Archive for April, 2004

Golden Paints Lecture

Sunday, April 18th, 2004

I went to Tesia Blackburn‘s Golden lecture at Flax. She’s giving another on 26 June at Riley Street in Santa Rosa; it may be worth going. She basically goes through all of the materials Golden makes, showing the material out of the tube or bottle, mixed with paint, in a dried sample. I found that wonderfully useful for me in figuring out what it is i want my paints to do. She also gives out color charts and body sample charts that are actually painted, and there’s a nice pack of a collection of paints and media to try out. As a beginner — i found it a very useful presentation.

For my own notes, i signed up for the Golden and “the presenting artist’s” mailing lists with the email address beginning ATC1.

More notes on other workshops at the end.

* Mixing mineral pigments (cadmiums, chromiums, cobalts) produces earthy tones; using the synthetic colors in mixing leads to bright, clear colors.

* I should have been experimenting with the soft gel gloss, not the regular gel gloss, to get the translucency i wanted. Also, my earlier experiment probably ran afoul of the mineral pigment issue. [Bought soft gel -- and it's in the sampler pack]

* The liquid paints have as much pigment as the solids. Mix the liquid paints with the mediums to get heavier body. Save $. 1-9 mix of liquid to medium makes a translucent glaze; 3-7 mix gets to be the “equivalent” of the heavy body paints. [three samples of liquid paints are in the sampler pack including one irridescent]

* Tar gel produces wonderful stringy body. Showed marbleized acrylic film (let film dry on glass). [Bought tar gel]

* I liked the liquid paint over the molding paste — molding paste is somewhat more absorbent. [In the sample pack, i think]


Flax is hosting her two day $130 workshop on using Acrylics like Oils — apparently students will work form several “Old Masters” paintings to explore the different techniques. Flax lists the following requirements:

# Three blank canvasses (9″x12″)
# Roll of paper towels
# Water container (1 Qt)
# Apron or smock
# 2-3 plastic palette knives
# Paper plates or disposable acrylic palette pad
# Soft sable or synthetic sable brushes: round #4 & #6; flat #6 & #8
(Robert Simmons makes a good inexpensive synthetic sable brush.)

The same workshop is offered at “SF City – College Fort Mason – (415) 561-1860″ on July 24 & 31 but it’s not clear what the fee would be. (And if that’s really the date, i can’t go to that, either.) Her Golden calendar is also a little behind the flyer she shared at the demo.

The Patio

Sunday, April 18th, 2004

We’ve still a long list of things to do to settle in to our new home. (An album of photos of the empty place the day we signed the lease is HERE.) The container garden on the patio is far towards the end of the list, in some ways — not in the least that there’s shelving & furniture out there that still need staining. It seems fair to do a “before” photo series so that i can see how things unfold, so last week i took a number of photos of outside.

The north end of the patio is where i’ve put the baker’s rack we had in our San Francisco kitchen. The pine will warp and weather with time, but since the other option was donating it to Goodwill, i’m quite pleased. We have another unit that actually fits between the Baker’s rack and the wall — it was moved because GreyBeard kept escaping to the patio of our neighbor. I moved it to the south wall, under the Green Man — and as i moved it GreyBeard escaped again.

I had thought of making that southern interior corner the shady glade. It’s not working that well at the moment — it is a well lit corner and the plants have all been sunburned. Once i have another tree or two — i’m wishing for Meyer lemons and or a Mission fig — I think that corner will be shady. We have a storage closet on the north end of the deck and our dining area. We’re enjoying that already.

Calligraphic Leaves

Sunday, April 18th, 2004

This project took me far too long. It was “by request” — my mom wanted me to inscribe some of her favorite quotations on to 3×5 cards. She was then going to hang them from an antique hay rake she has in her workroom.

3×5 cards were not going to do it for me. So i made these leaves with soft pastels. After making the leaves, i realized that the soft pastels would rub off on everything.

So there was a long delay before i got around to buying fixative. Then i over sprayed the fixative on my test leaf, leaving it looking oddly frosted and spotting through on the obverse.

So, there was a long delay before i got around to spraying all the leaves, as i feared i was going to ruin them all. Eventually, i did spray the rest of the leaves — and took these two photos. The calligraphy was to be done on the white obverse of the leaves.

In the same time frame, i heard that some ATC i’d made for the “Glorified Characters” trade had been lost in the mail. I had been frustrated with the calligraphy on those; too loose them as well was disappointing. I slowly developed a block against doing the calligraphy. Moving provided a very nice excuse not to continue with anything.

Still, i’d committed to this project, so last weekend i did the calligraphy. I tested the paper — seemed using Pounce was good, Pounce + resin was not. I made a sheet with rules to put behind the leaf in hopes the rules would show through as a guide. I didn’t practice a great deal — i need months of practice i think.

Layout was hard and didn’t work. I’d previously done layout with a digital font on the leaf patterns; the font and scale didn’t really match my nibs. Since i couldn’t use those digital layouts, i tried sketching the lettering on the leaves. I never estimated the lettering width correctly. I ended up using a C-4 and Higgins non-waterproof ink.

I am hyperaware of the imperfections. Without looking, a week later, i can list: I spattered some drops of ink on the colored side of the leaves, i smudged some of the lettering on the first leaf, i misspelled a word and had to patch it with another layer of paper…. I don’t feel like scanning in the lettering.

I think it will be just fine, but i’ve learned how much doing things on request triggers bad perfectionist paralysis in me. I’m going to have to see how this affects my participation in ATC and other trades. I certainly got worked up over my Glorified Characters trade. (And to have them lost!)

Still slowly returning

Friday, April 9th, 2004

I suppose i should take photos of the furniture staining i’ve done. YesterdayToday i went to Home Despot (as my brother calls it) and had some wood sliced up to be additional bookshelves. I’ll need to stain the plywood.

Sunday i bought three small herb plants for the container garden. I’ve decided my garden is also part of my creative expression, so i suppose i’ll document it’s development here, too.

I’m staying at home today with a slight fever and needing rest from a continuing low grade health issue. As i was settling in, one of the Grey Cats settled in, and i felt the need to document my cosy rest space. The image was supposed to be 600 pixels wide, but i screwed up with photoshop. It’s 800+.

I think we hung the lights Monday night. The table the tea is on is one of the ones i’ve stained — The color looks warmer in the halogen glow, just as GreyBrother looks orange. The birch dressers are part of the IKEA assembly effort. The motorcycle jacket (Glowing sleeve piping)is on my manikin. The book case is the one that needs more shelves.

I think we want to go to pale turquoise and less deep plum shades for the bedroom over time. I’m going to make a “headboard” by hanging a long pillow on a curtain rod. First step is picking out fabrics for the pillow case. I think we’ll also go for some sort of concentric circle theme.

Just for the record, the Raggedy Ann and Andy pillowcase is an antique from my childhood.