Friday, January 18, 2008
'W.O.B.State Park, 1PM'
Now it's cold! We in this area are experiencing the coldest front of the season so far. Highs for the next few days aren't going to break O'F, and the wind chills are into the -20 to -50 degree range. In light of this weather, and anxious to paint again, I did these little 3"x5" gouache studies from the warmth and comfort of my truck this afternoon. This is a great way to get life studies in less than normal conditions. Gouache is an opaque medium, very similar to oils, that is water soluble always. They are very pigmented so the color is very strong and is a lot like painting with oils if you don't water them way down. I like to use....okay....as a former art school'er in a design school...I grew to 'hate' gouache. We had to use gouache to paint thousands and thousands of color swatches for endless design and color class assignments. For a long time, just the smell of gouache (it's unique) made me feel overworked, hungry, misunderstood, like a failure...I'm kidding about hungry! This is partly true though. We had to do most of those class assignments in gouache and they had to be immaculate when we handed them in. The problem is that gouache dries to a very matt finish. One touch of a finger with any oil on it at ALL and you have a dark finger print. I can't tell you how many times at 4 or 5am on those too numerous all nighters, I ruined an assignment and had to re-do in a couple of hours what had taken me all night to do. I suppose that should have been the lesson that I should be grateful to gouache for....I was wasting way too much time on the first attempt! Anyway, I paint these in an 8x10 Stratmore Black paper sketch book. I just stopped up at my local printer and bought some nice middle value gray card stock, had them spiral bind it, and now I have a gray sketch book for these studies too. These, a camera for photos and that's about all that's needed if the weather is bad and you still want to get out and paint. No thinners, no fumes and the brushes can always be cleaned if you forget to wash them out after a session. Can't beat that.
I've been busy with interviewing and putting together photos, bios and all that is required for a few interviews in magazines coming up. The first one will be in Create Better Paintings. com, a new online art magazine being put together by Jennifer King a well traveled art magazine editor and a painter herself. I know her from the old Plein Air Magazine days, I worked with her on the article that I was a part of. She has a great idea to save paper! Check the website out, it's a subscription magazine with lot's of information for artists by artists. My article is due in the February edition and is being written by Ray Hassard of Ohio an accomplished pastel artist. We had a great conversation the other day and it will be interesting to see if Ray can make heads or tales from what I told him about painting. If he does, he's a better man than I.
The second article will be in American Art Collector in March. That one is going to be about the Wet Paint event at Coleman Fine Art in Charleston, SC in March. Mary Whyte, Kate Starling, David Akhriev and yours truly will be there painting for one week which will culminate in a show of all of the paintings produced that week. I'm really excited to be a part of this tradition that Smitty Coleman and Mary Whyte have put on for what will be 5 years now.
And lastly, I'll be one of three artists featured in the October 2008 issue of The Artists Magazine in an article about painting Nocturnes. A very good writer, also a very good artist, Michael Chesley Johnson has interviewed me for that and is in the process of writing what I'm sure will be an interesting and informative article about those of us with a Vampire Painters' complex.