JULY 1, 2024

With my new brushes from Rosemary and Co. I found inspiration in an old shell. The brushes are firm and soft and allow me to be very precise in my painting. Painting a shell required some delicacy in tones and I decided on a warm grey back drop in a predominantly off-white shell. Sometimes, too much color is exhausting. The longer I looked at the shell, the more color revealed to me. I saw cadmium red and yellow, toned down to a subtle brown. “This is what they meant with a lively grey,” I thought.

‘Grisaille’ is mixing white with raw umber as an underpainting. It is monochromatic. The shell paintings however are not monochromatic. They have ultramarine and alizarin crimson in them. There is cadmium yellow in the highlights, ever so light.

Thinking about the subtle differences in color I am reviewing a tropical series as well. It turned out that my choice of color temperature in the tropics was too cold. I think looking at the Blue Ridge Mountains showed me the difference. The color temperature of the mountains is cold. Blue. Different shades of blue. I never saw that in the tropics.

In some scraps I found an article of my mentor Robert Genn; “Grey is not only the key to classy work, it is the key to understanding relative values. Advanced artists think in terms of the Grey-scale” Observing the shell, I noticed that the darkest dark has a light backdrop and the lightest light has a dark shade in the back. It is an interesting study object, also because part of the shell is semi-transparant while another is glossy. I enjoyed making this series very much.

“The fundamental grey, which differentiates the masters, is the soul of all color” Odilon Redon.

Here is a tour of my studio,
Northlight studio’s, 357 Depot street, Asheville

Jacobina Oele

My autobiography is called True Colors, Independently published on January 11, 2024 in English,135 pages. ISBN-13: 979-8875809200.
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