Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Reading Repressed Spaces: The Poetics of Agoraphobia

Figure now is as good a time as any to try reading this again, Paul Carter's Repressed Spaces: The Poetics of Agoraphobia. David is reading Camus' The Plague. I have not read that yet and may have to when he is finished.

Reading is one of my methods of shifting focus. It may be difficult to concentrate in the beginning but I will read and reread a paragraph or even a sentence until the only thing I'm focusing on is the book. It helps to calm my squirrel mind especially before bedtime. 

(I put Edward Hopper to the side for now.)

Have you been able to read lately? If so, anything you want to share?

Monday, April 06, 2020

Getting More Mileage from your Paints

I truly miss teaching in person. There is an energy in being in a room full of creative people. I haven't taught since the first weekend in March, having had to cancel all of my March, April and May workshops. I miss my people but stay home we must to keep each other safe.

I'm trying to get some things set up so I can eventually share things and do online workshops and live stuff. It's been hard to focus on online workshops though at the moment... but, I do have thoughts about it and the wheels are spinning. 

In the meantime, I will continue to share what I can, when I can. My internet speed is a little iffy sometimes and I am trying to figure out lighting and something to hold the phone while I film. 

I thought I'd share some tips on making your paint last longer, especially if you are buying better quality paints (Holbein, Sennelier, Golden, Liquitex, Nova, etc... Do not do this with cheap-o dollar, craft paints. 

Read more here first. Go. I'll be here when you get back.
I told you I would be here. 

In the middle of a pandemic, you can't run to the art store to get what you "need" (ahem, want.) If you have gel or fluid medium at home (any finish), take it and mix it about 50/50 with your paints. (Note: heavy body or thick tube paints, I usually mix 50/50. Golden or Holbein fluid acrylics, I mix 10% paint and 90% medium as the fluid acrylics are highly concentrated and a little will last you a long time.)

I'm using a matte medium with Holbein Black. I accidentally squeezed out more medium than black but it will work. I prefer the matte gel medium as it is thicker but I will use what I have.
Note how I use a palette knife to mix. I mix it thoroughly. Clean the palette knife when done.
Apply the paint with the painting knife OR a brush. 
I like to build up thin layers. I will let my first layer dry and add another layer. 
Different mediums do different things. If you add what is labeled, extender, you will make an acrylic act like an oil and it will extend your drying time. That, I do not want as I want my paint to dry fast. 

As an fyi, I NEVER use a heat tool to dry paint. Acrylics are basically dried plastic and why would you want to use something to heat plastic? So, I build up the layers thin and sometimes pounce or stipple with a dry rag or paper towel to speed up the drying time. (Also, if you use a heat tool or hair dryer to speed up the drying time, you're basically just drying the top layer and not what's underneath it.)

Also note that I use very little paint. A little paint goes a long way (especially if you can't run to the art store right now.)

You will find more acrylic paint tips in the link above, as well as here as well as an extensive list of my current favorite acrylics and supplies here.

Ping me if you have a question at Egorey99 at sbcglobal dot net 

Do you have a favorite acrylic paint tip?

Saturday, April 04, 2020

Connected: a Journey

When I returned to the page (after using it as a demo in a class), the images didn't fit my mood. It had to go.
My palette based on Matisse's
Lorette with Turban and Yellow Jacket:
The tree roots popped into my head after staring at my wall of Vincent.
Tree Roots by Van Gogh 
I know things are difficult. What keeps you inspired and/or still going?

Thursday, April 02, 2020

In Search of Vincent (the Bibliophile Edition) Part Deux April 2020

Cleaning up and rearranging books. Trying to group my more recent Vincent books together. I definitely have more books on Vincent than any other artist. I need to update this post with the above titles. 

Next time I reach for a Van Gogh book from my pile, it will be A Brief Happiness (out of print), Van Gogh and Music or Vincent's Books: Van Gogh and the Writers Who Inspired Him.

There's always something to learn... 

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Treading Gently

I keep wondering what's appropriate to post and what's not right now. 

Many folks are still working, some more than ever before. Some are juggling two jobs as they work from home and take on the role of homeschooling  their children. Many are not working and wondering how they are going to survive and make it through the day, week, month. Most of us are sad, angry and afraid.

The world sometimes changes on a larger scale than what we want, need or expect. My world has changed multiple times over the years, one of the most devastating times was in June of 2012 when my Dad unexpectedly died. 

Thinking about those days is helping me get through these days. I'm using my coping skills learned from months (years?) of grieving to learn to live under what could be a new normal for many months to come. 

I sleep when I need to sleep. I make lists and focus on the priorities: what one big thing do I need to do today? I live in my pajamas but I bathe regularly. I go for walks. I have to force myself to put down my phone and pick up my paintbrush. I try to read. I let myself feel even when it's a wave or roller coaster. I try not to yell, but that is hard for me. I try to be kind and patient. I try to do at least one thing daily for someone else and one thing daily for myself. I let myself grieve. I try to learn from the change. I keep going but knowing the world is different. 

Our world is different. We are going to be very different after this. The one thing that keeps me going is that I am not alone. How are you surviving? 

Monday, March 30, 2020

Dreaming of Auvers sur Oise

Each image, layer, color, mark represents a memory from our visit to Auvers sur Oise last year. From the farmer's market to the poppies and beyond. My memories, my experience translated to a journal page. 

Here are the work in progress photos I took of the journey:
Never thought I'd admit to be very excited about painting an onion, but I am!
Deciding on my palette.
Forgot to take the photo of just the collage. Prepping the page with a base coat of acrylic.

I decided to start from scratch. There was a different focal image and several layers of paint on it before I did the above. I scrapped it completely and started as if it were a blank page.

I scrapped it because the image that was on the page didn't work for what's in my heart and head right now. I work chronologically and I was okay with letting it go.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Stay at Home and Learn Art History: Reading Edward Hopper

I'm almost finished with my Matisse book. I am thinking about reading this thick book Edward Hopper: An Intimate Biograph by Gail Levin next. 

I picked it up after watching season three of Twin Peaks in 2017. I read several interviews where David Lynch mentioned using both Francis Bacon and Edward Hopper's paintings as inspiration for the series. I didn't know anything about Hopper but I loved and appreciated David Lynch. So, on this recommendation, I picked up the book. 

So, as I stay home for myself and others, I'm trying to keep my brain active in learning new things. It's been difficult to tear myself away from the news but at night, I cuddle up with a book and dive in. Have you read, watched, baked, tried or listened to anything new?

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Solidarity in Four Acts

The bottom is where I started and the evolution progresses up from there. 

I always start with different color base coats (bottom layers.) As I build new layers on top, new textures, colors and shape start to emerge because of these built up early layers. The story emerges and sometimes it changes. That's part of the process, learning how to embrace change and evolution. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2020


"Every line is the actual experience with its own unique story."-Cy Twombly 

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Matisse in Words and Self Portraits Part Two

"I don't know whether I believe in God or not. I think, really, I'm some sort of Buddhist. But the essential thing is to put oneself in a frame of mind which is close to that of prayer."
"In the beginning you must subject yourself to the influence of nature. You must be able to walk firmly on the ground before you start walking on a tightrope."
"Don’t wait for inspiration. It comes while one is working."

Monday, March 23, 2020

For All of Us

Originally this page was about my day with David in Amsterdam last June. I wish I had remembered to take earlier photos. As soon as I painted the wave, it became something else...

Here's to staying home, flattening the curve and staying safe.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Matisse in Words and Self Portraits Part One

"I do not literally paint that table, but the emotion it produces upon me."
"The essential thing is to spring forth, to express the bolt of lightning one senses upon contact with a thing. The function of the artist is not to translate an observation but to express the shock of the object on his nature; the shock, with the original reaction."
"It has bothered me all my life that I do not paint like everybody else."
"There is nothing more difficult for a truly creative painter than to paint a rose, because before he can do so he has first to forget all the roses that were ever painted."

Art and words by Henri Matisse