Monday, June 02, 2014

Time to Paint

 I have been making a quilt a week ( sort of) since last fall and at the same time I have been thinking and watching painters paint. I love both quilting and painting and now it is time to do the big switch and get the studio set up to paint.

I put away the fabric, pushed the machine into the corner and dragged out most of my art supplies. Since I work in both acrylic and oils, I will begin this time with acrylics and leave the oils in the store room.

My Pinterest pages are full of painters whose work I want to emulate, learn from and then find my own style, in the non-representational category. This whole ballpark is still somewhat of a mystery, but of all the paintings I look at, it is the most enticing and I want to wander in and do it, with gusto.

As you can see, I have a ton of art supplies, collected over the years and vow not to buy new ones, until I make a major dent in these paints. There are so many new products on the market, which intrigue me, but really, let's use this paint up! I also have a ton of papers, mats, frames, canvases, and boards to use up. And so many brushes, squirt bottles, sponges, stamps, things to make into stamps, and stencils. Not to mention I have invested in a great big Gelli Plate!

To begin, I have been subscribing to Jane Davies videos,  which is pretty much like going to a workshop with her. I know I can have a great time doing the stuff she does. I don't care that it will look like Jane's work, at first, because I am interested in learning the techniques she uses, and so as a student, I do as the teacher does.

  I have a few goals in mind for this painting stint.
Use up supplies: Well, of course that part was mentioned already, but it goes without saying that I collect art supplies like quilters collect fabric.

Loosen up: I am far too neat when it comes to making a painting. And I am going to let go of that, I hope. I look at the stuff on Pinterest and see that fearlessness in the work, and I know it was painted with 'abandon'. Gimme some of that.
Simplify: Less is more, and I know I always want to add too many details, when just the essence is what is necessary. 
Edit: See above. But also cropping out the good stuff and eliminating the distracting other stuff. So there will be some collage, cut and paste involved. Yay!

Minimal: How many different ways can I say that I need to leave out the clutter and focus on the main?

Master techniques from painters that I respect: See this page  on Pinterest for who and what inspires me. 

Find my own style: My own non-representational style that is. Which is so different from all the work I have done that looks like something recognisable. If I can do it in fabric, I should be able to do it in paint. Yes!

Impress myself: I am my harshest critic. I want something that knocks my socks off, every time I see it. I will work toward that.

Get messy, leaving visible mistakes: My guess is that pulling back from fixing things will result in something completely new. I hope.

Texture: Unrefined surfaces, not smoothed out and fixed. Allowing the paint to be painty. Or the collage to be wrinkly. Or the embellishments to stick out funny. Whatever. 

Find a great way to present finished works: With quilting, just putting a rod pocket on the back and it is so ready to hang. But with works on paper or board or illustration board, not so much. Framing is so expensive and not what I want to be doing. So I am looking for solutions to display and have a few ideas up my sleeve. Since I am not alone in this, I expect to be on the lookout for what others have done or will do to present the work in a good/great way.

Hang shelves: I have these Ribba picture ledges that I bought from IKEA, which I want to have in my studio to set the drying work on, or display the finished work. Gotta get them up.

Make collage papers from painted papers: Today I think I will begin with making some painty paper which will loosen me up and become usable collage materials. 

Make transparency layer from soft gel and puff paint scribbles. Which I have already begun.

I watched this video  6 months ago, and knew I had to do this. It took me til today to start. Oy.

The studio set up. I have a big sheet of canvas under my painting table, to protect my clean floor, another on my paint tables and a plastic shower curtain covers the work surface. The adjacent table will hold the paint and mediums, which are still neatly put away in their plastic drawers. I wish I had a sink, but alas, one must just work with what one has. 
OK. Here goes!


  1. Great post, Melody! I am looking forward to seeing your "minimal" work. I, too, am enjoying the less cluttered look in what I do (of course, mine is in fabric only).

  2. I will enjoy watching your progress! It's been a long time since I painted, and I'm afraid my time as a painter has passed, but I do love seeing what others do. And I have watched some Jane Davies tutorial videos... couldn't ask for a better source of inspiration! Enjoy...

  3. Gosh, Melody, how exciting. Thanks for the links and the list of ideas for getting going with painting. How about a Paint-along-with-Melody month sometime?
    I'm looking forward to seeing what happens here.

  4. I've been trying to finally master my watercolors and find I have to keep the door closed on the fabric and can't even look at my new quilting magazines or I'll get sucked right back in to quilting....not that there's anything wrong with that! Funny how you can't do both.

  5. Anonymous6:07 PM

    Truly enjoyed looking through your Pinterest page as so many of the images call out to me also. Have fun in your playroom these next few weeks. Marken

  6. Funny you mentioned Jane Davies. I've been considering taking a workshop from her.


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