Friday, January 30, 2015

revisiting LaCarte

In July of 2013 I painted a pastel on LaCarte paper - a coarser surface than my favorite Wallis. At that time, I wanted a soft look for the painting shown above so it was a bit of a struggle. Today I pulled the painting out and began lifting color off with a hog bristle brush.

Here you can see the color of the paper showing through. As I lifted, removed and added more color, my mind was occupied with good thoughts of my former father-in-law who passed away today. I was painting on auto-pilot. At some point, I realized I was loving this paper!

"Godspeed" is sitting on my easel...I'm thinking about it. And, I wonder if I have anymore LaCarte. For those of you who are not familiar with this paper, you CANNOT get it wet and since I usually work with an underpainting, I have avoided it. Hope I have another sheet in my flat file.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

acrylic underpainting for pastel

A few days ago I painted an acrylic under painting on Wallis paper. Finally got back to it today.

Path to Gold Creek, pastel, 13 x 17.25 inches

Friday, January 23, 2015

glory days II

For my sanity, I had to end the week with a pastel. Glory Days II, pastel, 13x17 inches.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

second trio and goodbye pretty

If you read my posts of January 13 and 15, you saw my pretty reference photo. I've worked with that photo before as a lesson on value but can't remember completing a painting to send out into the world. Now, here I am again, using the same reference photo for the second trio of acrylic paintings. And, once again, I'm losing interest in this pretty scene. Give me wild, unkempt, tangled nature and I'm inspired to paint. The above painting - about 70% complete - is as far as I got before I started gagging on pretty. The other two panels have been painted over, scrubbed, poked and prodded and I'm starting to get somewhere (somewhere I want to go) with them.

Love the top half of this. Just before leaving the studio last night, I took a wet paper towel and scrubbed off the lower half. I'll start on that again today.

This one will probably be a loose interpretation of the pretty reference photo. Back and forth, paint on, paint off. Running from "pretty."

Monday, January 19, 2015

acrylics to Cole Gallery

Tomorrow I will deliver the first three acrylics of 2015 to Cole Gallery for their annual Anniversary Show. The Opening Party is 6:30 - 9:00 PM, February 7th.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Second Trio Step Two

Here they are again, this time with the darkest value added. I noticed when working with interactive acrylics that sometimes in my enthusiasm, I accidentally lifted off too much value so today I applied varying amounts of acrylic Lamp Black, NOT interactive. And, to keep it loose, I used a rubber spatula instead of a brush.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

a little preparation

Continuing from yesterday...
As I started to work on the three little acrylic foundations I posted yesterday it occurred to me that it would be easier to reformat the reference photo from the vertical format to a square. Then, once I started playing with the photo - which, by the way, I am amazed I could actually find in my computer - I couldn't help looking at the composition and values so I used PhotoShop to change the focus of the light to keep it more in the middle. Below is the adjusted reference photo that I will be working from.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

next three acrylics

The next three acrylic experiments are on the easel. Color is arbitrary - brushfulls of paint applied to white Ampersand Gessobord while I was cleaning my acrylic palette. I lifted color off using a paper towel and/or brushes. Also, I misted the first one with water and let it run. These three are starting out as the same scene using a reference photo from September 2011- see my sketchbook entry below. The original painting from this photo shoot of the Cedar River was used as an Art Journal Blog post called The value of value.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

sunrise on our pond

Faithful, acrylic, 6 x 6 inches
I have been meaning to paint scenes from where we live now but I keep getting side-tracked. Fnally, this one is the sunrise over our backyard pond. I have included the reference photo so you can better see my interpretation. I am enjoying the give and take of the interactive acrylics and the ability to lift color. For more information on this medium, see the December 2014 issue of The Artist's Magazine for an article by my friend, Cathy Woo. This is the third acrylic painting of my Leap to Faith trio.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

painting with faith

With Faith, acrylic, 6 x 6 inches
I am holding on to faith that I will be able to pull off another acrylic painting. I'm working with only one, 1" brush on these little 6x6 inch Ampersand Gessobord panels. When I move to larger work I will have more space to finesse my angular strokes. Right now, I'm enjoying glazing for color and dragging a tacky brush over the surface for texture. Once again, I have done composition check by turning the painting. None of the views annoy me so I'm done.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Turn, turn, turn

As I was framing "Leap to Faith," I enjoyed the yin/yang of the piece as I rotated it. The balance of light and dark is pleasing to me each way.

Friday, January 2, 2015


Leap to Faith, acrylic, 6 x 6 inches
Well, I have to say I am pretty excited about acrylics! If you have been following this blog, you know that this little painting began as a Notan done with regular black acrylic paint (not open or interactive) on a white Ampersand Gessobord panel. It has been hanging around my studio for about a year.

I began work on it a few days ago using Atelier INTERACTIVE acrylics on top of the black and white foundation. What fun! I have been able to glaze, wipe off, start again, poke, prod, lift and rub with a cloth to create a little painting of simple shapes and masses and subtle color. I don't know why I have avoided acrylic paint for so long. Well, yes I do was because I want soft edges and I didn't know it was possible to get them with acrylics. The color on this little painting was built in many layers creating nuances of hues and luminosity. I don't think the photo does it justice.

I have been packing up my studio for our spring move and I'm surprised how many acrylic paints I have. After I work with the interactive type for a while and gain more faith in my ability with this new medium, I plan to move on to the regular acrylics simply because I have them. I am leaping TO faith - not scary because I'm painting just for myself without the pressure of shows or gallery commitments.


I'm going to be working toward simplification in 2015. Simplification in my finished work (simplified shapes and values) as well as in the way I work. In the Spring, my studio and office will be separated. No more tempting dings from the computer when a new email comes in. Yes, I know I could just turn down the volume but it wouldn't work. I would become curious, stop painting and go to the computer and look.

Acrylic seems like a simple medium so I'm trying it. No solvents, easy clean up. Shown above are the three little paintings and my first hour of exploration with acrylic paint. So far, so good. In fact, some nice surprises and glazing and lifting color back off (a favorite technique of mine in all mediums). I don't know where these three little paintings will end up but today, I am hopeful.

Thursday, January 1, 2015


I found three old 6x6 inch Ampersand Gessbord panels with black acrylic Notan paintings in my studio. The middle one looks like the whole panel was painted black then white acrylic created the Notan. These are perfect little foundations for me to begin playing with the Atelier Interactive acrylics I want to try. Stay tuned.

Nōtan is a Japanese design concept involving the play and placement of light and dark as they are placed next to the other in art and imagery.