Have to Paint.

I feel this urge to Paint.

My current style is a combination of graphite pencil and computer color. But lately, I have not been satisfied with how vibrant the colors are digitally and I want to express myself with something more physical than the digital screen.

Last year, I was on the search for a collage style that spoke to me and along the way, I came across the ebook Painted Paper by Elizabeth St. Hilaire. She teaches workshops in Arizona and I wanted to go. But the workshop, plus plane fare, plus hotel was going to be several thousand dollars to learn a technique that I didn’t know if I would like. So, I tried to do what she teaches first in her workshop here at home. An Apple:


I used Golden Fluid paints and painted a lot of paper and then using a photo reference, I ripped the paper (except where I wanted a hard line) and glued it on with Gloss Gel medium. The painted paper had this wonderful texture. It was plastic and flexible and delicious to touch. I also enjoyed making really big art. In fact, looking at this picture, I want to make a whole series of these. I want color. I want the feel of the painted paper that is so yummy in my fingers. I love so many things about this piece and this process.

This past weekend, I participated in a free online class called Find your Joy Taster course by Louise Fletcher. Louise has a 10 week class that starts the first week of July and this is her promo class so you can see if it is what you would like to do.

I’ve only gotten one assignment done. You take a large piece of paper and use tape to divide it into 6 smaller pieces of paper. Then you paint the whole paper as if it was one painting in less than 30 minutes. When it dries, you take the tape off and cut the paper into the smaller paintings and take a look at them. I did it twice. One paper I put gesso on first. The second paper I tried without gesso. The gessoed paper left brush strokes on it so there was already some texture. The plain paper gave me a more smooth appearance. It also took the paint differently and the colors were more intense. I used a palette knife for each one and I found I really liked using a palette knife. I have since bought myself a smaller palette knife so I can try it out with my smaller images that I do for Children’s Book Illustration. See if you can figure out which one had gesso on it.

The best of my first assignment in Find Your Joy class

The best of my first assignment in Find Your Joy class

Sometimes I just want to paint on really big panels and let loose with the paint and the bright colors. Sometimes I want to paint abstractly. And then mold it into a picture book. Maybe it is because I do small artwork for the Children’s Book market that I have this urge to paint and paint big. It is the ying to my yang. It might also be because I’ve been listening a lot to Louise Fletcher’s podcast: Art Juice. Louise Fletcher is an abstract landscape painter and she and Alice Sheridan created a podcast. I really like listening to her pod cast and while I don’t think I am an abstract painter, I might just become a convert.

For now, though, I want to paint. I want to paint vibrant paintings. I want to paint large paintings. I want to escape. I want to express myself in messy paint. My plan this week is to send Paige and Webb off to the next publisher and prep boards and papers for a month long love affair with paint. I plan to get up early and throw paint around my studio. To find how I like to paint. What I like and what I hate and just explore the medium until I Find my Joy.

Hmm…I think I better go find a second hand rug to put on my studio floor.

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