After sketching out the Lucie Stern Theatre building on canvas last week, I embarked on my first pass across the canvas with my oil paints.

I chose to paint this building because I’ve always loved the architecture and also because I wanted to explore the many tints and hues of white. As Lee Hartman, my teacher, notes: you never just paint pure white on the canvas.

Instead, for this painting, I choose the foundation color to be blue and umber. I folded in tiny amounts of this mixture into my white and then I played around with adding blues and reds. At the very top of the building, I used the off-white mixture and then for the lower shaded areas, I experimented with the red and blue infused whites.

However, midway through, I changed course based on Lee’s advice and started to work with purple instead.

It was interesting since I was working with blue and red which really come together to form purple. So close, but not quite right.

To add to the complexity next week, I will try out different tones of purple from bluish-purple to redish-purple. I like the combination of the terracotta and the purple in this painting. The foreground will have branches and some leaves so it will be interesting to see how I tie in the color of these elements with a painting that currently seems comfortable with two dominant colors.

I asked Lee if I was getting better and she looked at me, sighed and muttered, “Rome was not built in a day.”

To which I responded, “I am not trying to build Rome, just become a better painter.”

Loni Stark is an artist at Atelier Stark, self-professed foodie, and adventure travel seeker who has a lifelong passion for technology’s impact on business and creativity. She collaborates with Clinton Stark on video projects for Atelier Stark Films. It’s been said her laugh can be heard from San Jose all the way up to the Golden Gate Bridge. She makes no claims to super powers, although sushi is definitely her Kryptonite.