I scribble a lot in my work. Either with text, texture or other forms of bas relief. None of it is intended to be legible, decipherable or in any way linked to symbolism or subject. All of these scribbles are repetitive marks that serve to work as a collective. I am striving to produce a zone of quiet, that is borne of a cumulative extravagance of texture. Mark making to produce a certain surface tension that brings relief to my eyes. I don't really know of any other way to describe it.
Making plans to spend more time in the studio, and realizing that it's actually possible.
Reading this review that someone left on Amazon.com about The New Acrylics:
"I recently ordered this book and still have not received it, but I ordered it because I checked it out of the library & knew I had to own a copy 10 minutes after opening it.
I have read or perused many acrylic painting books in the last year, either via purchase or from the library. This is by far the best one I have seen yet, when it comes to giving you ideas on techniques you may not have even considered.
If I could give it 6 Stars, I would!"
Time just keeps doing that speeding by thing, and it's all I can do to keep riding that wave lest I sink below the deluge of all the stuff and things that need, should, want, ought to be done. So many interesting projects and things to look forward to, just need to keep it all in my sights.
So the Craftsy class is out there, and from what I can tell, doing well. Fingers crossed that I will have the chance to work with this incredible company again sometime soon! Here are the reviews so far: REVIEWS
Next up, I am working on proposals for another couple of books (this is a BIG undertaking, FYI), which is taking up a lot of my head space, quiet panic and my free time.
My studio is going through a bit of a seasonal overhaul during the "too hot to paint" time, and I have many ideas for new work that I will be starting in the fall.
I have a fabulous workshop planned for late September with the even more fabulous Lori Richards. This "Come paint with us!" workshop promises to be energizing, informative and creatively stimulating. Space is limited so please contact me ASAP to reserve your spot!
It has been a roller coaster of a summer for me so far, emotionally and creatively, and I hope that some time on the water will help rejuvenate my spirit and my energy.
I love this photo. I'm not usually a big fan of flower pics, although I am a fan of flora out in the world. This photo, for me, however, captures what I love best about flowers. The translucency of the petal, glowing with sunlight, the colours so heartbreakingly lush and velvety.
This particular photograph was the one I used as a reference in the Indirect Painting portion of my Craftsy class. I chose it not just because of the wow punch of colour, the simple yet sophisticated composition, and how it lends itself perfectly to the process I was demonstrating, but also because it was taken by one of my dearest friends, Andy Wegst. He takes awesome photos, and I encourage each of you to take a look. You will enjoy it!
Now that the class has gone live, I can talk in more detail about it. I filmed a class for Craftsy, in Denver CO, in February. It was about ten times more fun and less daunting than I had expected it to be. What a fabulous bunch of people! It was such a professional and well organized experience from start to finish.
As the Craftsy platform is really just beginning it's foray into the Fine Art categories, I have no real idea as to how popular my class will be, or how lucrative. That said, regardless of how it is received, I'm very glad I had the opportunity to do it, and to work with this organization.
Those of you who are familiar with my work will note that the projects in this class, The Acrylic Painter's Toolbox, are a bit out of the usual for me. The motifs may be different, but the approach over all is the same. Regardless of whether it's still life, landscape or floral composition, when it comes to how I paint, it's really just about the paint itself.
It was a great exercise for me, in the end, going back to my roots as a figurative painter. It reminded me to take the time to practice the basics, throw myself out of my comfort zone and stretch my creativity. Although I take the role of teacher in this class, I came out of it a student again...and it was very refreshing.
You can access the class from the VIDEO tab on this website. Thanks for visiting!
Acrylics are a thermoplastic folks, that means they change depending on the ambient temperature. They are very pliable and soft when it's warm, and hard and brittle when it's cold. This winter, it has been (and continues to be) extremely cold here in Kingston, Ontario.
We have been experiencing temperatures of -35° C and colder for what feels like far too long. This painting, Slow Burn, was hanging in the new owner's home, in a three season family room, when it suffered a catastrophe. Reaching out to brace himself from a fall, a boy's hand impacted and went through the paint film...and it shattered.
This is a paint film, so there is nothing supporting the paint from behind. So now begins the work of repairing and modifying the painting. Most of the pieces were saved, but with my studio being a little chilly, I will need to wait for warmer weather before it can be finished. A daunting but important project that will educate me more on the delicacy of my work, and how to maintain it.
Whenever I hear people say "Acrylics dry too fast" I roll my eyes internally. Yes, acrylics dry quickly, IF you are using them very thin, IF you are painting outside on a hot dry day in the full sun, IF you compare them with oil paints (which is like comparing dragonfruit to apples - both fruit, but way, way different from each other).
Acrylics actually dry much more slowly than most are aware of. They take days to months to fully cure, for the acrylic to clarify, and the more medium you add, the longer the process. Me, I use lots of mediums, in terms of both variety and quantity. Lots and lots. My Liquid acrylic colours are rarely larger than 120mL containers, while my gels populate my increasingly cramped studio in 3.78mL to 16L buckets. And I'm constantly running out.
The most frustrating part of this is the TIME! Spend 10 minutes to an hour in the studio, wait 2-3 days before being able to get back in there for the next layer. By the time the next layer is ready to go on I've already forgotten what I had planned for it to be, and something new happens. My pieces are changing, layer by layer, the direction rarely constant, the intention too often a tangent of the initial intention.
Acrylics dry too slowly. Still trying to figure out if it's a good thing, or a bad thing.
It's been about 15 years since I've flogged my wares in City Park, as I've been so busy with books, Tri-Art and trying to figure out if I can still paint. But I can't keep hiding from public perusal (or ridicule), so I'm going to be brave and share some bits and pieces at the Women's Art Festival tomorrow.
What has come out of a year of experimenting and suffering from being struck by some serious creative blocks has been unexpected. I seem to be veering away from abstraction, I suppose in my search for an anchor to my work. So horizon lines, power lines, boat lines, and birds are starting to populate surfaces that were actually intended for much more spare and subtle visuals.
I'm curious, though a little nervous, to see what the response will be. Girding loins.
A little FYI to acrylic painters out there: If it's a hot, hazy and humid day out there (and boy is it ever here today!) I would advise against painting unless your studio is air-conditioned. Acrylics dry through process of evaporation, and when the humidex is reading high percentages (we're at 85% here and rising) the water will only very sluggishly move out of the paint film. This will leave you with a very fragile surface, that when dry to the touch, will still be very sensitive to moisture of any kind. If you work in layers like me, don't jeopardize the structural integrity of your paintings by packing on the mediums right now. Acrylics need time to cure, and when it's humid, that time is much longer than you'd anticipate.
So be prudent, and go re-energize yourself instead. Take a break from painting. organize the studio, read a book, enjoy a cold drink on a patio, take some photographs. The paint can wait.
THE OCCASIONAL COMMENT
I hesitate to call this a blog, as I am actually a lousy blogger, so I think the best I can come up with is the occasional comment. This is something I can manage. Sometimes, these comments may be accompanied with a photo, or a link to something interesting. I may post news items, or fascinating nuggets, or some inane chatter. Who knows, it's all a bit of an experiment for me. To access posts from my previous blog, click the button below.