In the studio, I mix my oil colors on a glass palette. It’s smooth and easy to mush the paint around on, and it’s easy to clean. But there is something about scraping the palette off when I’m done that I avoid. Not the mixed colors – those get mixed together, making a nice neutral for the next day’s work. It’s the dollops of cadmium yellow, alizarin crimson, cobalt blue that have yet to be mixed that I have a hard time disposing of.
At the end of a session, I cover all my color potions on the palette with plastic wrap. I always truly expect to come back the next morning … but many days, something else takes priority. Like the photography half of my business: a magazine’s deadline, or photo orders that need to be delivered, or something. When I’m closing up the painting studio for the evening, my brain won’t let me believe that it might be days on end before I’m standing in front of the easel again!
When I finally do escape the confines of my computer chair and step into the painting studio again, this leaves me to begin my next painting session with the task of cleaning the dried paint off my palette. Out come the glass scraper, mineral spirits, paper towels…. In a way, it’s a mental transition space, a ritual few moments when I can clear my brain of everything outside the studio.
So maybe it’s not a bad thing after all!