Posts Tagged ‘gesso’


Winter Creek – Study. Good bye 2012

December 31, 2012
Winter Creek-Study; Oil on Canvas 8" x 10"

Winter Creek-Study; Oil on Canvas 8″ x 10″

Here we are as 2012 comes to a close and we anticipate 2013. A better year we hope, but what does that mean?

2012 included good moments as well as trying moments. The positive moments boosted my self confidence, brought joy and improved my attitude. The trying, or negative moments take some time to appreciate. There is a positive side, I just have to seek it.  In life as with art, you have to step back from your work to get a view of and assess the overall picture.

I had paintings included in several exhibitions, but also received rejection notices from a few. I sold some artwork though never as many pieces as I would like to have sold (do any of us artists sell as much as we desire?). About three weeks ago, I made a decision and scrapped about two dozen works which were not to my liking (applications of gesso to inferior works can be soooo cathartic). I had fun with my watercolor classes this year, although running a joint class of second and third level students in the spring semester was tough.

So how do I put a positive spin on the negative moments? The rejections from exhibitions, the lack of buyers at art events, the destruction of works  (hours of labor and paint wasted), the extra work that comes with a new class strategy? It’s tough!

The rejection notices from competitions cause me to evaluate art submissions (both mine and the exhibition). It helps me to grow by raising my standards for the work which I am creating. It helps me to gain a more critical eye for future submissions both for my work and for the exhibition (i.e. one exhibition included VERY contemporary work, in which my work did not fit). But, hopefully, I learned from it.  A more discerning eye perhaps.

Low sales volume helps me to evaluate the work which I am displaying for the public and keeps me more keenly aware of viewers comments. It also allowed me to purge works (excess inventory) which should not be out of the studio. Nothing is worse than seeing a painting a few years after creation and wondering, what I was I thinking to have sold THAT piece. Yuk! It should help me to feel freer about exploring new directions possibly.

Adjusting schedules and tactics to ensure that my second and third level students were able to have a class was not convenient nor easy. But it enabled me to be creative in assignments that would be of aid to both levels of students. Thank goodness that my students were flexible in their expectations and worked along with the strategy. It helped me be a better instructor I trust.

A more discerning eye, new directions and improved teaching, great aims for 2013. Now if I can somehow include more sales to help get a new studio easel and additional supplies….well, I can hope, can’t I?

Here’s to a Happy, Prosperous and Successful New Year.


Candle and Teddy Bear Redux

December 13, 2011

Candle and Teddy Bear, Oil on Canvas 14" x 11"

As we move from autumn to winter, I find that I am spending more time in the studio. Over the summer and early autumn I spent more time outside and tended to neglect housekeeping  in the studio. A week ago, I  decided that some organization and clean up was in order. In the process, I opted to clear the studio of a few paintings. A few “clinkers”. Paintings that I realize are not good enough. About couple dozen such works.  The nice thing with oil paints is that you can apply gesso over old, unsuccessful works and start afresh. For now, each evening before leaving the studio, I grab a few paintings, apply gesso and leave them to dry overnight. Within a few days, I will have less inventory of paintings and a greater inventory of “blank” canvases ready for me to paint.

As I was clearing out the clinkers, I came across this work. I created this from life last year during the Christmas season. Before destroying this work, I decided to take some time and play with it first. A few touches of paint to the front side of the table. Brighter, more intense colors to the ornaments, greens and candle. Then, darken up the background. I have attached an image of the original design for your comparison.

Candle and Teddy Bear - Original