Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Art of Schlepping

On a recent trip to Mexico, I decided against bringing all of my oil painting paraphenalia. All that schlepping and dealing with customs and all seemed counter to the idea of a relaxing vacatiion. The work I had intended on doing was mainly limited to gathering material for future paintings.

But I still wanted to paint, so I packed a small watercolor kit, a block of paper, 3 soft brush pens and 2 brushes. If I didn't even pull them out, I wouldn't have felt guilty about having brought it all along.

So I took my gear along with my sunscreen, to the pool. It was something fun and light and different for me, so when I finally pulled it all out, it just flowed. And since these were sketches, I allowed myself to just let go. And I loved it.

I have to thank Mary Byrom for inspiring me with her sketchbooks full of fresh and wonderful paintings.

Here are a few more from that trip.

The old town part of Cabo.

Along the Pacific

And Cabo Harbor.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Yes I Can Can(vas)

Cabo San Lucas, usually sunny and dry, was rainy and cool for most of my trip. So when the clouds finally parted, we were rewarded with this beautiful sunset.

Back to the canvas discussion...Just as soon as I pronouned canvas as my lesser preferred painting surface, I found myself with these nice little canvas boards for small sketches. So off I went. The painting came along nicely, but when it came time for the photo, I was reminded of why I don't like it. Light jumps and reflects in unpredictable ways when in any direct light. It took me several attempts to get this little guy's picture.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Surface Matters

I'm always curious about the types of surfaces people prefer. Some painters are purely canvas folks.I like canvas just fine, preferably with just a little tooth, and even better if it's mounted on something hard.But my very favorite is painting on board. For years, masonite has been my favorite thing to paint on. I like the way it feels..solid, not slick and slippery like that some of those prepared boards.And then more recently, several people I know have been painting on birch plywood. Hey, I'm game!

So off to Home Depot. BTW, I LOVE to go there, or any hardware store for that matter.So much great stuff, it's mind boggling. But back to my plywood. It comes in a 4'x8' piece and is the most fine grained of all the plywoods. The really great thing is that Home Depot will cut it up for you, and for free if you're nice. So I came home with 8 boards of various sizes. I am very excited to paint on it. But first I have to sand down those rough edges created by the cuts. Painting takes a lot of prep work before laying down that first brush stroke.

I just love the whole messy process.