Why do you work in the medium you do? I was originally taught how to do oil paintings when I was young and I continue to learn. I found oils great for my lifestyle, I can come back to them after a day or more and they will be still workable. Studying a piece over days helps me to form an idea of what I want to do next changing the colors, lines and composition. Change is more easily accomplished. The medium allows for slower or faster drying times depending on the mix or additives put into it. Oils generally have deep rich colors and you can usually tell an oil from an acrylic. I really enjoy the creamy consistency and they way I can blend colors either on the palette or the canvas. Layering colors after they dry has a wonderful effect.
Painting Techniques and Styles
There are almost as many techniques as there are styles. Wet on wet or alla prima, palette knife, imprimatura, plein air, sfregazzi, sfumato, impasto or scumbling. Alla prima is a lot of fun and lends itself to plein air painting because it is usually completed in one session. Sgraffito is a technique where you can scratch through layers of paint exposing different colors underneath and adding texture at the same time. Sfumato is a technique of using very soft gradual transitions from light to dark. Leonardo Da Vinci has good examples of this. Impasto is thick paint applied that helps to catch light and shadows, sometimes built up for effect and usually done on stronger supports. Scumbling is speckled, broken color applied so color underneath shows through. This gives a painting a sense of depth and color variation.
This is an example of impasto.
This is an example of the scumbling technique.
I have also always loved pastel chalks because of the light airy effects I can achieve. The colors can be bright and cheerful. Blending this powdery medium is a lot of fun as is layering. Softness is easily achieved and hard edges or lines are too. They are a bit messy though.
I have recently been exploring acrylics because of their fast drying times. I am hoping it will be a great new way for me to travel without wet oil painting when I do plein air. Oils have a habit of getting onto everything if you aren’t careful. It seems to travel where you don’t want it sometimes. Acrylic is more easily cleaned and water is safer and readily available. Other additives can be put into acrylics to affect the drying times and blending too.
Experimenting with oil pastels sounds like a lot of fun. I am excited that there is so much to learn and experience with my art questing.
To purchase my art on a variety of cool things visit my other art stores.
Am I traveling for my art? I would love to travel more than I do. I try to get out on a continuous basis, especially during the golden hours. If you were not aware, the golden hours are the hours around sunrise and sunset. That time of day is great for capturing awesome photos. It would be difficult to do any plein air work because of the short time period. That may be quite a challenge, but probably a good exercise to try to get that light in a quick painting.
Travel Locally, Travel Abroad
I do have opportunities to travel all over New England. Wherever I go I plan to take some art supplies with me like sketchbooks, chalk, a limited palette, camera and desire to learn and explore. I have gone to Florida, Texas and all points in between. I would love to travel more, but unfortunately my finances don’t allow me that luxury. It is also hard to travel with oil paintings as they are wet for so long. I am very tempted to try using acrylics with maybe an extender in them, so they do not dry out as fast.
Be in the Moment
We have gone camping, hiking and sightseeing in many places. I love nature. We often go to museums, art shows and galleries when we travel, there is great inspiration at these places. I would urge you to go to as many of those places as you can. I find things constantly in my journeys so fascinating I want to stop everywhere. I could only imagine what it would be like if I could afford to go to so many of those awesome places out there that I have not explored.
For now I will be content with where I am and exploring not only what is around me, but what is also inside me.
Okay, well, I am always busy. I am working on promoting my art, through social media, selling on several sites like Redbubble, Society6, and Zazzle. I spend time getting on sites like Instagram and Reddit to expose my art because I like to get feedback and constructive criticism. Watching tons of videos about art and artists helps me to learn new techniques. I get inspired by other artists and find their passion contagious.
Lately I’ve been really doing a lot of digital art and manipulation because the weather here in Connecticut has not been very good. My Goldfish was an original pastel painting that I experimented with. I use a lot of different software and find this a great outlet for my creativity.
It has been very rainy and humid, and while this does give some opportunity for some great pictures, it isn’t the best situation for en plein air painting. Although a lot of these pictures seem dull and gray, I may just play around with them because I think they are pretty..
Painting in Progress
At my studio I need to work on this painting that was done en plein air at my sister in law’s farm up in New Hampshire. I would love to add more color to this also. Just wondering how I want to proceed with that, so it’s cooking in my brain.
Be Socially Involved
I seek the company of other artists both in real life and online. Going to art shows, museums and events are something I do on a regular basis. I also volunteer in a myriad of ways like setting up art shows, judging, advertising, serving on commissions, and fundraising. I get to meet a lot of people this way. There is always something for me to do.
To purchase my art on a variety of cool things visit my other art stores.
I find inspiration everywhere. Inspiration comes from just noticing and looking around myself through what I like to call an artist’s eyes, looking differently at all things. Looking beyond. Taking the time to notice. The sky, ocean, reading a book, visiting museums, seasonal changes, friends, hiking, weather, any trip and even my own back yard offer opportunities. Combining different objects and views offer me an almost unlimited and rich tapestry to chose from.
Choosing my Art
I find it helpful to chose what will motivate me and things that I love. The art is an expression of what I like and how I feel about a specific topic. It is very personal, and in this way it compels me to create. Almost as if i’ve been struck by lightening that travels down my arm and into my hands, it is something that must be done.
I think I am addicted to both the known results of a piece and the unknown surprises. It’s predictability lends itself to a certain comfort and it is unpredictable in pleasant and sometimes unpleasant ways at the same time. There is a certain balance. Creating is also experimentation to some extent and there is an unlimited amount of ways to experiment. It’s about capturing a moment in time.
I think art almost all the time, it is a distraction and yet is a very powerful way to communicate. Art is everywhere, it is essential.
Welcome to my Blog and artist website. Let’s talk about Art – these questions and more I intend to answer. Ask me questions, let me know your answers to these too. Let’s share and support each other.
How do you find inspiration?
What are you currently working on?
Are you traveling for your art?
What is your process like?
Who are your favorite artists?
How did you teach yourself?
What was the most valuable thing you learned in art school?
Who is your mentor and what did they teach you?
Why do you create art?
What is your favorite piece you’ve created?
What is your favorite piece by another artist?
Why do you work in the medium that you do?
What is your favorite place to create in?
Describe your “Year in Review”.
I am searching for more topics to write about and would love to have a guest blogger here too. Sometimes being an artist can be isolating so let’s take the opportunity to network. Tell me about your travels or who has inspired you. Are you self taught? What school have you gone to? What inspires you?
I am excited to share and learn, so welcome to my Blog and artist website!