I cannot seem to get cactus out of my head. I just love the prickly nature of the desert. I have been trying to capture that "prickliness" in my work. When I look at the Sonoran desert, I see it as one big vast sea of needles! Needles and sharp things everywhere! I have been scribing into the paint and that seems to capture the prickliness very well. I make a glaze using high gloss gel and paint with it using a brush. I then use an old jewelry tool to do the scribing.
I am still in the throes of my classes. I really love the Mucho Metallics class the best so far. I am learning so much from this class. You can't really see the metallic paint in this piece but rest assured it is there.
I did take a bit of a break this weekend. My grandson was invited to his friend's Quincenera party and he was invited to be part of the procession. He looked grand in his tuxedo. At first we thought it was a little odd that the tux had to be white with white shoes. I am used to seeing black tuxes. But the boys all looked great and the girls looked beautiful as well. I would post a photo of him but I don't want to embarass him.
Anyway, with that over, he has two more big things coming up. He has his class trip to NYC in two weeks. Not much to do there to get him ready other than help him pack and get him to the bus on time at 5AM...(yikes) and then of course there is middle school graduation at the end of June. I cannot believe he is going into high school in the fall.
I spent the past two days in my studio cleaning and throwing things out. I had so many old paintings that I no longer care for. Some were over 30 years old. They were all on canvas and they have been taking up so much room in my studio it was getting old. I didn't throw out the paintings though. I simply removed them from their stretchers and rolled them up all together. That way I still have the work without taking up so much room. Out of over a hundred paintings I saved about 10 on the stretchers. These were ones I still love and want to be able to hang.
I also threw away many old sketchbooks. The sketches were not that great and the paper was yellow. The bindings were all broken. They were a mess and there were over 50 of them. Gone. I feel so free now. Like I can make new work and not feel cramped by all the very old work.
When you have been painting for as long as I have you get to the point where you know what needs to go away.
I still have more things to get rid of. I am donating all my jewelry tools and polymer clay to the local art center. That in itself will free up a ton of space. Next to go are my many books. Those will go to the local library. I feel really good about all this purging. When we finally make the move to Arizona in 4 years I will be free of a lot of stuff.
All with Julie Prichard and Chris Cozen. They were having a sale this month and since you always have access to the classes I thought I would save myself a bit of money.
I think I have said this before but their classes are the best online classes out there. Everything is so professional. The videos are easy to watch and watching both of them paint is so helpful. Just seeing how the paint should be handled has really been enlightening. Watching Julie paint reminds me a little of Bob Ross only without "happy little trees"! She is great and she is funny!
Right now I am focusing mainly on the metallics class and the color class. I would never have imagined that I needed a class in color since I have been painting for over 40 years but it is really helping me.
When you paint with watercolors and oils as I did for years, you have limited color choices. For colors you have the cadmiums, the cobalts, a few yellows and maybe a green or two. With watercolor I never used white or black. With oils, the only mediums you have are linseed oil and turpentine.
With acrylics it is a whole other world. I never understood all the weird named colors. The quinacridones, the nickel azos, the anthriquinines! Yikes. I am now getting a handle on these colors and how they work. I now know that there are modern pigments and mineral pigments. How to get mud. How to avoid mud. And best of all how to use black and white!
Today I discovered a new color called Micaceous Iron Oxide. I had heard of it before but never tried painting with it. It is quite different in look and feel than other Golden Paints but it really gives an interesting color and texture when mixed with other colors. It is hard to see in the scan but take my word it is well worth buying this color!
It works particularly well in glazes. On page 92 of the book Acrylic Solutions by Chris Cozen and Julie Prichard there are multiple formulas for some fantastic glazes using this as well as other metallic paints. In the painting above I used a couple of different ones for glazing.
I spent the day today mixing up some of these glazes which you can see here:
I couldn't make all the glazes as I am missing a couple of colors. Isn't that always the case though?