Friday, January 29, 2016


How many shades of grey can you find in this picture? Do you feel surrounded by grey in the winter?

We've had our share of grey days this month -- lots of rain -- but also fog and grey skies. Looking out at the dark grey clouds, grey landscape, grey roads, I began to feel grayness in my soul. It all seemed the same shade of grey: fog.

My challenge to myself:  paint the beauty in shades of grey.

I started taking photos of every wintry shade of grey I could find. Back in my workroom, I painted a palette of greys using a foundation mix of ultramarine blue, quinacrodine red, and hansa yellow. I changed the ratio in each box and added other colors from the pencil list below. I also tried painting with black tourmaline, hematite, and neutral tint in the hope that I wouldn't just have flat grey. The minerals in these watercolors separated as they dried so the colors became more appealing.

I found multiple shades of grey. Maybe I could create a beautiful grey painting after all!

I was lucky that we visited Pt. Reyes over the weekend. I found grey everywhere I looked: boat docks, bridge girders, water.

I found blue grey in the bumper of a truck:

I found yellow grey by a boat dock:

I found reddish grey in the morning clouds:

and realized the depth in shades of grey. Now I'm on a grey painting binge. Here's the first Grey Horizon:

My Challenge to you:

take photos of the grey skies around you right now.  Send me your results. You can post them to my Google + Collections page
or my Facebook page, or Instagram at #postcardsintheair,
or email them to me at Martha Slavin <>.

I'd love to see what you find. And maybe by looking grey in the 'eye', you will find the beauty in grey days too.


  1. I ove your scientific approach to color and how you strive to find beauty in the cold dullness of winter.

    1. Thank you, Jan. Add some more greys and I will post them next Friday.

  2. Love your perspective. I guess I could write about the brown tones of Oklahoma!

    1. I think that is a great idea, Letty. I thought that I would chose a color to find each month. Brown tones are subtle like grey. Thanks for reading this post.

  3. Think I will go looking for some Oklahoma browns. We have plenty of those shades, this time of year.

  4. I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I do not know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you are not already Cheers! xrumer check out this site

  5. Hi Mariyamkhan,
    Thanks for your encouraging comments. Did you see the Grey Challenge on Pinterest?


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