I spent last week on a farm in Saskatchewan visiting an old and dear friend from art college. She has been creating the most amazing glass artwork since we went to school so many years ago...her name is Jacqueline Berting (www.bertingglass.com) and she is known internationally for her glass wheat. I decided to use the time to experiment a bit in a travel sketchbook while she worked at her torch...it was a wonderful time to re-fresh a bit and to try out the Holbein Acrylic Gouache that was recommended to me at Inglewood Fine Arts. Finally, a gouache without the strong scent (none really) that glides quite smoothly onto the paper, plus it mixes with acrylics or watercolours...a win-win in my books. I think it is a perfect travel medium and I'm considering working on some small round cradled panels as well. For many years I've been enamoured of the old structures that are found everywhere in farm country around the prairies and, since we lived on an acreage near her for a year many years ago, I was excited to see those beautiful weathered structures again. I have tried time and time again to create imagery using simplified shapes and strong blocks of colour and I feel as though I'm finally getting somewhere. Because I really like the way the ink of the pen I used initially in the first image had bled through the paint, I'm considering adding some stenciling patterns to the images. We'll see where this leads.