To ensure quality surfaces on which to work, I build my own canvases. This is time consuming but I can create any size I want and feel sure that the canvas will stand up to my sometimes rigorous work processes. First I cut my pine stock to size, then glue, screw and reinforce the stretcher. Last the canvas is cut from my roll and stretched tought over the frame. Then it's ready for paint.
The canvases are then laid on the floor or hung on the wall where they get initial washes. It takes a good day for this stage to dry. In these images, on my floor are two matching canvases, 30 inches by 20 inches which will become a diptych and on my wall is a 48 inch by 36 inch start for a larger piece that will become LYRICAL LINES.
The finished works: 1) Diptych, FRESH, acrylic, 30 x 40; 2) LYRICAL LINES, acrylic, 36 x 48
One of the things that I have discovered since covid changed our lives is that it is next to impossible to find good quality paint in anything but tubes, and I could go through a tube in a day. None of the suppliers that I have used in the past carry quality acrylics in jars any more - student grade, yes, but I am far beyond being satisfied with student grade paint. Besides, it's not fair to my customers. So, I have begun to work differently - a rethink. Now I am using much thinner applications of acrylic and sometimes little acrylic at all. Below are three new pieces, and I like them.
Sometimes it's good to be pushed to rethink.
ANCIENT TIMES, raw pigment and acrylic on canvas, 35.5" x 35.5"
SOFT MORNING, acrylic and pencil on canvas, 36" x 48"
EXPLORING LANDSCAPE, acrylic, charcoal and pencil, 24" x 30"
I am pleased to be offering Part Two of Beginning Abstraction through Visual Voice Gallery. This series of classes will take place over 5 Wednesdays from 10am-noon beginning March 16th. Cost is $175.00 plus tax and registration is as indicated below.
I am hoping that students will finish with new knowledge and an excitement about continuing their exploration of abstraction. I also hope that they will leave with the warm feeling that comes from having fun.
The small, gestural painting, FOR THE FUN OF IT, and the larger DRAW/PAINT/DRAW 6 are now installed in the lovely home of Kim and Mike Byrne in Chance Harbour near New Glasgow and from Mike's photos (below) I'd say they they belong there!
This morning, Dec. 12, I finished the painting partially shown in the previous
"wall" post: December Day.
The title of this one is: SMALL BEGINNINGS, a reference to how the smallest, most insignificant looking bits of growth (the green bits) confirm that life is irrepressible.
The media on this work is a combination of coffee and acrylic, well sealed with a spray fixative. There is something about the richness of instant coffee on a canvas that I love, and coffee is essential in this painting.
Dark, rainy, cold days have brought me back to the studio on a more consistent basis. My work wall this morning: November 29, 2021. On the go: two little black and white pieces which I expect I will title "BLACK AND WHITE DAYS" plus another small piece (far from finished), exploring mark-making, and to the right, a portion of larger piece just begun.
It's good to be happy to be back to work.
LIMINAL SPACES, triptych, acrylic, tea, coffee and ink, 60" x 144". Now in Shannex head office, Toronto. My biggest painting yet and an exciting sale for me.