The unsecret diary of an insecure artist - part 4 - Caroline Ashwood

May 11, 2023

Thursday – Elevenses

Colour of the day – Greige (greyish beige)

Oh, the unbridled bliss of a timely Hobnob & brew. April showers are overstaying their welcome, robbing us of the brief vibrant glimpses we’ve had of spring in the making. I need sunshine. It cheers me up and fills me with hope. I wish I could raise my paintbrush and colour in a gap in the colourless-shapeless clouds to reveal a huge smiley-face in cadmium yellow. Funny thing about grey, despite its obvious dullness, it makes colour even more colourful. White doesn’t have that effect, nor black. Grey makes the perfect generic base for secondary and discordant hues. Like lilac, orange, pinks, lime greens, sky blues. They ping & float above the surface greyness. With primary colours less so. I shall incorporate that into a new painting. Grey is a very fashionable wall of late. All walls need a ping! I should have that on a T-shirt. Rosie wants a Hobnob. Her streamlined Spring hairstyle is rather fetching. A vision of beige flecks amidst blotches of ginger and grey. Her not the biscuit.


Monday – Working public holiday

Deadlines must be met, regardless of royal proclamations. I’ve spent an hour looking at an almost finished commission trying to decide what colour to edge the canvas with. The canvases I use can be hung directly without a frame. So the deep edges are the frame. Frame colour can enhance or ruin a really powerful painting. Most of the time I instinctively know what colour to use. But, now and again, I get ‘painter’s block’, like writer’s block but I can’t think of a colour instead a word. I start berating myself, “Oh come on Caroline! It’s only a colour! You have hundreds of them!”. The dreaded old ‘imposter syndrome’ starts looking over my shoulder drawing short intakes as I tentatively pick out a colour. I get a text message. It’s my mum, asking if I’m enjoying the extra day off. I’ll call her later over a glass of pinot grigio. I rummaged through the clutter on my studio desk for the fabric samples the commission client sent me and spread them out. A William Morris curtain swatch is mainly purple with yellow, green, and a deep kingfisher blue accent. Kingfisher blue. Definitely (maybe). Just do it woman…

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