Acrylics Mode

slow multitasking

Acrylics Mode

Acrylics Mode Notes

I turned to acrylics in October of 2018, putting my oils away for a spell. I had my Hot Dog party that month and wanted to clean up the studio for the party. Acrylics are cleaner, easier to use, less expensive, and not smelly. I decided to go along for awhile with acrylics and see what I could do.

Acrylics Mode

Linda’s Graphite Drawings

I’ve had a long love/hate history with acrylics. I’ve been an oil painter since I was 13 years old. I started painting with acrylics at about 40, so I’ve been at the easel with them for 28 years. The first 10 years were a disaster. I hated them so much. I would use them for a month and then put them away. At the time, I tried to use them like oils and it was not pretty, and very frustrating. I didn’t give up. I kept trying on and off. About ten years ago, I spent a whole year learning how to use them. Then I went to using both mediums at two stations in the studio, which worked well.

Acrylics Mode

I found that oddly, using two or more mediums seemed to cross over from one to the other in terms of technique sharing. I added casein to my mediums as well. I learned a lot about glazing and making seamless paintings between mediums. My oils and acrylics look entirely seamless most of the time now. Most people cannot tell the difference between the two when they view my paintings.

Acrylic Mode

Linda’s Etsy Shop

The biggest problem I see for landscape painters is a built in prejudice biased against acrylics and for oils. Back in my days at Paint Outs, painters shunned acrylics and painters who used them. I had spent a good year of studying acrylics before the paint out season. I took acrylics to a paint out, saying nothing to others. When the paintings were turned in, I told others that they were acrylics. They didn’t believe me. I see this silly attitude all the time from landscape painters. I know a woman artist who did beautiful acrylics. She joined one of the hoity toity painting groups and within a year, had switched over to oils. I’m sure she caved into the attitude of the group, as she had been a very successful acrylic painter for many years. Her acrylic work was far superior to her oil work. The abstract community does not seem to have this silly attitude, which I’m happy to note. To me, all mediums are genuine with superior skills. Luckily, I’m one of those stubborn people who don’t let others dictate how I paint and with which medium. They don’t pay my bills, so  I don’t care what they think.

Acrylic Mode

I think I have reached a new level with acrylics this time. I am feeling comfortable with them at last. I am sure I will go back to my lovely oils again at some point. I will wake up one day and decide it is time to bring them out. I will probably go back to using three mediums again. I don’t know when. It will be time to learn new things with my oils.

More musings for artists and collectors to come….

Today’s Recipe

Sun Dried Tomato Bread

1/2 jar sun dried tomatoes

1/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup honey

1/2 tsp basil

1 T salt

3 T yeast

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1 cup whole wheat flour

5 cups bread flour

2 cups warm water

1 cup half & half

Combine warm water,yeast, honey and let ferment about 5 minutes. Add all ingredients with salt last. use dough hook in mixer or knead by hand until dough is elastic and mixed thoroughly. You may need to add a bit more flour.

Place in greased bowl until dough rises to top. Punch down and knead again. Separate into loaves and place in greased loaf pans. Allow to rise again and gently place in 350 degree oven. Bake until loaves are brown and check bottom to see that it is brown too. Turn out onto cooling racks and let sit until completely cool. Freeze extra loaves.

Abstract Beginnings

abstract beginnings

Abstract Beginnings

Abstract Beginnings Notes

All paintings have abstract beginnings in my view. From the abstract expressionism so popular again now to the very refined of realism, it is all starts with the abstract. Some are starts, which I enjoy and some are block ins that all painters begin with. I’ve been studying this process for a long time. I am a mass painter in that I see objects in large masses of value and shapes. I tend away for linear form except for fine tree limbs and final details of a painting. It is that gradual transition from the abstract to the refinement that separates a lot of styles. That is the intrigue for me. I’ve never really had any interest in being a true abstract painter. I like the natural world too much to abandon it for vague shapes and colors, though I completely respect those who paint that way.

Monthly Painting Offer

Abstract Beginnings

My study method is a beginning in abstract shapes values and colors, moving along in that vein until the end is near. I like to add refinement where I want the attention of the viewer to rest for a moment. My goal is a transition around the painting between abstraction to semi-abstraction and to fine detail where it is warranted. I like clean paint and mud where it is intentional, not by poor brushwork. Perhaps that is why my love affair with alla prima has faded. I don’t like sloppy brushwork whether it is refined or of a loose quality.

Abstract beginnings

It is more of a mindset in the process than any major process changes. In other words, my mental approach to the method is different. I start with the idea of doing a painting, using spare information. Just enough to tell the story and make it viable for my studies. The larger painting is approached in the same way, but varying amounts of detail or refinement are added as needed to produce a finished work. Using this method is making me more accountable for my detail additions. I have to think about what is really necessary, rather than moving forward with detail in an unmeasured way.  I like this process very much. Further study is needed of course, this is just a different method of painting. Shaking up the old dog with some new ideas is always a good idea. I would never want to be a rote or complacent painter. I never want to learn everything. I want the quest for excellence to go on as long as I can hold a brush.

Linda’s Etsy Shop

Abstract beginnings

It is important that painters understand that they may never be a master painter. I never will but it does not deter  or depress me.There will always be painters who can out paint me all day long. I think painters spend too much time thinking about their pecking order or who is better, or who they are better than. The art world has become too much about contests and position. Really! Who cares who is better? No one paints like me and I can live with that. I don’t have to be the best or even good. As long as I have a desire to learn my craft and as long as folks like my work and buy it, I am successful. I am doing what I adore with my life, meeting splendid people who believe in me and my work. I don’t think prestige is all that important. I have a big resume but I haven’t been asked for it in years. Our work is our name. Standing in front of that easel and working at it every day is what counts. As long as I am improving and working hard, I am a success!

These experiments with abstract beginnings are sometimes successful and sometimes not. I have a burn pile on my land a few steps from the studio. Lots of canvases go on it as I progress through various experiments and techniques. Some turn out good, luckily. There is a lot about our world that is from abstract to refined, and all in between. I’ll keep working at it.

More musings for artists and collectors to come….

Today’s Recipe

Salsa

2 large avocado s, chopped
1-1/2 cups cooked fresh corn kernel s
1 red pepper, chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion s
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
1/4 cup  Italian Dressing
Combine gently and serve with chips

Good Summer

orange

Good Summer Notes

I’m having a good summer this year. That is a bit unusual. I usually feel like summer is an endurance race. Last year was horrid, with terrible allergy problems, hives, and all manor of indignities like face swellings. I was broke as usual each summer. It lingered on endlessly.

Linda’s Summer Ebay Paintings

This year has been good. Spring lasted well into May and summer arrived as it should have in mid June. I have stayed indoors most of the time, so no allergy problems as yet.

Thanks to my friend Ron, the general manager at the local Michaels store, I have been lent the classroom there to teach now. I move my monthly classes there on Tuesday. This will be easier for my students and will free my Country Studio for my own use.

Abstract Scapes

I’ve been setting it up with all my easels out and ready to use. I have a station for acrylic/casein, and two easels for oils. I will only have to rearrange for my four parties each year. I moved all of my framing tools out into the studio and I have a drying station for small oil paintings with a fan on them 24/7.  At last, I am totally set up with efficiency in my studio. Now, if I could only clone myself I would get everything done.

This summer has even been good financially. People have actually bought art. That is almost unheard of for summer in my world. Shocking! I will actually make it through the summer without fear if this continues.

My precious new French bulldog puppy, Tucker (AKA Studio Dog) is a joy for me. He is beginning to grow up now, not quite as intense. He has a wonderful, sweet personality and is well on his way to becoming a fine adult in a few months. It was very hard to lose my dear Henry, and not a day goes by without missing him, but Tucker is the new joy in my life.

I have learned in my dotage to be entirely grateful for the life I now lead. After a stressful difficult life as a single mother, juggling a variety of jobs and doing art late into the night, I now have almost complete freedom to run my own career. I have a dream studio, a quiet life in the country with my nature trail, and lovely canvases to paint as I like. I am just about the luckiest artist I know. I could not do it without the lovely friends and collectors who continue to support my career. A deep and grateful salute to you all.

More musings for artists and collectors to come….

Today’s Recipe

Tomato Salad

2 tablespoons fresh basil, coarsely chopped
2 pints grape tomatoes
1/2 cup whole Kalamata olives
1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

  1. Chop basil (leaves only); halve tomatoes (if desired). Place in salad bowl: basil, tomatoes, olives, and cheese.
  2. Pour in oil, salt, and pepper; toss to coat. Marinate at least 10 minutes before serving.

Thoughtless Collectors

Thoughtless Collectors Notes

Happily, my collectors are thoughtful kind friends. There are thoughtless collectors who make life harder for artists. Like other professionals, we have a schedule.  Collectors who make appointments in artists’ studios might not realize that they need to make a phone call to advise artists they are not coming after all. This is a real issue for artists, not a minor inconvenience.

Linda’s Etsy Shop

When I know I am having a studio guest, I fix up my studio, putting away various projects, sweeping and cleaning up, so that the environment will be pleasant. I don’t paint that day so that the studio will not be full of fumes. I prepare a nice tray of snacks an beverages, light candles, put nice music on, and wait with anticipation for new or old friends to arrive. I love having studio visitors. It is a real treat for me. A thoughtless collector who doesn’t come will cost an artist a whole day of work, not to mention the disappointment.

Testimonials from Collectors

It is thoughtless to take up a huge amount of time looking at paintings, asking the artist to take paintings off the wall to view, taking home numbers of paintings and then purchasing nothing. This is part of being an artist, but I do think collectors need to be aware of an artists feelings before misleading.

My suggestion is that the collector measure in advance, the space for a painting, so they will know what size painting they want and the subject they might want in advance. It will be kinder to come and casually look at paintings before involving the artist in a perceived purchase. Being upfront about looking and not purchasing is the kind thing to do. It’s all right to be honest in that respect. It saves the artist from anticipation of a sale. Artists are in the business to sell art, just like any other merchant. If we don’t sell, we don’t continue to paint or pay our bills.

It is thoughtless to expect painters to give discounts to strangers. I have a collectors club of people who support my career. I gladly help them because they are loyal friends who support me regularly.

It is thoughtless to expect to receive a discount for framing. Artists are selling paintings not framing. The painting is the same value whether framed or unframed. Consider the frame as a nice extra gift from the artist.

It is thoughtless to make ugly remarks about an artist’s skill level. Comments like “my grandmother paints better than you” are inappropriate. Don’t compare other artists to the artist you are speaking with. Don’t tell artists that you collect so and so’s paintings. We really don’t want to hear that. Don’t ask how long it took to paint that, as if the time spent equates with value. It doesn’t!

Treat artists as the professionals they are. Many of us have advanced degrees and have spent a life time studying our craft. We deserve the same respect that other professions command.

More notes for artists and collectors to come…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Recipe:

Pinto Bean Soup

I’ve always loved bean soup, especially the second day.

1 small bag pinto beans washed, picked through and soaked overnight.
1 small onion diced
1 bay leaf
pinch of thyme
pinch of parsley
salt and pepper to taste
2 cans chicken broth
1 ham bone or 4 oz chopped smoked ham
2 carrots diced
2 fresh tomatoes diced

Put it all in a big pot, turn it on low and let it cook all day.

Before serving, take out the bay leaf and discard Add a T of apple cider vinegar.

Yummy!! I made it last night for supper.

Work Older

work

Work Older Notes

I work now as an older artist. I’ll be 68 in May. I’ve been noticing that few of my women friends work. Most of my men friends do still work. All in a range from 50 to 70. I find that to be interesting, particularly the artists. I know several successful women artists who retired when their husbands retired. An artist can work for a lifetime as long as they have hands that move. Most artists I know are passionate about their work. I can’t imagine not painting as long as I am able.

Linda’s Etsy Shop

Do women artist get tired of the work at a certain age or is it the influence of their husbands, demanding all their attention? All the talk about freedom and equal rights for women comes to a screeching halt about the time their men want to retire. I don’t know that is true but it certainly looks that way. All of my men artist friends will probably paint into very old age or until death, as will I.

Testimonials

My Momma retired early because my Daddy retired and was bored without her. That was her generation. I thought mine would be more independent but it doesn’t seem to be. Sometimes I wish I had found the right man, but perhaps I was lucky not to. I can live life on my own terms. Being a professional artist can be as selfish as any other career. My career comes before just about anything else as this point. I do spend time with my daughters and my grandson, but on my terms, not theirs.

I think I am more driven than some of my women artist friends. Most of them put their own careers behind their husbands and children. I never do unless it is an emergency. I know that is shocking and terrible, but I spent 25 years giving everything I had to my daughters, raising them alone after a divorce. I did my duty to family. Now it is my turn for fulfillment. Awful but honest.

All of us do what we must, and so we all make decisions based on our personalities and needs. Some are em paths and some not. Some dominant some not. I think a lot of lip service goes into the women’s movement but I don’t know how much is simply saying what is popular. I still see a huge dominance by men in the art world. Women are good painters, but most of them take second place to their men. I don’t know that this is bad or good. I just think it is the reality of our culture.

More musings for artists and collectors to come…

Today’s Recipe

Easy Chicken Bake

One large jar of chipped dried beef

5 or 6 boneless chicken breast (skinless)

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can cream of celery soup

Equal size container of sour cream

1 1/2 to 2 cups of spinach (fresh or frozen)

3 cups of seasoned cooked brown rice

 

Mix sour cream and soups together and set aside.

Spread rice in the bottom of sprayed casserole dish.Layer torn pieces of chipped beef on top of rice.  Next layer spinach then chicken.  Pour all of sour cream and soup mix evenly over entire top of chicken.  Bake at 350 for 50 minutes.

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