Meeting Notes, March 23, 2017

At today's meeting Loretta, Diane, Tim, Thomas, Geri, Stephanie, Elo, Mary, Jeanie, Joanne K, Joanne T, Dottie, Annie, Jim, Tedd, Paula, and me Celeste.

Today's suggested table topic: "Painting hacks" --things that make painting easier for you. (Modifications to equipment or methods and systems that you have discovered).

Celeste: When we were painting at Studio 30 everyone was going to Walmart to buy these glass cutting boards. We sprayed the backside with gray paint and it makes a nice palette.  I like to work on Centurion canvas sheets that are taped down to the board with drafting tape...You can glue the sheet to a support when it is dry. I learned from Jennifer Diehl that "Simple Green" is great for cleaning the palette. I am showing recent paintings.

Joanne T: I have set up all of my painting supplies in the front room! I leave the paint out all the time. That way I am always ready to paint! I have discovered Solvent-free gel (by Gamblin). I love the look of it. To me it makes the paint look more lustrous. I am showing a painting that I did of Eagle Creek, Punchbowl falls. This is one of Tim Youngs photographs (thank you Tim). I have been focusing more lately and warm and cool in painting. I have learned from Tim Horn that it is important to have a good strong light and dark design ---(a notan design). I am also showing other recent paintings.

Joanne K: It is important to wear a hat. I often wear a hat indoors when I paint as well as outside. It makes a difference in reducing glare. Also I recommend clamping a sunshade to your easel, if you have forgotten your umbrella! A tip I learned from Za.. keep a pretty scarf in your bag and if you're going to go to reception you can go in your paint clothes ---just add the scarf to it you'll look pretty good! (Laughter)! Also I'm showing you my EasyL pochade box. I believe that this is one of the best bang for your buck pochades that you can get. I recently got a Strada easel also but I still enjoy the EasyL. The Strada fits very well in a bag. Finally I'm showing you a book light --clamp it to your easel when it is too dark where you are painting or if you want to do a nocturne!  I am showing a recent painting from a life session.

Elo: I believe if you can get it for free or cheap why pay for it!?  I used to have a "stay wet palette" (a commercially made palette)  but I learned that parchment paper, paper towels and Styrofoam work just as well. I made my own pochade box. I made it to work like a pizza box. Inside it has a glass palette (that I got from a picture frame)-- I sprayed the backside of it with gray paint. Since the outside is cardboard I sprayed the entire thing with acrylic sealant. I have learned a product called "Totally Awesome" from the dollar store is really actually totally awesome! (Laughter)! It really works, it gets paint out of things. Jennifer Diehl shared with me her lighting system with me...she uses work lamps (industrial type lamps) and she just points them up to the ceiling. I am showing recent paintings.

Stephanie: I think the best thing I ever did was buy a grocery shopping cart at Fred Meyer. It is great for hauling my painting equipment and supplies. When it is open it is easy to add a "top" to it to effectively create a handy table for painting. I also like to use solvent free gel. I use gray palette paper and wax paper because I'm never all that interested in cleaning my palette! (Laughter)! Lately I've been doing a lot of warm and cool studies. I am showing some recent paintings.

Geri: I am showing you a super-pared down and lightweight mobile system for watercolor. You can just put this in your bag and always be ready to sketch and paint something. I showed this once before this is a Pentel watercolor brush. This one watercolor brush is all you need...because is has a reservoir for water in it. Then I also use this cut off sock on my wrist for cleaning the brush.  Daniel Smith has watercolor sample dots that are very can get a lot of use from the watercolor sample dots.  I am showing two recent drawings that I did using the sktchy app.

Thomas: This is my subject! I modify everything. I put duct tape on the leg of my tripod in case I need some (and there have been times when I did)! I engineered this wood shelf that fits on my tripod legs and ultimately Strada Easel used my design for their new metal shelf. On my shelf I use magnets to hold my medium jars and mineral spirits can (I have magnets on the shelf and "corresponding" magnets inside the containers). It really works! nothing will fall over. I like glass inside my painting box and it is next to impossible to get out (and I know this because I once spent a lot of time removing and replacing one). People worry about glass breaking in these boxes, but it is a rare occurrence and even if it happens, if it is seated in the box, it is not coming out. I am showing a painting I did at Borrego Springs. 

Tim: I paint with gloves and when I am finished I take the glove off "over" my wet brushes (to contain the brushes). I recommend sunscreen..and it works also to get paint out of things. Recently I have been painting with watercolor and I am showing the results....also I am showing an oil painting from memory.

Diane: When I first set up my studio I put some shelves on either side of my window. I wanted to stack things vertically so I fashioned some upright poles within the shelves to hold the paintings upright. I was very impressed by Bhavani's color studies last time and they inspired me to do color studies of my granddaughter.

Loretta: My room for painting is small. I use baby food jars for my medium jars. Nothing in my room takes up very much room. I have a glass palette that I like and I clean it with a razor blade. I do have a shopping cart too. I am showing a recent painting. 

Thomas adds: for all of you who are using grocery carts make sure that you have big wheels on them! The smaller wheels will not traverse uneven terrain very well. 

Tedd: I am a fan of Murphys Wood soap. It works great on everything. If you forget to clean your brushes Murphy soap it will get the old paint out. Also people don't know this, but hydrogen peroxide cleans everything. I am showing you a pizza box (a makeshift wet canvas carrier).  I will get these pizza boxes during my travels. At one point I had 18 pizza boxes for my paintings (laughter)! I am showing a painting that I did that is based on Jamison Park. I'm also showing a combination painting/drawing that I did (with latex paint for the background).

Jim: I have used a contractor's box for my pochade Box. I have used cigar boxes for pochade boxes also. I put a D ring on the back in order to hold it properly with my thumb. I wanted a taboret and I priced it out. I decided instead of buying one I would make one. I am showing you the taboret that I built (on my iPhone). It has wing side panels that fold up. I have all of my supplies in one space! That is the best way to go-- have everything together. I did a painting from a photo of Crystal Cove. 

Annie: I have used a Sta-Wet palette, but I noticed that it got moldy! I put glass in it. (I use acrylic) Here is my hack ---I have this big coffee pot! (Laughter)! I put water in this and it is a nice vessel for lots of water! I put a ledge on my wall where I dry my paintings. I am using water mixable oil paints and the solvents that are made for it...I want to get better containers for the medium (maybe like a condiment squeeze bottle).  I would recommend that you go to the Portland Art Museum before the show ends --this is a catalog from the show. I am showing two recent paintings.

Dotty: One of the best things to use for varnishing is foam wedges from the cosmetic department of the drugstore! The foam works perfectly. For plein air-- I am a pastelist and I noticed that when I had my pastels in front of me that it was hurting my back. I have changed my set up so that I have the pastels to my side. I painted this painting on  UArt 400. This is the best pastel paper I have found so far.

Mary: I love going outside, but I am a fairweather painter. I have a guerilla box but I am probably going to get rid of my equipment. I would rather do watercolors outside. I am showing a watercolor that I did recently.

Paula: I use mostly pastel. I have a pastel box. I went to Joanne's fabric store and I got some industrial-strength velcro. I used two strips --one on the tray and one strip on my palette box. It makes everything very secure. I am showing four versions of paintings that I did in Marla Bagetta's online class. I like to use a cookie sheet for oil painting (for the palette). 

Joanne T adds: I made my own viewfinder squares and "traced" them in my sketchbook. This is very helpful for when you are painting a 8 x 10 and you have an 4 x 5 drawn inside your sketchbook (for planning and decision-making). And also Linda Glover cuts one finger out of her glove in case she wants to smear the paint with one finger.

Annie adds:  I have a 100 year old aunt who I visited recently. I took one water-soluble brush and a watercolor pencil to her so that she could do a little drawing. It was remarkable how much this lifted her up!

 Jim adds:  I like to use canvas sheet underneath my glass because I just think that it's helpful to see the same surface that you are going to paint on underneath the glass of your palette (I paint it gray). 


Friday life session at OSA 1-4  downstairs with Joanne Kollman

Saturday fresh flowers 10 to 1  Joanne Kollman

Joanne Kollman April 22 workshop (Painting large paintings)

Thomas Kitts Tuscany workshop (Sept 2017)

Ginsburg workshop has a few openings

Facebook workshop page

our Facebook page

Next meeting Thursday, March 30 suggested table topic: "Uneven results"! Why is it sometimes we paint very well only to paint poorly the very next session!? What do you think accounts for this? How can we better ensure more and more successes and less and less unfavorable results? Ideas and theories...let's discuss!

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