Family and friends have asked me to get back to painting. When I saw Paula Pitman Brown was offering a course at the MFA Boston, I signed up. Every Thursday I drag in my Masterson Stay-Wet palette, simple canvas, brushes and paint up to the third floor. Each student is to paint a theme...and I ended up with self-portraits, after courting sunflowers, portraits of the grandchildren and animals. I have gessoed many old cardboard legal pad backs and am painting with acrylics that dry too fast. However, I don't want to be running in and out of the MFA with oil paint all over me when I try to be grown up there. The fast drying acrylics are a challenge, but I can get back to oils at home. To think I once painted 9 to 9 daily.
Just as I had to learn crochet over again (I just down loaded a beanie pattern), I think the same goes for painting. I do find it helps to paint a bright or dark coat of paint like green, blue, orange or red on the "canvas" before starting and half the work is done! It helps unify and gives you something to work against. I have a little water spray bottle to periodically wet my paint on the palette. Today I took a break and have been playing with STITCHing some portraits.
I did some experimentation and I believe that free-motion quilting such as in these quickie portraits require old artist sticktoitiveness. What works depends on the sewing machine. For some machines you lower the feed dogs and others you do not. On some machines, you put the stitch length on zero and others you don't change. Most need an embroidery foot. Experiment and don't give up, if it interests you. These are my first two attempts. In the future I will use a little blue water soluble pen to draw my design. That will make me slow down. I want to read Stitch Draw by Rosie James. Remember, if you can write your name, you can draw. It is a learned skill. As for ideas, Picasso said that painting was but keeping a diary.