Monday, November 23, 2015

Concurrent Shows

I was going to write about this last week but I did not have the photos to post… I had forgotten my camera on both opening nights and I was fortunate to have my son-in-law available with his iPhone on the 6th. It is not often an artist gets to open concurrent shows in the same month. I was very blessed to have the openings on different evenings, more luck than good management! Both were fairly quiet events, always a delight to have time to chat and meet new people. The watercolour show is already down (it finished on the 18th November) and the mixed media show closes on the 27th November while I am in Montreal. I have wonderful daughters. They have agreed to pick up my mixed media paintings for me on the 28th and , although they don’t know it yet, they will be dropping off the paintings at VASA for the member show opening the 3rd December at 6pm. Life is so good.

Monday, November 16, 2015


Not too long ago I took in an excellent workshop on editing my work. This is something I do regularly with the drawing part of my repertoire. I did it again this morning as I selected the best sketches I had made on Saturday during the “Draw Til You Drop”. Unfortunately I could only stay for the first six hours and I enjoyed every minute of it as I ploughed through piles of paper. So how does one edit? With the drawing segment I do it in two stages. The first is a quick elimination of what I consider unacceptable quality. The second round occurs just before the “Naked Show” in June when I whittle what I have done over the year to a mere five drawings for submission. In effect it is the same procedure for paintings except one needs at least twenty paintings in a body of work in order to come out with the ten best. Instead of ripping up the canvas the unacceptable are turned to the wall and then the diamond is selected to determine if the remaining images measure up to this one gem. I have not done this yet. I had too many deadlines lately to allow myself this important step. I am working on a new series which will consist of about thirty paintings in all. Since I do not have a deadline the editing will be done in the peace and quiet of my studio sometime in the spring. Life is good.   

Monday, November 2, 2015

Final Touches

Adding code number for each painting

Checking for unwanteds under the glass

Securing the image and adding the wire

My husband is my biggest fan. He is also an analytical mathematician who loves working with numbers. When I announced I had finished my eleven paintings for CAVA he celebrated with me and thought I was done… Last Friday he asked me what framing all involves… Indeed. Watercolours need protection. The framing does not take long if one has all the ingredients at hand. I had checked some time ago and ordered ten new frames as I already had a few on my shelves. Most of them were silver and I wanted to show them in black. It looks far more professional if all the frames are the same style and the same colour in a show. The glass was abundant. There is a case on another shelf waiting to be emptied. I had forgotten about the matting until last week so I cut some scraps and had them belevel cut at my frame shop. Should be everything… Luckily I did have the other needed supplies such as acid free tape, window cleaner and bandaids. Glass is sharp on the edges and I usually get at least one nick. So everything is ready to deliver on Wednesday and I can turn my attention to other things… like mixed media! Life is good.

Just a reminder:
Two concurrent upcoming shows this week!

Monday, October 26, 2015


The opening reception, held at almost the end of the exhibition (October 31st ) was a delightful success. It has been a while since I have done a live watercolour demonstration and being rather preoccupied these days I neglected to verify what I had in my backpack before leaving the house. The backpack is my “en plein air” studio. It has been travelling quite a bit lately and I assumed I had watercolour paper in it… Stonehenge is a superior quality paper I use for life drawing usually and it can take a fair amount of water application although it buckles more easily than Arches largely because of its weight, 90lbs rather than 140lbs. I pulled out a sheet, swore under my breath, and clipped it to the board. It is a good thing I have a little experience with manipulating paint…. Those watching the action wanted me to finish it before their eyes. Ah, yes. That takes careful planning. Sigh. I promised I would leave the painting, once completed, at the reception desk. Of course that will not meet expectations either as I have a deadline on November 4th, my number one priority! My two openings are coming up fast. The list of work for CAVA (en plein air work) is due Wednesday. I will make a list and finish the paintings over the next two weeks. They will be framed and ready for delivery on November 4th.  If I wish to change the titles, too bad, so sad.  The other opening happening on the 5th at VASA will be delivered on October 31st, same day as I pick up the Glenrose show… Life is good and busy!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Heavy Weights

So my deadline approachth. As I inch toward completion I begin to panic. Instead of twelve I decide to finish the ten I have already begun. Perhaps I will be able to add two more later… I have trouble with later. Later is not usually better. Say a prayer, breathe and let go. I so enjoy having a paintbrush in my hands on a regular basis again. There is nothing quite like the euphoria of watching paint make magic on the chosen surface. So fun. Once the painting is done there are several other steps to be completed before it goes into a frame. At the moment I have begun the next step in the process with the few I have completed: flattening. Four litre containers of molding paste and regular gel are useful when painting with watercolours. I have placed the paintings between two sheets of plywood, smooth surface facing the paintings, and piled a bunch of random weights on top. The board evenly distributes the weight. Should this method of flattening prove inadequate I will resort to an iron. In the meantime they can sit for a while as I add a few more strokes, a bit of blue here, a dab of red there… Life is good.