Well, we all know this is tax day and I’m sure you don’t like it any more than I do. I’m usually in a rather crabby mood the day or two preceding this day, when I’m working on that huge pile of paper that is my tax info. This year was no different. I was surrounded by that pile yesterday when my husband walked through the room and cheerily (he doesn’t do the taxes, hence the cheeriness) suggested, “What about those paintings you donated to Goodwill?”

Yes, he can be quite the helpful guy. Always ready to lend a hand or a bit of cheer in stressful times. Ergo his reminder of this event years ago, both of us a lot younger then and not quite so wise, when I had decided that years of practicing the art of painting had produced way too many pieces. I needed to clean house! Out with the old and all of that. So, I carefully weeded through the paintings, choosing only the most hideous for removal. Then, I placed them all in a stack out on the back porch next to the garbage.

Meanwhile, the mysterious mind of my husband was at work. He had phoned Goodwill to stop by and pick up the donation we had for them…on the back porch.

There is nothing quite so humiliating as having someone tell you they’ve seen your (signed) artwork at Goodwill…and they didn’t buy it…well, they bought the frame.

There is some sort of moral here about donations, I’m sure. Giving is good for the soul and all of that, but I’m not sure what it is.

P.S: “I was very embarrassed when my canvases began to fetch high prices. I saw myself condemned to a future of nothing but masterpieces.” (Henri Matisse)

EVEN THOUGH I’M CRABBY, I DECIDED TO DO A SMALL DEMO FOR YOU. Who knows, it might make me feel better?

HAVE YOU EVER HAD AN ARTIST TELL YOU THAT YOU SHOULD ONLY WORK IN ONE MEDIUM. A REALLY SERIOUS ARTIST STICKS WITH ONLY ONE?

Hogwash. I believed that for a good many years and felt guilty every time I tried something new. But now I’ve painted enough years to know that trying other mediums keeps me excited about painting! I do have my favorites, of course……and acrylic is one. You can use it either like oil paint or like watercolor paint. In this piece, it’s a bit of both worlds.

STEP ONE

The surface is a panel. Using Liquitex tube acrylics, I pull out a bit of color and thin it with water to block in the entire board. This is just a thin layer and so, it can be changed. This method is a ‘push and pull’, which just means that if you don’t like the color (or where you put the color) you let the whole thing dry and paint over it.

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STEP TWO

Here’s the second layer where I’ve actually begun to layer color on top of the original layer. I’ve lightened the side of the building, leaving a bit of the under layer showing, of course, as well as greens for leaves. For the most part, what I add at this point are all medium values.

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FINAL STEP

I love this step, adding the darkest darks (you see some in between leaves), and lightest lights, too, such as on the flowers. Additional details are also done now – centers of flowers. I also like to add a bit of ‘surprise’ color. In this case Liquitex Light Blue Violet.

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If you let each layer dry, you can add another layer without worry! If the previous layer is totally dry, you can just wipe off any new paint you don’t like! That is called FUN with a capital F. Okay, I’m in a better mood and I hope you, too, will enjoy.

See you next week.

Kathie

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