Saturday, May 31, 2014

A Winner!

Thanks to all of you who have commented on my Open Acrylics post and giveaway.  First, I want to address some questions that came up:
  • Yes, the Opens are great for use with the gel plate.  See this post for a demo.  They are also fabulous for dry climates.
  • Yes, I use the High Flow Acrylics too.  See this post for a demo.
  • Here is a tip from Joanne S that I thought I'd share:  "this little hint for keeping the paint out of the neck of the tube and cap for easy opening the next time you need it. After you squeeze some paint on the palette, stand the tube upright and tap it a few times on the table top. All the paint will settle down in the tube and won't backfill into the cap so no more stuck caps if a tube has to sit a while."
  • Exactly how long do the Opens take to dry? How long is "forever"?  Depends on the humidity.  Test it in your studio. Golden recommends an application no thicker than a dime.
  • Colleen:  YES, I will come to California to teach as soon as someone invites me.  Anyone out there:  please suggest any CA venues you think might be a good fit.  Ditto Dallas.
  • The Van Dyke Brown is straight up paint, not a glaze and not mixed with any medium.
  • I'm not really ambidextrous.  Only with some kinds of marks.  I write with my left, and do most other things with my right (slice bread, throw, hammer, lift, etc.).  In painting and drawing it seems natural to use both the fine motor skill (left) and broad sweeping gestures (right).
Now, the winner is.... S.J.Killian!  If you do not contact me in the next several days (I'll give you until Tuesday), then I'll pick another winner at random. Congratulations - e-mail me with your mailing address.

Now, some visuals having nothing to do with Open Acrylics.  Here a little progression of on of a group of piece I'm working on.  They are all 19.5" x 25.5", or Big Fat Art size.

This is many layers in, but still just a beginning.

A few layers more found the piece here.

This piece seemed to call for covering up more and more color.

See what I mean?  And since this photo, I've painted over even more.

I'll post more of these sequences in a few days.  Maybe even some finished pieces.  Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Subtractive Techniques with Open Acrylics - a GIVEAWAY!

I am probably not the best person to show you this technique because I haven't used it much in my own work.  However, I found myself scratching lines through paint using various tools, and thought that Golden Open Acrylics would be particularly useful if you wanted to draw into wet paint and take your time.  Regular acrylics dry pretty quickly, which limits the time you have to work them.  Golden Open Acrylics take forever to dry unless applied in a very thin coat.  You can modify them, as you'll see in the video, to make the drying time a little quicker, by mixing them with regular heavy body acrylic paint or with a regular acrylic medium. 

I am offering a GIVEAWAY of a set of Golden Open Acrylics, plus I'm throwing in two tubes of metallic Open Acrylics. To enter, please comment on this post.  You must live in the US or Canada, and it is your responsibility to check in to see who the winner is on Saturday, May 31.  The winner can contact me via e-mail to give me a mailing address. 
Here is the set I am giving away: six tubes of Open Acrylic in a starter set, plus two regular sized tubes in Iridescent Gold and Iridescent Copper.
This is the sample from the first part of the demo

This is a demo piece using only VanDyke Brown (transparent) on a ground of Hard Molding Paste.

 For the ground I am using Hard Molding Paste, which gives you a surface like porcelain.  For more information and videos on Open Acrylics, go to Golden's web site.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Notes from the Studio in May, or How Do You Know When Your Piece Is Finished

Back in the studio it's slow going.  After being away for a while teaching I usually feel a bit tentative coming back to the studio routine.  Out of my groove, flailing around looking for something I don't know what.  So I went back to these 20"x20" pieces I started in March, and worked on them a bit.  I'm working on some 3'x3' canvases too, and smaller pieces I started during the workshops on Whidbey Island (see previous two posts).

One of the drawings started here.

Several layers deep here, beginning to take shape

This might be done, but I'm not sure.*

I'm not sure where this started, but it is one of the drawings begun in March, which you can see here.  I seem to be on a roll with these orb shapes.

Or not.  This got a makeover, or a fresh start, or a "monkey wrench" at this point.

Back to the orbs I guess.  Still in process.
 * I am often asked the question:  How do you know when a piece is finished?  There is a long answer, which I try to give at workshops.  And as I give the long answer, I'm trying to find it for myself as well.  It is not a neatly packaged answer, but involves tangents and detours.  The short version is this:  you know that a piece is finished when it isn't bugging you for more development.  When the piece gives you that "a Ha" feeling, and there isn't one thing about it that is niggling at you, then it is done.  When the conversation is over, your piece stops "talking" to you and stands on its own two feet. 

If you don't know if it's finished, it is not finished.  About my piece above, third image from the top, I say I'm not sure if it's finished.  So it's not.  It may only need to sit for a few days, at which time I may declare it finished.  Or I may see what has to happen to move it forward.  So, even if your piece does not need another mark, it isn't finished until it says it's finished.

The practice is not How-To-Finish-Your-Art in ten easy steps; and it isn't about going through a checklist of compositional principles (though that can be helpful if you don't know what is bugging you about a piece).  The practice is being honest with yourself (not rationalizing or explaining) and cultivating awareness of that gut feeling that tells you the piece speaks to you, expresses YOUR voice.  Key word here is "cultivate".  It's an ongoing practice; keep cultivating.  Namaste.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Monoprint Collage At Pacific Northwest Art School

Here are a few pictures from the Monoprint Collage class at Pacific Northwest Art School in Coupeville, WA, on Whidbey Island.  In September I'll be back doing my Big Fat Art workshop, which is full, but you can get on the wait list.

Lucie's Works In Progress.  See her BLOG POST about this workshop.

Anca - one of MANY

Another of Anca's many pieces.

BJ's stripes.  These were a continuation of work BJ did in the Abstract Painting class, in which we used stripes as a format for exploring Series work.

One of Deborah's grid-based compositions.

Lucie's work table

One of Marilyn's grid-based pieces, in progress

Melanie's work table

One of Susan's grid-based monoprint collages

Another of Susan's

One of M's stacked shapes.

Another of M's pieces

One of Michelle's Vessel Series in progress
The theme of the four-day Abstract Painting workshop was "Series as Process".  This theme segued nicely into the two-day Monoprint Collage class.  The technique naturally lends itself to series work.

I was thinking that next year at PNWAS,  the four-day workshop, starting on May 31, could be "Gel Plate Monoprint: Series as Starting Point", and the two-day might be a workshop on using Yupo with India ink and mixed media.  Your thoughts?

My next workshop this year is at the Omega Institute, the week of July 6 - 11.  Register here, see more information here.  See a video here.  Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

More Pix From Whidbey Island

 Here are a few more pictures from my Abstract Painting workshop at Pacific Northwest Art School in Coupeville, WA.  The focus of the workshops was "Series as Process"; we started out with the common idea of stripes, and then diverged into our own individual themes.  Below is a little sampling of student work.  Tomorrow we start a two day Monoprint Collage workshop, using the GelliArts gel plate.  Fun fun FUN!  Coupeville is an AWESOME place to teach!  Great space, great students, and fabulous location.


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Photos from the Pacific Northwest

I'm teaching at the Pacific Northwest Art School this week.  Here are some photos.


Me with Kelli

Liane and Me

Me and Melanie
More later.  Gtg.  Having a BLAST here!!