So true... I recently tutored two workshops, one for twelve adults and one for twelve nine year olds. Guess which group grabbed the brushes and started painting before I had even explained the plan for the day?
|St Ives Triptych 2012|
A painters journey around, through and into the British landscape. You can find out more about my work and fundraising projects at www.glynmacey.com If you like what you see, keep in touch and help raise much needed funds for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. Hope you enjoy Glyn
|St Ives Triptych 2012|
Browsing the Trevaskis Farm Shop is like stepping back into the 1950’s only with extra virgin olive oil and chillies. Counters of glossy fish and serious looking meat jostle with a beautifully stocked cheese counter.
Fruits, fresh as you like vegetables, speciality home made bread, jam, eggs, chutneys, artisan chocolates and biscuits all wink at you suggestively as you pass, hoping you will take them home for an afternoon of unadulterated baking.
But for us, only long leeks, smoked cheddar and garlic make it into our basket.
Loading our produce into the car we notice the ‘pick your own’ signs and can’t resist an exploratory wander through the vegetable gardens and poly tunnels to find the fat, lazy pigs.
Walking up an appetite means only one thing, time to visit the restaurant.
We instantly feel as if we have been shrunk to the size of a small child as we enter the restaurant as a huge chiller cabinet full of gloriously creamy, sticky, fruity deserts greets us.
Pavlovas, gateau’s and cakes of all kinds that are impossibly enormous lick their lips as you pass, offering you a large slice of indulgent heaven.
We both order the Lamb and Rosemary pie, which is served with a rich, slightly sticky suet crust. The lamb itself falls apart as you look at it and melts in the mouth. Coupled with crunchy giant chips and sweet peas, the whole dish slides down effortlessly.
Feeling a little post pie sleepy, a large black coffee is quickly administered and we are once again wide-awake and heading home.
There is a reason that oils are considered the king of paints.
And for me that reason is the sublime, buttery texture.
The malleable, juicy, softness.
And it is these characteristics that make me fall in love with oils over and over again.
Over the last twenty years I have worked in every medium available and have tried pretty much every brand, constantly searching for that holy grail of a product, a product that I can believe in, a product that I can trust.
I found it with Winsor & Newton Artist Oil Colours.
The rich pigment quantities put these oils in a class of their own and now with a whole raft of oil mediums at my disposal the ability to alter the paint substance has never been easier or more exciting.
My main little ally when it comes to oil painting is Mr Liquin, that universally adaptable medium for speeding up drying and creating fluid strokes.
But where do you start with an army of mediums that perform every task imaginable from Safflower Oil that slows drying times, Blending mediums for helping to give your work that antique look, and for when you are feeling like a true old master Cold Pressed Linseed Oil for mixing with your very own ground pigments?
Adding any one of these mediums and oils will transform your paint, your strokes and your work.
Add more than one and a whole new painting experience awaits you.
I am often better known as a mixed media artist even though I have also always painted with oils particularly outside on location.
The main attraction for my mixed media work was always that I could flick, spatter, and drip the paint, this is something that I considered I simply couldn’t achieve with oils.
I was wrong.
Using the mediums, particularly Liquin I was able to create a semi translucent ‘melted jelly’ consistency of oil paint, which is an absolute joy to flick, spatter and drip, I found that I could also mix in found ephemera, sand and bits of seaweed with the Oil colour Gel mediums, again this worked a treat.
I slowly realised that I could perform a mixed media painting using the historic king of paints.
Now of course all of my talk of adding seaweed, sand and bits of old tat will horrify the purist artists out there, but then again I thrive on excitement, I thrive on the unexpected and I thrive on challenging myself and my materials.
For my painting I choose one of the worlds most iconic landmarks, and one that is only one mile from my home, St Michaels Mount.
Every now and again as if by magic a new product appears which totally transforms the way you work.
I must admit that when I was asked to test the new Winsor & Newton acrylic mediums I was sceptical.
I’m happy as I am thanks, I thought.
But then I tried them, and indeed, my work was transformed.
Firstly the range of mediums is developed to maintain all of the benefits of the Artists’ Acrylic colour range, a bold claim, but an accurate one.
Artists Acrylic colours are the only acrylics to truly have no colour shift (that annoying shift in tone from wet to dry), and the mediums maintain that balance.
The usual problem with acrylic mediums is the fact that they are milky when wet; which in turn appears to water down your colour mixes making it difficult to judge colours accurately.
This is no longer a problem as the Artist Acrylic Mediums are clear or translucent therefore maintaining complete control of your colour mixing
Why bother using mediums at all? I hear you cry. Because they raise your game to a whole new level, and by working with mediums and exploring the possibilities, you regain that kind of mad childlike enthusiasm you had at school in your art lesson.
I found myself almost starting from scratch to see just what I could do with the paint, and as an artist that was exciting.
I found that I could extend the colour, vastly improve the flow (which is something that I had struggled to achieve previously), create brilliant glazes and alter the sheen of the finished work from dead matt to staggeringly intense gloss.
In my study sample I started with a white gesso primer, which was perfect for adding extra ‘tooth’ to my mdf board.
The primer also dried really quickly which was ideal.
Then, straight on to a little bash with some glazing medium over the sky area.
This is perfect for layering colours to create luminous, translucent effects.
Again the glazing medium is completely clear so no worries about colour change.
I should say at this point that I had a choice of working Matt or Gloss or in fact both (if I was feeling a little crazy) but chose to go glossy for the painting.
Adding a little Gloss Gel to the Artists Acrylic helped me to control the shine of the paint, to keep that shine but without changing the buttery texture of the paint itself. This is used in the distant foreshore.
Then on to my favourite of all, yummy modelling paste, which kind of looks so good, you could almost eat the stuff (but don’t or I’ll get into trouble!).
I add the modelling paste to the near foreshore using a bit of old card before adding some sand, stones and other tat that I tend to collect from the beach.
When dry I can scumble neat colour over the paste to create some fantastic textures.
For my sea area I try out some Flow Improver, this slows down the drying time a little and greatly adds to the ability to paint an acrylic wash in one go, which is no easy task.
When dry I simply spread, wash, flick, dribble and spatter additional tints mixed with the flow improver.
Finally, I’m almost finished and decide that the painting could do with a varnish to pull the whole thing together.
Again I have a choice of Matt, Satin or Gloss.
I choose the gloss to create the most jewel like colour.
Will I continue to use Artists’ Acrylic Mediums?
As long as I can have this much fun, you bet!