Sunday, September 28, 2008

Flower Series has begun! Experimenting with Blackwrap

Lora Meyer brought a roll of blackwrap, which is like thick tin foil nonreflective matt-black, on her recent visit from New York,to see what we could do with it. She has created several art projects with it, using it 3-dimensionally with copper. I decided to create a surface with it, as a begining point to a painting.
I was inspired by the colors of beach glass for this lily.

Reverse Painting on Glass, New Experiements

Here are the first results of a new technique I'm trying, reverse painting on glass. This was done in the 19th C and it is commonly seen on old mirrors and clocks. In reading about Gabriel Munter, Kandinsky and other German Expressionists, they collected reverse painting on glass, done as folk art. Gabriel adapted this idea to her own artwork and created some beautiful pieces.

Not knowing how to do this technique, I have been experimenting and learning as I go. The work is viewed from the other side; what you paint, comes out reverse to how you paint it. Oil paint sticks nicely to the glass and there is something rather similar to monoprinting, just like preparing the plate with oil based inks. I have mostly used brushes and rags, but I can see there are many possibilities. I'm now trying to understand light over dark and dark over light and how that all works. I have been letting layers dry before painting the next sequence, this can create some exciting color combinations. Information about transparent vs. opaques pigments is important to this technique. I'm working on a large painting now and will post it up when it is finished. I'd love to hear from any other glass painters, what works for you?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Evolution of a Painting, 3 Times at the Lighthouse

3 different end of summer days out at Cattle Point lighthouse, the very southern most tip of San Juan Island. Since you are standing on a cliff looking up at the lighthouse, there is no room to get back from this angle. Here are three different version, a small 8" x 10",the last one posted was the first one painted. Liking the composition potential, I thought I'd try it again as a bigger format, the second one. 12" x 16" is the second version. The final, a 24" x 24" was started out on location with a sienna underpainting. Though the lighthouse seem deceptively simple, I found it to be complex, especially with the changing light. It is not often possible to paint out there due to too much wind. I felt lucky to get in 3 sessions before the weather turns.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Lora and Jeff Meyer arrived from NYC to the most beautiful week of the year. We loaded up our paints, Jeff got a fishing license.... coffee in the morning with the seals, wine at night with the full moon. It was a perfect week with great people to share it with. Lora, Linda and I met that the Arts Student League while drawing with George Cannata. A total treat to share from one island to another.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

September Workshop, Day 1

Today we were lucky to visit Deidre's new house in San Juan Valley. We talked about plein air painting, how to approach finding a subject by drawing several thumbnail sketches. Everyone looked around and quickly found numerous possibilities. Some people concentrated on mixing colors, some shook the rust off their painting skills, and others painted for the first time. This was a group with a high level of skill, and everyone took right to plein air painting. We did some color mixing and discovered that in September, the greens of nature have a lot of orange in them. Here's my small demo talking about color mixing, using a mother color, with slight degrees of color variations. Many tried a palette knife for the first time. Thank you Deidre for sharing your new home with us!

September Day 2 at Jensen's, Let the Painting Begin!

Let the painting begin! Sharon created fantastic paintings today inspired by the Fauvist and the German Expressionists. Cloud developed good paint texture on her old buildings, and Sharon from Olympia did a wonderful expressive painting capturing the feeling of the old and new at the shipyard. In the photo is the start of Sharon's painting with black gesso, some glaze and the beginning of opaques.

Down to the Docks, September Workshop Day 2

Jensen's Shipyard is a great place to paint. Everyone stepped up to the challenge of painting FAUVE today, pushing colors farther than what you normally see. Lea worked in pastel, Maureen used acrylics, and everyone else used oils. I teach a method of painting plein air oils where we start with black gesso, glaze our painting with an under color, then work with opaques to create our paintings. All worked beautifully with this technique. I am especially happy for our 11 year old artists, Sophie and Fiona.