New Color Has Artist In The Pink

By Esther Hammer
Tampa Tribune Correspondent
April 10, 2004

   Sunset Park - Inventions run the gamut from gadgets to gigantic machines, but it's not every day someone invents a color.
   Actually, with the colors of the rainbow already in place, it's more of a discovery.  It's just a question of finding a new color, formalizing it and naming it.
   Sunset Park artist Taylor Ikin did just that.
   Her "Taylor's Flamingo Pink" is a tropical pink that evokes Florida West Coast sunsets and the long-necked bird for which it is named.
   Cheap Joe's Art Stuff, a North Carolina-based mail-order business, is marketing the color in a private label brand of watercolors called American Journey, exclusively available through Cheap Joe's.
   "It's unlike any other color," said Carolyn Fogle, general manager for Cheap Joe's.  "Artists can mix colors and can come up with their own concoctions, but this one seemed to be totally individual right out of the tube."
   It's selling well, she said.
   It's also regularly on the palette of Lithia watercolorist Anne Drewry.
   "If a particular painting needs a shot of something, it's a good color to inject," Drewry said.  "And it mixes really well with other colors."
   The artist, who is taking watercolor classes with Ikin, said she mixes Taylor's Flamingo Pink with yellow to create peaches and with blue to get lavenders and fabulous shadows.
   "It's a good color for florals and just about any landscape," said Ikin, 65, a full-time artist.  "If a landscape seems to be missing something, it's usually a red, so I'll just fling in the red and the pink."
   Ikin said fate played a hand in her discovery.
   While teaching her weekly watercolor class, she accidentally picked up two colors, sitting side-by-side, she normally didn't use together.
   "I just happened to reach, and God just happened to have them in line for the brush," she said.
   The result was a shade of pink that Ikin and her class considered pretty unusual.  Ikin, who helps Cheap Joe's evaluate new products, knew it wasn't offered in the company's catalog.
   The new hue consisted of two basic colors, both available through Cheap Joe's: Rose Madder, a warm, deep pink; and Coastal Frog, a cool gray with a lot of titanium white.
   Ikin sent three different mixes of the color to Cheap Joe's.  A chemist formulated the colors and returned them in three paint tubes for her to try.
   After Ikin selected her favorite, the next step was finding a name, and her watercolor students participated in the search.
   Ikin won't receive any payment or royalties for her color.
   "We get frequent requests for new colors, but only a few of them come to actual fruition," Fogle said.  "It's not the daily course here to market new watercolors.  It's got to be something very special.
   "Any time you can get a unique color that isn't available in a competing line, you have a winner," she said.  "And it's an extra bonus if it mixes well with other colors, which Flamingo Pink does."
   Nuance Galleries director Deb Stoberl said Taylor's Flamingo Pink is a refreshing addition.
   The gallery, 804 S. Dale Mabry Highway, represents Ikin in Tampa and presenting "The Hillsborough Collection," a traveling exhibition of 30 of her paintings.  Many of the paintings in the collection contain strokes or mixes of Taylor's Flamingo Pink.
   "It's a fun thing for Taylor," Stoberl said.  "It gives her paintings more richness and depth, and it gives her another color in her palette."

Correspondent Esther Hammer can be reached at (813) 835-2108.

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