I always get some great inspiration for colors when I'm driving. Last week I made the drive (yet again) from Tampa to New York and back. Actually going by way of Miami so I spent the night in Georgia. The next days drive up through theCarolinas and Virginia was incredible. The new green of spring was starting to come out, the dogwoods were blooming...... But it was the green more than anything, it gave me some ideas of mixing some new pastels. It is that earthy brightness which was so nice, it is not an electric yellow green but still quite bright. I do realize that some of that brightness is do to the contrast with the duller yellow ochres of the dead winter grasses. So I've just gotten some transparent yellow iron oxide pigment to use for these- it also makes a wonderful watercolor. I'll post some pictures when I get some samples together.
In the same vein I saw the Courbet show at the Met in New York. I have to say that I am not a big fan of his "smoother" paintings. But when he gets out the palette knife, especially for those sunny landscapes, they are great to look at. The ranges of scumbling and overlay that he gets away with is great painting indeed.