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Friday, August 14, 2015

A Gate of Opportunity, watercolor on paper, 12x9

This week I painted on site at Harvard in Cambridge, MA. I set my tripod easel in a tight corner in front of the tourist information office, about the only spot protected from the rain and from the groups of tourists. I painted directly, without a preliminary sketch or any drawing in pencil.

Many artists and students have concerns about using M Graham and other honey based watercolor brands in plein air work, especially those who have folding palettes with wells on the lid... But I used a folding palette and M Graham colors on this painting and even though it was a warm, very humid day, the paints did not run or spill. I stored my palette vertically in the bag, and kept a wet brush inside it, and it did not cause any problems. The paint was tacky in the wells when I reopened the palette at night in the hotel, but there were no spills. One reason is that the paint had been poured in the pans much earlier; if I had just added fresh paint the night before I may have had problems. At any rate, the only M Graham colors I have tried which have cause spills at all have been cobalt teal and cobalt violet--I no longer carry those colors in my plein air kit for that reason.