Weird Goings-On with Winsor & Newton Color

You know for a fact that Winsor Green is PG7 or PG36, depending on whether it is, respectively, blue shade or yellow shade, right?

Not anymore, it ain’t. A new 14ml tube of Winsor Green Blue Shade arrives here without any fanfare. It is numbered 719 as Winsor & Newton has always numbered it. But it isn’t the same paint at all. In fact, the pigment inside the tube isn’t even green but officially yellow. (It looks green to me.) There is no, repeat no, PG7 or PG36 anywhere near this #719 Winsor Green Blue Shade, nor any other “Green” pigment.


As far as I can tell, nobody announced the change. It just happened one fine morning, for reasons unknown. Months later Jackson’s in London, the suppliers of my tube (hereinafter “the evidence”), haven’t changed their netsite, which still gives the superseded information that Winsor Green Blue Shade is made with PG7.

Winsor Green Blue Shade, still numbered #719, is now made with PY184, which stands for Pigment Yellow 184.

I suppose, after that shocker, it isn’t overly surprising to discover that a century-and-some old English colorman with a Royal connection (Good Queen Vicky’s fave brushmaker’s Series Seven is still named after the brushes she commanded Winsor & Newton to make) cannot even spell “lightfastness”.

Or perhaps that is the signal that this tube of paint is, as President Trump would say, “Fake!”

You heard it first on Kissing the Blarney.

Andre Jute is a novelist and painter who lives in West Cork.

PS: The mystery has been solved. I’ve now heard from Debbie Bryan of Winsor & Newton UK, who assures me that:

“It is an error on the label artwork. It should of course be PG7. We are addressing this issue, but, please be sure that this is not a counterfeit tube, but, a mistake on the label.”

Case closed.

Everyone should have a personal Tree of Life

Today I rode out into the countryside to a Tree of Life to photograph it before the buds grew into too many leaves, too thick to see the branches giving it shape. I’ll put the photographs aside to use as inspiration for a painting I’ll make in the winter.

You may ask why I don’t paint it on the spot. Simple. That field, on which the grass and small flowers look so smooth, is in fact incredibly rough under the grass, so there’s nowhere level to put up an easel, and that is if you don’t first turn or break an ankle just walking the half-mile or so up the length of the field. But that isn’t the worst. The tree stands on the edge of a valley, and the wind howls over that field; it’s uncomfortable and cold. And it is most definitely not an alla prima painting, so a studio job it is.

So many amazing vistas in Ireland, so little time to paint them.

Andre Jute is a novelist and painter — and a cyclist — who lives in West Cork.

Merry Christmas, everyone — and a new painting from Andre Jute

Merry Christmas, everyone