Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Studio work... and old canvas' get a makeover...

Pond - oil on board - 12 x 16 - $450
available at Gallery on Gore, Perth, ON
So I finished this oil on gessoboard painting a few weeks ago. As you can see from the 'in progress' shot a few posts back, I did do a fairly major re-jig of the composition. It wasn't sitting right with me.  Now I feel it 'reads', allowing the eye to wander through the painting in a more tranquil pleasing way. 

First decisions when I begin a painting are never written in stone for me.  I like to sit back; give it some 'mantel time', work out what the painting needs/ is asking me for.  The ability to be able to change my mind, follow a different direction than perhaps my first impulse is very satisfying.  A way for something stale to become fresh again.  Speaking of old becoming new again...

varnish removal is an outside project
scraping down the lumpy impasto bits
VERY carefully, dont want to cut the canvas
this morning, I removed the varnish from some older works.  So liberating!  There is something so freeing about utilizing a canvas that has sat around annoying me for too long!  This work needs to be done outside, as a rag soaked with Gamsol has a lot of fumes, even if you cant smell the odourless mineral spirit.  After removing the old varnish, I gave the canvas a light sanding, then scraped down lumpy paint bits carefully with a blade. 

unbleached titanium acrylic covers the old title
One thing I used to do was write the title of the work on the back of my canvas after completing them.  However I have now learned this is NOT a good idea, especially if the work eventually gets a re-work and becomes something entirely different!  How do I get rid of the old title?  A little canvas coloured (unbleached  titanium) acrylic paint does the trick applied thickly with a palette knife on the back of the canvas.   I now write the titles in PENCIL along the top canvas covered stretcher frame, so that I can erase it down the road if I decide to recycle a canvas like this.

Recycling old canvas's in this way seems to work fine for oil impasto methods because the 'fat over lean' rule can still be followed on the new work.   However, it DOES NOT allow smooth thin oil washes...if I'm going to be working that way, I usually reach for a pristine new canvas!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

new quilt

New Quilt -work in progress - oil -

When I was a young college student I decorated my attic room in bright primary colours. Even then I had a love for quilts. Cheerful scraps of fabric sewn into soft and comfortable friends for snuggling.  Somehow they just bring me home. 

Here's a painting I've been working on, still in progress, but nearly there.  

The quilt itself was made by quilter extraordinaire Annette.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

exploring possibilities

My usual painting practice is rather curtailed during the process of having our house on the market, and consequently so is blogging, as any of you who may read this from time to time may notice. 

Although studio time has been disruptive, there are some advantages...the pressure is off to produce inventory for art shows which is liberating!  Instead I made a conscious decision to go with the flow and use the time I do have to explore new processes and ideas, which means experimentation and disasters too.  

Above left is something on the easel I'm working on, to show you what I'm talking about.  This is a mixed media, watercolors and oils...and I dont know entirely where I'm going with it yet, but am letting it percolate while working on other things.

I shared a special weekend with my daughter Jane in Toronto a little over a week ago, where we trekked around to view many Open Doors Toronto exhibits.  We were especially surprised and delighted to happen across an amazing contemporary art exhibit at the Monk School of Global Affairs.  The exhibit was part of the Mirvish family's private collection and it is exhibited here on a rotating basis.  What a delight that was to see!  We are standing in front of a gorgeous work by Kate Graham(it matches my outfit! ha ha)  and behind Jane is a Jack Bush painting.  It was such a treat to get to spend some time together.  Jane was just at the end of a much deserved week off after filming the 11th season of Dragons Den, where she is associate producer.