Tuesday, 27 June 2017

My New Friends

Okay the jury isn't quite in but acrylic paints may become my new best friends.  I am still struggling and there is a lot more to learn than with oils.  Oil paint was more consistent.  On really hot days it softened up and on really cold days it stiffened up but not annoyingly.  Acrylic paint on the other hand is very humidity sensitive.  Some days it doesn't dry at all and I can blend as with oils and on others it seems to dry before I get it to my panel.  I can spritz water and/or retarder but the question is how much on any given day.

These three paintings were all painted with acrylic paint on three different days.  The paintings don't excite me but my progress does.  Once I learn to work with their idiosyncrasies I think I may love them.  They allow me to work back to front instead of dark to light or light to dark and that has many advantages.

 The first painting was painted at Cedar Haven farm.  An inspiring location that is very artist friendly.  The clouds aren't perfect but maybe my best so far.  The other two were painted at the farm of a friend.  I told Deb that I could paint on her property once a week for a year and I would still want to come back which reminds me that I do need to get back up to visit my friends at LongLane Bed and Breakfast again.  There are still lots of paintings to be done there too.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Painting Darkness

I have only ever attempted a nocturne once before and I failed miserably so I was both excited and nervous to be standing on top of the escarpment watching the sunlight fading and city lights slowly blinking on.

When painting outside, at night, we try to limit the time spent looking at our dimly lit board and palette so that we can maintain our night vision.  This also means that when we look at our painting with a flashlight our pupils are wide open and the painting looks nice and bright.  When I actually saw this painting in daylight I was surprised to see how dark it was.  All in all it was an amazing experience and I am very excited about the result.

Onward and outward.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

This is Fun

I have been struggling.  I was fighting with oils so I switched back to my trusty watercolours and struggled even more.  I want to develop some skill with acrylics so that I can use them on canoe trips and when travelling so I decided to play with them for a while.  In the past I used them thick out of the tube just as I would oils and that didn't work very well for me.  I couldn't deal with how fast they dried. Monday I misted my palette with water and a little retarder and voila.  I had a blast.  The paint stayed wet long enough to use my oil painting skills and yet dried fast enough that I could paint over sections that I didn't like.  Did I just find my medium?  Maybe.

Painting is fun again.

This was painted on a very grey day at the end of Ferrie Street in Hamilton.  It was cool and very damp.  It had rained all morning and the solid grey sky started to break up into rolling cloud masses just as we started to paint.

Sunday I will be painting Coote's Paradise from the "High Level Bridge" as part of the "Day on the Bridge" festivities.  There will be beer and wine tents, food trucks, live music and one of the best views anywhere.  It should be the perfect storm for me.  I can't wait now.