Accessible Paint Palette

Leading Canadian mouth-painter Cody Tresierra, turned to Tetra when he wanted to improve on the artistic details of his works.

Cody has been creating vibrant artworks for more than 30 years. However, it was difficult to mix colours for fine and detailed work, particularly when painting the faces. “I’d have a flat palette below the bottom of the picture,” said Cody. “That’s fine for the most part when you are doing a landscape or an abstract, but when you are trying to match colours or paint finer detail you really need to have the palette up where you are working”

You need to be able to see the colours better. When you mix paint below the bottom of the picture you think they look close, but when you put them onto the canvas you can see they are way off.” In fact, there was an additional physical impact. When paint mixing occurs at different levels and with varying light, Cody would have to bring his head backwards and forwards, causing increasing strain on his back because his muscles are getting weaker.

Cody asked Tetra for help and longstanding volunteer Dave Doman rose to the challenge of devising an accessible solution. “He knew what he wanted, which was to bring the palette as close as possible to the painting so there was a minimal amount of movement required to get the paint onto the brush and then onto the painting,” said Dave. The solution was a palette built from pegboard, which hangs vertically in front of the painting. It’s on a system that can be tracked right across the canvas from side to side and locked into place, where Cody needs it.

This solution not only makes for a technical and physical difference, but an artistic one too. “It’s particularly useful when you have painted a person and you’re trying to get their face just right. I want to free up and paint looser again. It is about capturing a feeling. You never stop learning.”

We believe in finding solutions so that people with disabilities can take part in activities at work, rest or play and re-imagine what is possible.