Monday, October 28, 2019

Italian Vista

"Italian Vista"
Image size 14" x 8.5"
Acrylic on rice paper

I had a piece of paper that was covered with an interesting rice paper that I found in my studio.  I had added some initial colors a long time ago.  I decided to see what could be done with it and this is what I painted.  I really like the texture of this rice paper.  It looks like it has short sticks in it, which adds a lot of interest to a painting.

I used acrylics I thinned to a consistency a bit thicker than watercolor and began adding layers of color.  The underlying colors still show through, which give it a bit of a dull look.  Usually, I wouldn't like that since I really love bright colors, but it seems to fit this scene.

Finally, on my tile mural, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I have only 16 pieces left to cut on the large side and have bisque fired almost 200 pieces.  In the pictures below, the white pieces have had their first (bisque) firing and are ready to glaze (paint).  I still need to carve a lot of the pieces to fit before I can continue firing, but it feels like the cutting will be finished soon.  I have to cut about 60 pieces on the small side, but I'm hoping to have all cutting and fitting for both sides finished by next week.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Pacific Coast

"Pacific Coast"
Image size 8" x 10"
I took a 1-day workshop on Saturday that was taught by Rick Delanty.  I've attended workshops with him before and have always learned a lot.  

I really fought with this painting and I'm not sure how I feel about it, but I'm finished working on it.  Time to move on to the next painting...

My clay mural is still slowly moving forward.  I had the elements replaced in my kiln, so it should take less time for each load to fire.  I will try it for the first time tomorrow.  The kiln is loaded and ready to turn on.  I was able to fit quite a few pieces in it.  I might be able to do all of the bisque firing in 4 or 5 batches.  The slow part will be when I'm firing all of the glazed pieces.  I'm still a long way from worrying about that though!

Monday, October 14, 2019


Image size 17" x 24"
Acrylic on TerraSkin
I'm having so much fun working with my acrylics.  This TerraSkin surface is great for achieving these textures by manipulating the thinned paints on a non-porous surface.  My friend just told me that this product is no longer available.  I still have some, but when I run out, I think Yupo will work the same way.  Both are non-porous and although I like the surface of TerraSkin better, for this painting technique, I think the results would be the same.

The white circles in this painting are from using resist before I started painting.  The white squiggles are a product made by Golden Paints called Tar Gel.  It is a very stringy fluid that gives a continuous stringy drip when dropping it from a palette knife or similar instrument.  It comes clear and works very well straight out of the jar.  Unfortunately, I've found that after some paint is added to it, it doesn't dribble as well.  I need to call the company and talk to them about it.  Maybe my paint to Tar Gel ratio is off.  Probably, when less paint is added, it retains its original consistency.  I only added the amount of paint I thought was needed to make it opaque.  Anyway, I like the effect.

Nothing to show on my clay mural.  I'm still cutting and fitting the pieces...SLOWLY!!

Monday, October 7, 2019

Santiago Canyon Poured Painting

"Santiago Canyon Poured Painting"
Image size 8" x 22"
I haven't painted a poured watercolor painting for a long time.  I have always liked the look of poured paintings.  They have a glow that isn't usually achieved with direct painting.  I did a little too much direct painting on this one to really get the full feeling of a poured painting.  It probably wasn't the best photo reference to pick, but I think it turned out okay.  

Poured paintings are very graphic since resist is used between each pour to save the lighter areas.  I happen to like that look a lot.  It does give a "pasted on" feeling, but that's part of the appeal.

I'm still cutting, cutting, cutting clay pieces.  I work on the mural every day, but it doesn't feel like I'm progressing as quickly as I think I should.  Since I am cutting the pieces larger and have to trim them to fit, it is very slow going.  The other day, I worked for 3 hours and only got 12 pieces carved to fit.  Sigh.....I'm really ready to paint this project.

I'm getting new elements put into my kiln.  It took 10.5 hours to fire a load of bisque and it used to take about half that time.  The tech said that is because the elements are so old and failing.  He checked my serial number and told me that it is 35 years old.  I guess I've gotten a lot of use out of it without it needing maintenance.  It will be nice to get the elements changed.  I will start firing loads as soon as that is fixed, even though everything isn't cut yet.  I've got at least 250-300 cut and ready to bisque fire.

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