To Inspire, Transform & Heal

Linda Wiggen Kraft
Creativity for the Soul

Joy of Color & Creativity – At Home & Away

Joy of Color & Creativity – At Home & Away

“Color is my daylong obsession, joy, and torment” – Claude Monet.  Color is a constant joy, sometime obsession and seldom torment in my life, but I know how Monet felt this way. Color is my joy and obsession both at home and when away.

At Home – St. Louis

My art room is filled with colors that sing.  Often the sweet colors sit on the shelf for years before their beauty is brought to light. The most beautiful bottles of Japanese ink, in a hand-blown glass bottles, as lovely as any bottles for perfume, have sat on the shelf for several years.


Ink colors inspired by nature scenery. Ku-jaku means peacock

Finally in the last Mandala & Creativity circle their loveliness was shared on paper. The brilliant deep colors, if undiluted, soaked deeply into the watercolor paper. Water was needed to dilute the strong colors.  The names make me swoon. Names like “Light of Fireflies”, “Sunset” and “Moonlight”.

The bright colors of the inks shine on watercolor paper.
There are 24 different colors in the Iroshizuka line, I want them all.

Christine and I created with the Iroshizuka inks, while a raging thunderstorm sparkled outside, preventing some from attending that night.


Christine’s mandala created days before the  Summer Solstice

The colors represent parts of nature scenery. The sun shines brightly in this mandala created a few days before the Summer Solstice. The deep blues from the “Moonlight” and “Peacock” colors.


Detail of Christine’s mandala show the lovely colors as they blend and come to life on paper.


Christine’s Fantasy Flower Mandala created with “Sunset”, “Bamboo Forest” and “Autumn Leaves”


My Fantasy Flower Mandala emerging from a brilliant background



My Bear Flower Protection Mandala

My mandala with the petroglyph sign of bear paws tuned into flowers. Bears are protector animals for me. The spiral center represents life’s journey.


These beautiful inks will be used in my upcoming Fantasy Flower & Mandala workshop in a few weeks. I can hear the inks singing as they wait to come to life on paper.


Away – NYC

A recent trip to the East Coast brought me unexpectedly to a Color Mecca. My husband and I were in New York City. I Googled nearby art supply stores, expecting nothing in midtown Manhattan. Turned out our hotel was a seven-minute walk to Kremer Pigments.

Bags of powdered pigments ready to be made into oil and watercolor artist paints

I knew Kremer Pigments because I had ordered some watercolors from them online. The store in Manhattan is where artists get pigments and other supplies to make their own oil and watercolor paints. The 47 year-old company started when many of the recipes for making paints used by old masters seemed lost. According to their website, “Vermilion, Smalt, Lapis Lazuli, Bone Black and Madder Lake – are just some examples of rare pigments of which the ancient production procedures have seemed to be forgotten for centuries”. Lapis Lazuli is a jewel stone that creates a deep blue ultramarine color.  Michelangelo and Vermeer were two of many artists who used this color. If you want to buy some Lapis Lazuli, at $390 a gram, this is a place to buy it. For comparison, 24K gold is $61 a gram.

200 grams of Lapis Lazuli. Cost is $390 a gram. That equals $78,000. Wow.

If you want to create your own custom colors there is a large book with recipes showing what pigments to mix and how much. What fun that would be.  Here’s a link to the 738 natural and synthetic pigments they sell:


Mullers look like upside-down mushrooms with flat tops. They are solid glass. Pigment is crushed between a muller and flat glass to create a smooth consistency. Different binders are used to create oil or watercolor paint.


Watercolors in pans ready to be bought and used.  The colors are made from earth pigments and synthetic ones. I would love to have them all.


Watercolor full pans from Kremer Pigments that I bought and tried. Some of my favorite colors.

The Kremer shop sells already made watercolors in pans. I couldn’t resist. I bought eight full pans of colors I love, a metal holder and two watercolor brushes. Some of the watercolors are made from earth pigments and others synthetic.

New Fantasy Flower – Kremer’s Pigment Watercolors.

I have only been home a few days. I haven’t had much time to play with these watercolors, but I made a color test and a few quick flowers. Oh what joy.

Enjoy & Create



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