I started using a new color on my palette this summer. Violet. In kindergarten we learn that by mixing blue and red, we get purple. You can make a pretty good purple on the palette by mixing a cool blue with a cool red. But, whenever two pigments are mixed, it is not as brilliant or chromatic as a color from the tube. Violet is more chromatic straight from the tube than a mixture of red and blue.
The reason I put violet on the palette was not that I needed brighter purples on my palette. I needed this secondary color to mix lower intensity primary colors.
By mixing violet and green, you can get a lower intensity blue. By mixing violet and orange, you end with a low intensity red that is sort of a red ochre.
If you mix green with orange, you can get a low intensity yellow. If you give it a try, mix more orange than green. Of course, you will lighten these mixtures to get them as light or dark as you need.
It might sound funny, but I've really been excited about mixing secondary colors to make the primary colors. It's the little things that can keep you sparked!
By the way, I got this bit of info from a passage in Robert Henri's book The Art Spirit, which just might be the best book on painting. If you want to read more about color, you could also check out the book Blue and Yellow Don't Make Green from the library.
Autumn Trees - painted on the DTour, and shown on the Fall Art Tour
There is plenty to do around the area in October. I'm honored to be a stop on the Fall Art Tour. The Tour is the longest running studio tour in Wisconsin, it has been going on for over 20 years. Showing art in a gallery is great, but what makes the Fall Art Tour Special, is that you get to enter the studios of the artists and see their process. Each year we have hundreds of visitors to the Chicken Coop Studio, it always feels like I'm harvesting my paintings during that weekend, just like Brian Bender is harvesting the crops in our fields.
fallarttour.com describes the event:
The third full weekend each October, some of Wisconsin's best-known artisans open their studios, allowing visitors a unique, behind-the-scenes view into how their work is created. Known as the Fall Art Tour, each year it draws visitors from all over the country to artists' studios tucked away in the scenic hills in and around Wisconsin's art communities of Baraboo, Spring Green, Dodgeville, and Mineral Point.
During the three-day tour, artists will be in their studios, demonstrating and selling their work. These artisans include painters, sculptors, potters, weavers, jewelers, woodworkers, mixed-media artists, and more. Many of these studios are open only for this event, providing a unique opportunity to meet the artists and purchase their work. So join us on a drive through the autumn countryside during this once-a-year event that includes a rare glimpse into the restored breweries, one-room schoolhouses, and historic storefronts where some of Wisconsin's best-known artists work.
The Chicken Coop Studio in the 2014 Fall Art Tour
There is also the Farm Art DTour.
The first year of the DTour was in 2009, well that year was sort of the pilot for the DTour. In 2009 Jim Splittgerber, Joyce Ihde, and I painted in a field as one of the stops on the DTour. The DTour has grown since the first year, and now there are thousands of people who come to take the DTour.
Donna Neuwirth describes the DTour as a 50-mile self-guided back roads tour by car, bike or buggy through the beautiful, unglaciated hills and valleys of Sauk County.
The DTour is punctuated by temporary art installations and artist-built Roadside Culture Stands selling fresh, locally grown produce as part of our new Food Chain initiative. You’ll also find Field Notes (rural culture education sites), Farm Forms (creations made by farmers, area businesses and community groups), Pasture Performances and more!