Saturday, October 4, 2008

A Painting Slump and Arugula

I've been in a real painting slump here lately and can't seem to get the creative juices going. Part of that may stem from the fact that I ruined the little bunny painting by trying to finish it for glassless framing. It got so dark that it looks like one of those dirty, old masters paintings only without that old masters touch! I knew I should have left well enough alone with it but I was in too big a hurry to figure out the process to do away with mats and glass for pastels! I haven't had the heart so far, but I'm going to see if I can salvage it by painting over it. Since it has several layers of Kamar varnish on it, I don't know if I should work over the top of it. Maybe the best thing would be to just re-paint the piece from scratch!

That's the bad news but I also have a couple of pieces of good news.

First of all, the arugula is up in the garden and we had arugula in our salads the other evening! I also had a sandwich with arugula on it. I got hooked on arugula long before it became an "in" green. The owners of the place where I worked in the late 80's took a trip to Italy and brought some seeds back with them (I don't know how they got them through customs). They didn't know exactly what arugula was but knew we liked to garden so gave those seeds to us. My husband hated it but I was enraptured by that nutty flavor that turned slightly hot in some of the plants as they aged. I didn't think to save the seeds but later ordered more from a specialty seed company and now the seeds are even available at a local garden center so we can plant it just about any time we want. Even my husband has grown to like it.

The second piece of news is that I ordered the (fairly) new "Open" acrylics by Golden and they should arrive on Monday. I'm excited about them because they're supposed to behave more like oil paints and not dry as quickly as regular acrylics do. I gave up on oils a long time ago because of the smell but it was the first medium I ever learned and I always enjoyed the oil painting process.

I also ordered the Golden mediums suggested by Gary Ruuska for sealing and varnishing colored pencil paintings. I'm hoping they will also work with pastel. With the cost of art supplies skyrocketing (like everything else), it would be nice to be able to frame without glass and save a little in that department. The main thing is the time savings though. It's just quicker to frame when you don't have to cut a mat and backing board or glass and assemble all of that together. I've just got to work out the best method for sealing the pastel art so that it doesn't darken. There are new products on the market all the time and I'm sure something will eventually work.

Anyway, if you don't see me here for a while, you'll know I'm holed up in the studio playing with the Open acrylics! Maybe they'll be the push I need to get painting again!

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