FAQ

1.  Why do you paint in so many different media? You paint in watercolors, in oils, and in acrylics. Doesn't that get confusing?

Well, that's kinda funny. Yes, sometimes, it does get just a little confusing. I do believe a little ADHD runs through my blood (not only my own, but in many of my relatives....we're quite a diverse group of people: engineers, architects, teachers, artists, quilters, chefs).

I think my answer is that I love them all equally. The unifying factor is that all of my media is water clean-up. In the late 1980's, I was painting solely in traditional oils, using the typically toxic solvents (turpentine, etc.). I was painting away one day to my heart's content, when I looked down at my arms and both of them were beet red from elbow to wrist. A rash had developed, and at that moment I felt my painting days were over. That was tough to swallow because I was gaining momentum, painting commissions, and quite busy. But, this reaction stopped me dead in my tracks. I put away the oils (kept them, but never used them again). I turned to watercolor and began bringing home awards. The selling began again, and I did enjoy it, but the love of oils never left my veins. About 10 years ago, my older son, who is quite the acrylic painter, kept telling me I should try acrylics, so I did. That was good, but still not the buttery feeling of traditional oils. So, I began flip-flopping between watercolor and acrylics. Then, the Golden company developed the Open Acrylics. Oh! They stay wet indefinitely if stored in the freezer between uses and stay wet on the palette for long periods of time! I was thrilled. I began doing more and more plein air work and was enjoying this, when I was introduced to Water-soluble Oils. I tried several brands, and eventually settled on Holbein. I thought this simulated my original experiences with traditional oils "almost" to a T.........then, in 2012, I discovered Daniel Smith Water-soluble Oils. NOW! I'm in heaven! I am currently doing more and more work in oils, but I maintain my work in watercolors.

2.  What colors do you use?

I use nearly the same palette of colors in all media. Quite a number of years ago, I attended a Stephen Quiller workshop. Since that time, I have used a round palette, with my colors arranged in a color wheel fashion.

I use Stephen Quiller's pigments. He has several books out that describe how individual hues react with one another, how to avoid mud, and conversely, how to create mud when you want it. I teach this method in my Beginning Watercolor classes. Pigments are the same in any media. They are first in a powder form and from that point are mixed with either a honey/gum arabic solution for watercolor, or an oil based solution for oils, and of course a polymer for acrylics.

3.  Why do you do abstracts and also very traditional and realistic paintings? Again, you seem confused.

I am an intuitive, right brained artist. I might pick up a green for a sky and red for grass if left to the wild side. So, having the colors in the color wheel arrangement cues me to switch to the left side of my brain and choose the correct colors! I'm not color blind, I just instinctively, left un-checked, will work spontaneously......reacting to the joy of color, without thinking about what is the correct color to use. So, abstract work comes naturally in a sense.

I was trained to be an art teacher and the program for this requires that we become proficient in many media, so that we can teach whatever the student desires to learn. I was trained in ceramics, jewelry making (soldering, cutting, annealing,...the whole ball of wax literally), fibers (weaving, dyeing, spinning, etc.), sculpture (wood, plaster, etc.), painting, drawing, and much more. It was a full blown 4 year program.

Underlying all of these media, is always a good abstract design.

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