The hypothesis of goal-gradient is based on animals... [R]ats in a maze … run faster as they near the food box than at the beginning of the path. —Hull (1934), and applied to people working towards a goal or completion of an assignment. The closer one gets to one's goal the more focussed one becomes on achieving it.
For an artist that could be finishing a painting, setting up an exhibition or even entering a competition. Oh, by the way, I'm not suggesting that artists are like rats... unless of course you self-identify at a rat, but artists are like everyone else who want the goal completed, and completion becomes the dangling carrot to making it so.
All that to say that I spent the afternoon, yesterday, in the studio finishing a couple of paintings... totally focussed on my work. As an artist this is a wonderful sensation... to work freely and unfettered by other responsibilities; to allow the Muse to have the upper hand; to let the laundry lay in it's sorted piles until another day (laundry is very patient and will wait for as long as it takes, but it does seem to multiply while lying there!). Oh, and I completely forget about writing a blog post until I finished painting... so now I'm a day behind.
This past weekend I attended the Westboro Village (a neighbourhood in Ottawa) Westfest and found an unbelievable bargain on pre-made frames from Wall Space Gallery (http://www.wallspacegallery.ca/). The frames had been on other paintings, but to get a 24" x 36" floating frame for a gallery canvas, in excellent shape, for $5? No-brainer!!! Just heavy carrying it back to the car, some 10 blocks away!
The art exhibition at Wall Space Gallery was also amazing. They featured three fabulous artists and also had pottery and jewelry by very talented artisans. If you get to Westboro this is a must see gallery! Just tell them that Susan sent you!
Westfest also gave me an opportunity to visit with my sister Valerie, at her store, The Cuckoo's Nest (http://www.thecuckoosnest.ca/), to decide on the final pen and ink image of the old Westboro Town Hall for her custom "Westboro Village" coasters. I must say, the coasters are not what I thought they would be, but a much higher quality product, being made from polished Canadian shield granite. These are definitely a great gift giving item!
Today, now Thursday, was the last of my Spring class sessions. It's always a bit sad when I hear "See you in September" at this time of year. But, I am offering a number of workshops this summer as well as my ongoing Acrylics and Oils class at NECTAR in New Edinburgh. For more information check out the classes/workshop segment of my website, or contact me for information. I also have openings for private or small group classes at my studio, so let me know if you are looking for something not listed.
For fall classes and workshops I am open to suggestions about kind of classes or workshops you would like to attend, so please let me know. Even if it's something I don't teach I can arrange workshops with guest instructors on many subjects, media or styles, if there is enough interest. I even know a terrific sewing/knitting teacher if that is your interest. I look forward to hearing from you!
Today's Painting Tip: Painting Rocks
Rocks are simple to paint if you just let them happen, rather than trying to duplicate the rocks in your photo.
Start with your darkest rock colour and just apply it in a random fashion similar to the rocks you want to paint... angular or round, large or small etc. Then create the different facets of the rock with a lighter colour. Add highlights with the lightest colour, considering where the source of light is. Finally, you can add some highlights of reflected light on the dark side of the rocks. This is usually done in the colour of the sky as that is most often what is reflected. Don’t forget to “anchor” the rock with shadows and foliage around the base.
I recommend a minimum of three shades of the rock colour... dark, medium and light, however you can do as many values as you like but three will give your rocks the form you need to be realistic.
By starting with the darkest rock colour your shadowed crevices will appear to be exactly that... crevices, as opposed to putting the cracks in later, which will give them a painted on appearance.
Okay, so get rockin!
This week I refined the colours a little bit to enhance the effects of the late day light, applied interference orange over certain areas of the painting to create an ethereal element and then enhanced the texture by using Iridescent Gold metallic paint, brushed on lightly with a large flat brush held almost parallel to the surface of the canvas.
The interference colours and iridescent metallic paints have no pigment in them... with the exception of Golden's Iridescent Bronze, which has Phthalo blue added to tone the colour down to a true bronze colour. These paints are created using mica flakes that when mixed with the polymer binder create the metallic colours. They handle a little differently than regular pigmented paints, but offer incredible opportunities to enhance your artwork. Let me know if you want to know more about these wonderful paints.
Also, next week you will see the Painting from Jane's Photograph finally finished!