View in a sample frame on my website here
detail of two great blue herons in New Earth
This is the painting I started last Saturday when I was gallery sitting my show at the Arts Center of Tolland.
I've been experimenting in this painting with combining the very fluid and transparent watercolor effects you can get with acrylic and the oil painting effects of more opaque paint and a glossy highly finished surface.
More about that in the video...
The key to using the acrylics like watercolors is to remember that you can't just thin the paint with water, because if you thin it down too much it won't adhere properly to the support and if you glaze over it or apply an isolation coat it will pick up the pigment and basically wipe it away. So use some kind of acrylic medium to thin down the paint along with clean water. Speaking of isolation coats they're important too, not only do they add depth and gloss they also ensure that those thin transparent layers of paint are sealed, and adhered permanently to your surface. Make an isolation coat using 2 parts Golden soft gel (gloss) and one part water, apply with a foam brush. Allow it to fully dry before adding another layer of paint.
The other important piece to remember is, that if you're going to leave more of your under painting showing through you need to be a bit more mindful when you paint it. I've had to slow down a bit, and while remaining loose and spontaneous be aware of the color, placement and strokes I use when creating the under painting. What could literally be sloppy before because it just needed to be a value and compositional map and was destined to be covered up now may show through in the final painting.
Hope you enjoyed the video!
The other thing I really busy with right now besides painting and getting ready for my next solo exhibit which you can check out here is overseeing the installation of a beautiful, new Zen Fusion meditation garden. If that's interesting to you you can check out progress pictures here.
OK, so you're thinking What in the world is Zen Fusion? A traditional, authentic Zen garden is a dry garden, called karesansui, and it is composed of rocks and raked gravel without water features or plants. That austerity combined with great design creates a minimal visual space, uncluttered and conducive to meditation and stress relief. However, I'm not a Buddhist monk and as a Western gardener I haven't the discipline necessary to limit my garden to rocks and gravel, though there are plenty of both in my Zen Garden. So a Zen fusion garden takes elements of a traditional Zen garden and combines the with some Western influences, like plants. My simply designed minimal garden will have a Japanese Maple, and azalea, a Mugo pine, a Kousa Dogwood, ornamental grasses to line the perimeter, creeping thyme to cover the "islands" because we have too much sun to grow the traditional moss. Plus there are plenty of rocks and gravel for raking into patterns that are meant to represent the movement of water. Stay tuned for more updates!