Thursday, October 30, 2014

Tryon Creek + alcohol inks!

                                                        oil on canvas 48x36

                                                             oil on paper 7x4

                                                           oil on panel 12x9

                                                        oil on linen panel 6x12

                                                      watercolor on Yupo 14x11

  These are all 'summer' creeks and that season has now ended. Adios summer!   Tryon Creek State Park is wonderful at any time of year but in the summer it`s a cool damp refuge from the heat. Where the vegetation meets the water is particularly interesting. It smells funky and fresh, it`s private because of the sound of the flowing creek, it`s shaded with stark sunny highlights and this is where you`ll see the wildlife. Everybody needs a drink sooner or later. I have walked this park dozens of times and I still find corners that are new to me.
 The rains have returned and life seems more 'real' now. This is the northwest I need, this is when I work best. The ridiculous short day is good for exercise and some shopping, then the long dark night is perfect for uninterrupted sessions in the studio. It`s exhilarating!

                                                alcohol ink and oil on Yupo 5.5x8.5

  On the last day of my Open Studio, Christine Lally and her husband Tim came by for a visit. Somehow we got to talking about alcohol inks. I`ve been hearing so much about them, especially when used on Yupo, the notorious plastic paper from Japan. I went to buy some recently but was put off by the names of the colors; Bellini Peach, Sunset Orange and Sail Boat Blue. I wondered if they could possibly be lightfast with such frivolous names. The Dick Blick employee could not help me with that question so I took a pass. When Chris and Tim heard I was curious about them, they disappeared for a couple of hours and returned with a box full of inks, yupo, tiles, frames for the tiles, gloves, solvents and tools. They then proceeded to demonstrate. I painted the landscape above on one of their tests. Without question the colors and the way they mix are completely seductive. There is a richness to them that is unseen in pigments. Yet they seem impossible to control, maybe because of the squirt bottles they come in. Unless chance is a major component of your work, it`s hard to think of how to incorporate them. A couple of days later, I found my bamboo pens and was all set to try to draw with them until I opened one and saw that squeeze tip. I could have dumped the ink into a small cup my pen could reach but getting it back into the bottle seemed daunting. Then, I tried them in combination with watercolor which was a non-starter. They wouldn`t mix at all. Next came oil paints and that was somewhat more successful.
  That box of 'everything I need to play with alcohol inks' was one of the coolest gifts I`ve ever received. Thank you C and T, my explorations have just begun!

I stumbled on this little interview with Duane Keiser, the founder of the Daily Painting movement. His work is truly remarkable not the least because he`s been doing those small exercises for so many years now! And they just keep getting more inventive and witty and gorgeous. It`s well worth the time to scroll back through his blog and get an understanding of his visual intelligence. He`s got young children and teaches at a college too!
How does he do it??

Carol Marine shows how! Check out her book on Daily Painting.

Thank you to everyone who came to visit my studio during the Portland Open Studios Tour! I had fun and you made me feel important!
For anyone interested in watching me paint. I`m having an open studio demonstration on the second Saturday of the month beginning this Nov. 8th at 10 am. I hope to get my teaching urges met without any accountability. Come by, I hope the conversation is lively.
5373 Lakeview Blvd
Lake Oswego OR
close to I-5
parking in my big driveway or next door at the clinic

work for sale in my studio


Libby Fife said...

A wonderfully full post-thank you!

Of course the mention of alcohol inks sent me down a small rabbit hole on You Tube looking for info on how to use them. I saw one demo (a diversion search) where rubbing alcohol was dripped over wet acrylics, allowing everything to disperse into patterns. Sort of interesting.

A box of materials and the permission to experiment seems like a particularly thoughtful gift. And I agree with you on the creeks. There is a sense of privacy and "hidden-ness" to them that is very appealing. Something new to look at every time and in each season. And I am voting for numbers 4 and 5 in the paintings shown. Those are my favorites:)

Maureen said...

Interesting effects with those inks.

Thanks for the link to Keiser. I like his work.

Happy Halloween!

David Page Coffin said...

Fantabulous nights:)

Chris Lally said...

Leave it to you to produce an exciting piece of fine art with unfamiliar materials. It was such a treat to meet you and see your beautiful artwork up close and personal during the Portland Open Studios Tour. You are a gifted artist and a warm, gracious host.