Thursday, August 4, 2016

Keep it Simple


July 1-31, 2016  WATERWORKS 2016~~All About Water Watertower Gallery, Mendocino, California
"Tidepools"  6" x 6" framed in black wood
Sometimes life happens and my blog doesn't. I am back here again and hope to share some things that I have learned on my road to be a better artist.

 Often while working on my paintings I get into a rut. I find I start to repeat themes, subject matter and colors. That is boring for me and for people who are looking at my work. To force myself to go back to basics - to think simple shapes - good composition - clean color - I pulled out old magazines and paper out of trash. Started tearing up the paper and laying it out on a sheet of paper in different basic compositions.
 One thing lead to another and now a whole series of colorful paper and gouache collages of different themes are coming out of the studio. Some are very small but then I go big. All the paper is trash, old chip bags, gum wrappers, magazine ads, what ever gets me the color I need.
     You can use Mod Podge Mat, Golden Gel Medium, or Liquitex Medium. All work great. I prefer mat finish, all up to you. It takes a bit to get used to working with gouache and gluing down the paper but be patient. I use Cottonwood Arts laminated canvas sheets, wood panels, heavy watercolor paper and canvas panels as supports.
The supports get several heavy coats of gesso first.
 I used old monoprints that didn't turn out well but the colors were great. My studio has plenty of old water stained books, old artwork not worth saving that have now found new life in collages. I have yet to buy any paper, everything is recycled.
When I go back to by easel and oils, my head seems to be ready to think in simple terms of good composition, clear color and simple shapes.
Give this exercise a try, hope it helps you as well!

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