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Safe Harbor

June 7th, 2016

Safe Harbor

My favorite place to live as a child was by the ocean. I still love to go there. I am living in one of the hottest, driest places in California (the Central Valley) and I remember fondly the cold breezes and fog coming off the water. Not that we don't have fog here, but somehow it isn't the same. At least once per year, my husband's pool association has a big event in Monterey at the Monterey Convention Center which is next to Fisherman's Wharf, and we usually go. While we are there we sometimes take advantage of the free time to travel up the coast to Morro Bay. This photo was taken from the side of the Rock away from all the shops. I understand that it is less expensive to moor your boat out here where you have to reach it by rowboat than using the Marina docking which has walkways.
I have always found boats and ships fascinating. When I was a child, we lived in the Pismo area and I spend many days with my father on the Pismo Pier or on the shore. I have always loved watching the boats move in and out. Monterey Bay has a long history of being a safe haven for ships. As early as 1602, ships carrying elegant goods from the Manilla islands used the harbor. In 1870, a commercial wharf was built for regular passenger and freight service. Around 1913, commercial fishing industries began using it. It is now the largest marine sanctuary in the world and provides access to a variety of recreational activities.
A private or public Marina however is very different from a commercial Port, although both are usually located in a harbor. Harbors are bodies of water where ships, boats and barges can seek shelter from stormy weather, or are stored for future use. Natural harbors are usually found in bays, estuaries, and river mouths. A good harbor occurs where land and water come together and protect ships from wind and waves as they enter and dock. Harbors can also be built from jetties and causeways as well. Harbors can be natural or artificial. An artificial harbor usually has intentionally fashioned breakwaters, sea walls, or jetties, or they can be made by dredging.
Harbors include entry channels and inner channels (to allow movement to areas and support features for refueling and repair. Harbors can be found on the coast or on inland lakes. A natural harbor occurs where a part of a body of water is protected and deep enough to anchor a ship. Natural harbors are of immense tactical and financial significance. Many of the world’s great cities began on natural harbors.
Harbors and Ports are often mixed up with each other. A port is a facility for loading and unloading boats and ships. While ports are often found in harbors not every harbor has a port. A port is a manufactured coastal or lake or river area where boats and ships load and unload passengers and cargo. It may contain quays, wharfs, jetties, piers, and slipways with cranes or ramps. A port usually has buildings or warehouses for storing goods and a transportation system to move those goods inland or out to other countries. Ports are a place where rail, truck, barge, ship, and other transport methods meet.
A Marina is a dock or basin with moorings and supplies for yachts and small boats. A marina contrasts from a port because a marina usually doesn’t handle large passenger ships or cargo from freighters although many small (the word is relative) boats do take passengers out for local tours or fishing trips. The word marina is also used for inland wharves on rivers and canals used exclusively by non-industrial pleasure craft. In a Marina, Boats are generally moored on buoys, or fixed or floating walkways tied to an anchoring piling (floating docks and pontoons). Buoys are cheaper to rent but less convenient than docks allowing an owner to walk from land to boat. Harbor shuttles and water taxis may shuttle people between the shore and boats moored on buoys. Marinas may be owned and operated by a private club, such as a, but also as private enterprises or municipal facilities.

The Street Vendor

February 8th, 2016

The Street Vendor

Street Vendors such as the one in this painting have a long and varied history. A street vendor is broadly defined as a person who offers goods for sale to the public at large without having a permanent built up structure from which to sell. Street vendors have been in existence since ancient times. In all civilizations, ancient and medieval, one reads accounts of travelling merchants who not only sold their wares in the town by going from house to house but they also traded in neighboring countries. Ancient and medieval civilizations were accepting to these wandering traders and that is why they flourished. In modern times, we find that street vendors are rarely treated with the same measure of dignity and acceptance. Every city in the U.S. has its quota of these independent enterprising vendors. In New York City alone, there are more than 10,000 street vendors— hot dog vendors, flower vendors, book vendors, street artists, and many others. They are small businesspeople fighting to make ends meet. Most are immigrants and people of color. They work long hours under harsh conditions, asking for nothing more than a chance to sell their goods on the public sidewalk. They have no health insurance unless they buy it themselves, no sick leave and no unemployment insurance. The 2008 recession squeezed customer’s wallets and forced many who had previously worked a nine to five out of work and out of resources, leading to a modern street-vending boom. I took the photo for this painting one spring when I was down on Fresno’s Fulton Mall. I sometimes keep a photo for decades before I decide to use it in a painting.

Aperitif And Appetizer Ingredients

December 16th, 2015

Aperitif And Appetizer Ingredients

Well, here I am again attempting another still life. I paint more for myself than for others and I am determined to conquer this type of painting. Why is it that a still life done by my friends and fellow artists always seems to me to breathe life and energy while my own does not? I suppose it is true that we are our own worst critics. A painting has to speak to me while I am working or it seems to have no magic. This one talked but I confess it kept urging me to put a fly on the grapes or the cheese. Sometimes I do have an inconvenient sense of humor….
Aperitif (actually spelled apéritif Pronunciation: ah-pair-ee-TEEF) is a French word for a starter drink that opens a meal. More than just an opener, it is a welcome to your guests and an appetite stimulant. First of all, what is an apéritif? An aperitif is generally an alcoholic drink that precedes a large meal. Think of it as something like a beverage appetizer or hors d'oeuvre. Occasionally the term apéritif is used to describe the whole intro course that opens up your guest's palate before a large meal to follow. This usually consists of a beverage served with finger foods or "amuse buche" such as olives, bruschetta or other simple appetizers. An apéritif is a cocktail or other alcoholic beverage that is specifically served before a meal, or with a small appetizer. In the culinary arts, the purpose of an apéritif is to stimulate or arouse the appetite.

Why Buy Art From Local Artists?

November 19th, 2015

Why Buy Art From Local Artists?

Some of you may feel guilty about promoting sales of your work. For those of you who do feel guilty about telling friends, past customers, family and acquaintances “Hey, consider buying from me when selecting art for your home or office or buying a book as a gift, let’s consider a few things. Do you know what the 80/20 Rule is? Well it says that 80% of money spent locally stays in circulation locally. By promoting the idea of buying your art, you are contributing to the health of your neighborhood! When someone buys art from you, they provide you with money, which you in return spend on groceries, rent, clothing and other stuff (which hopefully you also bought in a local business!)
Sales tax spent with you supports local infrastructure, police, fire and schools. Money stays with the community when spent in local businesses. The Tax Policy Center: (click here for the entire article), says, “Local governments received transfers from both the federal and state governments equal to about one-seventh of total revenue. From their own sources, they collected about $700 billion, or 17 percent of all government revenue.” When your friends and family buy from you, they are helping to return money to their local economy, so you should feel no hesitation in pointing out to them that your work can be a resource for their decorating projects!
Spending money locally shows pride in their community culture and local products. As a person who lives in the area you are more apt to locally recirculate money your friends’ family and acquaintances spent with you on your art in the form of purchases from other local business, thus supporting the local work force. When you give some of that money to local charities, even if it is just the local boy or Girl Scout troop, or maybe the local food bank, you are keeping money spent with you in movement. It’s a fiscal circle that keeps people working to make the stuff they and others buy.
“I’m an artist/writer, not a business person”, you shout. Well, I hate to break this to you, but anyone who wants to sell his or her art or books is in business. According to Wikipedia, “a business (also known as enterprise or firm) is an organization or person engaged in the trade or sale of goods, services, or both to consumers”. Q.E.D. Business is NOT a dirty word. Businesses allow us as consumers to buy food, clothes, and gas. It allows us to find a place to live (real estate sales and rentals), and most likely it employs a lot of us who are not fortunate enough to be able to make a living selling our work. OOPS! There is that word “sell” again.
Local Business Can Support Local Artists and Writers
• Local business can provide a mutual support base by being willing to allow artists and writers to display their work for sale in their stores and offices. The artist or writer will come in to see their art and most likely buy something from the business. They will also promote the business by telling their sphere of friends and family about having art or books on display in the business and urging them to come and see it.
• Allowing creative people to promote shows, book signings, sales and event by displaying flyers in local business helps develop a mutual dependency.
Local Artists Offer
What value does the community receive when they purchase art from a local artist rather than from a national chain store?
• Well-made handcrafted items give a cachet to their office, home and gift giving. When giving gifts it shows the buyer not only thought enough of the person receiving the gift to take into account that person’s personal tastes, but also took the time to check the gift out carefully.
• Buying art and books from local artists and writers gives the opportunity for a one-on-one personal experience and gives buyers an opportunity to develop a personal and professional relationship with the artist or writer.
• Books and Art are individually created unique, versatile items. Why buy something indistinguishable from what everyone else is buying?
What YOU As The Artist Or Writer Can Do To Promote Sales In Your Neighborhood This Holiday Season:
• Remind past clients, friends, and family, church and organization members that you are a resource for buying holiday gifts or décor items.
• Offer items for sale as “Sales specials”.
• Offer a bonus or discount off a future purchase if the buyer refers another buyer who actually purchases your work. This type of promotion is done all the time in other industries; it is sometimes called a “referral commission’. No money is actually paid until the other buyer makes his/her purchase and mentions the name (or brings in a coupon) of the referring buyer.
• Artists can adapt some art into small affordable reproductions (cards, small prints, puzzles, ornaments, cups, etc.) for sale at a holiday boutique or Studio Open House.
• Writers can arrange book signings at local boutiques, stores or other holiday events.
• Send past clients, friends and neighboring businesses postcards showing your work and invite them to view it in person at a local book signing, show or gallery.
• Take advantage of the local Art Scene by inviting a selected few to come with you on Art Hop nights and show them to galleries where your work is being sold.

Ocean View

September 10th, 2015

Ocean View

I spent a great deal of time in the area around Pismo and Shell Beach as a child. when I started 1st grade we moved to the area from Michigan. My father went to work as a civilian missile inspector at Vandenberg Air Base. He loved to fish and one of his favorite spots was what was then known as the Dinosaur Cliffs at Shell Beach. It was called that by the locals because sometime around 1950 an enterprising gentleman with a dream of exploiting the area by creating life-sized dinosaurs as an attraction built one there. Unfortunately, he ran out of money before he managed to get more than one of them (a blue painted brontosaurus) built. It was a local landmark in the 1960’s. Even in my day, it was dangerous to attempt to go up the stairs located in one of the legs to the platform in the head although the view was fabulous. Unfortunately in the interest of public safety, the city fathers dismantled the life-size brontosaurus, and created a plebian park with small (and safe) replicas of dinosaurs for children to climb on.
I often accompanied my father there on his fishing trips, and although I was a poor fisherman, I learned to love the ocean. Much has changed since I was a child playing in the shallows created by low tides. Because of the nesting pelicans, the huge rocks where my father fished have been made off limits. However, the scenery is still beautiful and it still smells of seaweed kelp and salt air, and exploring the tide pools during low tides you can find many odd sea creatures. I just wish I could find a photo of that life-sized brontosaurus!

Getting The Most Out Of A Critique

July 30th, 2015

Getting The Most Out Of A Critique

For many of us, giving our work over to an individual or a group to be analyzed is scary, but so much can be learned by having someone not intimately connected to you evaluate your work. An unavoidable truth in the art world is that all through your career all kinds of people are going to say all kinds of stuff about your art. Some of them will even tell you to your face. Others may write about it, post about it or gossip behind your back. An artist not only has to learn how to handle this nonstop blitz of feedback, comments, and criticisms, but also how to gage and respond to what is said, and most importantly, how to not take what is said personally. To get the most out of a critique, it is important to decide Before submitting your work to a critique, what you really hope to gain from it. This is where some honest personal soul-searching can be useful. Most of us always try very hard to create the very best art we can. We put the total sum of our skill into every painting or sculpture. Unfortunately, when we ask, “how do you like it” we do usually hope for an endorsement of our efforts instead of an evaluation of what is technically wrong. Evaluate the person doing the critique. An important determination you have to make about responses to your art is whether a particular comment is based on the individual's personal tastes or is instead based more on their overall knowledge and understanding of the type of art you create.
Decide what you like about your painting before asking for criticism. The better you know what it is you like or dislike before receiving criticism, the better able you will be to evaluate what is being said. Listen to what is said, make sure it applies, and then ask yourself: “would it be better changed, or do I like it just the way it is?” Don’t get defensive! Remember; a critique doesn’t have to become an argument to win the critic over to your side.
Seek the opinions of your peers whenever possible. The more respect you have for the critic, the easier it is to accept the evaluation by the critic. It helps also if you attempt to understand his or her biases. We all have them. Some of us are technical sticklers and others like to see the breaking of rules.
Don’t discredit positive feedback. Because we often feel guilty at accepting praise, It is often easier for us to accept negative criticism than praise.

Performance And Properties Of Acrylic Paints In Fine Art

June 4th, 2015

Performance And Properties Of Acrylic Paints In Fine Art

Acrylic paintings now make up a significant part of the permanent collections of museums and art galleries. Artists' acrylic paint was introduced in the 1950s and since then has dominated the arts and crafts market. In addition, it has been accepted by artists as a viable alternative to oil paint. Unlike oil paints, which have existed for centuries, Acrylic paints are a relatively new medium. Once dry, acrylic paint is not water-soluble and will usually be dry within 30 minutes of application, whereas oils do not become dry to the touch for 48 hours. Most acrylic paint used by artists is water-based. There is a form of acrylic paint that is solvent based, but it is not in general use by artists. A variety of additives can be added to the acrylic paint to make them easier to work with or to give the texture wanted by the artist. Examples of these are thickeners, stabilizers, preservatives, and merging solvents.
Because it is a 20th century product, artists don’t have centuries of experience to tell what effect aging may have on an acrylic painting. Acrylic colors retain their original brilliance as long, or longer, than traditional oil paints, and they are much less delicate and prone to damage by UV radiation than watercolors and other water-based paints. The surface of a finished acrylic painting does not seem to become brittle or yellow with age, but remains flexible, insoluble and stable.
The behavior of acrylics as a painting medium and their physical and chemical properties are different from oil paint and merit different strategies in caring for acrylic paintings. Some traditional conservation methods can in fact cause damage to the acrylic paintings. The aging characteristics of acrylic paintings are just beginning to be understood. It is known that aging may cause some acrylic paintings to form a grey veil on their surface or develop yellow discoloration. The soft film formed by acrylic paint will easily abrade or dent with just fingernail pressure. This type of damage can ruin the appearance of paintings which should display a perfect surface. Because Acrylic paint stretches when exposed to heat and cold, Acrylic paintings are expected to develop fewer cracks than oil paintings; because of this flexibility, they can withstand much greater forces without breaking. Cracks can form in acrylic paintings however. When exposed to sub-zero temperatures, acrylics become increasingly brittle and crack so don’t store your acrylic paintings in a freezer!
Acrylic paintings have unique qualities that need diligent preventive care to avoid long-term damage. Acrylic paint attracts and holds dirt and is difficult to clean. Varnishing to protect the paint is not a perfect solution either. It is imperative to store acrylic paintings in a dust free, smoke free location to reduce the amount of dirt accumulated. It is also important to keep the display or storage temperature below standard room temperatures to reduce further softening of the paint film. One might have to accept that acrylic paintings will experience some visual change due to dirt as time goes on. Avoid handling the painting's surface directly -. Erosion from scuffing or touching the paint surface can damage or alter the appearance of the work significantly. This is because skin oils are acidic and can damage the artwork over time Dust and dirt are a particular hazard. Acrylics can also pick up mold residue if they are stored in a warm climate like a bathroom or locker room, or even a kitchen.
At present, there is no completely satisfactory solution to the problem of cleaning acrylic paintings. Removal of the top most dirt layer is perceived to be easier on a varnished painting. Varnishes provide surface protection from abrasion, dust and dirt. Varnishing acrylic paintings has problems attached to it. Natural varnishes, such as dammar, will yellow in time and the solvent used in their removal will dissolve or soften the acrylic paint layer, thus damaging your painting. A water-soluble varnish may be an answer; however, this is still being researched by manufacturers to see what long-term effects may take place. Instead, it is important to store acrylic paintings in a dust free environment to reduce the amount of dirt deposited while keeping the display or keep the temperature below standard room temperatures to reduce further softening of the paint film.

How To Slay A Painting In 3 Easy Steps

May 2nd, 2015

DEATH' FROM EXPOSURE: The environment in which a painting hangs can directly impact its life. Ignorant buyers may purchase a piece of fine art from you and subsequently destroy it by hanging it over their fireplace or right in front of a sunlit window. This is not always due to malice; your buyer may not understand the influence that the microclimate of their home or the room temperature can have on a work of art. For instance, a watercolor can be compromised if placed in direct sunlight for any length of time because direct sunlight will cause it to fade. While an acrylic painting won’t fade in direct sunlight, intense heat may cause the surface of the art to soften. If this happens, it is possible to make a dent or other type of impression by pushing on the surface of the painting. The good news is as soon as an acrylic painting is put back into a cool temperature, the surface will harden right up again .Both Oils and Acrylic paintings can be damaged if displayed above a traditional fireplace, The surface of an oil or acrylic painting will end up with a nasty film of soot. Your buyer can further damage the painting by attempting to clean it with a harsh chemical cleaner.
DEATH' BY INADEQUATE HANGING: Your buyer may assume that a large work of art can be hung in the same manner as a small painting or photograph. We all know this is NOT the case. This issue is helped along by all those wonderful stores who sell sawtooth hangers (attached with tiny, tiny finish nails) or thin metal frames with skimpy hangers. A broken frame from falling off the wall is NOT a good start for your art in a new home! Your artwork may end up in a trans can or the local dump because very few art buyers would know how to re-frame it or if the stretcher bars are broken in the fall, how to re-stretch the canvas. Granted, it isn't strictly your obligation to ensure your buyer knows how to hang your work as it should be... but I fancy most of us would love it if our art ended up being passed from generation to generation! Inform your buyers on how to hang the work so it doesn’t fall down and go boom!

DEATH' BY OVERWATERING: Your buyer may presume that it is okay to use a damp/soapy cloth to remove grime, dust or soot built up on a painting. He or she may think it is appropriate to dip a sculpture in various cleaning chemicals. NO! NO! NO! I wonder how many works of art have been severely spoiled by 'simple' cleaning approaches comprising water or a combination of water and chemicals. Ensure that your buyers appreciate the basics of proper cleaning methods... they may thank you later (your art would if it could).

You can help prevent the untimely demise of your art after it leaves the care of your studio by sending along a sheet of cleaning and instructions with the sale. Pastel Artist Carol Santora provides her buyers with a 'Handling Your Artwork with Care' sheet when her pastel paintings are sold. The sheet offers general tips for handling and hanging original artwork out of direct sunlight, etc., and specific handling of soft pastel paintings. It also explains about pastels and includes a note of thanks for their purchase. Since I don’t work in Pastels, I had to write up my own. A “how to care for” sheet helps to impress upon the buyer that they have purchased a valuable commodity, something that should be cared for and treasured. Hopefully, they will pass along your instructions to their children and help to increase art awareness.
CLEANING YOUR OIL OR ACRYLIC PAINTING.
If your art has developed a yellow film or darkened, this may be due to old varnish darkening. This must type of work must be cleaned by a professional or a museum because it takes an expert to remove the darkened varnish without damaging the art underneath.
Otherwise, begin with a feather duster and brush lightly to remove dust. Acrylics can also be touched up with a damp (NOT WET!) cloth.
Do not use soap or other chemicals.
Acrylic paint even when protected by varnish can be quite absorbent. If the frame needs cleaning, don’t use a spray cleaner as it may drift over onto the art. Ideally, the frame should be removed if extensive cleaning is needed.
HANGING YOUR ART
To avoid damaging your painting, do not hang this painting over an active fireplace. This will cause soot to form a film over the canvas, and darken and dim the colors causing permanent damage. To avoid stretching or cracking, Do not hang in direct sunlight and avoid placing in a room where temperatures rise above 85oF or below 60oF. Acrylic paint becomes soft around 60ºC. The soft film formed by acrylic paint will easily abrade or dent with just fingernail pressure. This type of damage can ruin the nature of the image so avoid touching the surface of the painting as much as possible.
Hangers should be strong enough to support the art. Don’t hang your art with sawtooth hangers because they are usually not sturdy enough to hold a painting for any length of time. For one thing, they are usually provided with teeny, tiny finish nails which pull out easily. This can cause the painting to fall, which may damage either the frame or the stretcher bars holding the canvas. If you are framing it yourself as well, the hanging wire should have the ends either taped or be enclosed in plastic sleeves. This will prevent cutting your hands on the wire (Inexpensive tubing can be bought at the hardware store, cut in small lengths, and then slipped over the wire before you twist the wire it to the art.) Fasten the wire with flat, screw in hooks to prevent damage to your wall. Finally, the ideal place for the hooks to be placed is approximately 4” from the top of the frame. This will ensure that the painting doesn’t lean out from the wall.

Why Buy Art From Local Artists?

March 21st, 2015

Why Buy Art From Local Artists?

Some of you may feel guilty about promoting sales of your art. For those of you who do feel guilty about telling friends, past customers, family and acquaintances “Hey, consider buying from me when selecting art for your home or office, let’s consider a few things. Do you know what the 80/20 Rule is? Well it says that 80% of money spent locally stays in circulation locally. By promoting the idea of other buying your art, you are contributing to the health of your neighborhood! When someone buys art from you, they provide you funds which you in return spend on groceries, rent, clothing and other stuff (which hopefully you also spent in a local business!)
Sales tax spent with you supports local infrastructure, police, fire and schools, stay with the community when spent in local businesses. The Tax Policy Center: (click here for the entire article), says that “Local governments received transfers from both the federal and state governments equal to about one-seventh of total revenue; from their own sources, they collected about $700 billion, or 17 percent of all government revenue.” When your friends and family buy from you they are helping to return money to their local economy, so you should feel no hesitation in pointing out to them that you are a resource for their decorating projects!
Spending money locally shows pride in your community culture and local products. As a person who lives in the area you are more apt to locally recirculate money spent with you on your art in the form of purchases from other local business, thus supporting the local work force. When you give some of that money to local charities, even if it’s just the local boy or girl scout troop, or maybe the local food bank you are keeping money spent with you in movement. It’s a monetary loop that keeps people working to make the goods they and others purchase.
“I’m an artist, not a business person”, you shout. Well, I hate to break this to you, but anyone who wants to sell art is in business. According to Wikipedia, “a business (also known as enterprise or firm) is an organization or person engaged in the trade or sale of goods, services, or both to consumers”. Q.E.D. Business is NOT a dirty word. Businesses allow us as consumers to buy food, clothes, and gas. It allows us to find a place to live (real estate sales and rentals), and most likely it employs a lot of us who are not fortunate enough to be able to make a living selling our art. There is that word “sell” again.
Local Business Can Support Local Artists
• Local business can provide a mutual support base by being willing to allow artists to display their work for sale in their stores and offices. The artist will come in to see their art and most likely buy something from the business. The artist will also promote the business by telling their sphere of friends and family about having art in display in the business and urging them to come and see it.
• Allowing artists to promote shows, sales and events flyers in their business helps develop a mutual dependency.
Local Artists Offer
What value does the community receive when they purchase art from a local artist rather than from a national chain store?
• Well-made handcrafted items give a cachet to their office, home and gift giving. When giving gifts it shows the buyer not only thought enough of the person receiving the gift to take into account that person’s personal tastes, but took the time to check the gift out carefully.
• Buying art from local artists gives the opportunity for a personal experience one-on-one with the artist.
• The buyer has an opportunity to develop a personal and professional relationship with the artist.
• Art is individually created unique, versatile item. Why buy something indistinguishable from what everyone else is buying?
What YOU Can Do to Promote Sales In Your Neighborhood:
• Remind past clients, friends, and family, church and organization members that you are a resource for buying décor items or holiday gifts.
• Offer items for sale as “Sales specials”.
• A bonus or discount off a future purchase if the buyer refers another buyer who actually purchases art. This type of promotion is done all the time in other industries; it is sometimes called a “referral commission’. No money is actually paid until the other buyer makes his/her purchase and mentions the name (or brings in a coupon) of the referring buyer.
• Adapt some art into small affordable reproductions (cards, small prints, puzzles, ornaments, cups, etc.) for sale at a holiday boutique or Studio Open House.
• Send past clients, friends and neighboring businesses postcards showing your work and invite them to view it in person at a local show or gallery.
• Take advantage of the local Art Scene by inviting a selected few to come with you on Art Hop nights and introduce them to other artists.


Does Acrylic Paint Really Dry Too Fast?

February 23rd, 2015

Does Acrylic Paint Really Dry Too Fast?

Acrylic is a very forgiving medium. By this, I mean that if you goof up you can just paint over it and start again! Can’t do that with watercolor; at least not unless you are very, very skilled with it. I do love the way a talented watercolorist can bring a painting to life with watercolor, but sadly, I find it much harder to work with than acrylics. I am a kind of create as I go painter, and with watercolor it seems necessary to mutinously plan each step. I like the way oils look also (my mother worked in them) but I can’t use them because of the chemicals and the smell and oils really dry too slowly for someone like me; I end up with mud every time because I am too impatient to wait until my canvas is workable again! Pastels and charcoal don’t stink but I am such a messy painter that I inevitably end up with as much on me as I do on the canvas or paper!
I am an impatient painter and acrylics are wonderful for artists like me. In four or five hours you can add at least four layers of paint without creating mud because each layer will dry and be workable in about a half hour. I will confess that it puzzles me to hear of other artists complaining that acrylics dry too fast to work with. I often have to stop and walk away for that half hour in order to let my painting dry enough to add another layer of paint. If I want to thin my acrylic paint to make it more transparent I just use water. If I want an area I am working on to stay wet a little longer, I spray the canvas with water or wet it with a brush. I don’t use any of the available mediums that are supposed to slow down the speed in which acrylics dry. I have tried them but I didn’t like working with them. I did notice that many artists who received their first artistic training in transparent watercolor seem to put a lot less paint on the canvas than I do, which may account for their acrylics drying faster than they want. I find that acrylic loves to be applied nice and thick. The thicker the paint (the more you start out with on the brush) the easier it is to push it around on the canvas and the longer it will take to dry.

 

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