Saturday, January 29, 2011

Collage and Painting

COLLAGE  AND  PAINTING                                                               
Collage isn't just for a school project for the Art class. I have done a few pieces that incorporates collage and Painting to make a most interesting composition. Having viewed several Artists who use this techniques, I realize how far and how beautiful your creation could become using collage technique.

Here are 2 projects that I have personally worked on. Humming Bird" see my web site, under the   fauna collection and "Lighthouse Fantasy" under Aqua collection.                                                               

                   In "Humming Bird", I took pieces of tissues paper and glued them on in patches, crumbling some of them, smoothing others. I used white glue and a sponge brush to paste them down. When it was dry, I coated the canvas with color and then proceeded to paint over the rough texture. The painting was quite different than working on a smooth canvas.

               In "Lighthouse Fantasy", I used pieced together photos that I have taken, along with pieced together paintings that I have done. I then combined the collection, moving them around to create a story that I wanted with the images. My final step was to sketch in other details, paint them and then glue up the loose pieces.                                    

The final product to be applied to both was a clear Acrylic Varnish.

You can create the most unusual with the collage  technique, taking you into the Surreal world.

I would love to hear your comments on this topic.

These paintings are under Fauna and Aqua collection on my web site.

Web site:

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Working With Acrylics

Acrylic Paints were introduced in the 1950's. It is known as the "youngest" of all the media choices. Oil and water color paints have been used since the 15th century. The Modernists (Robert Motherwell, Mark Rothko) were the first to use Acrylic Paint. It's fast drying properties made it very attractive. Today it is used widespread for all aspects of Art. Liquitex was the first water-based paint.

I use Acrylic Paint as my main medium. Occasionally, I will do an Oil Painting, (love using water-soluble oils), but Acrylic Paint is my mainstay. (See my web site:
The class that I teach, is  Acrylic Painting-giving Artists the chance to experience it's properties and quick satisfaction of a finished or semi-finished painting in the 2 hour class time.

The aspect that I like best about Acrylic Painting is the quick dry and bright colors that it offers.  I like the flexibility while it is wet, producing oil like effects. I enjoy the freedom of starting thin and layering the paint to obtain any thickness that is desired. I have been asked by viewers of my Acrylic Paintings, "Is this oil?"

Many painters are discouraged when they first use Acrylic paint because they use too much water.  Water kills the color. Water can be substitute with mediums that are compatible with Acrylics to achieve more color. Quite honestly, I work only with water, and more concentration of paint, gives me the desired vibrant color.  I coat my finished canvas with Liquitex Gloss Medium and Varnish to give an extra vibrant effect.

Acrylic is great for Plein Air Painting.  All you need to carry besides the paint and brushes is a coffee can with water (make sure the coffee is used up first!!!!) for your thinner.

We do not yet know if Acrylics will stand the test of time-that in 50-100 years from now the paint will last or deteriorate. However, there is no reason to believe that this will happen!

What are your experiences with Acrylic Paint?  would love the feed-back on this.!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Gourgaud Gallery

The Gourgaud Gallery, located in Cranbury New Jersey, has updated their Facebook Page. Artists now have the opportunity to post their web sites, and or Facebook Page on the site simply by joing the Gourgaud Gallery Facebook Page.
Visit the Gourgaud Gallery at 23-A North Main Street, Cranbury New Jersey.
The Gallery's information is on their Facebook Page.
Artists have the opportunity to apply to exhibit their work.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Some Tips on Landscape Painting

If you paint outside below 30 degrees, the acrylic paint will not flow (plein air painting: painting outside).

For the landscape scene you wish to paint, here are some useful tips:
1. Photograph the scene
2. Do a sketch on the canvas to fill the space, blocking in simple lines, not many details, just major forms
3. Find the horizon line (where the sky or background meets the forground)
4. Common colors used: Thalo blue, ultra marine blue, red, cadmium yellow, phtalo green (of course you can use a variety of other greens, yellows, even purple and black and white)
5. mixing thalo blue and cadmium red will give you a rich grey
6. block in general colors
7. work from the background forward, so you can overlap foreground objects more crisply
8. bring out a brown tone (burnt sienna), to begin tree lines
9. continue to overlap colors (layering paint): multiple layering gives more depth
10. Start to add details: trees, rocks, houses, etc. Rocks do well with grays, burnt sienna, black, purple, white
11. If the painting has water, start to add reflection
12. Brighten foreground greens, adding blue and greens and yellows. You may want to add a touch of sienna
13. Emphasize details (texture highlights in trees, flowers, building structures)
14. If you have water reflection, add as many details as possible, blurring the image with a sweep of a large 1 inch brush
15. Keep referring to the photo- you will see more details than actually viewing the scene in person

Just remember, details in a painting are up to you- you do not have to paint every little detail that you see. Start simple and work your way up- and just keep painting, painting, painting. You will improve and learn to see more as you paint.

Refer to Web Site:

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Whitney Museum Exhibit

We visited the Whitney Museum yesterday to see the Edward Hopper exhibit. Needless to say, it was extraordinary. I enjoyed observing the paintings by other artists that he influenced. Hopper used detail where he felt necessary- and minimized areas of the paintings that he felt were not necessary for the subject. His lighting is surreal and captivating. What a wonderful source for any Artist to see, especially if the Artist is interested in landscape and the portrayal of the "ordinary" day in a life.

Much to our surprise, we had a most enjoyable time viewing and laughing at  the work of Charles LeDray on the next  floor. The exhibit is called "Workworkworkworkwork". It is also creepy and certainly comical. We laughed our way through the exhibit. It is the showing of minuscule porcelain pieces, and tiny, less than infant size clothes (suits , shirts, ties that would fit a new born--maybe). When you walk in a you see an array of tiny hats that could perhaps fit a doll a little bigger than a Barbie. There were little carvings made of human bone-this I did not like-gave me too much of an uneasy feeling.

I recommend going up to the Whitney for these wonderful shows!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Mixing Colors and Studio Tips

                                                 MIXING COLORS 

Some artists like to mix colors as they go along; others premix the colors they think they are going to use before they begin the painting session. It is a concept that mixing as you go along breaks the momentum.

Titanium white should always be put out in a generous amount, as most colors used will use this as a mix.

Avoid contaminating the dark colors and the light colors.  Keep the blacks and browns no where near the whites and yellows on the palette.

Best idea to mix colors with a palette knife (especially for large areas). This will not saturate the brush with color. If you use the brush to mix color, do it with the tip of the brush.

Understanding Color Terms:

  1. Hue:  describes color, such as red, blue, yellow or green.
  2. Chroma: the intensity of color. A pure color like Cadmium Orange is a high Chroma orange, while Burnt Sienna is a low color Orange.
  3.  Value: The range between dark and light. White is the lightest value, black is the darkest value. If you adjust the hue of the color, you change its chroma and value. If you adjust value of the color, you change the hue and chroma.  All 3 properties are inter-related.
4. Distance: Colors and values soften as the distance increases, as well as size and clarity.

                                SOME  STUDIO TIPS

  1. Stand back from the painting as you paint (every 10-15 minutes)
  2. Keep it convenient : Keep everything you will need for the painting session at your finger-tips
  3. Good light source
  4. Good Ventilation
  5. Studio Furniture (easel,table,bookcase that has sources, etc)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Travels In Art

When you pick up a brush to paint, you are taking a trip to the world of creation. You are the author of a new world that you are going to create.The finished product becomes a travel catalog for the viewer into your world.

As I mentioned in my previous blog entry, you create your own style; therefore your style becomes the essence of the new world that you created.

Your new world to which you the artist and the viewer are traveling can be real, surreal, abstract or any other title you wish to give it.

As with every "trip" I take, I always photograph the sites to remember, to paint or just to review what I saw. My paintings are taken from my collections of  my photos that I have accumulated. I try to always have my camera with me wherever I go. I also like to clip pictures from magazines to give me inspiration of my new world that I will create in paint. Clippings from magazines help to assist me with an idea of a topic which then leads me back to my own photos.

Thus, I then proceed to create my new world for me to travel in. While I travel through my paintings, I discover new places and things from my mind as I create.

So, in conclusion : Traveling in Art, develop your painting. Don't be afraid to veer off the main path. You will be surprised what you see. (web site)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Personal Style

I always look to perfect my artwork. I readily listen when people tell me things. It may not be necessary all the time to have an art critic or another artist to give an opinion about your paintings. It can be useful to listen to what everyone has to say. You have to weigh what everyone says. All critics, artists and anyone else may not be "correct" in what they see or say about your work---but it is valuable to listen. The very best critic is yourself.

When you get comfortable hearing from everyone, including yourself, it is time to see what your personal style is. Look at all of your paintings. The topics may vary, as well as some of the styles, but you will notice a style in your work, when you begin to evaluate. A certain theme, brushstroke, color, or topic may be consistent.
After you evaluate your style, you may be inspired to continue a favorite theme or move on to another, entirely different perception in your painting. both ends are valuable. Some artists may see fit to keep a journal in their growth, be it in pictures, writing or both.

Art should be a reflection of yourself. Personal style should develop from your inner self over a period of time. It should be what you want to say. But....keep listening to everyone-yourself most important!!!! (web site)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Magic of Painting

Every Artist starts out with a plain white canvas. It is up to the Artist to transform that plain white canvas into something quite wonderful. As we paint, we may not always be satified at the end of the painting session with what is produced. When you return to the canvas everyday, you add, eliminate, perfect and finally transform the painting into a magical world that you, the artist,created.
Be it real, surreal, or abstract, the final product becomes a creation-your creation-your imagination--that you made!