Wednesday, August 24, 2011

New Show at the Foyer Gallery!

A few posts ago, I announced that I had been juried into the Foyer Gallery of the Nepean Sportsplex in Ottawa as a permanent member. Today, my first group show in that delightful gallery opens and will run until Sept. 11. This show, called Pure, is to focus the work of the 8 new gallery members. Please have a look at the slideshow showing a sample of the work of the new gallery artists.You are all invited to the opening reception on Sept. 1, from 7 pm to 9 pm. I have 5 of my paintings in the show.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Experimental Painting Finished and Varnished

The Two Sisters
I have varnished my orchid painting and I am showing it here with a thin black frame that I have found for it. I have to admit that I am very pleased with the results. I took this picture inside tonight, so the colors may not be quite accurate, but I find the colors brighter and nicer than before the varnishing.

In case you have not read my previous posts, this was really an experimental piece since I glued the watercolor paper to a .75 inch thick cradled wool panel before painting.  I had some worries about the paper coming unglued at some edges when I used a lot of water, but all seems nice and solid now. The colors remained brighter on this surface than on my regular paper...hard to say why.

I was in a rush to find a frame for this 16" X 16" panel :I have an art show on Saturday and then, if this does not sell, it will be part, as of next Monday, of my first hanging in the Foyer Gallery ( Nepean Sportsplex) where  I have been juried in as a permanent member. For the time being, I have just put the frame over the painting; tomorrow, I will try to convince my framing shop to frame it while I wait ( I usually frame my watercolors myself, but I am not familiar with this type of frame). 

Would I use this technique again? Absolutely!...Unless some major problem develops with this painting in the next few hours ( heaven forbid!). I love the idea of not having to frame under glass!

What about " The Two Sisters" as a title?

Your thoughts?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Experimental painting almost - the varnishing!

Untitled for now

Here is the almost completed experimental watercolor painting on a 16" X 16" X .75" wood panel. I glued the paper to the panel before painting instead of gluing the finished painting to a prepared wood panel as I have done in the past.

Observations so far:
  • the paper remained separated from the board at a few spots near the edges when I used a lot of water. However, everything seems fine now. I will nevertheless put a fine line of acrylic medium all around as a precaution.
  • the Fabriano 140 lb cp paper behaves differently when  used this way: it dries very quickly - blendings and soft edges are thus more difficult. The paper did not seem receptive to any scrubbing or lifting - I usually use  Q-tips for lifting as I paint and blend  - this did not work ( this damaged the paper somewhat and since it dried so quickly, the technique did not really work)
  • I really liked the firm, flat surface. 
Next steps:
  • After putting in the finishing touches, I will spray the painting with fixative ( I've used Krylon fixative for pastel in the past and it worked.) Will it behave differently on this surface? The fixative is to ensure that the watercolor does not run when the varnished is applied.  I will let that set overnight.
  • I will spray Golden acrylic varnish on it tomorrow.  I don't want a thick plastic layer on top of my painting...I will try to apply only a few layers of varnish instead of the 10 or so that I have used on some of my strawberries. I find this part scary...I could ruin the painting if I am not careful:-(
  • I found a black frame that will fit this panel ( imitation wood only, but it will do for now). The frame will hide a bit of the right-hand flower ( my error...I should have left more space), but it will ensure that the edges of the paper are better protected. No glass will be required ( that's what I'm after!!!)
 Have you tried something similar? Any suggestions? Insights?
Any suggestions for a title for this painting?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A small, fun painting!

Berry Lonely II
 I have taken a little break from my experimental orchid painting ( previous post) to paint a small
 5" X 7" watercolor.  I sold out of " strawberry" paintings at my June show. With a show coming up next weekend, I hope to find the time to paint at least one more! I am really having a lot of fun painting these strawberries - each one  seems to have  its own personality:-) This one is called Berry Lonely II - a variation of Berry Lonely I that is already sold. It is shown here  double matted in white with a black inner mat that really sets the stage for this lonely lady.

If you are in the Ottawa area next Saturday, come to the Ottawa Experimental Farm for a great outdoors art show organized by the Friends of the Farm.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

New Experimental WIP ( picture rev. 11 Aug.2011)

WIP: Orchids in Glass Plate
As mentioned in my previous post, I am working on a new experiment with varnished watercolor. This time, I've attached the paper (Fabriano  Soft Pres s- 140lb) to the16" X 16" X 1" wood panel before painting. I prepared the wood panel the same way as I prepared it for my strawberry panels ( sealer, gesso, acrylic medium as glue).  I have hours and hours of work left, but there is enough painting done to give you an idea. Naturally, once completed, the painting will still need to be varnished. It could then be displayed as is or, perhaps, framed in a floating frame ( I'll see what I can find to fit the panel).

The reference picture is from WetCanvas. It is sometimes difficult to see in the picture how the glass plate/bowl should be painted. When in doubt, I invented shapes and colors:-) So far, I find that the painting looks a bit too busy...once all the yellow petals are put in, maybe this impression will decrease...

Why the change in process? 
  • I wanted to see if the paper and paint would behave differently: they certainly do! Painting this way is very similar to working on the Canson Arches board I used for my Gate Keeper, but the effects are somewhat accentuated in this set up: the paper dries very quickly; it is hard to do smooth blending and even lifting.  
  • I wanted to know if the paper would remain glued down during the painting process: I had some issues with paper lifting around the edges where I had to do several dark washes; however, the paper went right back down. In one case, I added acrylic medium with a toothpick. Will the painting remain glued over time? I think the varnishing will help seal the edges; I will also try to put a thin line of acrylic medium around the edges as an extra precaution.
Do I like the process/results so far? Maybe I should simply start working with acrylics:-)
  • To tell you the truth, I'm not sure:-) This method provides a super strong and flat surface to paint on. The colors really keep their intensity a lot more than usually. However, there may be a decrease in the transparency of the resulting painting..or is it because I used so many layers?   
  • I am finding it harder to have nice blending of colors.
What do you think? Does it look like a watercolor? Do you like the effect?


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Update: What I am up to this week.

My last post was exactly a week ago.Time goes by soooooo quickly!  What have I been up to?

  • I am working on a new experiment concerning varnished watercolor. This time, I've attached the paper to the wood panel before painting. So far, so good....This painting is on a 16" X 16" panel, 1" thick; I've painted the sides black. I still don't have enough painted to post a picture:-(
  • I am preparing for a show on August 20th at the Ottawa Experimental Farm where I regularly go to photograph flowers. This annual one-day show is an outdoor show that is usually well-attended. I still have to purchase my canopy tent for the event.
  • I want to paint several small  "strawberry" paintings for this show.I have taken the photos -all I now have to do is get down to sketching and painting:-)
  • Red Bubble continues to be kind to me -two of my recent paintings were featured this week:
    • My cherries and lace painting  " The Independent Trio" ( see previous post) was featured today  in  the "Just Watercolours" Group.
    • My "Silent Venetian" was featured yesterday in the Time Gates Group.

t is still hot here in Ottawa, but less than the last few weeks. I am trying to get most of my art work done in the morning  when it is still relatively cool. We have central AC, but I don't like using it all the time...I hope that the heat is not making you feel lazy like it does to me:-)