Also, I appreciate the emails that I've received about my little seashell piece. It seems to have caught people's imagination. Good! Hopefully some of you will be inspired enough to try your own version of it... and maybe even send me photos of your work. That would be awesome! I'd love to feature some of your photos on my blog! And don't forget, you can always email me or leave comments on the blog site, with suggestions of the types of projects that you would like to see featured.
I hope you all had a great national holiday this past weekend. Happy Canada Day!, and to my American friends, Happy Fourth of July! I actually took Canada Day off. It's true, I did! It was like a mini-vacation. A friend and I took a scrumptious picnic lunch and sat in the shade of a huge willow tree at the beach. We dined, watched life pass us by and solved all of the world's problems. A truly successful day!
Today I had lunch with my friend and investment advisor, Lynn Cain. She has been researching "crowdfunding" as a way to fund her favourite animal rescue charities. I've heard of crowdfunding as a way to raise funds for accident victims, the rebuilding of Fort MacMurray and other tragic situations, but it seems that it also has more far reaching possibilities, such as funding startup businesses, creative projects and product development. For those doing volunteer projects it offers an opportunity of funding that is an alternative to grants, which are often limited as so many people and groups apply. Just a little something to tuck into your mind for the future!
I see that the space craft "Juno" has reached Jupiter and managed to put itself into orbit around the planet without incident. That is amazing! It's a shining example of technology actually working! I'm often heard to mumble... "Technology's great... when it works!"
Speaking of technology, this past week there has been some discussion amongst my artist friends about the various painting apps that are currently available. If this is a particular interest of yours then you might want to check this out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHEXBiH0TRU, and if you want to try it go here: http://www.escapemotions.com/experiments/rebelle/index.php.
Whatever you are doing this week, this summer, be creative!
Acrylic mediums can become very confusing very quickly. Many are so similar that they can be substituted for each other. Each manufacturer takes a similar basic medium and refines it for certain tasks and purposes and gives it a new name. Add to that the number of manufacturers of acrylic mediums each using different names… well it’s almost impossible to know what you already have that will work for you. So let’s look at some mediums and see what we can use them for.
Liquid, fluid, polymer, glazing mediums
These are basic mediums that are the most liquid of all the mediums. These are used to thin acrylic paint. Glazing medium does the same thing, but for glazing it needs to be very transparent so glazing medium is always gloss. The others all come in gloss, semi-gloss and matte. Keep in mind that matte is a bit cloudy because of the stuff added to it to take away the sheen. Gloss dries crystal clear. Some of these mediums come with UV protectants in them.
· To thin paint
I always mix the medium with 25% water because I find it makes the paint flow more easily. Use instead of water, to prevent polymer breakdown.
· To use as glue
These mediums make great glue for adhering light weight materials in your work, such as tissue paper, light fabric etc.
· As a separation layer
Before varnishing an acrylic painting it is highly recommended that one or two coats of liquid medium (I use the watered down one) are applied to separate the varnish from the paint. In the event of damage and the varnish needs to be removed for the repair, the separation layer protects the paint from being removed along with the varnish.
· To create or thicken skins
Acrylic skins can be made of any of these mediums, straight out of the bottle. They can also be applied to stenciled skins to hold all the pieces together as one.
· As a transparent sealer
Before the invention of Clear Gesso, I used the liquid medium to seal some painting surfaces, such as oak panels and various fabrics, so that the paint sat on the surface rather than soaking into the surface, while still letting the beauty of the surface show through. A couple of coats did the trick quite nicely.
· For use as a binder with powdered pigments
Many of the powdered pigments available these days can be mixed with these mediums to create liquid or soft body paints.
· And more…
I know as you become familiar with them that you will find many more uses for these versatile mediums.
This week I have added some rows of beads to the piece. I purchased them strung, which made them amazingly easy to apply. Using a cake decorators icing bag made of a triangle of parchment paper, I extruded an amount of gel medium the length of the string of beads I wanted to apply. Then I cut off the knot keeping them on the nylon string and laid down the number I wanted into the gel medium and holding the lowest bead in place, pulled the nylon string out. This kept the beads in a line and also kept the holes in the beads out of sight. If some got out of alignment then I just used a palette knife to realign them.
Again, using the icing bag, I added some strings of gel medium. They will dry totally clear and will add subtle visual and textural interest. Finally I spread some gel medium, thinly, in areas where I wanted to apply some light aqua glass seed beads. I gently poured on some beads and when the gel is dry I will gently remove the excess by tapping the piece on my work surface, into a container so that I can reuse the leftovers.
As usual, this piece is now waiting for the gel medium to dry... who said that acrylics dry too fast????
Next week you will see the finishing flourishes of paint and the final piece.