Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Red Rock Wednesday

Talk about a painting a day!
I am on a week-long course in acrylic painting and I have already used up all my stretched canvases - it's only Wednesday. Unknowingly, last year I bought a roll of 60"wide primed canvas (I had no idea why at the time, it just seemed sensible) so now each morning, I simply tear off a length of this stuff and off I go. It gives me 3 canvases, each 20 x 15... albeit not stretched. I just tape it to the easel (looks like a fat quarter) and paint away. By noon I am ready for the second one, by two the third. With acrylics I need to work fast or the stuff dries up - turns into plastic before my eyes - I keep having to remember to spritz.

Today we were asked to pick from a bunch of black and white photos and convert the image into some sort of painting - landscape, abstract shapes, whatever we wanted. On day one, we were given a photo and told to paint it as is (no choice). Today, this is the picture I chose.

Ok, it's a picture of a rock. A big one, in a wooded setting with snow on the ground. Yawn... but there was something about the composition that was intriguing. I decided that this was indeed a big bold rock that needed a big bold treatment. Ted (our teacher) travelled across Canada a couple of years ago, photographing it along the way. I suspect that this shot shows a piece of the Canadian shield - big, bold, massive.
Not too much time to think about it, as we were told to hurry up and get our large dark masses sketched in (this reminds me of someone...). No pencils allowed, we sketch in with a #4 flat bristle brush and fill in larger areas using a #8. We then move to lighter and lighter values and finish off with highlights. We then move on to the next piece. Here is my result.

The two ugly green rectangles at the top are the masking tape bits holding up my "fat quarter" on the easel. Ted came by wanting to know about the material I was painting on. I explained that I had run out of stretched canvas and this was simply a piece of torn primed canvas. He suggested that I invest in Belgian linen and not waste my time with primed cotton canvas. OK, sure.
Here is Ted Zuber on the left, talking with Andrew, another student.

Tomorrow we focus on water, all kinds, clear, choppy, waves, white water and snow. BTW on the way home I caught an awesome sky.
Stormy weather ahead is announced on the radio but I don't really care. All I can think about is the piece I did on Monday. This is the inspiration I need to correct the sky, or perhaps just start another painting.


Lisa said...

What fun! Your paintings are wonderful. So what's wrong with primed cotton canvas? (I bet this is a stupid question)

Kit Vincent said...

Not a stupid question Lisa, I asked him the same thing.
He said that primed cotton canvas is student grade and not archival; that I should buy the best (Belgian linen) and prime it myself with rabbit skin glue and gesso etc.
I then told him that normally for me the best is Kaufman PFD pimatex cotton that I hand dye and paint. That brought our conversation to a grinding halt.