Startled and unsettled barely describe the prospect of being without one of my precious colors, “cobalt teal.” What New Mexico Artist hasn’t relished the azure blue skies here that so inspire us? We use that exquisite color, not only to express the sky color but also for thousands of other ideas and symbolic images that are intrinsically a part of our identity. The tints and shades of “cobalt teal” have held a vital place on my palette. Not long ago, one of my students even called it “Helen’s Turquoise.”
Recently I was in one of my favorite art supply stores and purchased a jar of “Cobalt Teal” of GOLDEN ARTIST COLORS paint. I was startled to learn that the color is being discontinued in all of their lines of paint!
A few years ago, GOLDEN ARTIST COLORS had to discontinue another of my vital colors, “Quinacridone Gold.” It was replaced by “Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold.” The new color is not the same, it is a near miss that I have learned to use. Though I wasn’t sure I would, I have indeed survived, thrived even. I suppose I will again survive this drastic change, but I am disturbed and unsettled that now I have to use “Teal” or some other substitute color rather than my beloved “Cobalt Teal.”
I am reminded that Carole Barnes once told her students to temporarily eliminate a color when they become too dependent. It can be a challenge to stretch ones creativity. I ask you, what would Carole do without RED? and what am I going to do without “cobalt teal?