· How did you get started working in this area? ·
I’ve done a lot of hand lettering in my sketchbook or notes, and have a deep affection for art supplies and office supplies. I got curious about how to make ink for my fountain pens and ended up reading about how paint is made. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I worked with a pigment distributor, then bought all the paintmaking supplies and began building my formulas.
Though I hadn’t painted in a long time, I had been working in visual communication and taking art classes for fun - metalsmithing, enameling, glass flameworking, color theory, drawing, graphic design, printmaking, and painting. I spend a lot of time watching videos and reading books to build skills and understand tools or material properties. I am fascinated by both the techniques and materials themselves, as well as their history and context in art. Limn Colors is a culmination of all of my professional skills and artistic interests.
· Where do you find inspiration for your work? ·
I get a lot of inspiration in reading about the pigments and materials that people have been painting with for the last 400,000 years. And Instagram lets me see what painters, hand letterers, and artists are making today. Sometimes I stumble on a pigment and have to see how it works and other times I go looking for a color because of an artwork or object I saw.
· What’s a project you’ve done that you’re proud of? ·
Everything related to starting and running a business, from creating products to operational processes to marketing content. I’m thrilled to see the art that people create with my paint!
· What tools do you use? Have a favorite? ·
I love my big glass workbench. I am obsessed with pigments. My mullers and growing collection of palette knives are indispensible to my paintmaking process. Plus, no scrimping on the safety gear!
Most frequently, I paint with Limn Colors watercolor paint on Arches paper blocks with Escoda brushes. I love trying out new supplies and experimenting with other tools and materials to create surface textures or alter the way the paint behaves. I spend much more time experimenting with color and paint effects than I do actually painting identifiable subject matter.
· What’s your workspace like? ·
The Limn Colors studio is a small, colorful space in West Berkeley. There is a large workbench for mulling paint, a table for working and one-on-one instruction, a metalsmithing bench, and a large collection of pigments, paint tools, and creative supplies. A mini-gallery displays recent paintings and swatch cards for all of our paint colors. We also have a home office where we 3d print our containers and take care of business operations.
· Favorite local spot? ·
I love the SFMoMA, Berkeley Bowl, The Crucible, and all the local art supply stores like Flax, Artist & Craftsman Supply, and ARCH.
· What music do you work to? ·
It’s often quiet if I need to concentrate on what I am doing. Otherwise, the mood dictates the music and I have a little bit of everything on my phone. Sometimes I listen to white noise while I write or catch up on Netflix while I am mulling paint.
· What have you always wanted to try? ·
Always? The Grand Tour.
Right now? Pointed pen calligraphy, taking my DSLR off auto, a kolinsky sable brush, deep sea fishing, flameworking a glass dip pen, The French Laundry, and medieval illumination.
Plus, I am always trying to paint more, to write more, to cook more, to read more, to see friends more, and to get more sleep.