Being in Florida as the year turned, a typical blog topic would be the usual conversations about 2021 or committing to losing weight. Covid dominated the nation and the news, and still does. The entire upheaval of the nation and the American people was too much to bear. I don’t see any reason to rehash it. It won’t do any good. We can only hope that people do what’s right for the people of the country. Looking forward with positivity and an optimistic mindset will benefit one far more. For me, it’s a new beginning for my art. To build on what I learned and improve on my work for the future.
In 2019 I started using matchstick and ink drawing with watercolor, finding it very interesting and fun to do. So much that I wasn’t doing any non-ink paintings. I really enjoy drawing and the ink line style enhances my work. It indeed does make watercolor easier and works well for plein air. I would create simple line drawings in my sketchbook and use those to draw directly on the paper with minimal blocking in. I will continue to use this method and create more hope to paint more interesting works.
In 2020 I developed a process for mounting watercolor paper to a panel that doesn’t require glass and matting. After completion, the work is sealed and varnished. Adding a frame is all that’s required. This brings the work closer to the eye much as with oils instead of hiding it behind glass. It’s a bit labor intensive to mounting the paper, pressing it out for twenty-four 24 hours. The work won’t get to market as quickly as typical framing but can be posted to the web site prior to treatment. On the cost side, fewer materials are needed.
In late 2021 I attempted stretching watercolor paper on canvas bars instead of the mounting on panel. It cuts the curing time, but I have concerns about the fragility of the paper when its drum tight. One tear could be a problem. I will add another thickness of material to the back of the paper for support. I believe there is a benefit to working this process and anticipate many more nice pieces.
This year, I plan re-learn oil painting. I have done a few in the past and can’t recall the reasons I stopped as they were pretty good. The reason for the most part is the added flexibility of oils over acrylics. There are several nuisances about the medium that require learning and practice. I have decided to pursue this for the year in hopes that I can produce art with some regularity. It could be problematic as I am known for my watercolors. Artists define their “voice” as a painter when they choose the medium, subject and style. I believe it’s all part of my “reinventing” myself. Starting with small paintings I hope to rekindle my relationship with oils as I have done a few in the past. My only issue is dealing with the drying time of oils. There are answers for that, however. It has nothing to do with the so-called pricing oils higher. I won’t charge any more for an 11 x 14 oil than an acrylic. Others may take exception to that, but isn’t it fair? After all, I created the works.
Stay in touch and watch for new works being added to the site based on these methods. I’d like to hear back if you care to comment. Email me via the contact form.