Back to My Acrylic Paint

Inverness Acrylic

Inverness Beach

 

I have a studio in my basement but for a variety of reasons I decided to take a break from using it during the covid-19 pandemic. It wasn’t a conscious decision but rather one that developed out the desire to work in watercolour and gouache at the kitchen table surrounded by my family. The studio also became a good place for my husband to work from when he had meetings. The little watercolours were a great way to add structure to my day before we had to homeschool the kids online. I continued to paint and bake during the isolation finding myself working on several “Art” projects during that time.

I used my watercolours and gouache to paint interiors, dog portraits, beach landscapes and to participate in the “Sketchbook Project”.  It has been very satisfying to work on all of these things. Now, because of all the work I have done, I have so many directions I can take. I have plenty of reference material and I understand what works well and what I can improve in my work. There is something to be said about working a little each day.

The above landscape is my first acrylic painting in a long time. I really enjoyed working on the texture of the canvas and hope to create quite a few more landscapes like this one. I love the immediacy and the looseness of using the watercolours but there is something about working from an image I painted in watercolour and making an acrylic out of it. The information is all there and ready for me to use and adjust it look how I want. It permits me to be very creative with colour and work larger with a bit of a plan.

To all you folks who want to paint but aren’t sure where to start or have yet to get into a pattern of working, I highly recommend not to worry about it at all. Just get out your sketchbooks, watercolours or whatever else floats your boat and work small. Then you will have an idea of what you wish to do. Just do something small everyday for now!

I Lasted Eight Days Not Painting

20191010_141612

I decided in September that instead of doing an Inktober like everyone else, I would do a Noctober which involved not painting or drawing anything. I needed a break and I knew it. But what did I really need a break from? Was it the pressure to create? Was it lack of ideas?  Well as you can see I failed miserably at trying to stop myself from painting. Turns out taking the pressure off helped me tremendously. I am always thinking too much and trying to come up with the best possible series. There is a lot of pressure to paint everyday because that is what I think is expected of me. I do see people who may or may not have busier lives than me succeed at this “painting or drawing a day” thing. Though I think it is great to be productive, I also think breaks are healthy.

This is what happened when I took a break from art. At first, I did pretty well. By Day 5, looking at a banana on the counter gave me the desire to paint its colour and shape. My day 6, I thought I am going to try drawing in ball point pen. So I made a Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich and drew in my sketchbook. My mind was on the sandwich idea that has been successfully done so many times before. I thought this is okay that it has been done before. This is what I like to paint.

I watch kids after-school and my friend Leah who does the same, brought chalk so I drew a dragon for the kids to add too. I thought to myself, “This is cheating but I don’t care!” I was teaching art and painting apples with the kids. That was it! I couldn’t take it anymore! The next day I quit my Noctober! I painted a peanut butter sandwich and the following day a sliced apple. My advice is paint or take a break just be sure to do what you want!20191012_124952

Eight Ice Cream Cones and Counting

eight ice creamsI my teens I mostly painted in watercolour and I dabbled with other mediums. I stopped using it in my early twenties when I was taught to paint in oils in art school. I loved oil paint because it was smooth to work with and I was completely obssessed with self-portraiture from the mirror. The challenge to get my skin tone colours just right is a continuous challenge for me. It is especially difficult to capture the essence of myself and a good enough likeness simultaneously.

Fast forward to early motherhood. I find in myself with a strong desire to draw and to possibly illustrate books; illustrations went well but the story just did not happen alongside. I was using gouache and they were little illustrations of my my best friend and me. Here I was again dabbling with self-portraits!

Time went on as it does and I joined some figure drawing sessions which were really helpful. I eventually received an easel as a Christmas gift from my husband. It did not take long before I started to use acrylic paints. It is an accessible medium for a mom and I guess you could say I have been painting with it for 8 years….until now.

Recently I have been toying around with the idea of switching mediums. I was thinking about egg tempera, oil painting, gouache but it never occurred to me to try using my little watercolour set to paint in the themes I had grown accustomed to exploring.

I had painted one “Mint Chocolate Chip Cone” in acrylics with the intention of producing a series. If I had to go purchase 8 panels and get them ready, it would have been too long to wait. I had the desire to produce the series of cones right away! If I had to wait, I probably would have changed my mind!!! My watercolour set and paper saved the day! It has been the closest I have come to producing a painting a day.

What I hadn’t expected was the sheer joy it was to use watercolour again. The colours are fresh-looking, they pool and accidentally blend. The layers of washes stop me from being too fussy and I find myself embracing the limitations of the medium. Aside from the colour and subject matter they look nothing like my acrylic work. I wonder how this will affect my upcoming acrylic painting? It will be a very large painting of a gown.