Wow, a few weeks off because of my hectic schedule over Christmas and here it is at the end of May! It seems it's just been one thing after another so far this year, however, things are now stabilizing, and I'm finally catching up and getting back on track again.
First, something that Claire, one of my student's at Glebe Collegiate Institute, brought to my attention...
The Canadian Conservation Institute participates in Doors Open Ottawa
Saturday, June 4th, 2016
"We invite you to join us at the Canadian Conservation Institute during Doors Open Ottawa on Saturday, June 4 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. to explore the fascinating world of conservation and conservation science. Tour CCI laboratories and speak with our conservators and conservation scientists about the work we do to preserve Canada's heritage." http://ottawa.ca/cgi-bin/doors/2016.pl?id=17&lang=en
The CCI is not open to the public so this is a rare opportunity to find out about how works of art are cleaned and repaired, how forgeries are detected and lots of stuff you've probably never even imagined. It will be a worthwhile way to spend some time this coming Saturday.
Another upcoming event that may interest some of you is the 1st Annual Cavan/Millbrook Outdoor Painting Festival on October 1 and 2. Cavan is about 20 minutes southwest of Peterborough... lovely country and a great place to paint plein air! The entry fee is $25, you can paint up to 5 paintings and there are prizes of $1500, $1000 and $500 respectively for first, second and third place winners of the juried competition. All paintings will be offered for the "Fresh off the Easel" sale after the jurying. For more information click on this link: http://cavanarts.ca/index.php/2016-03-22-23-44-51.
I've also been putting summer programs together and should have them up on my website shortly. If there is something you are particularly looking for let me know this week and I'll see if I can put it together. Programs of note will be a four-day plein air painting workshop and "open studio" time for those who want to work on a painting problem, learn a new technique or just get re-inspired in creating art.
This past Saturday was my art group at the Cumberland Lodge's second Art Exhibition. It looked fantastic, and of course the homemade baked goods for sale tasted fantastic! I was only able to stay for the first half hour as I had a class in the afternoon. But by the time I left four paintings had already sold! Way to go guys!!
If you normally work on commercially prepared stretched canvas or canvas boards, why not switch it up for a little bit of fun?
Many years ago I fell heir to a piece of gessoed linen yardage. I loved the look of it, although not the side gessoed to receive paint, but the underside which showed the beauty of the linen fabric. So I stretched in onto stretcher bars and applied two coats of liquid polymer medium, thinned with 25% water. (There was no clear gesso back then!) Then I painted a still life on it, leaving the unpainted fabric as the background... a vignette, if you will. They were very popular and sold quickly... all I have left are the photos!
Now one can purchase stretched linen canvases and canvas boards, but what about other fabrics? As long as they are natural fibres there should be no problem painting on them and with the advent of clear gesso you can use the designs on the fabric as part of your artwork. Oh, and if you are not into stretching your own canvasses you can glue the fabric to an existing canvas or board, or even a failed painting, using acrylic gel medium. I'm thinking cotton, burlap, denim, muslin... you are only limited by your imagination, so experiment!
Just to bring you back to speed on the current paintings, I'll go back a few steps and next week you will see the finished pieces.
I started by making appliqué leaves by taping a sheet of waxed paper over the image of the leaves. Then I applied two coats of gel medium to create the leaves and then cut them out. Then I painted them. I also added a bit of Interference colour to create a shimmer and some iridescent gold to accent the texture.
In the meantime I had prepared the backgrounds on the canvasses that I am using, and applied a coat of pouring medium, with some Interference Blue and some Spectral (glitter) paint mixed in to create a mystical watery background.
The final step is to apply the appliqué leaves to finish the piece. So tune in next week for the final reveal, and don't forget to send me ideas for what you would like to learn from the blog, or classes.
Thanks and best wishes,