Tuesday, January 25, 2011


No, I didn't stay out all night and now I can't leave the house for a week.

(Actually, that sounds quite appealing right about now...)

We're talking painting grounds, that particular surface or substrate that we choose to use for our art.  This past Saturday I attended a "Gritty Grounds" workshop at Positive Strokes, our neighborhood art school and gallery.  The class was led by Sandi Bacon, the local rep for Golden Paints, and was an overview of some of the products that can be used to create textured grounds for all media.  Basically, it was a perfect excuse to have fun and splash some paint around on a cold winter day.

Did I bring my camera to the workshop?  Of course.  Did I bother to take any pictures during the paint splashing frenzy?  Of course not.  Next time, I promise.

Here are some of the results of the experiments:

This was my favorite.  A thin layer of Light Molding Paste was applied to watercolor paper, then fluid acrylic color was washed over the paste.  Once the paste was dry, the experiments began.  On the left, more paste was applied through a stencil.  In the middle, shapes were carved into the paste.  And on the right, another thin layer of paste was applied which lightly veiled the original wash.  Then more color was washed over the whole piece.  Lots of wonderful texture and color variation!

In this example, fluid acrylics were washed and applied opaquely over Coarse Molding Paste.

And here, paint was washed over paper coated with Iridescent Gold and some Glass Bead Gel.

This time, paint was washed over Absorbent Ground for Pastels (I think, can't quite remember all the grounds.  Must learn to write these things down....).  After a little washing and scratching, a layer of Glass Bead Gel was applied over the left side.

Here's a close-up, angled shot of the Glass Bead Gel.

There were a few other fun paint-flinging experiments done, but they were slightly wet, and managed to adhere themselves together by the time I got home.  All in all, a fun and informative workshop.  Now I feel the need to don my Mad Scientist gear, and go apply some of this newfound creativity to some unsuspecting subject.

Oh, and speaking of workshops, I am positively lightheaded with anticipation to be traveling to Hilton Head Island to attend a Karin Jurick workshop in November.  I promise I will take pictures at that one!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Motivation, Interrupted

No, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth,  I can at least thank the force of gravity for that.  It's been a simple case of being mired in the Doldrums, where any hint of a creative spark was promptly doused by a bucket full of "meh".  My Muse took a vacation, and was probably lounging on a beach somewhere with the Travelocity Gnome.

To be sure that my brain was still working, and not reduced to just a gelatinous mass whose sole purpose is to keep my skull from collapsing inward like a dying planet, I prodded a few inert neurons into life and sat down at the easel to do a little alla prima painting.

Now, I'm not an alla prima kinda gal.  I don't whip up a painting in a single sitting like a cake recipe.  I tweak.  I adjust.  I calibrate.  I fully admit that I'm powerless over my addiction to multiple layers of glazing.  But this was all about zapping dormant creativity back to life, so here goes.

The sketch was done on black gessoed paper, then a Cad Red Light underpainting was applied.

First some background....

Then on to the turtle herself....

And finally, an alla prima painting:

I had to make myself put down the brushes and back away from the easel before my trembling hand could reach for the glazing liquid.  But like the Polar Bear Series before her, I can see the potential for experimenting with various techniques with this subject.'s good to be back.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

In With The New

...oh, hi.  Didn't see you come in.  Yes, it's me here behind this stack of Christmas storage boxes.  We have successfully celebrated, caroled, and noel-ed ourselves into a stupor.  After finally having the time to pose our reluctant bunch of canines in front of the tree for their annual holiday snapshot, the trimming and detritus of  the holidays were swiftly packed, parceled, bagged and stored.  Now the abode doesn't look like a halfway house for indigent reindeer and wayward elves anymore. 

I hope your holidays were safe and sound, merry and bright, and you enjoyed the company of family and friends.  As this new year gets underway, I wish you all health and happiness, and hope all of your New Year's wishes find a way of coming true...

 ...especially the artistic ones!