Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Tinkering in the Studio

If you have followed me much here, you might notice I seem to tinker with artist gear more than painting! I like tinkering and building things. Recently I was, again, attempting to learn how to use gouache (opaque watercolor) paint. It seemed like the gear should have been simpler, but it wasn't, so I played around to make it more user friendly.

Although I have built many different setups from wood, I didn't feel like reinventing the wheel this time. I have an older EasyL brand painting box that I love. It's been all over the world with me. They don't make this model anymore.

But newer shiny painting boxes have come on the market over the years since I bought this little box. I've bought and sold numerous brands and models for different reasons or mediums. I think I own about 10 different models right now. They all have their uses, but this little one sat on the shelf. So I decided to make it work for an exclusive gouache painting box. I work very small with gouache because of the fast drying time making it difficult to paint larger than 6x8 (in my opinion!).

The gouache I was using is the Caran d'Ache pan set which is contained in a nice metal box, but that makes it heavy. The little pans of each color pop out easy enough so I found an empty metal watercolor box that they all fit into. Perfect fit!!

To make it convenient when painting, I needed to organize the inside the wooden box. I took a piece of HDPE 1/8" plastic sheet and cut it to size. This material is a hard plastic which I use in several of my other painting boxes as the palette where I mix paint. It can be cut with a utility knife and holes can be drilled with a cordless drill. The micro magnets are powerful little things that many artists use to keep things steady on their gear. Because the plastic is a tiny bit flexible, the magnets popped into the holes I drilled and stayed fine without glue. They are the little rounds things shown in the plastic below.
I am left handed, so I arranged the locations of the magnets in a way that worked best for me. They hold onto the metal box with the pan paints, a metal tray for water to clean brush (top left), and a tiny jar to hold clean water (to use to dip the end of the brush to help the paint flow). I added a little magnetic clip to the metal tray which holds a folded paper towel that will be wet (to place any tube paint to keep it from drying too fast). The setup works well on its own on a tabletop. The extra open white area of the HDPE will serve as an additional paint mixing area.
Once popped into the box, it makes a neat little package! The sketchbook or paper fits nicely in the upper area. The wood box has an additional side wing that attaches to the left side of the box with space to lay my brushes and tubes of paint. The box is fitted on the bottom with a tripod nut and will be attached to my travel tripod when I am painting standing outside.
My small gouache painting with credit to Jim Glover for use of his photo reference
Seems like a pretty good setup! Now I need to get better with these paints!! ;-)

I've Retired!!

I recently retired! YAY! I'd worked in the engineering field for over 30 years and was lucky to have been employed by a great company for the last 21 1/2 yrs, with great benefits including a real pension in addition to a 401k with an 8% match.

So on my 62nd birthday I retired! Now I am a lady of leisure doing whatever I feel like!!! Maybe that will include more time to post on the blog again. I got so lazy by just posting on Instagram which posts automatically on my Facebook artist page. Hopefully I can now do both the blog and social media!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Brown County Indiana Retreat

Since I seem to be forgetting to post anything on this blog, I will share with you my friend, travel and painting buddy's blog post of our recent trip to historic Brown County Indiana at the retreat led by my other friend Michael Chesley Johnson! She also links to Michael's blog with his report on the retreat. Click on the link below:

I knew only a tiny bit about Brown County and always wanted to learn more. I asked Michael to figure out a retreat there, since he knew a local painter, Douglas Runyon, an expert on the area. It was really great to have a retreat with Michael that didn't involve airline travel! This area was about 3 1/2 hrs from home. Douglas was a wealth of information, and certainly the only way we could have had access to the best parts of this area!

Although it was considered a painting retreat, I couldn't seem to get in the groove to paint (but that is ok, as I needed a vacation one way or another!). Also, because of the late, late spring in Ohio, I had only been able to paint outside once before heading west. I tried to do a couple pastels and oils, but wasn't happy with my work. The only piece I ended up with was from a photograph taken in Brown County State Park. I painted a 6x8 pastel at the table of our cabin one afternoon. These pics are from two different cellphones. The top pic shows my cellphone with photo, the value sketch (trying to do this for all paintings!), and the final painting (which is a bit washed out in this photo).

 Below is another photo, but still doesn't show it true. But I am happy with how this painting came out.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Some More Small Paintings

I did a few more paintings and needed to get them posted for you to see! I've sure had a good run this winter - as they say - you have to put in the time to get the results. I've got some other things to attend to now, so it may be a few weeks for something new. Hope you enjoy viewing my art!
"Egg with Red Striped Towel", 6x6", oil on panel

"Clementine Dreams of Marmalade", 6x8", oil on panel

"Big Dreams", 6x8", oil on panel

"Almost a Fit", 6x8", oil on panel

Monday, January 01, 2018

New Year Look Back

I usually take a tally on last year's art, sales, and events at the end of the year. But when I looked back on my notebook, I hadn't added any notes since my trip to Florida last winter!

I do know that I was very lucky to have sold 4 paintings last year, enjoyed painting with my Plein air pals and doing a little bit of traveling. I really should keep an art journal this year.

I believe 2018 holds much fun and adventure!!!