It’s time for another Michelle Ward Street Team Challenge. Last month, she asked us if our color palettes changed from season to season. Living in the Sonoran desert, where the temperature is currently on “broil” I instead compared the colors and styles I used when I loved on the East Coast and then when I moved here.
This month, in Crusade #53, Michelle asked us to find colors we had blended ourselves, and give them new names. I love exploring color, so I picked up my three Daniel Smith watercolor paint sticks–New Gamboge (yellow), Quinacridone (red), and Ultramarine (blue) and renamed them to Arizona colors. Our sky is huge and bright blue, so the blue became Arizona Sky.
The yellow is a dusty, dry color that matches the color of our horizons when the dust storms move through, so it got the name of our dust storms: haboob.
The red is the color of a the juice of a saguaro fruit. The fruit is pressed out of the very seedy pod, mixed with sugar, fermented, and then used by the Tohono O’odham in a ceremony to call forth the clouds that bring rain.
But that was just renaming the colors I used. The real task was to create blended colors and name those. Below is an acacia tree –from which we get gum arabic, among other things. The tree was painted with the three color sticks above. No other colors were used. The three colors I used are primary colors, and every other color can be made from them. The greens were mixes of yellow and blue, sometimes more yellow, sometimes more blue.
The sand and underpainting of the trunk were an orange mixed from yellow and red. I then added blue to the orange and made brown, added a bit more red and made the trunk and stems.
The re-named colors are: in the top of the tree: Sun-Shot. Over to the right, the tender green is April Morning. In the center, the leaves in shadow are July Shadow.
On the right edge, the dry, tired green is Sun-Blasted. The trunk is Bent Trunk, and below the tree, there is Hot Sand.
What a great challenge! Thanks Michelle, for your unending imagination and inspiration!
–Quinn McDonald’s book, Raw Art Journaling, is newly released by North Light Books.