Monday, May 16, 2011

The Lights Burn Blue

"Lights Burn Blue" Contemporary Abstract 

Today's Painting (Title from King Richard III, Act V)
I love working in oils but there are times (getting ready for show, transporting paintings to and from a workshop, etc.) that you need a faster drying time when working. So I've been wanting to "practice" working with Open (slower drying) acrylics in an oil paint like manner, i.e. softer edges, smoother color transitions, etc. I've only used them once or twice, and while so far they don't feel to me a perfect substitute for oil paint,

Open acrylics are certainly more "blendy" than traditional heavy body acrylics. In my drier climate, they are pretty much dry to the touch by end of day with some heavier applications remaining tacky.

In this abstract painting, which is based very loosely on a western/canyony landscape, I used a relatively limited double primary (one cooerl/one warmer) palette of Golden Open Acrylics-- Thalo Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Indian Yellow Hue, Hansa Yellow, Quin Magenta and Pyrole Red. Here's a short video demo about Open Acrylics.

Reading in the Studio: The Art of Maynard Dixon
I think an interesting question to ask another artist would be what artist or painting would they buy if  they "won the lottery" and could own anything. For me, I think many years ago I would have quickly said an Impressionist or Post Impressionist. (I chose Corot as one of my personal heroes in a yearbook way back). So a Degas, a Van Gogh, perhaps a Matisse.

But many years later, as a Westerner, I would probably choose a panoramic painting by Maynard Dixon. The first Maynard Dixon painting I ever saw was Open Range--one of the most amazing clouds ever painted! Last week for my birthday I received this beautiful and inspiring collection by Donald Hagerty. This book is truly a breathtaking collection if you enjoy Western landscapes and southwestern subject matter.

Thanks for stopping by and have a colorful spring week!

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