So after doing some research on the expensive shipping prices for large canvases I decided to try to paint on unstretched canvas. This will make shipping much more affordable. For my mom’s gift, I can just ship them and then when I’m down there I can stretch them on stretcher bars. I’m not particularly handy but the stretching of the canvas seems doable- much easier than framing watercolors.
I purchased pre-primed canvas and made a test out of a smaller 16 x 20″ size. That way I don’t waste too much material or time in the event that my stretching is a complete fail. I did a few coats of acrylic washes and I did notice that there are some wrinkles, which concerns me, although it seems like this is normal from what I’ve read. I even tried to iron the canvas but it didn’t really do much. I think the only way to get rid of them completely is during the stretching process. I hope!
I quite like painting this way and I like how once it dries I can roll them up and not have my artwork take over all my living space.
Here’s my kitty smelling the wonderful scent of daphne which are such a treat because they bloom in the winter. I was making a lot of progress with my art in 2018 but then my poor kitty Matisse got a UTI and I had to take a pause for over a week. He’s been doing good ever sense (knock on wood) and hopefully the fancy food that I’ve been giving him will prevent him from getting one again.
Here is another floral watercolor painting in my favorite blush pink and brown color combination! I concentrated the pigment on the center of the peony and the base of the upside down lily.
Some oil painting updates
I don’t think I blogged about this painting before. This is an oil painting on a reworked acrylic painting from years ago. I was playing with Gamblin’s Torrit Grey borrowed from a fellow Portland painter, Bruce Reed. I have been to Dick Blick and they no longer have the sample paint 🙁 but apparently Gamblin gives this color out every year. I think I had in my mind to paint this amazing view of the Columbia Gorge from Lyle Washington, but at some point the painting felt done to me. My favorite part is the fleck of bright mint green, hence the name of the painting ‘Minty Cloud Abstract.’
I am also reworking an oil painting that I started last year of a crocosmia blossom against a patterned bath towel. I did not like how the colors were working together so I am making this more monochromatic. We’ll see if this comes together.
Studio Kitty Photo Break
Here’s Matisse the orange kitty with my Christmas present, a ceramic ikebana vase from a local Portland ceramic artist.
So there are things I really like about this painting. I love the purple to blue wash and the orange to purple wash. In fact I think I should have just stopped painting right then. That’s what’s always challenging…knowing when you’re done painting.
Work in Progress: Oil Painting of Cosmos
I was experimenting with trying to create washes on canvas (here canvas board). It was less than successful so I painted over with white acrylic and am now trying to paint the cosmos in oils. I kept the big blue wash on the top exposed.
Studio Kitty with Lilies
Here’s Matisse the kitty posing with some white lilies. Is it me or is he looking a little chubby? :/ I am guilty of giving into his pleas for more food. I need to cut back on the kibble.
Pink Cosmos with Magenta and Purple Blazes, 2017, 12×16
Cosmos are the last flowers standing in my garden, I think I had them even until late November. In this painting, I wanted to push the watercolor washes to see how saturated I could get the colors. I mixed the purple from magenta and blue and let the two colors mix wet-in-wet on the paper. It’s impossible to predict how the final painting will turn out!
Here’s a picture of my orange kitty who likes to look at the shiny piece of foil! Unfortunately this dude’s tummy wasn’t feeling good last night and woke me up crying at 3 am. Ignoring him, thinking he was begging for more food, he rewarded me with a wonderfully fragrant gift to pick up in the morning.
I am planning on painting several large paintings for my mother’s newly remodeled home. It’s a challenge for me since most of my work up until now has been 16 x 20 or less. I’m still debating on painting something really big or splitting the space up into diptychs or triptychs. Added to my headache is the cost of shipping.
While I was wasting time on the internet I came across this appropriate online art contest with Minted.com. They are asking for large pieces of art to print and I figured it would be a good exercise for me to go through my past artwork to see what would actually work at a larger scale. One thing that I thought was a little strange was their proposed new format is 48″ x 70″…it doesn’t seem to meet any of the standard aspect ratios (unless my math is way off) .
Here’s a dark moody floral painting perfect for the middle of winter. This is actually a piece I reworked with oil paints. I painted this in memory of my late grandmother who passed away a few years ago.
The US is going through a cold snap, with much of the country experiencing sub zero temperatures. It makes me appreciate Oregon winters, even with all the grey and rain.
Here’s some pictures of the Charles River in Boston Massachusetts in winter:
Work in Progress: Acrylic Paintings
Meanwhile before I let myself hoard more art supplies I am going through some old art rejects and painting over old canvases. Most of these were acrylic paintings that I had painted a few years ago.
Here’s an acrylic painting I started, years ago. I think I was inspired by this canteloupe:
Here I am preparing the ground with a fairly solid color. It’s interesting to me how fastidious I probably was when I painted them originally and now I am just quickly painting over them to improve them. Just goes to show one shouldn’t treat paintings as too precious.
This is what makes the Pacific Northwest spectacular..the GREEN from being a temperate rainforest. I love the moss on the trees, and the Hoh Rainforest has more types of moss than I have ever seen in my life.
It’s a tough decision but I would say the Hoh Rainforest was my favorite spot out of my week at the Olympic National Park.
It is about 45 minutes from the nearest gas station with very spotty cell reception so go prepared. We found an outdoor clothing store on the one road that connects the Hoh Rainforest entrance to 101.