Thursday, December 31, 2020

New Year's Eve framing the new year

    Thinking about framing the new year and what one wants to do next, I will say I am really enjoying getting back to painting, the easy way. Painting takes time. I once painted from 9 AM until 9 PM.  Those paintings were more interesting, perhaps. But now I like to paint for a couple of hours before or after supper. I often finish a painting in a couple of hours. Is it the Pandemic? My attitude?
     My secret for fun is not to care whether the painting is good or not, or people's reactions. It is fun to paint. It is good to have easy clean up and since I have books and crafts over most flat surfaces, it is good to have painting that can be done in a very small area. Remember, Paul Klee painted at his kitchen table.

      Joe picks up 1/4 inch birch plywood at the lumber yard and cuts it into 6* x 8* pieces, usually 4 or 8 panels at a time. I go over them lightly with fine grit sandpaper. I brush on Golden's' white gesso, both sides, or a corner to corner X on the wrong side. Meditatively, I gesso the side I will paint several times, lightly sanding between coats. I next apply an orange, green or sienna layer of Golden acrylic paint. This gives me a color to paint on. It unifies and gives a medium value to work against. The panels are then set aside, ready to be transformed in a short period of time.

       I lay out Holbein Acryla Gouache, two amazing Holbein hair paint brushes to apply colors, water and tissue. Anything can be a palette, but I just fold heavy white paper. The acryla gouache dries fast so I put out very little at a time. I often paint from a photo from a trip. It will be dry by bedtime and the next day I can varnish the pretty matte with Liquitex matte varnish. A brush leaves streaks, but a foam brush floats the varnish beautifully. Then another day, Joe frames.

       Joe buys 1" x 2" pine boards to frame these little paintings. He uses his table saw that he won't let me touch. The paintings sit on the notches he has created and are glued down. I am sure that painting is in the frame for my new year. I have had Jim and Colin mail me photos from the Bahamas and I have my own to work from. I have more subjects to think about. The process is fun and instructive.


  1. This is great so many ways. Doing what you love. Doing it as a team. Relishing your results. Life is good!

  2. I like your " framing" metaphor at the beginning . Good for you and Joe to know just how to frame your wonderful paintings. Goodbye 2020. Happy New Year.

  3. I love your paintings. I had no idea of how you worked you and Joe.

  4. I really liked it that you told us your step by step process! As I read, I could visualize each step. I'm sure you've mentioned this in the past, but I didn't realize that you painted on boards! I think I assumed canvas! The results are amazing. And I am in awe that you can produce such great works in the evening hours, when I am totally vegged out in front of the TV watching Netflix, Amazon Prime, or something we've recorded. THAT blows my mind--that you are productive after a full day of living!

  5. You and Joe working together. I love that. (Reminds me of Earl.) Your work is beautiful, and, like Alice, I am amazed that you have energy to work in the evening! I look forward to seeing more of your amazing art in 2021!

  6. I love learning more about your process. The paintings are great and your sense of composition so good - scale, horizon, etc. I just want to walk down that beach path. Keep it up! - Ellen