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GO TO YOUR ROOM ! I borrowed this phrase from the recently deceased Canadian painter Robert Genn who believed that there is only so much we can learn about how to paint from the many fine instructors and resources available today. The true learning comes from going off on our own and doing it - Go to your room!

I have had the good fortune to take instruction from outstanding artists in Canada and the USA. I am now focusing on my own development ( Going to MY room!) and sharing what I have learned and continue to learn. I created this blog primarily for those attending my workshops to keep in touch and to further share as we grow together. If others are interested in following that would be great.

Enjoy the journey.

Friday, 27 May 2016

ANSWER TO QUESTION: What am I using to hold my brushes



Following the last post I was asked by a couple of followers about the system I use to hold my brushes. My system is Art Box and Panels. You can purchase a brush holder with the system - a simple PVC tube that works well. For me, it was too small. So I purchased larger PVC piping, put caps on top and bottom pieces and a joiner piece to make the holder and attached with a bit of Gorilla Glue .




I drilled holes for air drying of brushes. At the appropriate height I made a double hold that will slide over a screw attached to the back corner of the palette.


The base with the brushes attaches to one side. The top holds my maul stick, straight edge, palette knives and rubber shapers and attaches to the other side. Very happy. Cheap and simple.

The other one I like is the hanging brush holder available from Guerilla Painter.
This shows it hanging from my Soltek easel.


And finally, I had two Artwork Essentials systems that I also liked and they have a really good brush holder .


Hope this helps.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

When there is nothing of interest to paint from the RV site.....



Cathy and I traveled in our RV from our Comox Valley home on Vancouver Island to Collingwood Ontario where we spend the summers.  We try to arrive at the next RV park so there is enough time for a quick sketch or plein air painting. Often as not there is just nothing of interest to paint, so I travel with a large selection of photos and refer to them. I haven't posted about my acrylic plein air set up in a while, so I thought I would combine the two.





We had a free no-travel day in Oliver BC with friends. Nothing excited me to paint and it was raining on and off. So I put out the RV awning get my photos and set up to paint.

I have owned or tried most plein air set ups. Because I paint standing and am fairly tall, I have stopped using pochade boxes - where the separation of the palette surface and the panel is very tight.  In stead I prefer a separate palette and panel holder. I now use the Art Box and Panel  and have one set for oils and one for acrylics. Simple, inexpensive and work well for me.

I hold my paint on a Masterton Stay Wet plastic palette - without paper and sponge. I mix on grayed-glass.




I use a plastic recycle box to carry my supplies strapped to a folding folding cart. A plastic board can be used to create a work table for holding supplies. I no longer back pack in to places to paint - body part problems.

I spent most of the rainy day making 12x16 sketches on linen glued to 1/8 door skin. This day, each was given an underpainting of quincradone violet. Thumbnail sketches were made to create the rough design. The sketch was transferred to the panel using acrylic marker. Each sketch took about an hour. We are now in Ontario where, when I get a chance, I will decide if any are keepers, frame and consider each and what need to be done next.






In spite of the rain, it was a fun day.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Time for a change



Its been a long winter of painting mostly large acrylic landscapes. I needed a change. So, for the week prior to our driving back to Ontario I got out my water mixable oils for the first time in well over a year and decided to try my hand at portraiture again. But this time I wanted to be loose, to almost paint the face like a landscape - large brushes, bold strokes, and fast intuitive painting. Most of my earlier portraits are too highly rendered for my taste today. They lacked "energy".

I started with a generic female face.


Then decided to try my hand, once again, at some family portraits - but not feel the need to be "correct" - still hoping for a resemblance.


Made initial sketches with water mixable pencils then finalized using acrylic markers. Began with a wash of acrylic quin. crimson and shaded in dark areas.



 All painting was done with large firm angular brushes (brights) - Opus Legatto and Rosemary synthetics. All done 8x10. Target was to complete from first drawing to finish of one hour. Most went overtime. All were done in one sitting. The sketch below, of my grandson, was the first, done the fastest and my favorite of the group.



My daughter in law and grand daughter under warm night lights - very abstracted. 12x12




I made another 6 pieces. Not great portraiture but great fun and nice to do some risk taking to see what would happen. Starting to feel comfortable working with oils again.

To answer an earlier question I use water mixable oils for the easy soap and water clean up - I don't have health concerns. I use it with water or odorless mineral spirits. I like Winsor Neuton Artisan Quick Dry medium.

Tomorrow, off to Ontario in our RV. Will be doing a painting demo on Sunday May 8 at Avens Gallery, Canmore, Alberta.

Cheers.