This week’s blog posts are all by Crystal Neubauer. Last week saw Amanda Jolley and starting us off was Michelle Belto introducing our collaborative series; this week Crystal! Enjoy and savor the uniqueness of each~


Sitting on the stone bench outside the front door at the Dumas Bay Centre, the challenge to create one work of art with each of seven colors did not seem like that big a deal. I loved the ideas being bounced around among the seven EncaustiCamp instructors discussing the 2015 exhibit and was excited to be a part of it once again.

But stepping inside Home Depot with the others and trying to choose just one swatch from each grouping; red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, and a neutral, was more daunting than I anticipated.

I mean, just look at all that color!!

day 1-glidden

I’ve always been drawn to a quieter pallet as an artist. Even when I think I am deliberately selecting a variety of color in my material, I wind up with fifty shades of greige.

day 1-greige

So I left that day clutching at least a dozen of each of the 7 color categories, determined to narrow it down to just one of each when I got back home to my own studio. But I couldn’t do it! I stared at the swatches and moved them around and placed them next to each other and caused myself a great deal of agony.

And at least two more trips to Home Depot. And at least a few dozen more paint cards.

Of each color. Sigh.

The epiphany came one day when I was discussing this collage with a buyer who noted that, though my use of color in the piece was not my norm, the mark-making served to temper the vibrancy and kept it true to my style.


A light bulb moment. Suddenly I knew I was going to look my fear of color in the face and conquer it by selecting the most saturated version in each category I could find. Ideas were swirling in my head.

One more trip to Home Depot and I’d be set to begin….

(continued tomorrow)