After over a year of troubled solitude, I got busy. I delivered 21 large watercolors on yupo to the White Bird Gallery in Cannon Beach OR. It opens in mid-Sept. and I will post all of the pieces here in my next blog post. This is my first exhibit of watermedia on the plastic paper from Japan called Yupo. I began using it in 2005 and it gradually became my favorite surface to paint on. It is such a brilliant white, light reflects through almost any paint layer. They have a kind of radiance that is unique. I`ve devoted much of my life to learning how to work with the slippery stuff. Paint is not absorbed like with true paper, it has to evaporate. This is where the big challenge happens. Even with a perfectly level painting table, the paint will move. Walk away to the bathroom and return to a different painting. It is so slick, I`ve developed lots of strategies to keep the paint stable. These include a constant use of a hairdryer, gum Arabic or acrylic medium added to the paint to make it more sticky, elaborate tilting of the painting board beneath the Yupo to direct a wash, applying watercolor in a dry stick form, and subtle blotting techniques to achieve the correct density. It`s a lesson in gravity every time.
So anyway, the show is a big bunch of them mostly unframed. They will be hung on the wall using clips. I had a few framed to show how they look properly presented and had one of them mounted on board and framed without glass. This was surprisingly affordable and looks great. I finished all of them with a matte varnish with UV protection. I`m hopeful a collector will understand the savings involved with rolling up a painting to take home in a tube, is substantial. Shipping work with glass can be done safely but the buyer pays for that extra caution. I`m grateful the gallery agreed to this unconventional manner of presenting the work. Framing everything would have a prohibitive cost. Here is one of them;
Believe me, it was completely disorienting to paint a circle. Without a fixed point of reference, it was almost impossible to proceed. What is top or bottom? I imagine something true to life might have been easier. The palette here was inspired by the audacious colorist Morgan Russell.
My latest love is for Nancy Diamond. I haven`t been able to find out very much about her as her website is under construction. However, I found her on Instagram and she is wonderful. Like me, she loves to paint skies. Unlike me, she seems to do it with minimal angst. Often her paintings are complex but executed with a carefree quality that is so lovely. Maybe she is as long suffering as most painters but the work looks thoughtfully like magic.