Category Archives: Shopping

Design I Like: Beam & Anchor

I follow Beam & Anchor on Instagram,  they ‘re a cool Portland retailer that has an awesome selection of merchandise.

I want this linen apron.  

Or this linen towel.

Beam and Anchor

Linen is so beautiful. How come art stores don’t carry pre stretched raw linen art panels in these colors?

This simple geometric stand for jewelry is kinda impractical for me since I don’t wear a ton of jewelry. But I love the elegance of its form and it’s not ridiculously expensive.

Beam and Anchor

 

A fun, Scandinavian towel in lovely shades of mustard yellow. Also not ridiculously priced.

Beam and Anchor

Acrylics and Grounds

An acrylic painting

I’m sitting in this mess of a room, looking at piles of artwork from the past year and half or so… and I’m thinking what was I thinking. So much of it is cringe worthy and I want to throw  them in the trash/recycling right now. In the spirit of Big Magic, I have to remind myself not to be too hard on myself, that all of that time and effort was part of the process of learning watercolor…which is seductively expressive and hard to control.

Meanwhile, as I have just started to get a grasp on watercolors, of course I’m back to trying to figure out acrylics. I have a huge tub of heavy body (Golden made up that term, not me, at least they didn’t call it hard body) acrylics in all sorts of fun colors. How much money I surely have wasted on different brands and types of paints… it never ends. Now though, I want to know more about the fluid types of acrylics that Golden produces, as well as all of the fun mediums that you can add to acrylic. They also produce a new line of “modern” watercolors, called Qor watercolors that of course I need to try. Sigh. As a side note, I have to give a kudos to all of the paint companies, their product specialists surprisingly will respond to emails pretty much the same day with informative advice. Comcast and Frontier, this is customer service!

But, after all of that, I came to this conclusion.  The softer, more absorbent ground is better for acrylic, it kind of counteracts the plasticy shininess that acrylic has when it is dried. So something like printmaking paper, like  Rives BFK, is terrible for watercolors. In fact I even think most of the Arches is too absorbent for watercolors, it feels like painting on a paper towel. But they seem to do well with acrylic.  Scott from Golden recommended I try their specially formulated Absorbent Ground.

The less absorbent the ground, like adding matte medium to your gesso or using papers that I like, are better for watercolors.

I’m still undecided as to how this works when you have a super slick ground like vellum or yupo…and you have acrylic, watercolor, and gouache.  Also not sure what how rice papers rate on this “scale” of absorbent grounds.  And oils man. OK my head hurts.

Some of the products that I want to try:
Fluid Matte Medium 
Absorbent Ground
Matte Fluid Acrylic (can I get my matte greys!)
GAC 100 (Scott recommended that I use a  medium like this to turn my paint tube paints into the fluid types)

Have any of you had any success with these art supplies? And despite it appearing like it, no, unfortunately I am not sponsored by Golden but would love it if they sent me free samples 🙂

I have to remember, that I have this stack of rejects that I should use when testing new types of paints and techniques!

Acrylic test
acrylic test on paper

 

Acrylic test on canvas
Acrylic test on canvas

More from my Seattle trip: Food and Shopping

Seattle’s Pioneer Square is so charming. Look at all the ivy-covered brick buildings.

Like Portland, Seattle has so many cute shops and cafes. We stopped so I could get my coffee fix at this one shop (The London Plane) with an amazing floral selection.

Look at this teeny anemone by the register – so perfect I almost thought it was fake.

The market at Pike’s Place had rows and rows of tulips, every variety you could imagine. If I hadn’t been concentrating so hard on my artisan greek yogurt (Ellenos), I would have more pictures of them.

West Seattle is like being at a beach town on the coast, except you’re still in the city. On one side you can see Puget Sound and from other view you can see Mount Rainier and the Space Needle.

The ‘downtown’ area of West Seattle near California Ave was super cute. I had the best lunch (Pellegrini Market) of handmade lamb meatballs on a pizza crust sandwich thing and I devoured it. There were also cute little shops with more flowers.