Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Flower-a-Day: Trio


Shasta Daisy


Purple Cone Flower


Each of these painting is 5.75 x 5.75 in. oil paint on specially prepared masonite panels. They are $100 each, with free shipping in the US. Please contact me at jan.blencowe@comcast.net if you are interested in purchasing one (or all 3!) You can pay securely with a credit card through paypal, it's fast and easy.

Today was such a beautiful day, hot and sunny and a little drier than the last several days. The garden is in full bloom as we approach mid-summer. The colors now are really intense, magenta, taxi cab yellow, deep purple, gold, burnt orange, apricot, burgundy, puncuated with bright white from the daisies and the phlox. The butterflies and bees are nearly intoxicated with nectar. Birds, toads, snakes, chipmunks, grasshoppers all bring an intense sense of life to the garden now. There is such an "aliveness" all around me as I paint. I couldn't just stop at one painting today. Although it seems like summer will last forever I've gardened for enough years now to know that in a few short weeks "the change" will be evident. Autumn doesn't just appear one day in October, it moves in slowly beginning in late August.Then after the Autumnal Equinox on Sept. 15th things really begin to change quickly. So I felt a sense of urgency today to capture the flowers at their peak knowing full well that a delay combined with more rainy weather might mean missing the opportunity to capture this mature beauty.

I've had a couple of inquiries about my materials and methods, and I'd be happy to share that information with you. First off let me say that I get bored easily and am likely to change brands of paint, kind of support, type of brushes at any given moment LOL. However currently these are the materials I'm using: Classic Artist Oils with the exception of Utrecht for one color. Here's the list: Hansa Yel. Light, Naples Yel., Transparent Red Oxide, Quinacridone Red, Titanium White, Ultramarine Blue (Utrecht brand). I'm a fan of using a limited palette of colors and this is my customized version at the moment. For brushes it's a bit harder to answer. I have so many and a number of different brands too. Signet and Isabey are two brands I like very much. But I also like cheap brushes because they get worn and out of shape quickly and make very interesting strokes and marks. These are all bristle brushes. I prefer rounds and flats or brights. I generally don't use anything smaller than a #4 and go up from there to about a #12. I don't use any medium or thinner of any kind. I clean up with Masters brush soap and water, takes longer but eliminates the need for mineral spirits or turp. If a brush has dried paint on it I will soak it in solvent overnight, then wash it as usual. As to supports there are many I like and I go through periods of using one kind for several months and then switch to something else. Right now I'm using 1/8 in. masonite panels primed with Art Spectrum ColourFix Pastel/All Media Primer. This comes in a number of colors and has pumice in it. I give the panel two coats, and then a light sanding when it's dry. Some of my other favorite surfaces are, RayMar single or double oil primed panels, Fredrix Scarlet O'Hara Canvas, Centurion LX Linen (for pre-made stretched canvas) Fredrix Archival Acrylic Primed Linen Panels. For plein air painting I have a 9x12 Guerrilla Box and tripod, and for larger works I have an American Journey Field Easel (French style easel) from Cheap Joe's Art Stuff. Well I think I will save my methodology for tomorrow. Thanks for visiting.

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