Sunday, August 1, 2010

Little Green Apple Holder

On Daily Painter Carol Marine's website she generously and openly shares a lot of info in her FAQ section that I don't always see artists willing to share--particularly what I call the mechanics of painting. Type of brush, panel, easel, paint, lighting issues, etc. For those of us who paint frequently, it's these kind of tips that can really make a difference.

For those of you who paint on small canvases (such as the 6x6 or 8x8 sizes that are now so commonly seen for Daily Painters) you'll likely understand that I was particularly interested to see how she, er, wrangled them.  Online I've seen a variety of methods for handling these little gems (which tend to be unstable on big wooden easel), but thankfully she shared an example of her little panel holder which you can order through her site. Basically it's a square with top and then a wedge piece that you can slide in from the bottom to hold the panel in place.

I was going to order the one from her site but I realized I had lots of extra Masonite in the garage to first give it a try on my own. I spray painted mine a flat black because I thought it would be helpful to have that value judgment as well.  A dark gray would work well too I think, but I happened to have a nice flat black spray on hand.  

What I really love about this "method" is that the panel holder acts as seamless frame so you can easily brush off the sides and edges of the canvas panel and not have your brush stroke interrupted. Anyway, here you can see my 30 minute "quick paint" test of half a Granny Smith apple where I'm playing with primary colors around the yellow-green apple. (I was also testing out a new Liquitex flat synthetic brush which was, for me, a bit too soft and floppy for oil, so I'll just save it for acrylic.)  A big thumbs up though on the panel holder, though, so again my thanks to Ms. Marine for sharing.

Speaking of thumbs up, earlier today I watched the documentary Art of the Steal, about the controversy surrounding the incredible Barnes Foundation, an unsurpassed collection of post-impressionistic paintings, many iconic, now worth billions. If you're interested in art history and the politics of art, I highly recommend it. The award-winning film raises compelling questions about private collections, museums, and the role art plays in our overall society, as well as our economy. 

To all my students, I look forward to seeing you in the studio this week! In the meantime, enjoy your easel time!

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