Monthly Archives: February 2013

Lawrence’s Annoying Paintings at the Cleveland Museum of Art

I have nothing against Thomas Lawrence, indeed, I like his work, but—good grief!—he could make some annoying paintings. The Cleveland Museum of Art has two of the offending paintings hanging side-by-side. Lawrence (died 1830) had well-earned success throughout his life. A prodigy, he found success early and later became President of the Royal Academy. He…

Thumbs-up: Neel, Thumbs-up (also): Pearlstein

By happenstance or cunning plan, The Cleveland Museum of Art has two large paintings hanging next to each other by artists of whom I am fond– Alice Neel and Philip Pearlstein. Juxtaposed this way, the relative merits of each can be studied. Except for a long detour in the Picasso Amusement Park, a straight line…

Tips for Using a Grid

I frequently use a grid to enlarge designs for paintings. It’s my preferred method for transferring designs from one medium into another (except watercolors). What do I use to create a grid? Good question. The grid should be visible enough to see—doh!—and not  easily rub away, but not so visible that it appears in the…

Transferring Designs to Canvas

I routinely transfer designs as I rework subjects in various mediums. There are several standard methods for transferring designs to a target surface. One long-used method was to prepare a cartoon to the exact dimensions of the target wall or canvas. Once the design was fixed, it would be transferred by one of the following methods: Covering…

Turpentine Tip

Put some Venice turpentine  into your everyday turpentine (10:1 turpentine to Venice turpentine). You could substitute larch turpentine or Canada balsam for Venice turpentine, both of which are easy to obtain. The admixture of Venice turpentine firms the turpentine without overpowering it. I sometimes use the mix to thin paints, and as an additive in…

Spray Varnish

Varnish is a sore subject. I’ve nearly spoiled some of my own paintings with poor varnish, and I’ve had so-called ‘professionals’ ruin paintings (one frame shop owner in Trenton, NJ left brush hairs in the varnish coat then obliterated the painting’s surface trying to get them off—grrr). Any artist that draws with smudge-able material, such…

In the Studio 2/17/2013

A productive day with a lot of good sunlight.  I finished two self-portraits this morning (a gouache and another pastel-gouache), almost finished the drawing for a new still life (oil), then worked on the oils in the accompanying photo this afternoon. Why so many self-portraits lately? It’s not because I’ve developed a new found self-fascination–hell…

Aside

I visited Cleveland State U’s new gallery space on Euclid today.  Neither of the two show–Animatopoeia, and Dante Rodriguez: New Works–warmed my winter-insulted bones, although Animatopoeia has some interesting sculpture  I would provide a link to the gallery’s web site but the site provides minimal information.