I have a lot of inks… way too many to use in my lifetime even with painting.
But, really, why have a boring crayola 8-pack
when you can have the 64-pack with every color imaginable?
I’ve also found the makers that I gravitate to mostly, and know why I love them,
mostly for their complex stunning colors — though I do sample inks from others.
I have a theory now that I have played with a lot of inks from a few makers, and seen the range of their colors again and again as I place new colors on my wish lists.
I believe that the best makers are influenced by the world they see around them.
Robert Oster has the most amazing blues which is why I call him the King of Blues!
But his colors in general are the colors are the colors I imagine when I think of the huge continent of Australia and the area around his home: blue to blue-green seas all around, natural greens that range from desert to forest, and rich desert colors — I think of the huge red rock country in the north. He is not the king of greys, nor urban colors!
Coincidentally, Blackstone (now out of business) was also an Aussie company,
and carried very similar natural palette. Wonderful company, sad they are gone.
Birmingham, on the other hand, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,
is the company I think of for the richest greys — and I LOVE grey inks.
I have more grey than any other single color ink!
Birmingham’s palette is a very urban palette, and I can see the colors of urban gardens with pops of color in tended greens, and the working rivers that surround them:
The Allegheny and Monongahela rivers, which come together to form the Ohio River.
I imagine the swirl of the people at work around them… Having lived in an urban environment for most of my adult life, the people compensate with brilliant and sometimes unnatural colors: Green Weenie, Salmon Hors D”Oeuvre, Parrot and Five-Cent Fuchsia are colors I wore daily when I worked in Los Angeles. When I moved to rural Oregon people stared at my brilliant colorful dress, so out of place in their natural environment.
I can’t help it: when I look at Papier Plume‘s inks I think of the
decadent, ladies-of-the-night and outlaw gentlemen I read about in my teens.
I think of late nights, parties, brunch, and rich amazing foods blended from many cultures into the place that is New Orleans! I think their palette reflects a rich mysterious culture!
I now am going forward with this theory in mind… and watching…
What do you think?
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