Studio setup with paintings in-progress
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In My Studio This Week

I’m inviting you all into my studio this week to see what I’m working on.  I’m sending this out again as a retry as my first post disappeared. I apologize if you receive it twice. I’m also sharing tips for what to do with leftover paint.

Flower and More Flowers

I’m taking an on-line class with Nancy Medina. I tell myself that I don’t need more art courses, but she offered a series of lessons that focus on maintaining a bright, colorful technique. I love her paintings of flowers and more. I’ve struggled with my paintings looking dull, so I wanted to learn her technique. I did two florals following her lessons and one on my own. 

The sunflower paintings below show the one I did following her lesson on the bottom and the one I did on my own on the top. These ended up going to a dear friend in Pocatello, Idaho. 

Then I tried this more complicated painting of two Gerbera Daisies. I’m not sure if I like it or not. If nothing else, any painting offers a learning experience.

Leftover Paint – Oh My!

I’m a big believer in not letting paint go to waste. It’s expensive and frequently I am painting on more than one painting at a time so I can use as much of the paint on my palette as I can. I also keep my leftover paints in the refrigerator to help extend their use. Right now I think I have more paint in the refrigerator than food! A starving artist, indeed!

After painting the Nancy Medina florals, I was left with a good quantity of paint in the Sta-Wet palette.  I will share with you a technique to create interesting backgrounds for mixed media work.

You can start with almost any substrate: canvas, wood, Masonite, paper, etc. I am using a sheet of mixed media paper. Note that the weight of the paper is 140 lbs. Paper weight is important for allowing paint to be applied without buckling or tearing. Normal copy paper runs around 20 lbs. and should not be used for this technique.

My Sta-Wet palette had remnants of paints left from the floral paintings. I was working on other paintings with a different paint scheme and wouldn’t get back to this palette for some time. Plus, I wasn’t very neat when mixing the paints! I used an old hotel room key (I save these) and ran it across the paint. Then I scraped the paint across the paper resulting in this:

I’m thinking I will use this as the basis of a lesson on an easy self-portrait and think maybe it’s too dark. Perhaps a light coat of gesso would soften the colors. What do you think? 

As a bonus, I was left with this colorful palette paper. I think it would work great as a journal page background.

Next “In the Studio” post will show you the results. I’m not even sure yet what that may be.  

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