This past month I splurged on a yoga retreat (yes fancy )to Macheros Mexico. My creative coach Nancy Cuevas and I had been brainstorming travel ideas and when she told me about this magical idea to visit the mountain forests where crowds of monarchs migrate to from North America AND do yoga….I was SO in! I’ve added some of my favorite shots to my print shop. I need to a longer write up about my trip but I wanted to quickly give an update:
We did rooftop yoga! Here’s a black and white film shot:
I love, love the pink bougainvillea that grows in Mexico and California. I wish Oregon was warm enough, I would plant these all over my yard.
Just chillin’ on a hammock with a great view at JM Butterfly BnB. The weather there is perfect nearly all year.
A view from the top of the El Rosario Buttefly Reserve. Yes I galloped on a horse to get there!
These golden wildflowers grow in meadows near the forests and the butterflies love them.
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.