People often say, “I Love Your Colors!” Why?

When people look at my work, the first thing they often say is, “I love your colors!” Of course, this makes me beam inside. Outside I smile, thank them and then ask “Why?” or “What about the colors do you like?”

When you look at these examples of my paintings, why do you think they like my colors? What is the first thought that crosses your mind?

love your colorsAs all artists know, color is personal. It is personal to the person arranging and mixing the colors, as well as those looking at them. We all have our personal preferences when it comes to color. And what makes it even more interesting is that these preferences can change.

Do You Love Your Colors in Your Paintings?

As I just mentioned, our color preferences are different and can change. They can be different from one room in your home to next.  For example: I designed our downstairs bathroom with yellows, lime greens and apricots, which makes it funky and uplifting. Whereas our main bathroom carries the cool pastel colors for a calming affect.

You make color choices when you pick out what you wear.  These choices can be impacted by where and when you don a particular color or set of colors. For example: when I attend a morning Chamber of Commerce breakfast, I wear more contrasting and bright colors versus when I attend a more sedate luncheon. When I attend an art opening what might I/you wear?

When you paint, do you love your colors? Do you choose a color palette before you begin a painting?

One of the reasons people love my colors relates to my color choices. 95% of the time, I choose the colors I want to use in a painting BEFORE I begin. Why do I do this? Because … [Read more…]

How Do You Paint Your Canvas Edges? A Step-by-Step Demo

Do you paint your canvas edges? Have you noticed the increased popularity of wrapped canvases during the past couple of years? Though the deeper canvases, commonly called gallery wrapped canvases, are slightly more expensive for the artist, they do save us the expense of a frame. Also, as the styles of painting trend toward more abstract, mixed media and contemporary, the gallery wrapped canvas conveys a more modern design that works well in most home and office interiors.

As I have wandered through galleries inspecting the painted edges of numerous paintings, I have been quite surprised by the wide range of care – from poor to exquisite – artists have taken in painting the edges of their gallery wrapped canvases or deep panel boards.

After unsatisfactory online research for resources about painting canvas edges, I embarked on my own trial and error journey to figure out how to achieve the quality of presentation I wanted. A clean professional look of my canvas edges is important to me. Below I outline my process.

Step-by-Step Demonstration of Painting Canvas Edges

One caveat:  because I do not like the manufactured texture of canvas, I gesso all of my canvases/boards irrespective of the edges.

1. After I apply the first layer of gesso with a brush and it has dried, I then paint the edges and overlap the front of the canvas with an acrylic middle-gray paint. See photo below. By the way, this middle gray makes it easier to paint the final color of the edges after the painting is finished, be it darker or lighter.

painting canvas edges


paint canvas edges2. For this particular canvas, I wanted the edge to literally ‘frame’ the painting, so I wanted the gray to overlap the edge onto the painting surface about 3/8th of an inch. (See example at end of post of a finished painting using this overlapped framed idea.)  To give my eye a guide, I drew a pencil line 5/16th of an inch from the edge using a favorite matting tool I have as demonstrated in the photo above.

Why is the space wider than my desired 3/8th? Pencil lines can often show through paint, so I wanted the line to get covered up with the next layer of gesso.

canvas edges [Read more…]

My Studio Show Lists Include Chocolate, Does Yours?

This year I am participating in the Pikes Peak Studio Tour for the first time. It is exciting be exhibiting with 4 outstanding jewelry artists. The studio show tour itself includes 22 artists in 12 studios located throughout Colorado Springs, CO. I will be in Studio #1 located on the south side of the city.

Preparing for an art show of any kind, in any venue requires some organization. Check lists are necessary, at least for me. Since I will be packing and transporting my art to another studio, the studio show lists are even more important. Here you can see the beginnings of my packing.

studioshowBelow is the general check list I am using for my larger items.

studio show [Read more…]

5 Reasons Why I Love Water Mixable Oils

When painters get together, one of the first questions we ask each other is, “What medium do you work in?” The typical responses are: watercolor, oil, acrylic and pastel. I get quizzical looks when I respond with “water mixable oils.” Sometimes I can see oil painters cringe internally as if they have just heard chalk streak across a black board. I only smile.

Painters doubt these paints work because they are asking, “Are paint manufacturers trying to mix water and oil?” We all grew up hearing that water and oil don’t mix, how is this possible?

Major paint manufacturers are producing oil paint that successfully mixes with water. Back in the day when water mixable oils were first available, the paint quality was not good, they were not easy to work with and they were not archival. Within the past 10-15 years all of that has changed.water mixable oils

Through the ingenuity of chemistry, the major manufacturers have developed paints that feel and act like oil paints but can dry within 1-3 days. They combine the same high quality pigments used in all professional grade paints and mix them within a different oil base that is compatible with water. These paints can be called water soluble oils or water mixable oils. I prefer the latter, because the former implies that the paint is soluble when it is either wet or dry; it is only soluble when it is wet.

Why do I love water mixable oils?

[Read more…]