Toning Canvas

rustic

Toning Canvas Notes

One of my students wrote to me asking about toning canvases. I started toning canvases about 35 years ago when I got seriously interested in outdoor painting. That was long before I heard the term plein air. I called it painting outside and most of the time I still do. Plein air seems so uppity to me as a term. I’m just a country painter after all, with no illusions of grandeur.

Linda’s Etsy Shop

For acrylic paintings in studio or outside, I tint airbrush medium with a bit of color to tone my canvases and panels. I get mine at Amazon.com. I always get a large bottle. It lasts a long time. I only use water to rinse my brushes. I learned from the experts that airbrush medium is a good bond for acrylics and water is not.

For oils, I tone with Gamisol with pigment, very thin, like a stain.

The coat is very thin on the canvas. It dries almost instantly, so you can start to paint just about 3 minutes later. If I’m doing a cool temperature painting (blues,grays,greens) I tone the canvas with blue or gray. If I’m doing a warm painting (orange,red,yellow), I usually will tone with pale red. You can get more intensity by using the opposite tone in temperature to thecolor temperature you plan to use.

If you have trouble with greens being too intense and saturated, toning with red or pink will cut back on the oversaturation of greens. Using a bit of cadmium orange or red in your green mixtures will also help reduce saturation.

You can paint directly on canvas without toning it first, but I like to tone because it gives a nice harmony to the painting without the annoying little white spots. it is especially useful working outside, because the laght changes rapidly and it is harder to see where to cover small areas.

Toning is really up to the artist. I like it but others may not.

More musings for artists and collectors to come….

Today’s Recipe

Tomato Watermelon Salad

2 cups watermelon, cut into bite-size pieces
2 medium tomatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
fresh salad greens
1/2 cup feta cheese
1/2 cup  vinaigrette dressing

Combine watermelon and tomatoes. Place greens in salad bowl; top with watermelon and tomato.Finish with cheese and drizzle with dressing. Toss and serve.

Rambling Along

rambling

Rambling Along Notes

Rambling along as a painter is the best way to work. I was thinking about how much I love to paint yesterday, while blocking in my current painting. I don’t think much about it most of the time, but now and then it just makes me pause, to understand how lucky I am to have this career. I’ve been rambling along as a painter for about 60 years now, having started at 8 years old with tempera and Prang watercolors. I started an art club for my neighborhood kids in the spare room and we studied horses, cows, dogs and flowers.

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At about 14, I came down with a severe case of Mononucleosis and was confined to bed for several months. My mom and daddy bought me a set of oil paints and I was off and rambling to a wonderful period of discovery. After recovery, my daddy put together a studio for me in the attic over the carport. I fancied myself as one of the post impressionists, painting in Paris. I did a lot of still life paintings. I still have one or two of them.

I went off to art school after high school, rambling along to Tampa ,Florida. I wanted to study away from home and UF was just too big for me. I got my BFA at a small private university and I’ve never regretted that. I got lots of individual attention there and was proud to win the best of show award in my senior year.  I went across town to the state university to work on my masters in painting.

I rambled along after that, here and there, not really having a style or mission for a number of years, but still drawing with graphite. I changed over to painting and went back to the land my family owned and became interested in study of the land of agriculture, nature, and trees as my focus. It has sustained me for most of my career. In this time of study, I have become an amateur naturalist.

I did the art festival circuit for a number of  years, moved into galleries for several years. In 2008, the economy began to crash and most of my galleries closed.  In 2009 I decided it was time to represent myself for the most part. I still do. I have a couple of small stores and one gallery who still sell my work, but most of my collectors enjoy buying directly from me, so I am rambling along through my own studio promotion. I like working with art consultants better than galleries.

I used to do a lot of paint outs and competitions. I find them to be unsuitable for my career now. I no longer need to win or to jockey for position. I used to worry about being marginalized by the art world if I just painted, but somehow I am able to continue rambling along without the accolades of competition. I’m so lucky, thanks to folks who continue to support my career.

More musings for artists and collectors to come…..

Store Teaching

store

Store Teaching Notes

 

A reader asked me to explain my teaching set up at my local store. Happily, I make a living from my painting sales, not teaching.

Linda’s Etsy Shop

I don’t have any expenses for teaching at my local store. They loan me their classroom. My students pay me directly in cash, so it is a once a month activity for me. They buy their own supplies at the store and get their framing there, so it is a symbiotic relationship. The store offers a prize for each of my two classes each month. Many of my students end up buying paintings from me at my studio parties, and the cash gives me walk around money. I usually make three-four hundred dollars a month for teaching. I only charge 20.00 per  student, per class. If I were to really want to make a living teaching, I would have to charge more of course.

Testimonials from Collectors

I used to work for a store as a salaried painting teacher, but the corporate paperwork was annoying and working with their paint supplier forced me to follow their teaching methods and painting paperwork, meetings, etc.. I resigned. The district manager and general manager at the store got together and offered me the paperwork free option I now have. They know that I really bring in buyers to the store and my classes are popular. It is a good situation for me. I missed teaching once a month there. Going back has freed up my studio for my own use exclusively and the store is closer and more convenient for my students. I do everything I can to make the classroom experience fun and relaxing for my students. I love them dearly. When I don’t teach, I become too isolated. I’m not a social person and I hate openings and the art scene. My students and I have lasting and long friendships.

 

 

I’ve been told that other hobby stores offer their classroom in the same way I’m teaching. You would need to do your own advertising for students. if you need to generate real income, charge about 35.00 a class. I teach a beginning paint together class (my most popular) and an advanced class where my students pick the topic of study. That one is about half as full as the beginning class. In fact, several of my advanced students take the beginning class. I set my classes up as pay as you come, no advanced payments required and no paperwork for them. They do sign up for my html newsletter for students that comes out twice a month. I use rack cards in the store at the end of each isle of the art department. I also use social media and my web site to promote my classes.

 

My store sponsors the class and the prize drawing and I have snack sponsors who provide a snack, coffee or tea for students. I brought in a travel Keurig machine for the tea and coffee in the classroom. I average about 9 students for my advanced class and 12-20 students for my beginning class. I print out a lesson plan with the image of the painting we will do and the palette for the painting. As I mix the colors, I walk around the classroom and put a dab of that mixture on their papers to help them see the mixtures and compare theirs with mine. They find that very helpful.

 

For the advanced class, I print out a lesson plan and some basic instruction on the particular topic of study for that month. I like to study values, color mixing and composing. They like to study topics like clouds, rocks, palm trees, etc. I make the effort to squeeze real study into their topics of interest without boring them.

 

Think carefully about teaching, if you haven’t before. If you just want to make money, find a different way. Teaching is a serious endeavor with true responsibility on your part. Take it seriously and give 100% of your resources to it.

 

More for artists and collectors to come…..

 

Today’s Recipe

 

Ham and Cheese Pinwheels

 

Nonstick aluminum foil
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 oz thin sliced Ham
2 cups cheese, shredded (about 4 oz)
1 large egg, beaten

Line 2 baking sheets with foil. Place pastry sheets on flat work surface; spread 2 tablespoons Dijon on each, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Top Dijon with 2 oz each ham and cheese.

Brush border with egg. Carefully roll dough, starting with the long side, tightly around filling; pinch seams together. Chill 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut rolls, seam-side down, into 12 (1-inch-thick) slices. Arrange pinwheels, cut-side up, on baking sheets; bake 18–20 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes to cool.

 

 

Sorting Studio

rustic

Sorting Studio Notes

I’ve been sorting out my studio this week, getting the place ready for my annual sale September 1- October 27th. I’m still waiting for my shelving to be done, so I can’t put everything away, but I decided to put my oils and the table for that away until after the sale. I moved my easel into the second room to display paintings through the sale. I have all of my sale paintings along one wall to make it easy for collectors to find them. I stacked all of the unframed paintings on sale on a table, also easy to find.

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Abstract Scapes

Annual sales are a lot of work, but important to my collectors, making it possible for them to purchase work at a more affordable price.  I’ve never sold reproductions. I don’t believe they are good for artists or collectors. Reproductions cheapen and devalue an artist’s career in my opinion. ( don’t bother to write mean comments) A painting should be one of a kind, treasured and valued as something unique.  My motto has always been “original affordable art”.

I’ve been enjoying  working on the little rustic paintings between sorting out my studio. I’ve been doing some fun holiday ornaments on wood discs too. Lots of fun.

I need to do some sorting for give away items too. My framing room is so full of stuff that I can hardly get in it. It is a sorting nightmare. I hope with the new shelving, some of that will be relieved.

Linda’s Etsy Shop

Managing a professional art studio takes a fair amount of effort. I’m not one who can tolerate a sloppy studio  for long periods. I start to get annoyed when everything is out of place. Waiting for the shelf construction has been hard, though I know it will get done in good time. I am always running out of space, so going up for storage seems to be the solution, since I have high ceilings.  Back to sorting!

More musings for artists and collectors to come…

Today’s Recipe

 

Goat Cheese Trio: Cut a 12-ounce log of goat cheese crosswise into 3 mini logs. Roll 1 piece in chopped mixed herbs, another in cracked mixed peppercorns and the last in chopped dried cranberries and cashews. Serve with baguette slices or crackers.

From Food Network

Small Paintings

small

Small Paintings Notes

I am becoming interested in doing small paintings again. Most of the time I do a lot of medium to large paintings. They are a big challenge and harder to sell due to higher price points. They are also difficult to store.

I’m ready to work small for a time. I like to sell work quickly and to provide original art for my collectors. I like to make art affordable for just about everyone. I dislike reproductions. Art should be original and treasured as the only painting like it in the world.

I’ll be doing 3.25×4.5 inch miniatures for my Etsy shop and paintings from 4×6 inches to 8×10 inches on wood and hardboard for awhile.

Why small paintings? I learn a lot by doing small compositions. They are quick to do but often as complex as a larger painting. Sometimes a 5×7 inch painting takes as long as an 8×10 painting.

Small paintings can be like little jewels, precious and sweet. They have a different power than larger paintings. I learned to love small paintings by doing plein air painting and alla prima paintings. This is going to be fun for awhile and I hope they will sell quickly. In this political climate, collectors are hesitant to spend much on non essentials. These little paintings will be easy on their pocketbooks.

More musings for artists and collectors to come.

 

Today’s Recipe

Easy Rotini

16 oz rotini pasta
2 (15-oz) jars roasted garlic Alfredo sauce
8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
8 oz Italian-blend shredded cheese
2 cups whole milk
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard (optional)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  1. Bring water to boil in large saucepan for pasta. Cook pasta 10 minutes, then drain. Return pasta to same pan.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in remaining ingredients; cook 4–5 more minutes, stirring often, or until pasta is tender and sauce is bubbly. Serve.

NOTE: If using a different size or shape pasta, cook following package instructions. Adjust consistency of the sauce, if needed, with a little extra milk.

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