Thursday, 3 March 2016

Raising a Smile with Cows and Colour

“Let my soul smile through my heart and my heart smile through my eyes, that I may scatter rich smiles in sad hearts.”  ~ Yogi and Guru Paramahansa Yogananda

Sometimes all I want to do with my art is raise a smile.  Yesterday I posted my painting The Whimsy of Cows on Twitter and received a tweet back from @cowinmontana saying “Haha! Love it! Moo!”

I have no idea who this person is but the painting connected with a complete stranger thousands of miles away and raised a smile on their face as well as mine.  I never know how far my art spreads with the public social media platforms I use, but when I see the spread with  blog statistics and receiving messages from far off places, it leaves me quite surprised at times.  I suppose that is the wonder of the internet.  The world has become a much smaller place. 

My Whimsy with Cows was never intended to be sold and it never will be.  Every now and again I put it out into the ether of the internet just to raise a smile.  Here is a  LINK to its development for anyone who is interested.     

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As a child of eight my parents were told I had no idea about colour.  Luckily my parents quickly rectified that and bought me my first inexpensive children’s metal paint palette full of really low grade watercolours.  My family came from very humble struggling Italian beginnings, so getting that paint palette meant lots to me.  It was treasured for a long time after.  Colour became my passion and joy from then on. 

The huge children’s metal palette was pretty much the same shape as the smaller version I use today.  I had more colours than I have today.    Over the years I have learnt that I do not need lots of colours.  I just need the right ones that possess the right characteristics and mixing power for my needs.

I very rarely buy a new colour.  I work with warms and cools and I have divided my palette accordingly.  The warms are at the top and the cools are along the bottom.  This means I have ultramarine blue in amongst the warms and the cool blues like cobalt blue are along the bottom.  My reds are divided too with Quinacridone red and the cadmium reds at the top (not visible in the photo) and alizarin crimson and permanent rose along the bottom with the cools.  It really is quite a simple system that aids me with mixing and selecting warm and cool opposites instinctively.   Despite having so many colours in one palette there are lots that I rarely use. 

So life for me has been very peachy, rosy, colourful and vibrant ever since that teacher’s comment. Maybe that little comment on a simple report card as a child has made me the enthusiastic watercolourist I am today. 


  1. I remember this one, it is a great one! What a horrible comment this teacher gave, I am glad he was wrong!

  2. Those words!! Good your parents didn´t listen to your teacher!
    I LOVE your cute cows!!! :) :)

  3. Nice post Laura giving us a little of your growing up with art, sweet little cows in this one

  4. It is hard to look at your cows and not smile.:) I think it is sad that a negative comment can be remembered for so long after it is made. Luckily it didn't stop you!

  5. Ah Laura - this painting certainly made me smile friend. There is something wonderful about the peaceful bovine and yet they have a lively side as well. You captured it. Also enjoyed seeing and reading about your color palette. You have certainly proved them wrong about your colors. They are always just perfect! Hugs!


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