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Friday, April 30, 2010

Finding My Missing Cadmium Orange

Katherine Kean, Grey Surf Under Summer Storm, dark grey sky, ocean, wave, Hawaii
 Grey Surf Under Summer Storm SOLD
24 x 30" oil on linen
© 2010 Katherine Kean

Last week when I reached for some cadmium orange paint and came up empty I was confused. I'd recently bought two tubes and I don't have any orange paintings, so where did it all go? The answer is qute simple, not that I realized until after looking high and low, through every paint drawer and box, and on every shelf that I might store back up art supplies. I use cadmium orange in underpainting, especially under green grasses like this marsh painting and also to mix darks. I mix it with ultramarine blue and a bit of alazarin to get a deep color that is nearly black, as in the new painting above. Fortunately I happened to be going by the art store the following day and I was able to restock, because one can't get cadmium orange from mixing cadmium red and cadmium yellow.

Some say we are lucky to still have the cadmium pigments to paint with. In the 90's legislation was proposed to ban all the cadmiums due to health and environmental hazards. Amid great outcry from the art community paint for artists' use was excepted from the ban. This article, from the Golden Paints website mentions that even though it is still allowed for art use, it may become increasingly difficult to find as widespread manufacture declines. I sure hope that isn't true.

11 comments:

Kathryn Hansen said...

love the mood of this painting!

Elizabeth Seaver said...

A cadmium depletion would be a terrible thing indeed.

Your painting is magnificent, Katherine. It is a powerful image, powerfully rendered.

Katherine Kean said...

Kathryn - thanks!

Elizabeth, it would, wouldn't it? THanks for your comment!

Claudia ;D said...

Powerful painting Katharine, and yes who would have guessed all that orange (joy!) behind everything. I hope they keep making it too, it is one of my favorite colors as well.

Katherine Kean said...

Thanks Claudia! Exactly - who knew?

Caroline Bray Art said...

Oh boy, this is great! So powerful and atmospheric. You've actually managed to control mother nature and capture her essence - something very few artists can do! Looking forward to following your blog and art.

Katherine Kean said...

Caroline - thank you and welcome! I'm looking forward to seeing the progress of your art and blog too.

jeronimus said...

Hi Katherine. Thanks for becoming a follower of Marine Oil Paintings. I would like to post this painting on the blog and put a link to yours. Would this be OK? Your work is sublime.

Katherine Kean said...

Hi Jeronimus,
You're welcome - Marine Oil Paintings is a wonderful blog. I'd feel honored to be included.
Thank you and thanks for coming by.

Casey Klahn said...

Katherine, this is a fascinating and beautiful painting. I love looking at it.

Good report on the cadmium pigments. Maybe there will have to be a black market for colors in the future.

Katherine Kean said...

Thank you Casey! I'm glad you like the painting.

I hope we don't come to a black market for pigments. I find art supplies are pricey enough as it is!