Meet the Maker - Maisy LaClair
Maisy was the Featured Maker in our Sketch and Story Chapter 3 Box, and specially made the tones Lobster and Bahama Vacation to go with our beach / lighthouse theme: Surf's Up! This was our first Featured Maker from waaay across the Atlantic, so the ocean-ey theme was very apt in many ways!
You can make a wonderful range of shades with both colors, from a lavender blue-grey, to a dusky purple perfect for painting muted shadows, and finally to a salmon peach pink right before Lobster red.
As some of you may already know, Maisy lives on a sailboat, which means that all her paints first come to life on a BOAT! I asked Maisy to share with us the challenges of making paint while sailing and where she gets inspiration for new palettes.
1) Tell us a little bit about your paintmaking process.
My paint making process beings with pigment, binder, honey, and mulling tools. To make watercolors I mix the pigments into the binder and honey, so that it creates a consistency that's slightly thicker than maple syrup, then I mull the pigments so that it has a smooth consistency with no pigment bursts. Then, the pouring process beings!
2) What is your biggest challenge making paints on a sailboat?
My absolute biggest challenge about being on a boat is humidity. It can often times be a serious set back. I've had paints take a whole month to dry before. Usually I don't have the shop open during travel periods since posting is far too difficult, but that would certainly help keep me busy!
3) Is there a story behind your name - Lighthouse Cove Watercolors?
Growing up in New England gave me an affinity for lighthouses. Just about every summer I would travel to the Maine coast and see the Nubble Lighthouse. Naming my shop after something I absolutely love seemed like a perfect touch.
4) Where do you get inspiration for your palettes from?
My inspiration for palettes usually comes from aspirations, fond memories, or subjects I really enjoy. For example, my Flower Shop palette sprouted from an old dream I had of owning a flower shop one day.
The Flower Shop palette by Lighthouse Cove Watercolors.
7) What’s your favorite colour to make and why?
Oh, there's too many! Though, I really enjoy making green earth colors because they're oh so silky.
8) What's your favorite book?
I don't read as much as I'd like to, but I recently picked up a small book called The Sweet Life in Paris. It's a really good read that made me laugh.
9) What’s the next step on your journey?
I've been thinking about wanting to open a shop for a long time, but I imagine it won't be as soon as I'd like, so for now I think I'd like to being building my own website.
Meet the Maker - Dan Barrett
Dan was our Featured Maker in the first ever Sketch and Story Founder's Box. Out of all the lovely colours he has made, I picked the tones Magenta and Sunflower Yellow for crocuses and daffodils, the first flowers to bloom in spring - to represent the brand new beginnings of Sketch and Story.
I tested these paints on both Cass Art paper and Arches paper, and they turned out beautifully each time! You can see below the full range of colour which can be achieved by blending just these two colours; from a rich, almost opaque magenta, a fiery orange, sunset gold, and finally a pretty pastel yellow.
Having never tried paintmaking myself, I asked Dan a few questions about his paintmaking process and how he got started in this incredibly unusual hobby.
1) How did you first get into paintmaking?
I purchased a discontinued paint from Winsor & Newton that was discontinued in the 60s and I wanted to recreate it. I failed but I caught the bug and started making small batches of paint and the rest is history.
2) Where do you get your inspiration from?
I know it's very cliche but everything in life. Music, the environment, strange shapes, moods, films & TV. Rather than finding inspiration I feel inspiration finds me so it can be random what ends up inspiring me.
3) Tell us a little bit about your paintmaking process.
I select the pigments I want to turn into paint, this can be on impulse or well-thought-out and on my wishlist for ages. While the pigment is being shipped I make my binder which is my own recipe and takes a few days of stewing. I make a small batch of paint to start with to test it. I mull using a glass muller and slab which helps grind down the pigment and helps form a nice smooth paint. Once I am happy with the paint and that it dries and rewets correctly, I will make a larger batch. I fill my pans in lots of layers which allows the paint to dry and condense down so that customers get the maximum amount of paint I can squeeze in to each pan. Once everything is all dry, I label the pans and wrap them in three layers. They then get photographed etc before being purchased.
5) What’s one tool you can’t live without?
Paint making: my palette knife.
Painting: My watercolour palette, I love it so much instead of getting a bigger one to fit all my colours in I am looking at customising it instead.
6) What’s your favorite colour to make and why?
I'm not sure I can pick one particular pigment. I really like making yellow paints and blue paints. They are easiest to mull and they always turn out the best. I don't have many nasty surprises with them.
I also like unique earth pigments when I am in the mood for a challenge!
7) What’s the next step on your journey?
To continue and grow. I really want to be able to have a day job part time and paint and make paint part time. I am at that stage where I need more time to spend on painting and that really is the focus for the next two years to be able to get to that place.
Hi, I'm Natalie, and Sketch and Story is my passion project. Check this blog for features of indie makers, local artists, and more details on the Sketch and Story subscription experience.