Tuesday, December 18, 2007

WIP Above Eaton Canyon

Here is a short work-in-progress (12"x16") that allows the progression of this painting to be seen to completion. It is another painting looking up at the mountains above Eaton Canyon.

In this part I had blocked my colors working from top down. There is only color changes on the mountains and the greens and darks for the foreground foliage are a reddish undertone. This area will be in shadow.

I've now begun to add my lighter greens to the foreground here. I've also begun to shape the foreground too. I left to tops highlighted areas of the trees unpainted in the last stage so I wouldn't be painting wet on wet there. The mountains near the tree area was painted with a mix of paint and turpentine so it would tack up faster so I could paint the green highlights over the tacky paint. Still, it is better to leave your highlight areas unpainted as much as possible. Now further defining the foreground. The darks were painted with the initial block in but put in as a thin mix of paint/turps. I'm blending my lighter greens down into the dark green mix which gives the shadow effect. Blending into the darks takes away the flat look of the darks and gives them a 2 dimensional look.

Now finishing up the foreground area and adding detail to the mountains. At this point I thought the darks were too light and went back in and put in additional darks and blended again to meet the lighter areas. This really worked much better as you'll see in the finished painting below.And the finish....

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Eaton Canyon

"Canyon Wall"
12"x16" Oil on canvas

I grew up in Pasadena California Which is at the foothills of the San Gabriel mountains. If you've ever seen the Tournament of Roses parade on tv on New Years day the mountains you see in the background are the San Gabriels. One of the canyons below them is called Eaton Canyon. I've hiked there many times and still go for the occasional hike when I'm in the neighborhood. This scene is of the east canyon wall in early morning light.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Cafe Show...

I forgot my camera...twice! Wanted to take pics of the show reception at the cafe and forgot to take it with me that night. Then, had to go back there the next morning and forgot to take it again! A mind is a terrible thing to train.
The show recption at the Los Olivos Cafe went better than hoped...not sales-wise, I mean we actually had people show up compared to other receptions there where no one shows up. I was more worried about that than selling. We put the word out to our artist friends and former customers and we had both show up...a nice little crowd but all the ones we hoped would have come and a few who were a complete surprise.
By the end of the night we had sold another painting which is a big relief from being there for a month and selling nothing. I have to tell you...the art is lit up at night and boy did it look good! All of those who came and saw it at my Studio Tour couldn't believe how different they looked with the lights on them.
The show will run all month and lots of people will see the work so that's a good thing. I was just happy we had those who came by make it to the show...all had a fun time talking and the cafe is a great place to have a show. I'll try and get pics later this month...at the moment I have moved back into Gallery Wrap frame maker for a friend which has been lots of fun.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Artist Studio Tour Part 3

OK...the pics I had hoped to take came out terrible so I won't post any of those. It's taken me two weeks now to get around to typing this only because immediately following the studio tour I had to get last minute things ready to move a lot of my work into the restaraunt show in Los Olivos. You'd think I would have been ready but no way. As for the tour, in the end we sold 6 paintings. 2 Large pieces and 4 small paintings. I could have sold another small one twice but I let the prospective buyers know I wouldn't sell that one. It's an earlier piece that let me know I was making good progress in my painting so I'll keep that one as a reminder of the hard work.
The money was really good for "2 days of work" and the museum sent our check within a week. The museum got 30% but I get to write their part off as a donation to the museum. This was their best Studio Tour yet and everyone is already looking forward to next years show. We were smart to cover a wide price range...not everyone was driving shiney cars. Lets face it, art is a luxury so doing work for various budgets is a smart thing to do.
What did I learn?? Next year I'll get some brochures or free hand outs for people to take home reminding them of my art. I'll have more smaller pieces ready to go. People weren't drinking wine on Sunday so I only need to buy enough for Saturday. And...I'll try and get people to write legibly in my guest book and get at least an email address! Small mistakes but learned ones.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Artist Studio Tour Part 2

10:45 PM Saturday Night.....
All of the hard work paid off. Contrary to what I was told we had visitors galore...one after another they came in and I was on my feet from 7 AM till 8 PM. Some were fellow artists and a lot were people wanting to see art. I had some really good conversations and received plenty of compliments. Sold 4 paintings and a print. People were grabbing plenty of brochures and business cards so maybe they will remember the art down the line and come to future shows.
I had planned on taking pics during the day if anyone showed up but was so busy talking and being a good host I really forgot to take any. Sorry...I'll take some tomorrow or hand the camera to someone if it gets busy.

Between 4-7 there was a show reception at the museum and lots of people showed up. An elderly man walked up to me there mentioning that he ran out of time to get to my place but promised he'd be there tomorrow so that was really cool. I talked with some of the other artists involved and they all had good days, lots of visitors and sales. Very cool! We are all in the same Guild so we have become pretty good friends who really respect each others talents and goals and support each other. That's one of the very cool aspects of being in a Guild.

Highlights of the day.....Some of my fellow Guild artists not involved in this showed up to add their support which was very cool. It was great to see retired people and 20 somethings all showing up with one thing in common...a love of art. Shows that art will always be appreciated as time goes by, even in a bad economy. Aspiring artists of various ages showed up and asked for my 2 cents which I gladly shared and we tossed ideas back and forth.

It was a good day today! Hope tomorrow goes well. Even if I don't sell a thing tomorrow, today has already made up for it.

Artist Studio Tour Part 1

I'm one of 18 artists participating in a Studio Tour put on by the Wildling Art Museum in Los Olivos, California. I have spent the last week in a frenzy to frame dried paintings, reorganize the studio, make coffee, hang work in the studio as well as the house, paint our deck, mow the lawn, vacuum everywhere, drink coffee, run errands to pick up stuff needed for everything, finish 2 paintings, do more framing, re-hang paintings, drink more cofffee and shampoo a couple of rugs...and make more coffee.
It was late Friday night but is now 1:30 AM Saturday morning,...the studio tour starts at 10 AM this morning. I wanted to get this posted before it starts. Never been in one of these so I'm going to post whatever happens Saturday and Sunday. I'm almost all set for the tour to start. I've been told not to expect a ton of visitors since I am on the outer fringe of the tour area...the next city in fact.

One artist I know last year sold 3 paintings...but she lives right next to the museum where the visitors all start out from on the tour. I heard another artist was complaining no one came to her place and she lived pretty far out there...farther than me. So, I'll see what happens but I'm not expecting a hugh turnout. The "iffy" world of art.
Here is the beginning of hanging in the studio...these are mainly pieces of mixed frames and odd sizes.
And this is when it was all set up ready to roll later that night. I'm a happy clam...tired, but happy.

A Cool Alla Prima

"Fading Light"

8"x16" Oil on Canvas Covered Masonite Panel

I'm really beginning to love alla prima painting. You sit down, slam on paint and walk away. Sounds easy but it took me a while to get to this point of being able to pull that off....and they don't all come out as you had hoped. Still, in a way the surprise of your results is part of why you should try it. Studio work is so calculated and not much is an accident there. It's all planned out and methodical at times so doing plein air or alla prima work is a breath of fresh air. I'm still very much working at getting better at alla prima, as well as plein air, so I'm no expert at either.
This piece came out nicely and so far it is my favorite alla prima piece. About 2 1/2 hours of work. My learned secret to painting alla prima is to paint in my darks first very thin...I mix the paint and then dip my brush in tupentine, mix that into the paint mix and then apply almost as a wash. Then, in 5 minutes or so you can paint right over your darks with your mids. Leave room for your highlights and it is a breeze. If you want headaches with either your plein air painting or your alla prima painting then paint in heavy darks...you will either wait or end up with mud. This painting has a dark rich look to it but my darks here are very thin and I painted my mids over them and even blended some of the darks/mids together in spots where needed.
Look at the darks here under the greens....very dark mix of brownish/ green applied thin with turpentine. Let it get tacky and then lightly place your mids over it. Saves you lots of time.

More Gallery Wrap

Once you start making your own canvas it becomes addicting. I have always liked working with wood and this is for art which I also love so it is a good marriage and I enjoy it about as much as I enjoy painting or drawing. After doing the real big ones I decided to get creative and do a wide format one which worked great when it came to painting it and I'll make more. I also made some 18"x18", 24"X24" and the large 20"x40" which when painted is the painting I'm sitting next to below. Here are some scenes from the frame making process......

Monday, November 12, 2007


Well, in preperation for an upcoming show I have been doing these larger pieces. I've just finished up with this 20"X40" gallery wrapped piece and jumped in the photo to give it some scale. I think it looks bigger sitting on my easel than it looks here with me next to it.

I really like this one for a few reasons. I decided when doing the background to really push atmospheric perspective and keep the transition of sky to distant mountains as subtle and diffused as would work well. The sky blends into the mountains in areas and the loose brushwork really made that work well. I dragged some of the sky colors down into the mountains which gives it a really nice distant feel, and look, to it I think.

I also moved away from my usual tree colors to add some brighter highlights. This slight push in color has added a bit of excitement to the trees I think. I did this because the trees were so dominant in this piece and if they were going to get a good look by the viewer then why not add something more to look at while they're eyes are there. I think it worked and adds a new dimension to my trees.

I'm really wanting to try new variations on my eucalyptus trees too so I have some small panels I'll be messing with soon just on trees.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Backyard Plein Air...

Not having time to get out yesterday I decided to do a plein air piece on our deck in the backyard. I don't do this much because I see this view everyday and I guess I'm bored with it....still, I guess I can always use it to work things out when doing plein air work.
Although you can't see it, there was a view of the distant Figueroa mountains beyond this hillside with the home on it.

I was trying to do looser trees and adding colors into the sky and distant mountains...mainly a pink hue to break up the normal colors I use. I like the results but consider it like baby-steps towards experimenting. I find it really hard to try certain things with my art. Change is necessary for growth in ones work I think so I keep at it.

Here is a shot at my grasses....I've been wishing they were done better in my work lately so I'm working on them more.

This was done on birch panel which I'm finding really fun to work on when doing PA. The paint really sticks to it well and helps when trying to finish a piece in one sitting.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

What CAC Paint Out?

The California Art Club has 4 days a year that are "Paint Outs"...days when members of the club get together at different locatons throughout California and paint plein air. A way to meet, hang out and maybe learn a few things from other members. Sounds good right?...well, in theory maybe.

At this past saturdays' club sponsored Paint Out a grand total of 2 members showed up. Myself and the president of our local area. He couldn't stay because he had a soccer team he was coaching that day and had to leave for it. Hahaha! We chatted and it was good to meet him. Would have been nice to meet other members...any members!

So my first Paint Out was comprised of myself. To make matters worse, the minute he left the winds picked up to the point of holding my paintbox most of the time to keep it from blowing over. By noon it had become just gusty winds but by then I was tired of the fun and left.

I painted a scene I had done before, the previous Alla Prima scene but went larger, 8"x16".

Here are some pics of the day....

At least I got some more practice in.....

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Painting Alla Prima

Wanting to build up speed in painting on location, Plein Air, I decided to work from a reference photo and do an Alla Prima piece. Alla Prima means to start and finish a painting in one sitting...which I did. Took about 1 hour and 25 minutes to do this small 6"x12" Birch panel. Not bad I think. Used to take me 3-4 hours to do a plein air painting. Getting faster....hopefully I'll get better painting-wise as I go along.

Here is my reference photo I worked from....This is Lake Carneros along the coast in Goleta north of Santa Barbara.

Here is what I came up with....

Not a bad little painting. Plus, it gave me practice on doing water which I need more of. A fun little painting. I'm a member of the California Art Club and will be going to their painting day, or Paint Out as they call it, right here at the lake. This will be my first time painting with the club so I'm trying to get in as much practice as possible before looking like a fool out there this Saturday. So far, things look like they will be ok.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Zaca Creek Sunset WIP

Just finished this one and along the way planned to take photos of the progress but I kept forgetting. Sometimes you just get too into things to remember the camera sitting next to you. This is number 3 of the large 36"x36" paintings on canvas. I wish I had stretched it tighter...my first time working with pre-gessoed canvas. I've wet the back with warm water to see if that would tighten it a little more but it still feels a little baggy. If anyone knows another way short of taking out the staples and re-stretching let me know before I go that route....and no, I can't put in corners keys as this was a handmade frame with no key slots.

In this shot you can see I've done the sky minus some small tweaking. I like to work from the sky down most of the time. This of course makes you paint from background to foreground, layering as you go into the finished piece. I like it that way because of the sky looks good then I get kinda charged up to finish to mid and foregrounds. This piece was all about the sky so I basically painted my subject focal point first. All else supports the sky. I had to take this at an angle because of the wet paint.

After I was happy with the sky I began to add my trees and then foreground. The trees were a dark value of green with some red in my ref so I kept it that way. Now that it is all finished up I wish I hd made it a little lighter in overall value there if only becuase it is hard to photograph this dark a value. It works in real life here so I won't change it now. The foreground grasses were a Yellow Ochre but I was almost out and used Raw Sienna mixed with Alizarin Crimson and some White and came up with this orange tint. It looked ok at first but once on there I hated it...too strong. I later bought more YO and mixed white and AC to get what I wanted. That's what I get for being lazy. I keep that white edge there when blocking in the colors to keep them from mixing. As I tweak the greens I'll brush up into the sky area...this gives it the last minutes of time to setup before the green goes over it. Those sky colors will cause the greens to go blue grey. I could have waited but I wanted to get body if it on the first day. Day 2 was for working the foreground colors.

Day 2...

In the end, once all 3 areas were done I ended up with this on day 2....

The skyholes in the tree and patchy areas in the greens were added on day2. I also went back in and added some highlights to the lower right of the sky. I think it came out ok but wish I had gone slightly darker in the sky and slightly lighter in the trees on the hills. I also think I need to find a better way to do grasses like this. So many things to learn as you go.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Making a Gallery Wrapped Canvas

There is a lot to be said about painting on canvases bought at an art store...the most important thing being buy it, drag it home and start gessoing to paint. Sorry bad habit, I gesso even pre-gessoed canvas since that is how I was taught years ago and some things are hard to get rid of.
The only draw back to buying pre made canvases is the cost...especially at larger sizes. recently bought 2 36"x36" gallery wrapped canvases at around $110 - $120 for both. Can't remember the exact cost because I was in a state of shock once the cash register stopped ka-chinging. I wanted to do another one at that size so I decided to just make my own canvas.
To make one of these all you need is Canvas, Table Saw, a Chop Saw or Miter-Saw (even a hand operated miter box and saw will work), a Square, Finishing Nails, a Staple Gun (makes it easier but not neccesary). I bought Kiln Dried 2"x4"'s at a Home Depot hardware store. Kiln Dried wood is lighter than green drying wood and won't warp even after you cut it. Pick the straightest ones you find because even kiln dried 2"x4"'s can be slightly warped...sorry, that's the state of wood offered to the public in this day and age. A single 2"x4"x8' will make a 36"x36" canvas.
Sounds like a lot of work??? Go back up and read what I payed for 2 again. I figure this one cost me about maybe $10.00 including canvas and sweat.
First, I cut my wood into 2 - 36" sections. See the rounded edges of the 2"x4"? I cut the wood down the center keeping this rounded edge as the edge that the canvas will lay across providing a smooth surface when stretching.
After cutting the wood down the center I then re-cut above the rounded edge of the 2"x4" at a 15 degree angle. This gives me a bevelled edge so the painting surface of the canvas where it crosses the frame isn't flush with the wood. The canvas is suspended above the wood.
Here you can see the blade of the saw cutting the bevel above the rounded edge of the 2"x4"

This is how the bevel cut looks once the frame is being nailed together.

I used a Chop Saw, a saw which cuts mitered cuts, to cut the angles to join the corners together.

This is how the corner cuts look like when joined. I used stapels to hold them together until I could nail them with finishing nails.

And this is what your frame will look like when it is all nailed together. I cust scraps left over from my original 2"x4" to make the braces in the corner. I used a Square when nailing together to make sure the frame is square in all corners. (A Square is the angled tool in the pic above to make sure all ligns up.)

No more fun left in the garage so now I head into the house t stretch the canvas over the frame. A friend recently gave me a roll of pre-gessoed canvas so I decided to try that. All you do is lay a piece of canvas down that is cut oversized and begin your stretching. Here is that piece before stretching...
There are plenty of stretching tutorials online so I won't go into that here. Here is a shot of the corner fold though.

And after all of that is done you end up with a nice canvas waiting for paint!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Big and Square

Just finished up on this piece....had to take a picture of it on my easel since it is the biggest canvas I've ever had on there. I was treated to it's progress each time I walked into my studio. I have done this one to actually take up more room on the walls of the restauraunt I will be showing at in Los Olivos in December. It's a big place and I needed much larger images to show there. This out to work.

Big canvases cost a fortune and I think if I do many of them down the line I'll make them myself since I have the canvas laying around...just need frames. I think the crazy thing about working large is just being able to see the dang thing. I had to back up across the room many times...most of the time I can get away with just leaning back. My hats off to people who work much larger than this but driving them around must be a job and half.

It was fun though.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

National Show Pics...

Well, the Central Coast National Fine Art Competition came and went. Again, this years show was excellent with some fantastic art. Last year, I had been looking up plein air painters in California to see the level of painting and founf one I liked who ended up being in the show. This year, there was a piece from an artist in Hawaii who also posts on Wet Canvas! I need to send him a pic of his work in the show.

Sales were bad this year in the show but that was to be expected because all sales of art are way down this last year....good time for me to try getting into the art world eh? I should have gotten in back in the 70's because I've talked with artists from back then and they would tell me they couldn't paint fast enough. The one glimmer of hope is these same artists tell me to hang in there, art is cyclycle and better days will happen again.

I dropped my digital camera on my trip to Oregon and ever since when I take pics inside the bulk of them are blurred. I think I broke the combobulator in it. Anyway, here are some pics of the show that did come out...

Very long walls covered in killer art!

A view of the entrance to the gallery

Linda and our friend Jackie in front of my painting on top. Jackie is our Treasurer in the Morro Bay Art Association ...

Here is a shot of Linda in front of the painting from Hawaii. A great harbor scene.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Tidbits !

Been caught up lately getting ready for shows that are coming up. Some really good things have happened recently. The large painting of "Farm Near Dunes, Guadalupe" won 2nd place in the Carpinteria show. Then on the day we were to pick it up at the end of the show I got a call that we needed to leave it there so a woman could come in to look at it again...well, she did and then bought it for her husband! SOLD!!! Tghat show also had a pretty well known Plein Air artist from Santa Barbara judge the show and I guess I'm doing something right because I had 2 pcs juried into it. So that got me pumped too.

The 2 pcs I took down to enter in the new show both made it in which is really cool because that show was judged by Arturo Tello, whose work I have seen and like a lot. Although the gallery is small down in Carp and they are just starting to have these show they are super organized and the quality of art is pretty high. Plus, the people putting on the show are great.

Tomorrow night is the reception for the new Carp show and the buyer of the painting said she will be there so I'm looking forward to meeting her husband who really liked that painting. On Saturday night I will be up in Morro Bay at the Artist Reception for the Natonal Show there...I was lucky enough to get 1 pce juried into that show too this year. Yahoo! They have some awesome art that gets into that show so I'm looking forward to seeing this years entries.

If that wasn't enough, the gallery owner up in Edna Valley called me and let me know she sold 2 of my paintings! Too cool! I need to get new work up to here to replace the ones we sold...and that's going to be ok since I've been painting like crazy for a show in December at the Los Olivos Cafe. They have 1 artist's work in there per month and mine is at the height of the Christmas shopping season. When it rains it pours! I'm keeping my fingers crossed I make at least 1 sale that month up there. Thinking of more sales will only jinx me!

Lastly...I'm scheduled to be the Featured Artist in Morro Bay in January so that's coming up too. I don't expect many sales from that show because we have only sold 1 painting there in the year we have been in there. I think it's a case of too much art and nowhere near enough customers. Each time I work a day up there I rearly get more than 5 people in the whole day of sitting the gallery. I have to admit though, art sales have been dead slow all year so far and I'm sure they aren't immune to that. They have a killer gallery and some of the nicest people I've met since getting into the art scene up here.

I hate to post without including a photo so here is one at a small outdoor show we did over the 4th of July holiday. That table there is filled with old battered American flags that will be bruned in a ceremony to dispose of them properly...they even had troops in dress blues from the local Airbase to officiate. VERY COOL!

By the way, I met a man and his wife there who bought 2 small paintings of mine for their new home they plan to retire in a few years. More good news!

Other than that, I've been making my own canvas covered panels to paint on and painting as fast as I can...nothing like a deadling to get you motivated!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

2nd Place!

"Farm Near Dunes, Guadalupe"
15"x30" Oil on Canvas

Well, the artists reception has come and gone for the "Calif" show in Carpinteria. One of my paintings, "Farm Near Dunes, Guadalupe", garnered the 2nd Place award. It was a great night once we got there.....took forever due to Santa Barbara traffic!

I learned some more lessons on pricing my work last night too. I always keep my eye on prices at shows comparing work and what other artists charge. If you want to get a feel for what you should be charging for your work go to art shows. It's too hard to judge the art online and seeing it in person gives you a better idea of what is close to your quality of work. Then compare the prices to your prices. Keep in mind the odd artist who feels that asking for the moon is going to validate their work as superior.....there is a lot of that going around. I saw a piece last night that was absolutely horrible. The artist was asking over $1000 and got it half way through the show....makes you want to cry after you quit laughing!

Anyway, when I woke up this morning I thought to myself that painting art is so much easier and less frustrating than trying to promote and sell it. At shows, I always have this feeling of being looked at as this desperate person trying to whore-out myself to make a sale. I counter that feeling by almost ignoring my art and keeping away from it so as not to look like that person. People say get over by your work, someone is looking at it...go talk to them. I hate doing that. I do it but I really hate doing it.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

"Calif" Art Show

The coastal city of Carpenteria is host to the Carpenteria Valley Arts Council. A while back they purchased a small house on a downtown lot and planned to rebuild making it into their Arts Center and Gallery. To help with the costs they have been having art shows. I was lucky enough to get 1 of my pieces juried into the 1st show they had a few months ago. Last Friday I took 2 paintings down for their "Calif" show that is running now ( June 30 - August 4, 2007). This show is a mix of California scenes and I was blown away when both pieces I entered where juried into the show. Too cool!!

The show was juried by Santa Barbara artist Michael Drury. Michael is a Plein Air Landscape painter who studied and painted with legendary California artist Ray Strong . Having 2 paintings juried into the show by Michael Drury is really quite an honor for me. I'm miles behind someone of his talents but the fact that we are painting California scenes that are not the typical tourist scenes really makes me feel I'm on the right track with my own work.

This Friday, July 6th, is the Artist Reception from 5:30 to 7:30. If you're in the area you are more than welcome to come by. It is at 855 Linden Ave, Carpenteria, CA. Their phone number is 805-684-7789.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Making Canvas Panels

I've painted on stretched canvas, painted on panel and painted on canvas covered panel. All 3 of these types of support have totally different feels to them. I have found that I like certain qualities in each support. Stretched canvas is probably my favorite for the ease of blending on canvas (doing skies) and it's lightwieght charactaristic....but stretched canvas it expensive. I used to paint on Masonite panels in college and loved the finished look of paint on masonite. I mostly love the price per panel you get from cutting your own panel from a large sheet.
The next best thing is to cover the masonite panel with canvas glued on. I bought some panels from Ray Mar that are canvas covered and enjoy painting on those but they get pretty pricey. I decided to just make some. I didn't take a lot of pics along the way here but here are some pics that I did take.....
Seen here are 3- 12"x24", 2- 10"x20" and 1 9"x12" panels. I also cut another 12"x24" and a large 12"x36". All of these panels were cut from 2 sheets of masonite I bought at Home Depot for less than $4.00 per sheet. That's $8.00 and I cut 8 panels. Dick Blick sells 12"x24" canvases for about $18.74 each so that would have cost me $74.96 in that size alone. You can see the cost savings of painting on masonite. OK, I bought the roll of canvas too but that was about $26.00 for 6 yards of canvas....but that's that's 64 inches wide and 18 feet long...that's going to cover a lot of panels. One of the 10"x20"'s is flipped over to that back so you can see the dark side of the rough back. I sand the front before gluing on the canvas.
Here is the wide 12"x36" I finished and seen here with only 1 coat of gesso. I put on 3 coats. You cut your panels to size, sand the front surface, apply glue with a foam brush and then lay your canvas on top, smooth it flat. When it's dry enough I flip it over and glue the excess canvas to the back. On the panels I haven't finished I'll try trimming the canvas flush with the edge to see how that comes out...that will be exactly how Ray Mar does their panels. I was going to glue with Acrylic Medium or Acylic Gel but then I read an article online about an art teacher who used Mod Podge to do his panels. It costs about 1/3 what Acylic Medium or Gel costs and dried the canvas rock solid to the panels. Mod Podge worked so well that I don't think I'll have a problem trimming the edges. Mod Podge also has an Acid Free version so get that if you can find it although I'm not sure it would be neccesary, you will gesso the canvas after the glue has dried.

Here you can see how I folded the canvas wrapped around to the back. The dark area is where the glue was applied. The folded over canvas adds some thickness to the edges so I'll try trimming the canvas flush with unfinished ones. Here is a shot of the texture of the canvas after final gesso has been applied. Very much like the Ray Mar panel surface so I'm happy.The Masonite I purchased was Tempered Masonite as opposed to Un-Tempered Masonite. If you can find untempered masonite buy it and use that. Tempered masonite is impregnated with oils so it stands up to outdoor usage. People worry about the oil coating getting to the paint. The bulk of the oil is really on the surface so sanding takes off most of the oil coating. I am covering it with the glue and the canvas and the final coats of gesso so the oil in the board is not going to effect the painting at all, but, get untempered masonite in case you decide to paint on the masonite without covering your panel with canvas. I plan on covering all of my boards with canvas so tempered masonite was ok for my purpose.

I used a table saw to cut my boards but you can do it with a metal ruler and an exacto knife with new blades, just takes longer to cut. If you don't have a table saw find someone who does because it's so much easier. These are big panels so get the thicker masonite of you plan on doing larger sizes. When I glued the canvas to the front the board warped (bowed) some but after applying the glue to the backside it straightened out completely.

Larry Seilor and Marc Hanson have written great articles on WC for making panels and I think you will enjoy reading both processes. I could get in more detail on this but their articles cover it all completely but this is basically how I did it and you can do them as you like. It's not rocket science, don't make a big thing out of it.....


Cut tempered or untempered masonite to size.

Glue canvas to panel using Acylic Medium, Gel or Mod Podge.

Prime with gesso front (and back if you like).

Buy an ice cream with the money you are saving and Get Painting!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Juried In!

"Nipomo Skies"
12"x24" Oil on Canvas

Just got the news today that one of my paintings, "Nipomo Skies", was juried into the Central Coast National Fine Art Competition...this is my 2nd National show acceptance. Too cool !!! I have said it a hundred times, you never know how a judge chooses what they do in Juried shows. This judge continues the tradition. The other painting I entered was what I was thinking would get in if any got in but it was my second choice that made it into the show.
I made it into last years show with my pen & ink stippled drawing of a Coast Guard cutter. Didn't win any awards with it but it was nice just getting into the show...especially with a pen & ink drawing at the National level! They had some great paintings in last years show. Artists Richard Green, Ed Terpening, Marilyn Lucia-Bowsfield and Ann Brown were just a few whose names I can remember. Just getting into a Juried National show is a big thing for me. Winning anything is something I don't dwell on at this stage in my painting....if you had seen last years show and the quality of the work you'd understand.
Anyway, here is the post card for the show. They are having a Champagne Preview Gala the night before the Artist Reception for buyers who want an early crack at it. I've decided to keep my price to my normal price ( $600.00) instead of raising it for the show and their commission. I did this at the last Juried Show I was in at San Luis Obispos' Art Center and that piece sold on opening night. This is a really low price for this show so we will see what happens.
If you are going to be in Morro Bay, CA on the 10th or 11th of August come on by....