Things on the boil.

This winter has been a busy one, and I haven’t been posting as often as a result. Two major events have taken place that has been keeping me busy. One was that I was hired to be an adjunct art professor at Frederick Community College this summer, and two is that I have been working on my annual box show project. I just completed the project, and that show will be starting on March 1. I will leave a link with all the gallery show details here: https://www.theartistsgalleryfrederick.com/box.  

On another note, I will be teaching an art class on pastel this March which will run for five weeks at Frederick Community College. I will be working in the enrichment department, called ILR, short for Institute for Learning in Retirement, which is a senior citizen population. Its been a learning curve working on a syllabus, lesson planning and testing out the art projects I plan to teach. I need to start drawing more so I am ready to demonstrate these paintings. Sadly, my daily art practice has fallen to the four winds, but I am hoping to get back into it by working more in my sketchbook and also on the pastel projects. Thanks for stopping by! front of box, schmidt, flatanother side, schmidt, flatinside of box, schmidt, flatFCC ILR catalogjpgCourse schedule

Eastman Johnson: An Artist I Admire, Part 1

An Artist I Admire: Eastman Johnson (29 July 1824-April 1906)

 

Why I Haven’t Been Blogging

As mentioned in a previous blog post, I am going to be writing a new series of blog posts about artists which I admire. It has been a while since I blogged, with the Christmas holidays, get together events with family, and various other things. This month, I have struggled to get back into some sort of routine, with art making and blogging. Now, I am starting to plot out the New Year and the things I would like to accomplish. One of my goals this year is to know more about art history and to apply my newfound knowledge to my current artwork, which is content based. In other words, I am seeking to tell a story in my artwork and to express feelings and emotions through color, composition, and symbols. My first project will be for a poetry series which I have been working on for several years off and on.

The second project I am working on will be for the annual box show entry at the Artists’ Gallery in Frederick, MD, which will be on display this March 2019 as part of the annual box show at TAG, and the show‘s name is called, Burning Desires. For more information, visit The Artists’ Gallery website at www.theartistsgalleryfrederick.com. My topic for this box show will be about the question, “What is an American?”  It will investigate the dual identities of Americans as immigrants, African-Americans, etc. I am hoping to send a positive message with this work, especially in the midst of so much division about immigration and everything which it entails. Anyway, I digress. With that being said, I would like to turn my attention to the topic of Eastman Johnson, because he specialized in painting about themes such as the Underground Railroad, the Civil War, daily life in America, etc, within the context of the 19th century. Hopefully, I can glean some ideas and inspiration from analyzing and looking at his artwork, and blast through the artist’s block I have been experiencing lately.

This Month’s Blog Topic: Eastman Johnson

 When I first started researching this artist, I was intrigued by the facts that I was able to uncover about him. For instance, I found an article entitled, Eastman Johnson: The Failure of a Successful Artist, written by Kenneth Ames. It seemed like an oxymoron to have a failure and successful included in the same sentence about an artist, and it made me wonder how one person could be both successful and a failure at the same time. As the article was an academic work, and I couldn’t get access to it because it required a subscription to the periodical, I decided to just focus on the content of Eastman’s work. I conjectured that I might see if I could find any answers there as to why it seems that his name is not as recognized as other artists in the world of art history, such as his contemporary, John Singer Sargent. Like Eastman, Sargent also painted portraits and figures of well-known personalities, such as Teddy Roosevelt, and Robert Louis Stevenson. However, before we get into that topic, I would first like to give some of Eastman Johnson’s back story, for the benefit of those who have never heard of him or his artwork.

Biography: Eastman Johnson (29 July 1824-April 1906)

According to the National Gallery of Art, website article, entitled, Eastman Johnson, American, 1824-1906, Eastman Johnson was celebrated as the “the foremost genre painter in the United States.” (Source: The National Gallery of Art. “Eastman Johnson-American, 1824-1906”, https://www.nga.gov/collection/artist-info.1423.html.

Early Origins and Home Life

 Johnson began his life in Lovell, Maine, in 1824. However, he spent his childhood in the neighboring town of Fryeburg. (Source: ibid)   A few years later in 1834, his father and family members relocated to Augusta, where his father held a position as a civil servant. (Source: ibid) In Augusta, he founded a “crayon portrait studio” at the age of 18, following a brief stint at a “Boston lithography shop.” (Source: ibid)   Thereafter, he decamped to Washington D.C., where he created black and white portraits of celebrated personalities, such as Dolly Madison and John Quincy Adams. His ambition was to amass a portfolio of famous people. (Source: ibid)   In 1846, he had the good fortune to obtain a substantial amount of patronage from the  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow family of Boston. (Source: ibid)

Art Education Abroad

 Johnson continued his advanced studies in art in Dusseldorf, Germany, and there he received an intensive education in drawing at the academy in that town. (Source: ibid)    However, his time spent studying painting with the teacher Emanuel Leutz was far more enjoyable. (Source: ibid)    A few years later, he ventured to London to visit the Universal Exposition. (Source: ibid) Afterwards, he moved to The Hague, staying there for more than three years. (Source: ibid) It would appear that his extended stay at The Hague was out of the ordinary “for an American artist.” (Source: ibid)  However, his reasons for the extended stay may be explained by the fact that he was greatly inspired by the art produced by the “Dutch old masters, and that, he also had received patronage from the well to do, the American ambassador, August Belmont. (Source: ibid)

Thesis: Eastman Johnson’s Work was more than Pretty Pictures

 According to the author, Kenneth Ames, Eastman Johnson reached the height of American success when he obtained an art studio in New York, and his career continued throughout the “second half of the nineteenth century.” (Source: Taylor, Ramsey. “Eastman Johnson: The Failure of a Successful Artist”, Art Journal, Vol. 29, 1969, volume 2, pgs. 174-182, 6 March 2015, retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00043249.1970.10794692)

Furthermore, prior to his death in 1906, he had completed numerous portraits of elite figures such as presidents and socialites, like his contemporary, John Singer Sargent. (Source: ibid) However, despite these achievements, his work remains obscure. (Source: ibid) I wondered why this is the case. (Source: ibid)  Kenneth Ames argues that this is largely due to the fact that Johnson’s work which was most well-known was his “sentimental Victorian genre pictures.” (Source: ibid) However, I would pose the question, could it be possible that there is more to these paintings than meets the eye? On the contrary, could it be that his works also explored the controversial topics of race, slavery, inequality, and identity, which can still resonate with viewers today?

Indeed, I am sorry to say, the issue of inequality still affects us today, despite the passage of time and such notable movements as the Civil Rights movement, which made great strides towards inequality amongst blacks and whites. However, there is still so much more work to do. As the author, A.J.  Jacobs states, we are still guided by an us- versus- them mentality and are quick to judge that which is unfamiliar or which we don’t understand, despite our apparent progress in scientific and technological innovations. (Source: Jacobs, A.J. Its all Relative. Simon and Shuster, 2017, Introduction, pg. xii, Introduction). Furthermore, he states, “We’re obsessed with us- versus- them thinking. Blue state versus red state, Americans versus foreigners. Believers versus atheists. Black versus white.” (Source: ibid)

Racism and all the problems it entails still exists today, and you only have to watch the news, read the newspaper or the latest internet headlines to see it is alive and well today.  To be continued in next month’s blog post. Stay tuned for next month’s part 2 of Eastman Johnson, an artist I admire, to learn about how Eastman Johnson’s work explored controversial issues of race and equality.

 

 

John Singer Sargent and the Art of Reinvention

John Singer Sargent: An Artist I admire

 

The problem of Choosing a Topic

As mentioned in a previous blog post, I haven’t been painting much lately. This is a challenge because, without artwork to illustrate my blog posts with, I don’t know what to write about. Over the past few weeks, I have considered writing about art business related topics. However, since I have been having some doubts about whether I want my art to be made mainly for pleasure, such as a hobby or for profit, based on a business model. In fact, I sometimes feel that making art for profit, sometimes steals the joy of creating, and it often involves a host of other tasks I don’t enjoy such as marketing and bookkeeping, which also takes away the limited time I have to make artwork.  To resolve this problem, I am going to return to an earlier topic which I had enjoyed writing about and that is, artists I admire. In this case, I will focus my discussion upon the life of John Singer Sargent, and his subsequent reinvention as a painter around 1900, in which he shifted his focus from creating oil portraits of high society figures to creating watercolors of people and places he visited in Europe.

Re-Invention of the Self: A pop culture staple

All of us have to learn how to invent our lives, make them up, and imagine them. We need to be taught these skills; we need guides to show us how. If we don’t, our lives get made up for us by other people. —Ursula K. Le Guin

The topic of reinvention is important to me because I am in the process of trying to separate others ideas of what they think I should be doing with my life, and my own conflicts between pursuing art, and what role I want it to play in my life. Is it a profession, a hobby or something in between? Along the way, I have also been sidetracked with other pursuits such as pursuing more practical lines of work, such as graphic design and social work, and even, art entrepreneurship. This is a process that began in 2005 when I graduated from McDaniel College with an art degree to the present moment.

That is why reading about Sargent’s journey to aesthetic reinvention, in the article, “Examining Sargent’s Shift from Oils to Watercolors”, by Judith H. Dubrinsky, of the New York Times, caught my eye and inspired me to write about him.  I took classes in both graphic design and social work and after much ambivalence and indecision, decided ultimately that they were not interesting enough for me to complete a degree and change my career direction. It seems that I always return to making art no matter what other avenues for employment, volunteering or education that I have pursued. As I have been introspecting about this process of shedding layers of false selves, my truer self-seems to be emerging, and I am finding fulfillment in finally getting to pursue my dream of teaching art. Meanwhile, I am working part-time as a receptionist, who provides stable income and a sense of security, when art sales are low or the teaching contracts are not long-term, as is the case with my new contractual position at Buckingham’s Choice. The topic of reinvention, however, is not just limited to the past, as in the case of Sargent. Instead, it can still be observed in more current times.

For example, in  popular culture, a good case in point of the re-invented self  is found in the 2009 movie, Julie and Julia, a biopic about the life of the renowned chef, Julia Child, which is intermingled with the life one of her fans, Julie Powell who aspires to be a cook, but struggles with finishing things, like her novel. Powell gets inspired by Child’s book, The Art of French cooking, and takes on the challenge of cooking all of Child’s recipes from the book, and blogging about her adventures and mishaps during this journey. In addition, the writer, Georgina Del Vecho, in an article, Can You Really Reinvent Yourself? States that, “Countless teen movies revolve around the plotline of a transformation—“The Princess Diaries,” “Grease,” “She’s All That” and “Clueless,” to name a few—which, even if the transformed character ends up realizing they’ve forsaken their morals in pursuit of popularity/fame/a man, still suggest that changing your appearance or other aspects about yourself can help you reach your goal.” (Source: Del Vecho, Georgina. “Can You Really Reinvent Yourself?” The Chronicle: The Independent News Organization at Duke University, 09/13/2007, https://www.dukechronicle.com/article/2017/09/can-you-really-reinvent-yourself, accessed on November 15, 2018.)

Another example of transformation, which is popular today, is the notion of changing your profession and seeking to find a dream job, such as leaving the corporate world to start your own business, especially during the retirement years. (Source:  Freedman, Marc. “The Dangerous Myth of Reinvention.” The Harvard Business Review, January 1, 2014, https://hbr.org/2014/01/the-dangerous-myth-of-reinvention), accessed on November 15, 2018.)

These examples, however, opens up the question, such as, do these types of transformations really change who you are as a person, or not? I’m particularly interested in this questions and the journey of reinventing myself because I have been making some significant changes in my own life. For years I have wanted to teach art, but haven’t known how to go about it. For example, I have faced many roadblocks to getting qualified to teach after I obtained my baccalaureate degree in art. Despite taking the standardized teaching certification test, called the Praxis 1 test many times, I could not pass it. This test is required to obtain teacher certification in the state of Maryland, and it allows you to apply for teaching jobs in the public school system.

After that, I was rejected to four graduate degree art programs, which is a required qualification if you want to teach art on the college level. It seemed that all doors for teaching art had been effectively closed.  I have driven down many detours and pursued lots of classes and volunteering, most of which not related to art, but seemed more “practical.” Making time for art and thinking about how I wanted it to be a part of my life got sidelined. For years, I simply focused on survival and paying my bills, which was important because I had student loans to pay off. However, after my father died in 2011, it was a catalyst to motivate me to find a way to make art a part of my life again.  Initially, this began by taking art classes with Rebecca Pearl, a local Thurmont, MD artist, and teacher. Later, it grew to include a sideline as a pet portrait painter and exhibiting my artwork in local art shows. Recently, I have begun teaching art classes in an enrichment art class at the retirement community in Adamstown, Md, called Buckingham’s Choice, and I have applied for a position as an enrichment art teacher at Frederick Community College in the Institute for Learning in Retirement. However, this journey hasn’t been easy. I’ve had to work against my inner resistance to change, even good change, and fears of the unknown, to get to this new destination in my life. But, upon reflection, I’m realizing that perhaps the biggest failure of all, would be not to pursue one’s hopes, dreams or ambitions and settle for the unresolved life, which is  characterized by “what might have been,” or “if only.”

John Singer Sargent: Artistic Scope and Reinvention

That’s why I was intrigued by an article entitled, “Examining Sargent’s shift from Oil to Watercolor”, by Judith Dubrynzynski, a writer for the New York Times. (Source: Dubrynzynski, Judith. “Examining Sargent’s shift from Oil to Watercolor.” The New York Times, March 20, 2013, https://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/21/arts/artsspecial/new-appreciation-for-the-watercolor-works-of-sargent.html, accessed on November 15, 2018.)

I tend to associate Sargent with oil paintings of well-known entities such as Theodore Roosevelt and the robber baron John D. Rockefeller. But, little did I know that he had much more range and ability in the arts than I can imagine. In fact, sometime around 1900, Sargent abandoned his oil paints and picked up watercolor paints instead. (Source: ibid) According to the author, Dubrinsky, he abandoned painting portraits of high society figures and instead focused on painting “gardens, exotic locales, and people at leisure, at work and at rest, often on his travels in Europe and the Middle East. Experimenting with unusual compositions and new techniques, he reinvented himself aesthetically.” (Source: ibid)

Furthermore, later in life, he painted a series of murals for the Boston Public Library, with the theme of the Triumph of Religion. According to the Boston Public Library, Sargent, depicted several themes in his murals, including “early Egyptian beliefs, Judaism and Christianity”, in his murals, located in the McKim building of the Boston Public Library. (Source: “Digital Commonwealth: Massachusetts Collections Online, Mural Cycles at the Central Library in Copley Square”: Boston Public Library, https://www.digitalcommonwealth.org/collections/commonwealth:sq87dv033, accessed on November 15, 2018,   and The Art Story,  “John Singer Sargent: American Painter”,  https://www.theartstory.org/artist-sargent-john-singer.htm, accessed on November 15, 2018.)

 

Note: You can view examples of Sargent’s murals at the Boston Public Library by clicking on this link: https://www.digitalcommonwealth.org/collections/commonwealth:sq87dv033,

John Singer Sargent: Biography

All of this makes me wonder, who was Sargent really? According to a biography written by Stanley Meisler,  Sargent lived a peripatetic life in Europe during his childhood, although his family originally lived in the New England area. (Source: Dubrynzynski, Judith. “Examining Sargent’s shift from Oil to Watercolor.” The New York Times, March 20, 2013, https://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/21/arts/artsspecial/new-appreciation-for-the-watercolor-works-of-sargent.html, accessed on November 15, 2018., and  Meisler, Stanley. “John Singer Sargent”. Smithsonian Magazine, February 1999, from https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/john-singer-sargent-65338011/, accessed on November 15, 2018.

He obtained his artistic training at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, France. (Source: ibid) Furthermore, some of his artistic influences included:  the artists: Goya, Velasquez, and other contemporary Impressionist painters, and he quickly put into practice the lessons he learned from these masters. (Source: ibid)

What Made John Singer Sargent’s Work Exceptional?

According to the website, The Art Story.org, John Singer Sargent was a celebrated portrait artist who specialized in painting pictures of the elite members of society, such as the oil magnate J.D. Rockefeller, and the presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, in locations such as Paris, London and New York. (Source: The Art Story, “John Singer Sargent: American Painter”, https://www.theartstory.org/artist-sargent-john-singer.htm, accessed on November 15, 2018.)

What distinguished him from other artists was the way that he revolutionized portrait painting by utilizing impressionistic brushwork and nontraditional compositions to “capture his sitters’ character and even reputation.” (Source: ibid) And sometimes his models did not like the completed painting and even refused to buy it, perhaps because it revealed uncomfortable truths? (Source: ibid)  The portrait, Madame X, painted early in his career is a prime example of this tendency. (Source: ibid)

Sargent’s Range of Artistic Projects: Watercolors and Murals

However, he did not limit himself to portraiture; instead, he also painted outdoors with his colleague, Claude Monet”. (Source: ibid)  In addition, Sargent also created murals which were commissioned by government officials in the US and in the UK later in his career. (Source: ibid) He was a talented young painter and he created a “spectacular array of exciting and masterful paintings while only in his twenties.”(Source: ibid)

Scandal in Paris Salon of 1884: Madame X Painting

Despite these accomplishments, in 1884 at the Paris Salon, his portrait, Madame X, created a stir amongst the leaders of the Paris art establishment, who found its depiction of the American ex-patriot, Virginia Gateau, too blatantly sexual, in her low cut black dress which showed a shocking amount of her skin for the 19th century time period and standards of the day. (Source: Baker, Harriet. “The Story Behind John Singer Sargent’s RA ‘Carnation, Lily, Lily Rose.” The Royal Academy, 13 February 2015, https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/article/john-singer-sargent-carnation-lily-lily-rose, accused on November 15, 2018.

After his debacle in Paris, Sargent moved to England “and spent summer seasons in an artist’s colony in Broadway, Worcestershire”. (Source: ibid) At this location, he painted the stunning and timeless painting, Carnation Lily, Lily Rose, which epitomized the innocence of childhood, and helped to bring him back into the arms of the art establishment. (Source: ibid) Sargent’s inspiration for this double portrait came from a variety of sources such as artwork by the English Pre-Raphaelites, and the Impressionists who painted en plein air. (Source: ibid)   However, his initial inspiration for this painting can be traced back to “an evening boating trip along the Thames at Pangbourne in 1885, when he saw Chinese lanterns hanging from trees.” (Source: ibid) He began working on Carnation Lily, Lily Rose during a visit with Francis David Millet. (Source: ibid) The two girls who posed for the portrait were Polly and Dorothy, who were daughters of the artist Frederick Barnard. (Source: ibid)

 

Closing Thoughts: Why I feel a kinship with Sargent

In conclusion, I feel I can relate to Sargent’s life story in a small way, such as his search to find success, his failures, and his desire to reinvent himself in his middle age. In a similar way, I am at a crossroads in my life and looking for ways to reinvent my life via teaching art. I’m also shedding old selves, perhaps influenced or invented by others or myself. I’m trying to be completely honest with myself about what I really want to do with my life and what I want my contribution to society to be. I am not even sure I want to be an artist-entrepreneur anymore, and I am re-examining what it means for me to be an artist.  For now, I am finding that teaching others to draw and paint is incredibly rewarding, and it seems to be part of that answer. I admire Sargent’s courage to break free from his comfort zone, and perhaps from the expectations of others about what he should paint. I hope that I can grab onto some of that courage.

 

Readers, Please Note: The paintings I am posting to accompany this blog post include not only a portrait that Sargent completed, Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose,  but also some other master artworks

Copy of Caranation Lily, Lily Rose
After John Singer Sargent, Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose. 1885, oil on canvas. I painted this portrait in 2017.
Sohpy Gray portrait_edited-1
After John Millais. Portrait of a Girl, 1857, oil on canvas. I painted this portrait in 2017 with oils on prepared illustration board.
The Family copy_edited-1
After Mary Cassatt, The Family, 1893, oil on canvas. I painted this painting in 2007 with oil paints on prepared illustration board.
Ocean park copy_edited-1
After Richard Diebenkorn, Cityscape 1, 1963. and Ocean Park series # 79, oil on canvas. I painted this painting with oil paint on prepared illustration board.
Woman on a Porch, 1958, Richard Diebenkorn
After Richard Diebenkorn, Woman on a Porch, 1958, oil on canvas. I painted this painting on a canvas with acrylic paintings in 2017.

which I have copied and which I intend to make part of an art history blog series. Thanks for reading! Next month I plan to write about the artist Eastman Johnson. Have a wonderful day!

Artists: How to Re-Surface Old Paintings, both oil and acrylic

A Response to Last Month’s Post: How to Re-Prime Used Canvases

 

This blog post is inspired by a blog post from last month, entitled: Artists: What Should You Do with Unfinished Artwork? dated August 12, 2018. In this post, I wrote about the artwork that had been abandoned for various reasons. I also added a list of various highlights from an article entitled, “50 Ways to Use Your Unfinished Art.” Several suggestions for completing your artwork were listed in the aforementioned article including taking pictures of your artwork to manipulate it, cutting up the artwork and re-assembling it, throwing the painting away, etc. However, one technique that I didn’t mention for completing art work is to start over from scratch. For example, this could mean re-surfacing an old canvas by using sandpaper or even a power sander, depending on how thick the paint has been applied to the canvas. The processes for re-finishing canvases are different, depending on whether acrylic or oil paint was used, which is a fact that I learned after reading two articles on The Painters Keys website- Re-priming Old Canvases, and How to Resurface an Old Painting by Ericka Lancaster. I really wish I had known this sooner, as I am not sure how my old paintings, which have been re-surfaced with sandpaper and acrylic gesso, will hold out over time.

Consequently, I plan to do more research in the future, before I am embarking on a similar project with older canvases. I want to be certain that I can create quality paintings which will pass the test of time. Ok, so now to what I learned from reading these articles. For example, in the Painter’s Key’s website, the author responded to a query from a reader about how to restore an old canvas, so that it could be re-painted. (Source: http://thepainterskeys.com/reprime, Robert Genn, date of access 08/24/18). In response, the author stated that to re-surface an old oil painting can create some concrete and creative challenges because if the re-surfacing process is not done correctly, it can cause the paint to flake off from the surface.  (Source: ibid) Therefore, because of this possibility, many artists choose instead to use new materials, i.e. new canvases or substrates.  (Source: ibid)

Here are some tips for re-purposing oil paintings from the article, Re-priming Used Canvases:

  • Sand the surface of your oil painting until it is completely dull in appearance. (Source: Ibid)
  • I used a power sander with 150-grade coarse sandpaper, because it is easier to use than individual strips of sandpaper, and it gets the job done much faster.
  • After you sand the painting, use a microfiber cloth to get rid of any excess paint chips. For heavily encrusted paint, you can give the canvas or paper another pass with the power sander.
  • When the canvas is completely clean and you can see the tooth of it, use an “oil or alkyd-based gesso or oil primer.” (Source: ibid) You can use a scumbled technique and a rag, to cover the offending areas you don’t like about your painting, and leave other areas, untouched that you like. Using this technique is a compromise between using the old surface and the paint which remains, and painting a new layer of paint. (Source: ibid)

 

  • As an alternative, you can use a mixture of titanium white oil paint and linseed oil. You may add additional colors to the mixture if you would like to add an underpainting; such as burnt sienna or yellow ochre. (Source: ibid) This step will provide you with a middle value, with which to compare your other values and help to create color harmony in your painting.

 

On the other hand, re-priming or painting over acrylic paintings is a  completely different scenario and process. For instance, “acrylic molecules remain sticky forever,” and you need to ensure that there is “no final varnish remaining.” Instead, acrylic paintings should be “cleaned outdoors with household ammonia and well flushed with water before applying a water-based gesso, thick or thin.” And unlike oil based surfaces, paintings with an acrylic paint can be re-surfaced with gesso as a priming agent. (Source: ibid)

Here are some steps you can follow to re-surface an old acrylic painting, according to the artist, Erica Lancaster:

  • Clean the old acrylic painting with a soft microfiber cloth until it is free of dust or grime.
  • Use sandpaper to remove the old acrylic paint with a light touch, while you concentrate on “heavily textured” sections of the canvas. If you can’t get rid of all the texture from the acrylic paint, don’t worry about it.
  • Go over your sanded acrylic painting with a clean cloth to remove any additional paint particles.
  • Paint your canvas with Gesso and use even coats. Remember to let each coat dry at a time before applying a new layer of gesso. This can take up to 24 hours to “cure.” If you want to thin out your gesso, you can add water to the mixture. Test your canvas and check to see that it is completely dry, before applying any acrylic paint. As a general rule, you want to have at least two dry coats of gesso on your painting before you begin adding acrylic paint.
  • Go over your canvas with sandpaper again. As to how many times you choose to sand the canvas that is completely up to you. Deciding on what amount of texture to give your paintings is a personal creative choice, and it depends on what type of “look” you want your painting to have, such as photorealism or abstraction. If you want a realistic look, you would want less texture and thin smooth layers of paint.
  • The final step before you begin painting is to wipe your canvas again with a clean microfiber cloth. Now your canvas is ready to begin painting upon. (Source: http://www.erikalancaster.com/art-blog/how-to-resurface-old-canvas-paintings-to-crete-new-artwork.com, “How to Resurface Old Canvas Paintings to Create New Artwork,” Erika Lancaster, date of access, 8/24/18.

So there you have it. Two different approaches to re-surfacing old paintings, depending on whether you have an acrylic or oil painting on your canvas.  This week’s artwork

water lily three value sketch_edited-1, flat
Three Value Sketch, water lily, graphite on paper, 5 x 7 inches, Jodie Schmidt, 2018.
Water Liliy redux, final
Adobe Photoshop Photo Collage, digital image, Adobe Photoshop Elements, 5 x 7 inches, Jodie Schmidt, 2018.
water lily watercolor, color study_edited, flat
Color Study for Water Lily, Mixed media, 6 x 7 inches, Jodie Schmidt, 2018.

features the creative process of my latest painting in progress, a water lily.  My next step is to combine all these sources I created to make a completed oil painting, which I hope to finish in the near future! Happy painting and thanks for stopping by!

New Art for Sale!

Hello Family, Friends, and Followers,

I have been adding some of my new miniature oil paintings to my Etsy Shop at https://www.redbubble.com/people/jsjschmidt2017, and the reproductions are available at my Red Bubble shop: https://www.redbubble.com/people/jsjschmidt2017. The original oil paintings include some of my favorite subjects, Canada Geese, and water lily gardens and most of them, measure about 4 x 4 inches. They are priced starting at $25.00 each and make a wonderful addition to your bookshelf, desk, bedside table, or cubicle. All of my paintings come with a small easel for easy display. The first photo here gives you an idea of the scale of some of my paintings. Thanks for stopping by! Canada trio, styled, flatCanada Goose trio,flatpink water lillies, flatclose up of pink water lilliy, flatwhite water lily, mini, flat