Sunday, March 23, 2014

Workshop Announced - June 2-6, 2014 - Akron, Ohio!

I'm very happy to be able to announce a new workshop to be held June 2-6, 2014, in Akron, Ohio in conjunction with the Akron Society of Artists.

This workshop will be five days of painting outside in the landscape, for intermediate and advanced painters , working in oils, pastels or acrylics. I work in all three of those mediums on location and in the studio, and am happy to see artists in my workshops with any of the three.

Since we all come to painting with a lot of information and history of our own, it’s not possible for me to know each individual students’ experience and abilities. I employ exercises in my workshops to help you strengthen your current abilities, and expose those skills that need strengthening. I work with each individual student at their own level, spend a lot of time at your easel, giving individual instruction. I demo everything that I ask you to do.

You’ll leave the workshop having spent five days studying the basic elements of painting… Drawing, Value, Color, Edges and Design… with one other element, possibly the most important one of all… Concept… being explored and discussed at length.

You will go home with a portfolio full of valuable exercises that you can refer back to as you move forward in your own painting process.

All I ask is that you come with an inquisitive and open mind, and the Art Spirit within you.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

March 20, 2014... Acrylic studio paintings.

Happy Spring!  It's greening up here, the gardeners showed up today to take inventory and begin the season.  The winds are up, something that I now know is a near constant this time of year, east of the Front Range in Colorado.  A person can almost tell the time of the day by the winds.  They nearly always kick in right at 12:00 noon.  Painter and friend, Dave Santillanes, a native of the area, told me that last week.  I've been paying attention and Dave is right, noon it is!

Why am I painting winter then?  I'm taking a little break from getting all of the paintings that I sold during February ready to ship.  I have all of these very fresh studies in the studio, and the memory of painting them, that I am still in the middle of churning through from last month.  The painting urge hasn't let up, I'm giving it it's needed fix.  There is nothing better than having fresh studies and the memory of the experience to paint from in the studio... except painting them outside!  This weekend is going to be devoted entirely to packing and shipping all of the art sold.  Thanks again to everyone who purchased a painting, or two, or three.  I'm grateful for that support.  

To further complicate my life, I've been painting with Golden Open acrylics in the studio.  I'm not  sure why, except that I like the solvent free aspect of them, the ability to stop and start at any time on a painting, not having to wait for it to dry or stay wet if need be.  I  think that I'm also overdosing a little bit on solvents and driers like Liquin.  

I'm not complaining, but I've noticed that when I'm using a lot of either of those type of ingredients in my oil painting, which I do often now so that I can better control the drying time, I have some issues with congestion, slight headaches and watery eyes.  My plan is to use the acrylics for awhile to see if that clears up.  So far, I'm already able to see an improvement.  If I don't go nuts trying to get a grip on the acrylic monster, I think it might be a good move.  

Working with them is more like what I like about working with pastels... I can lay down paint/pastel, and very quickly work over it.  Immediately with pastel, almost immediately with acrylics.  Glazes, scumbling, are all great  techniques that I like to use in oil painting too.  My patience is getting shorter though, it takes too long for the oils to be ready for me to do that like I want to.  If I had an area to 'rack up' paintings while they dry for these techniques with the oil paints, I could see working on a number of paintings in stages at a time.  I don't.  If I have 4 paintings done, it's crowded in here, and there's no where to add a rack.  

With the acrylics, the drying times of these newer 'Open' acrylics, work right along with me.  I paint pretty fast normally.  The acrylics are almost begging for the painter to do that with them.  So, they and I, seem to be working pretty well together.  Taming the monster that they are, is really getting used to a process of painting with them on their terms.  Once I do that, I love what they have to offer.  Stay tuned...

What I'm posting here are two paintings painted from the two studies I'm also posting.  That's not always a great idea, but for interest, that's what I'm doing.  Don't think that I am trying to exactly copy the studies, I'm not.  The studio paintings evolve from the studies, as you can see, and are usually more complex.  That's the case with both of these.  Field studies are the soul of the experience, the journal of your time, and are why I paint outside.  The studio painting is a further exploration of that memory and experience.  I like both.  Since the grass is greening up, and the snow is long gone, the only way to explore either of these ideas is to do it in the studio from the studies.  I didn't take any photographs in February of the locations I painted, with a couple of exceptions.  So if I'm going to paint up any of the February paintings, it will have to be done only using those paintings as reference, or the photos of them once they're out of my studio.  

Both of the larger paintings are painted on acrylic primed linen.  "Freeze in the Air" is painted on a Frederix linen called 'Antwerp'.  It's one that I've used a lot of over the years, but it's really pricey.   I mounted it on a cradled birch panel, after first putting down two coats of GAC 100 (A Golden Product) to seal the wood, preventing acid migration into the surface of the acrylic paint.  It's a problem with oils and acrylics, but more of a concern with acrylics.  The moisture in can leach out the impurities from the underlying wood as it dries, pulling them towards the wet paint.  That can cause discoloration in the paint film.  GAC 100 seals the wood, providing a barrier between it an the painting.  I glued down the Antwerp using Lamin-All glue.  

The other painting, "Frozen Hollow", was painted on a stretched Utrecht linen (Type 66J) that I've had for many years.  I used to make my own lead primed panels and stretched supports, with RSG and this linen.  For this painting, I stretched it on some heavy duty bars that I first sealed the edges of with the GAC 100, then sized it with one coat of GAC 400, followed by 2 coats of GAC 100.  The GAC 400 is for stiffening fabric, which is nice because without using rabbit skin glue (RSG), it's hard to get that drum tight stretch on linen.  The GAC 400 helps to replicate that somewhat.  Following a light sanding, I applied 4 coats of acrylic dispersion primer (mistakenly called acrylic gesso, it's not gesso), with light sanding in between coats.  

This was a test of sorts... I learned that I prefer the linen mounted on board, and will continue that way when painting with the acrylics.  It's nice to be able to 'lean into' the painting with p.knives and brushes when it's on the board. Can't do that with the stretched linen.  Plus, the whole process of stretching and prepping the linen from the raw state was time consuming and it didn't give me any particular advantage.  I didn't like painting on it as much as I did the glued down linen. I may continue to use the raw linen (hell of a lot less expensive than pre-primed even though it's acrylic priming) and prime it myself. I didn't notice much difference at all, painting on pre-primed vs my priming it.  I used Golden 'Gesso'.  That 's what they call it, it's acrylic primer. 

Thanks for looking in!

"Freezing Fog #2"
Oil - 8x10

"Frozen Hollow"
Acrylic - 20x24
©Marc R. Hanson 2014

"Freezing Fog #3"
Oil - 8x10

"Freeze in the Air"
Acrylic - 18x24
©Marc R. Hanson 2014

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Get Phaked!

I hope some of you have been here and understand what I'm about to confess... :)

'Ph-aked'... Ph(one) - (n)aked!  Leaving home without it.

I'm coining a new term "Phaked" (sounds like 'Naked' with the 'F' sound beginning), or I've missed it being used before.  Or it doesn't matter and is a moot point.  In any case, I'm using this to describe what has been an interesting thought process with me lately.  

Recently, on several trips into town to pick up groceries or art supplies, why else would I go into town (?), I've left my phone at home, not intending to.  Reason is that my studio is about 100 yds away from my apartment, and I often head to the studio without the phone on purpose.  More about that in a second... 

A side thought... Remember when you had a phone wired into a wall?  I don't have one anymore.  I used to talk to my other artist friends, who were full time artists painting in their studios, about the use of the phone during painting hours.  Many of  us had one of those ancient contraptions called an 'answering machine', a little box into with which you could *deflect interruptions (phone calls) in order to keep the concentration on an even keel while plying away the hours at the easel.  We turned those answering machines on, put the 'ringer' on silent, and had beautiful quiet time while painting!  I made it perfectly clear to everyone I could, that if you called me during my painting hours, you wouldn't get me, you would get  my answering machine, so please leave a message.  I had an exemption from the rule for family members of course, or a call meeting set up ahead of time.  

*I had a hard time sticking to the rule, but any little bit helped.

This was a necessary workplace rule if we wanted to get any painting time in with any resemblance to a fluid train of thought for the hours we had, to spend in our studios.  

Back to the leaving home without the iPhone... Because I occasionally depart the studio on my way into town without stopping at the apartment to grab the iPhone, I was noticing that when this happened, I felt this sudden sense of anxiety, an urgency, a feeling like I just did something that is going to cause me to feel completely exposed and helpless. I felt NAKED!  It was terrible, how could I function without it?  When at a red light, when in the grocery store, at the lunch establishment, in the art supply store???!!!  OMG... I wasn't sure I didn't need treatment... maybe I do? 

I was Phone Naked... PHAKED!!!

Feeling like that freaked me out.  I thought about it and decided that what was really freaky, was feeling freaky over feeling freaky about leaving the freaking iPhone at home!!!   I made a decision at that point...

Think about it, it wasn't more 10 years ago when almost no one had a small portable phone with them at all times, maybe less.  We survived.  I understand the benefit to parents with kids for whom the phones are valuable, and for people who work from the phone while away from home, and others.  

Personally, I hate being a slave to anything, like this computer, or my iPhone.  

I've decided that I am going to leave home without it more often.  And that it will not come into my studio, unless I have a pre-arranged phone meeting to keep. (Yes, my fingers are tingly... palpitating breaths at the thought of it.)

Since doing this a few times, I am breathing easier, taking deep, fully cleansing breaths more often.  I have seen that life does go on without a phone in my pocket or hand at all times.  I sit in restaurants without it and notice what's going on around me, see tables of friends who don't even look up at each other, they're all on their phones.  This is not a good thing. 

 I am a phone addict... I now choose not to be.  GET PHAKED!!!

That's all I'm saying about it. ;-)

Monday, March 3, 2014

Small studio pastel studies.

I've posted these before, but have just added them to the Daily Paintworks gallery where my art is featured for sale.   I am working on larger studio paintings from two of these now, using the cold wax medium with oil paints.  Will post the results as they're finished.  Cold wax is an extremely interesting medium that I am fully loving investigating.  I'm painting on Baltic Birch cradled panels that have been sealed with PVA and two coats of acrylic polymer primer (mistakenly labeled and called 'gesso').   These pastels are on sanded pastel paper mounted to Pacific Mount self adhesive 3x mount board.  They were done with a lot of exploration in mind to express an emotional concept, more than a specific location or subject.

"Complimentary Tree" - pastel - 6x6 - $250.00

"Southern Colorado" - pastel - 6x8 - $275.00

"The Last of Winter" - pastel - 6x8 - $275.00

"The Softer Side" - pastel - 6x8 - $275.00

Workshop... Field to Studio... Scottsdale Artists' School... April 7th-11th, 2014.

Marc Hanson
04/07/2014 - 04/11/2014 9:00AM - 4:00PM on Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri

Optional Donation
About Studio Support Donation
This workshop is open to oil and pastel painters who are already comfortable with their media and have experience working outdoors. We will start with field work; gathering possible candidates to be used for larger paintings, followed by a few days of studio work enlarging the studies selected. There will be a demonstration to students the process from start to finish. Students should expect to get a good start on the final painting but may not finish it entirely. The goal is to get the student to see the value in creating accurate field work that can be used as a reference in the studio, to work up a concept from the field into a strong studio painting that has similarities to, but is not a copy of, the field work. We will use photography where necessary and discuss the benefits and disadvantages of using them together. Field and studio work. Critique, materials discussion and group conversation will be part of the week.
Portable easel and transportation required.
Scottsdale Artists' School Link.

Intermediate Advanced
Hanson Supply List