate your teaching moment about triads. Here’s hoping for a reunion with your suitcase in the very near future.


  7. sandidureice says:

    This is a really gorgeous, positive statement. Thankyou for another great lesson in triads. So sorry your paintings haven’t turned up yet. I am still hoping, along with everyone else.


  8. M. L. Kappa says:

    Very interesting approach, Shari. I’ve never tried limiting myself to three colors, but I’ll try it now. And I’m keeping my fingers crossed for that suitcase:-)


  9. Thanks for sharing this, I always use a limited palette. And I struggle the last three days with a watercolor, its just not working. Well I made three by now! Strange that it sometimes doesn’t work? But this watercolor from you get me back on track I think! Its really wonderful!


  10. Chris Rusk says:

    So crisp, it sparkles. I like how well your buildings fit. Great mood.

    Unrelated thought:
    Does Delta have a Facebook page? Maybe it is time to use another avenue to communicate the real losses concerning your baggage and maybe induce a more comprehensive search on their part? If the airline saw fit to really look into this, they might find a management problem that they were not aware of.
    In this day and age of electronic tracking & commonplace video surveillance, I find this lost baggage story as being… ‘so seventies’.
    Delta should be able to do better.


  11. Wayne Bissky says:

    Whether just 3 or 30 colours, in your hands they always work wonderfully. But for me, this one is a great example of what to do with that potentially boring mass of bland foreground in a composition such as this . The colour variation and texture in the field are fantastic; adding interest without dominating the main focus on the buildings. Wonderful.


    • Always great to hear from you Wayne, and to read your comments. I worked a long time on that foreground mass because I wanted texture but not too much contrast. You must be having the start of spring on the West Coast. Are the flowers out yet? Hope you are well.


  12. Carol Balone says:

    Many of us have had lost luggage. For me it was a sewing machine and a dog. Both ended up in Atlanta. They were supposed to go to Oregon. Maybe Atlanta is where lost baggage goes.


  13. Sorry you still don’t have your suitcase. I hope the paints go to good use if you are destined not to get it back. What an adventure.


  14. Alison says:

    I wanted to say something intelligent about this wonderful painting, but Wayne articulated so well what I felt that there is no point in me trying. 🙂 Regardless of limited palette, your compositions always capture me.


  15. TonyU says:

    Fingers still crossed for your luggage. On the upside it’s given you a chance to show us again what you can do with a triad … and a new one at that. Although the mood’s different it reminds me of your Petty Harbour painting from a while back (one of my absolute favourites) and it’s just dawned on me that might have been a triad too, just a brighter one? Interesting that Wayne commented on the foreground field because I read it as a reflectionless pond …. all in the eye of the beholder.


    • The crossing of the fingers obviously worked Tony. Yes, the Petty Harbour painting is quite similar in colour although I don’t think it was an intentionally limited palette. And I see what you mean by the pond in the foreground but it was actually just some old wintery grasses. The kind that are under the snow for six months and come to life, a little bashed up, in the spring.


  16. Jane Hannah says:

    Very happy for you Shari — yeah! Hope has been restored, but the lesson has been well learned. Note to myself: When travelling, bring all of your valuables (paint stuff) with you on the plane -)))


  17. Beautiful painting…lovely things happen when the glass is half full.


  18. Monika Wolk says:

    Wonderful painting, I have found your blog recently and can’t stop reading since. I’m looking forward to meet you on Manchester Symposium as I will attend your workshop 😀


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