If you follow me on social media, you already know that I’ve been accepted to participate in Art Beat on August 21st in South Bend, Indiana. I am very excited! And I’m very busy getting prepared. I’ve bought frames that need to be attached to canvases. I’m making a list of everything I’ll need to bring along — must not forget a chair to sit on! And most importantly, I’ve painted some fresh work to display. Here’s a snapshot of four oil paintings and one acrylic (the floral) that I finished this month:
And here’s an ink and watercolor piece that turned out well:
There was a sixth — another watercolor, but it was a disappointing mess. They can’t all be winners. Reference photo credits go to Pixabay.com contributors Free-Photos for the frog and klimkin for the chickens. My model for the cat portrait was Lucy. She gets paid in cat treats. The model for the apples was a couple actual apples. I should probably get around to eating those soon, before they go bad.
For my next painting, I think I want to go BIG. I asked my Facebook friends if they’d like to be volunteer models… so far no takers. I might have to bribe someone, or actually pay them.
Anyway… come see me at Art Beat if you’re in the vicinity on August 21st from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm. There will be food, music, and dancing besides the art. Some of my artist friends are also belly dancers and they will be in one of the groups performing. All sorts of fun in Downtown South Bend.
The oil on canvas version of Still Life with Hydrangea (on the right) that I started back in mid-summer is finally finished. It just needs some drying time and a coat of varnish. The acrylic version on the left was finished last month, but I thought I’d wait until both were done to “unveil” them.
I started with oil paints that are water-miscible (water-mixable or water soluble — all three mean the same). I determined that they weren’t all they were marketed to be. Some colors/brands mix with water better than others. Some mix better with turpentine substitute (mineral spirits). Some don’t mix very well with either. Most colors got gummy at some point and resisted spreading. I ended up giving in and buying a bottle of Turpenoid® and a set of inexpensive conventional oil paints — the supposedly noxious chemicals that I’d been avoiding all my life for fear that they were dangerous to work with.
I found that I had been silly to wait so long to try oils. I had always assumed that oil painting required a big bucket of solvent. For that I blame Bob Ross and The Joy of Painting… also my unpleasant experiences with oil-based house paint. I bought a nifty little stainless steel cup with a spill-proof lid and a grate inside for rubbing the brushes against to clean them. It only needs a few ounces of solvent and it can be reused over and over again before needing to clean the cup and change the solvent, because the paint solids sink to the bottom under the grate. I can’t believe in all my years of making art, I never learned about this.
I’m sure you knew all about this and you’re shaking your head at my ignorance. Anyway, I’m very happy with how both paintings turned out and I will be posting them for sale shortly — the oil version will need to dry first. And I’ll need to keep my fingers out of the paint while it does. I seem to be getting better at that.