Friday, November 17, 2017


Garden of the Gods in Colorado

I needed a photo of a landscape for a 30-day watercolor sketching project. I came across my file of photos of the Garden of the Gods in Colorado and was struck by the color palette that ran through my photos. Burnt sienna, yellow ochre, raw umber -- color names that roll off my tongue and that remind me of Florence and Tuscany whose landscapes are filled with them and where their use as art materials originated. Cave paintings include these three colors and the ancient Romans mined the earth to recover the iron oxide clay that produced these well-known hues.

My interest peaked, I looked for other landscapes whose color palettes identified a place. I compared the Garden of the Gods landscape with Whidbey Island, Washington, with its reds and greens.

Whidbey Island, Washington

the lush green and grey woods near Ashland, Oregon,

Ashland, Oregon

the greys of the land and sky near the Pacific Ocean from different parts of the Bay Area.

Pacific Ocean coastline

and the rich teal and burnt sienna around Amsterdam.


I realized how easily I could identify each place by its colors. Our senses are ripe with memories. Is there a color palette that reminds you of a place you've visited?


  1. My dear friend, go beyondanondanonda! That is to say you blow me away with you color palettes! I know that art runs in your family and that you are emerging as an amazing artist aS well!!!

    1. Thank you, Jan, for being such a consistent, supportive reader of my blog. Cheers to you and your family on Thanksgiving.

  2. What a colorful and thoughtful post! Hawaiian shades of green came to mind and in Mexico the sunset blends of azure, pink, orange, and puce.

  3. I remember Lyn's photos of the Mexican town where she lives. Those colors mirror the sunset shades you mentioned.

  4. Beautiful collages, Martha! Your rich Colorado palette puts me in mind of the beautiful southern California deserts. Brilliant blues and endless shades of gray always remind me of Sierra skies, lakes, and granite. So lucky to live close to all this beautiful color!

    1. Thank you, Teresa. Colors do remind you of place, don't they? Thank you for reading my postings. I appreciate your interest!


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