The real voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes. - Marcel Proust

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

About that resin-coated paper

Someone asked me about the resin-coated paper I've been using. My goal lately is to paint, paint, paint as much as possible. Being as "frugal" as I am, I was looking for ways to cut costs. At Judson's (of plein air art supply fame), I may have found my answer.  This is tan-colored card stock that has been sized with resin.

I found it a bit too slick for knife work, until I added a coat or two of clear Gesso. It's just fine for brushwork. They also offer a very reasonable multimedia art board. I haven't tried that yet, but it's on my list.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Orange Sunflower

I don't know the name of this particular sunflower. I've heard some call it a Mexican Sunflower, but all I know is that it was great fun to paint with a knife.

8"x10" oils on resin-coated archival paper.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Vermilion Flycatcher

I'm glad someone so pretty catches flies. Flies tend to get stuck in my paint.

This is a 5x7" oil on a resin-coated board, done with a combination of palette knife and brushes, and it fits in a standard frame. $35

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Another Barnyard Animal

Because I had some paint leftover, I painted this 5x7 (I'm not cheap. I'm "frugal.").  I used brushes for this beauty.  Perhaps this is the start of my "barnyard portrait" period.

Monday, June 21, 2010

"You Looking At Me?"

Spent Sunday afternoon with a beauty. This is 11x14" on canvas, all done with palette knife. As much fun as those luscious colors were, the grays were just as much fun to paint. What a saucy boy.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Gabor Svagrik workshops

Still looking for a workshop, regardless of how expensive my house is being right now (roof, paint, fence, leaks, you name it).  I signed up for a regular newsletter from the Tuscan Art Academy. One prominent artist affiliated with the academy (one of the founding members, I believe) is Gabor Svagrik.  Here are a few samples of his work. You can see more at Some fantastic work!

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Red Door

Sunday afternoon's painting is done from a photo I took while my husband and I were in Rome years ago.  It's an 8x10 and started as a knife painting. However, I've discovered that extremely smooth surfaces don't work as well, so I put down the knife and picked up the brushes. It's not the best photo.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Summer Skies

Yay! Finally got a chance to push some paint around last night, after a long week and a half with no painting. This is a quick study from a photo I took of an ominous cloud formation over a local soccer field last summer, in honor of the World Cup. Georgia in the summer experiences some wonderful clouds. I've been wanting to work more with dramatic skies and clouds, and this was a good warm-up. Hopefully there are some more skies on my horizon. (ooo, sorry!)

This is oils on prepared paper, 6"x8".

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Too much work, not enough paint!

I have been scarce due to a wedding, family visit, and the craziness that comes from being away from my day job for a week. While we were gone, our neighbor had a large pine tree hit by lightning, and we're still finding electrical devices and lights that don't work quite right. The lightning struck behind a house across the street, and neighbors on all sides were affected. I can't imagine what that sounded like when the tree exploded.

I am definitely looking forward to slopping some paint around this weekend.  Meanwhile, this is a painting I did a couple of years ago, of the North Tower at Cape Ann, Massachusetts.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Looking at Taborets, Part Two

Ok, so the chances of my ever having one of the gorgeous WindRiver taborets are fairly slim. Even the odds of my getting one like the Best easel/taboret combination for $1200 are not very good. But there has to be something to replace my wobbly, puppy-chewed bookcase.

So, I started poking around at kitchen carts. For less than the price of the so-called taboret mentioned previously, which is really just a wheeled cart, you can get something like this:
Drawers, doors, butcher block with a drop leaf. Bigger and better than 3 metal shelves on wheels, in my opinion.

If you want to get a little fancier, you could spend almost $300 on something like this:
What's not to love? It even has a paper towel holder.

If you really want to get super-duper fancy, you can spend under $400 and get a granite top (although what you'd do with it as a palette or palette holder, I don't know. But it would look nice until you got paint on it.).
For the same price, this is what you could get as a so-called artist taboret at an art supply store.
Seriously, couldn't I get one of these kitchen carts and call it my taboret? Does anyone else think it's ridiculous how much money can be charged because it's an "artist taboret"? Or am I being silly? What do you use?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Looking at Taborets

Ok, so while I was painting my Valley of Fire painting, I thought about my working setup. What I am using to hold my glass palette is a 40+ year-old small wobbly bookcase that has been the teething implement for generations of puppies. Sometime when I was about 11, I tried to refinish it, without knowing about things like sandpaper. Needless to say, it stays in the basement out of sight, along with all my other paint-smeared stuff.

In searching the internet for taborets, I'm shocked at two things -- what gets called an artist taboret, and what gets charged for them.  At one end, you have things like this for just under $200. I call this a rolling cart, not a taboret. Sure, it's metal and would last forever, but geez....
There are other artist taborets at most of the art supply places, and they typically look like this.  This one is about middle of the line, and includes an easel. Pretty sweet -- for over $1200, you can have a nice piece of furniture to get stained by paint. The thought of that makes the cheapskate in me shudder.

Then there are the top of the line, real ar-teest workstations, like those shown here.  These are amazing, but the site says -- call for pricing. You know what that must mean.

But wow, wouldn't these be fun to use?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Valley of Fire, Large Version

Spent the long weekend creating a large version of the Valley of Fire quick study, posted here:
Quick study

This is 20x24, very large for me, and probably the largest knife painting I've done. I couldn't complete it in one go, obviously but that worked out well, with the possible exception of the vegetation in the middle of the painting. I'll work on that more, I expect.
Because I worked on it over 3 days, and it dried in between sessions, I was able to do the knife equivalent of "dry brushing". I rather like the effect, and it really adds to the texture of the rocks.  Warning -- extreme closeup. Note that the color in the closeup is more accurate than the reds of the larger photo.
More fun with knives! I thought it would be more difficult to work with knives on a stretched canvas, but once I got used to the bounce, it was no problem.