Whiter shades of pale

My mission: to make some art journal pages about my snowy weekend in the country based on my love of paint chip brochures from Home Depot.

Step One: Paint some pictures of my weekend in the country. Those are the paintings, above, in the order that I painted them. Each one is the approx. size of a Triscuit (see above Triscuit for handy comparison).

Step Two: Arrange the pictures into “stories”.   Not literally; just arrange them so they go together in a way that makes sense.

Step Three: Add text.

(That blank box in the lower right corner is a place holder, called a TBA in the print biz. TBA stands for Place Where A Great Little Story Will Go When I Think of It.)

I always lay out my art journal pages two at a time, verso-recto (left page-right page). Each page here (above) is one-half of the story that I want to tell in this pseudo-paint-chip-brochure-from-Home-Depot style exercise here. Here’s how they go together:

For this exercise I came up with 9 new shades of White, starting with the left page (under the caption Snow falling, 5 degrees above zero, I am in charge of giving name to the tones of the day):

Warm Vanilla

French Soap

January Dreams         (these three “colors” make up the heading on the left page)

Northern Bright

Frost Cove

Blue Snowbird

Indigo on Ice

Scent of the Moon

A Distant Windfall      (these six “colors” make up pretty much the whole text on the right page)

And I made a list of favorite white stuff (left page):

Favorite food: Handmade marshmallows; worth every extra cent they cost [you can get them at Whole Foods, by the way]; Favorite white dress: Princess Diana’s wedding dress; Fave song on the White Album: Blackbird [ironic, huh?]; Fave white flavor: cold Sancerre; Fave white flower: the Ghost Orchid, so rare that the chances of finding one blooming in the wild is a million to one; Other fave white things: Writing paper, South Sea pearls, clouds, night-blooming gardens, full moons, ghosts; Fave white mood: The Snow Day.

The caption to the right -side page is:

We debated about setting out for our two-mile walk at sunset; should we leave at Four? or Four Thirty? In the end, we grabbed our coats at 3:50 and headed down the road, into the wind.

It still needs work, I know; I need a line edit (do you debate about stuff or do you just debate?) and I need approx. 100 words about spending the day watching the snow fall on a weekend in the country. But voila, this is the jist of it:  this is my art journal / pseudo Home Depot paint chip brochure.

Step Four: Give self new assignment, along the lines of Give self the afternoon off and a cork screw for that bottle of Sancerre.

13 comments to Whiter shades of pale

  • Janet

    Wow. Loved the art lesson and love the finished spread. Fabulous names, lovely drawings as usual.

    If my English major roots serve me, I believe you have it right. You can say, as you did, that you debated about something, or you also can say you debated whether to do something, such I debated whether I would post a comment at all because what I really wanted to do was just soak up your week-end’s work rather than talk about it (even in a good way). I just wanted to park myself in your winter setting, feel the deep chill on my face, not hear my foot tramping on the snow and then come inside with a super cold nose and sit next to the fireplace.

  • This is really lovely from start to finish.

    Do you think your art journal will become another book? That would be great.

  • tippy

    Good addition to your art journal. You tie it up so well at the end, every day.
    thanks, Vivian

  • Barbara Lemme

    Ah, TBA, the story within the story. This has been a great art lesson that makes me need even more paint chips. Lovely paintings as usual and such a treat for the eyes and brain.

  • Shelley

    After reading this post, I feel as though I have just spent a lovely weekend watching and walking in the snow.

    You truly have a way with words AND colors. Those paint brochures could take a lesson from you on color naming! I especially love Scent of The Moon, and Indigo on Ice.

    I agree with Jessica – your art journal would make a wonderful book.

  • Ahhh! Teeny-tiny little paintings! This I might be able to do! Not like yours, of course, because those are like the jewels you used to grade, the Fabrege you used to–well, whatever you did with the Fabrege. Big stuff always terrifies me. The one and only drawing class I took the teacher made us use 18 by 24 paper and real charcoal. I hated getting my hands dirty and used a pencil instead–and my drawing was crammed in one corner. No, he said. Use the *whole* paper. I like to work small. I’m gonna get me a one-haired brush and some watercolors and see what I can make! Oh, and I stole more paint chips from Lowe’s today. I suspect I’ll be written up in the paper (the Free-Lance Star, not unlike the Pelham Bugle or whatever it is), “Paint Chip Bandit Strikes Again! Manic-looking woman with compulsion to swipe entire rows of paint chips was seen darting through Lowe’s, a trail of colored chips behind her…”

  • Susun

    How I love miniature and yours are so perfectly beautiful, masterful, and charming,making them a true feast for the eyes. And then there are your words…where do I start? You are such a talent and we are so lucky. Thank you for this mental and visual treat.

  • I share your love of the ghost orchid; it is my favorite flower; so much so, that I have written a novel about the actual ghost orchid that bloomed in Corkscrew Swamp, FL in 2007, 2008, 2009 and hopefully, 2010. It bloomed on my birthday to seal the deal. You might enjoy the book; the cover alone is exquisite, a testament to my love of the flower. Ghost Orchid by D. K. Christi is found at Amazon.com but also at http://www.dkchristi.com with a direct link to amazon.

  • Maryann

    oh, my, everything already said is so true. lovely, lovely paintings and words. thank you.

  • Deborah

    Now I’m hungry for a Triscuit!

    Candice, I found myself thinking it would be fun to have a paint chip convention, or some sort of group activity, swiping paint chips at ALL the paint stores!

  • I liked seeing how you lay out your ideas for the pages. This would be a nice style for a book. Vivians World of Paint Chip Colors. Okay, you can come up with something catchier.

  • Awesome blog. So enjoyed reading about the party with your agent at Christmas time and rubbing shoulders with the astrophysicist.

    I linked to your post today on my blog post.

    Cheers :)

  • Jan

    Absolutely breathtaking, Vivian! Thanks so much for sharing this.

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