Saturday, June 12, 2010

Interference colours are cool...and strange, and sometimes ultra kitsch.  But I love them!

Check out how my finger blocking the direct light on this swatch of Interference Blue Liquid Acrylic makes the shaded area look orangy-yellow.  This is the complementary colour lightwave, lurking in the shadows. 

A play of light. Playful colour, play...with paint.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Other Covers

I've probably posted this before, but why not refresh:

The New Acrylics: Dutch Edition
Available from Tirion Uitgevers BV.

The New Acrylics: German Edition
Available from Edition M. Fischer

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Weighing in on tensile strength

Professional quality acrylic gel is strong stuff, really. I make paintings using the skins themselves as my support, I stretch them, cut them, mold and manipulate them constantly. I get a lot of questions about the strength and durability of these solid bits of paint. Aside from the aesthetics of these translucent, supple sheets, I am in love with their versatility and malleable character.

I should caution you, however, to remember that acrylics are a thermoplastic, and thus vulnerable to the changes in ambient humidity and temperature. I tend not to work with skins in the high summer here in Ontario. Hot, hazy & humid days wreak havok on the acrylic. There is so much water in the air that the paint dries WAY too slowly, and sometimes full curing is nearly impossible. Physically, the skins become very soft and tacky, like thick plastic wrap...very frustrating if working large. Working with skins in the summer? Air conditioning, air conditioning, air conditioning.

Winter poses it's own set of issues. Transporting paintings from a dry warm environment to (or through) the deep cold causes it the skin to become very hard and brittle. I've damaged too many pieces this way, no matter how careful I've been. The shrinkage that occurs when the plastic cools alone can cause the film to crack. This can be heartbreaking and very frustrating. With some careful planning, and timing all of these issues can be worked around.

A properly prepared film, at room temperature, is a strong and very resilient substance. The real secret to producing a strong film, aside from the issues I've just mentioned, is to use a LOT of gel.

That's all for today! Please let me know if you have any questions about process or technical stuff. I'm always happy to help, and keep adding to the global acrylic knowledge database!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The rain

It's raining today. I like rain, I find it soothing, and it does fun things to my hair. It is also raining opportunity...which I find usually happens as soon as I've given up on things. That universe, it just keeps throwing me for loops.

Yes, I had decided to give painting another go, with intent and seriousness and all that. No, it did not work out as my day job got busier and more multi-faceted, my home life (and my studio) got too chaotic and the muse was on an extended leave of absence.

During this period of creative hiatus, I revisited some of my older book ideas and one of them stood out as being exciting and I was (am) re-inspired to make that happen sooner rather than later. Currently, I'm working on this new (old) book idea during my "me" time, working on Tri-Art related things in most of my other time, and cooking vast quantities of food in the rest of the time (sometimes fun, mostly just messy and time consuming).

Having given up of the painting idea (temporarily of course), I hear word this weekend that I am being offered a solo show in Toronto.

Be still my heart.

I am doing my best not to panic, and to move forward with the Tri-Art work, the new book, the domestic work and produce a cohesive collection of paintings...all of it. I find it oddly comforting that I enjoy this sort of rain too. Rather than sending me into a screaming panic, I find this to be rather calming.

Strange...but good.