Saturday, July 30, 2011

In the studio

This week I moved my "studio" from one room to another.  The light isn't as good (south side) at my new window but the space is better:


I have a couple projects in mind for my new corner and I will share photos of the space after those are done (new work table, etc.  Big plans!  So excited.).

A new project I started this week on little wood blocks:

And here almost complete:

A three dimensional painting, I've painted something on all but one side (the base).  Just a little more work to be done.  Pretty pleased with how it is turning out and it gives me some ideas to use on the two dimensional pieces so more on that in the future I hope.

Before that, though, I am on to a small batch of little portraits.  Have a good weekend!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A couple things

Well hello summer!  I think we might actually see a day or two of it before the clouds come back.  I cannot believe how cool and rainy it is here while other parts of the country are sweltering.  Even for the rainy Willamette Valley, this is odd weather indeed for July.

More doodles in acrylic gouache:

The acrylic gouache does not bleed through when painted over after it is completely dry.  Which is most of what I was experimenting with here.  Also tried using some Golden mediums mixed in and it worked though I liked the extreme matte quality of the gouache by itself better though I need to try it with some more matte mediums to be sure.

Found a great new podcast to try from the blog My Love for You.  The creator of that blog is hosting the podcast and although I believe she has only done a few so far they have been so amazing and I hope she does more (go to the blog, you'll see the link there for the podcast).  I listened last night to her interviewing Lisa Congdon.  It is funny how, for me anyway, just when I'm struggling with something in my work along comes something that I need to hear or see or read that will answer some questions or solve some problem.  I loved listening to Lisa's journey as an artist.  Her openness and honesty were truly inspiring and gave me some insight into my own work.

Friday, July 22, 2011


I mentioned in my last post I bought some Ampersand Aquabord panels to try.  They are interesting to paint on.  It does really feel like painting on paper, at least the texture of some papers, though there is a hardness.  I'm still trying to figure out an effective wash, particularly with the lighter colors, it tends to end up a bit blotchy or streaky for me so far.  And just to make my life more challenging, as if trying new materials isn't enough, I had to try out some new ideas I've been thinking about in terms of subject matter.  Sigh.  So things keep moving around and changing, which makes this panel kind of handy because you can almost totally remove the paint off it (a plus and a minus as you'll see if you keep reading).  I'm liking where things are now, but we'll see later today when I get to work again.

I did research these panels a little further and found that though Ampersand seems to recommend them primarily for watercolors, people have enjoyed using gouache and acrylic on them as well.  I found this comforting because there have been several frustrating moments when trying to apply color over an existing color I essentially end up removing both right down to the white panel.  Can't use too much water apparently.  I will keep trying, but it is nice to know that should I get to the point of no return I can just go over it with acrylic.

Also playing with Holbein Acryla Gouache (acrylic gouache):

This was done on paper, seeing how much blends after the paint is dry.  Still blends a bit, but much less so than watercolor or regular gouache (going to go over it again today to see if drying overnight changed anything).  And can I just say I love the look of this paint?  It is totally matte when dry  And so rich in color.  Course the three colors I bought (seen above) would be that way, but still.  I need to try an actual painting, or at least something a bit more than splotches, but I'm seeing more of this paint in my future. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

In the studio

Yes, another journal has been added to the stack.  We won't talk about how many I now have in use (I'm not even sure).  This one just for daily practice, as I'm sure you noticed.

I also purchased a few Ampersand Aquaboard panels.  I'm so excited to try these out.  I love working in watercolor/gouache/etc. but the thought of framing work has always been daunting.  Don't have to frame these panels so I'm hoping I fall in love with them.

With the new panels, thought I'd try a new color on the sides.  Usually I use a black/brown paint or sometimes dark brown stain, but this time I'm going light.  A little creamy white with some dark accents.  A little tricky with these Aquaboards as I didn't want to get any of the acrylic paint on the top.  Lots of careful taping.  I am curious to see how it looks with the painting complete.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Playing with water

Hello all.  Thanks so much for stopping in and leaving comments!  It is truly appreciated and inspiring.

Lately, I've been in the mood for some watercolors.  I tend to be on the lazy side when using watercolor or gouache.  I like to use lots of water, push it around, see what happens.  And rather than being overly worried about the outcome as I often am (like am I taking the water too far or losing details I want to keep), I just went for it.

Minimal colors, in this first one just black.  The next one I'm not as pleased with:

Little too much paint but I might be able to use it in something else.  And then this last one is something I like to call a game changer:

Game changers are pieces that I feel have taken me somewhere new.  It answers some questions I've had about my work and gives me some direction to where I want to go next.  Sometimes I ignore the game changers, but I've found they have a way of coming back up again.  Telling me not to ignore them.  Here is another one that comes back to me frequently:

And actually it is particularly that lower section:

Not so much what is in it, exactly, but how I did it.  It evolved.  I also like the simplicity of the colors and all that thick texture.

I'm definitely going to do some more watercolors and gouache paintings and see what comes of it.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Slowly evolving

These two paintings have had many starts and stops.  I can't even count all the layers of paintings that did not make it underneath.  Yesterday, when the most recent layer was once again not working for me and I contemplated throwing them into a cupboard for a very long time, I instead painted over them both with a light gray (acrylic) paint.  After that dried, I painted over them with a darker gray paint and before that layer dried I applied wrinkled plastic wrap over the top.  I pressed it in, rubbed it in a few areas, and then peeled it off.  After that layer dried, and while keeping in mind what the intended subjects of the paintings were, I followed along the lines I found.  I didn't follow them exactly, more inspired by them until they took off on their own.  Then I thickly painted some more light gray around those lines.  And I have to say, even the next day, I am pleased with what I see.  Here's hoping this is the start of the final paintings.  Not sure how many more layers the canvas will hold anyway.