My husband has been taking photographs of interesting buildings in Calgary for my 'CityScapes' paintings on his lunch hour walks at work which is wonderful as I've been working from home over the past 6 months. Some of these buildings I've seen in the past myself, but occasionally he brings me something I haven't seen before, like the Anderson Estates apartments (image on the left). I have come to realize that painting something I haven't seen myself can have its challenges, but can also be quite freeing as, once I've drawn it into my sketchbook, I don't refer to the photograph again. This gives me the opportunity to open my mind to new creative ideas without locking me in to replicating the exact image (not that I would in any case). I really like that kind of artistic freedom.
The CityScape on the top (Anderson Estates II) can be seen at The Store Upstairs in Airdrie until September 30 part of the pop-up gallery in this year's ARTember and Alberta's Arts Days.
My grandmother was a fiercely independent woman. She immigrated alone to Canada from England as a young woman and that same fearlessness stayed with her for the rest of her life. She was an avid gardener, photographer, and traveller who pursued her interests and passions with fervour. She was never one to back away from a challenge, and approached life with practicality, grit, and humour.
~ Hannah Gaunt
So...back in college I was given the opportunity to work with acrylic gouache, which I really enjoyed at the time. It's quite chalky and flat which looks very interesting. Since then I've given it a whirl on several occasions, trying out different brands of gouache, this time Liquitex Acrylic. I do have to admit that it was a struggle for me. Though the paint is smoother on application than I found other gouache, I still really struggle with it but, because this is in an altered book, I do like the fact that it's not 'sticky' like my usual acrylic paints. I will continue to use it for altered books, and will probably re-visit these pages to tidy things up at some point, but do have to admit that it's still not a favourite medium and still prefer working with my Liquitex Acrylics.
While I was visiting my daughter last week, I decided to work on a painting inspired by Nose Creek as it's where she grew up. Fortunately she had acrylic paint and brushes so I worked on a 30x36 inch canvas that I had previously textured with a mixture of plaster and modelling paste (a combination of gel media and marble dust). I mixed up variations of red, blue and yellow, which is the palette I used for many, many years, and though after the first night I wasn't pleased with it, I knew I had to let it 'rest' overnight before adding more layers of colour. I'm happy with it now and it adds a nice pop of colour to their livingroom.