Sunday, April 29, 2018

A Thought for Sunday, April 29, 2018

"If you look like your passport photo, you're too ill to travel." -- Will Kommen

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Art Books I Can't Live Without

The reading nook in my studio. The bookcase just beyond the chair holds all my favorite art books .

As a mostly self taught artist, books about art are as important to me as brushes, paint and canvases. I have to confess: my addiction to them is hopeless. I troll the latest titles on Amazon, eagerly read reviews of new releases in art magazines, and browse the shelves at Barnes & Noble every chance I get. Given a choice between the gift of a luxurious designer handbag and a newly released book about abstract art, I'll choose the book. (Maybe that's why I'm not famous for looking like a fashion plate, haha.)

When younger artists ask me how they can advance their careers, I tell them to do two things: spend as much time painting as possible, and take advantage of the incredible universe of knowledge found in art books. (Yes,YouTube is a wonderful resource also. But only a book allows you time to read, mull over what you've just read, and dream up ways to apply it, even making notes in the margins.) I consider art books to be an essential part of an artist's development. Read enough of them and you'll get an education to rival that of attending art school. Maybe even better.

I paint with acrylics, I paint abstracts, and I also work in mixed media and collage. There's no shortage of terrific books out there covering every conceivable aspect of these topics. Here are some of my favorite titles. They're the books I read for information and inspiration -- the ones I consider studio essentials:

Surface Treatment Workshop by Sandra Duran and Darlene Olivia McElroy
Abstract Explorations in Acrylic Painting: Fun, Creative and Innovative Techniques by Jo Toye
Create Perfect Paintings: An Artist's Guide to Visual Thinking by Nancy Reyner
Abstracts in Acrylic and Ink: A Playful Painting Workshop by Jodi Ohl
The Art of Expressive Collage: Techniques for Creating with Paper and Glue by Crystal Neubauer
Gelli Plate Printing: Mixed-Media Monoprinting Without a Press by Joan Bess
Alternative Art Surfaces: Mixed-Media Techniques for Painting on More Than 35 iDifferent Surfaces by Sandra Duran Wilson and Darlene Olivia McElroy

This is by no means a complete list. It just happens to be a list of the titles I happen to have at hand right now. If adding to your skill set is your aim, you can't go wrong with any of these titles. So grab a good book, a cup of tea, and let these authors lead you to improvements in your work.

Image and text ©2018 Lynn Edwards

Sunday, April 22, 2018

A Thought for Sunday, April 22, 2018

"To hate is to be enslaved by evil." -- Thomas Dreier

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Back from a Fantastic Workshop!

Just returned from a five day workshop with artist and author Jo Toye. It was the most amazing experience...Jo is an extraordinary instructor and gifted artist, and I must say her workshop was THE most helpful and informative workshop I have ever taken! (And I've had the privilege of studying with some very well known instructors in the world of art workshops!)

An 8x8 practice "sample" of a Gesso Pull on Yupo paper -- fun to do, but a bit tricky to do well! 
 Photo ©2018 Lynn Edwards

Jo's approach to teaching is a departure from the norm. Rather than working toward completion of a painting, those of us in her workshop came away from it with a number of 10x10 and 8x8 completed "samples" of  the many distinctive techniques Jo has developed. They're all depicted in her very popular book, Abstract Explorations in Acrylic Painting, released in 2016 by North Light Publishing, but actually working through each technique under the direction of its creator heightened the learning experience even more.

I found the small format approach to be does indeed relieve apprehensions that can crop up when an artist faces a large, blank, costly substrate. It doesn't take much to cover such a small piece of paper, and storing the finished samples is considerably easier than storing full sized sheets of watercolor paper or Yupo.

In this workshop I learned how to use a mouth atomizer to spray a super fine layer of paint, how to use single edge razor blades to "draw" motifs and geometric shapes onto these small surfaces, and how to use Fineline applicators to outline and brighten specific areas of the work, to build texture, and to create interest and variety. Those were just a few of the things I learned this week; there were so many other things my head was spinning from all the valuable tips and information Jo shared.

If you ever get the chance to attend one of Jo Toye's workshops, take it. You won't be disappointed, nor will your art be the same when it's over. "Transformative" is the only way I can describe it, and I feel very blessed and grateful for being able to participate in such an extraordinary experience.

Text and photo ©2018 Lynn Edwards

A Thought for Sunday, April 15, 2018

"There's nothing like staying home for real comfort." -- Jane Austen

Sunday, April 8, 2018

A Thought for Sunday, April 8, 2018

"Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul." -- Oscar Wilde

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Artist Tip: Save Money on Bottles

Many liquid acrylic mediums are packaged in plastic squeeze bottles with tops that seal securely. When you use up the contents, don't throw the bottle away. Rinse it out and save it for future use in transporting mediums and other liquids to art workshops. Or fill with fluid acrylic paint and use it to dribble or fling color onto your canvas. Bought new, these plastic bottles can be pricey. Re-using them is not only thrifty, it helps keep plastic out of landfills.

©2018 Lynn Edwards