Meeting Notes, October 2, 2014

At today's meeting Loretta, Thomas, Tim, Susan, Jeanie, Stephanie, Peggie, Kristina, Diane, Barb, Jeanne, Jerry, Chris, Eunice, Kay, Claudia, Erin, and me (Celeste). 

Today's suggested table topic: Canvases and supports. (Favorites and/or things that you do to prepare your supports). 

Celeste:  My favorite supports are Blick Premium linen boards.  Also, I learned from Craig Srebnik about a pad of linen (Centurion). I tape the sheet down to a board and if the painting works out I can mount it to another board using Elmers glue. (PVA). 
I sometimes paint over old failed paintings, but I have learned (for me) it only works if the 2nd subject matter scene is dark. I brought in two paintings.

Loretta: I don't like canvas board. I like stretched canvas. I like the “spring” of a stretched canvas. I purchase them, I don’t want to stretch or prepare them myself. I have purchased Frederix and other brands that are comparable. I have been working on something in the studio... it is not ready to bring in yet. 

Thomas: I have also used this Centurion pad. I like it. It is an inexpensive linen, but it's good. I had Kinko's make this (Centurion) pad into a book for me for travel. The Kinko's I used was at Terwilliger and Barbur. It is made like a  watercolor block for travel. Canvases and supports are such a personal decision. I prefer Claessen's linen oil primed. I like the random texture. But...I also like to work on MDF board. For these I prepare them with acrylic gesso. I put it on with a roller and then I pull a brush through it (because I don’t like the roller texture). After it dries, I roller it and brush it again at a 90° angle. I have tried oil grounds and I like them.  I did a blogpost about lead white for ground. I have liked using it on cotton canvas. You can take a cheap support and turn it into a premium support with lead white.

MDF board:

Tim: I have discovered the canvas I like called ProTones. It is pre-toned with subtle color.  I also brought in a book on Abby Hill. (I talked about her last week). Here is a painting I did.
Susan: I used to paint on triple primed Belgian linen. It is super-expensive.  I often paint on MDF. There is a very good video on grounds from Gamblin. I painted recently at an event. My painting is of a dinner party. I also brought in a painting of my son.

Jeanie: I have painted on everything. I have painted on walls.  I own a linen canvas that I have not used yet.  I am showing a painting I did in my studio. I'm not sure I'll ever be a plein air painter! (editor’s note: She doesn't have to ...but she could change her mind…it’s been known to happen)!

Erin: I brought in a pad of Yupo paper for watercolor. I don't like Yupo. Some people really love it and swear by it. I am willing to give it away to whoever wants it. I went to the Kevin Macpherson workshop. It was a great experience. He showed me how to look through the hole of the palette knife to isolate/look at values. He showed me that there's yellow in the sky at first I didn't believe him. He proved to me. He showed us the grid that is in the Loomis book. This is a method of composition planning.  I brought in paintings from the workshop, including one that shows a bit of this grid system. One of the books that Kevin really likes is the Hawthorne book. Recently I've been reading a color book. I brought in all my paintings from the workshop.

Kay: I like MDF board, but I wanted to try linen. I bought a package of linen. It was folded up in a package. I applied oil ground over the linen but the creases still show. I tried everything to get the creases out. Nothing worked!

Claudia: I like Raymar panels.

Stephanie: I am finished with bad boards! I have used them for a long time.  I am upgrading to a better quality. I also like gallery wrapped canvases. Stretched canvas or gallery wrapped can be challenged for plein air, because the sunlight will stream through them. Someone I know puts a towel behind stretched canvas to block the light getting through. 

Peggie: I have used many different surfaces over the years. My all-time favorite is Claessens.   I painted a very big painting 4' x 6' on hardboard (it hung in my own space). It warped big time! The weather would change it. Sometimes it would be extra warped ...and then later it would be less warped. 
I based this painting on a previous alla prima painting I did in a wine shop. 
My photo was published in the recent issue of Portland Art Museum magazine. (I painted “live” at one of their events).

Kristina: I am back from my big trip to Italy! I used to get my MDF board from Home Depot, but they stopped cutting it so now I get my boards from a cabinetmaker fellow that I know. We went to Florence and learned about the Brunelleschi Dome. I found out that they handled things way back then just like they do now!  When they needed architects and artists a "call to artists" was put out. Brunelleschi was a bread-maker when he applied to do the Dome! My takeaway ---Everyone should have some “audacity”!

Diane: I like linen best. Recently I painted at Rood Park. I wanted to go out without a lot of preconceived notions about what I wanted. I decided to go out and just have a good time. The only restriction I put on myself is that I decided ahead of time to paint the painting in a triad scheme I took just three colors. I brought in the resulting painting.

Barb: I am still learning and have not tried linen. I like a tooth. I have prepared my own surface but did not feel satisfied. (I applied gesso and sanded and repeated). It seemed too slippery to me.

Jeanne: For the last year I have used Raymar panels exclusively. They have a really great back and they don't warp. They have three versions: linen, cotton and feather weight. I have liked them all and I especially like feather weight for travel. I took a workshop with James McVicker. It was excellent. I also painted in Bandon. I found Bandon to be a lovely place to paint.

Jerry: I have discovered something called Pro Art gesso. My previous brand was just not very good. I put umber into my gesso when I prepare my boards.  I don't like a pure white board. I got some birch panels. I gesso them one direction and then they dry and the next day I turn them 90° and gesso them again. I brought in a painting of sand dunes and another of the coast.

Chris: I like Gessoboard by Ampersand. I have been doing the 30 day challenge. I painted with my process that I call "batik watercolor" for the whole 30 days. It was a good experience for me. I brought in three of my paintings.

Eunice: I use Raymar panels. I recently found that I have lots of canvases that I had stored. Gessoing them gives me a generous supply for the future. 

Extra tips from Thomas:

Spray one side with water before applying ground to get the creases out of “folded” linen.

If a birch panel is big (like 4 x 6) a cradle must to be made on the back side.

If your gesso is too smooth..(even after sanding), it may be because your gesso is not a good brand. Buy a better quality of gesso.

(thanks, Thomas)


There is a demonstration by Don Bishop at OSA tonight.

Za Vue has an article in the current Plein Air Magazine. Congratulations, Za!

Celeste, Thomas and Brenda also got a mention in Plein Air Magazine about the Paris in the Park Blocks event.

Beaverton QuickDraw this weekend. (You can register right there at the event): 

Susan has thought of a field trip for us. We will be going to see the movie about Turner at Cinema 21! The idea is to see it together and then convene at Elephants Delicatessen after the movie.  Susan will let us know what the date will be.

Claudia: There are great opportunities at Sequoia. Brenda Boylan has two openings in our November 8 workshop on values. Za’s class is full. Also there is a workshop for people interested in iPhone paint applications. Link:

Portland open Studios is coming up (beginning Oct 11):

Kristina will have a solo show at Wallflowers Gallery in Canby more information to come. 

Aimee Erickson is offering a workshop on color theory. Jerry will be taking this workshop and recommends it:

Kay will have work at Mel's frame shop. Also she is participating in the Portland 500 show at Peoples Art Gallery. 

Stephanie is part of a show at Remax (October 12 and 19) click to enlarge:

Congratulations to Barb who has recently sold two paintings! 

Thomas will be returning to Tuscany to lead another workshop in 2015. He is also going to Laguna next week. Thomas is next months' Raymar judge.

Pittock Mansion has a call to artists called “Portland Rivers” (I will try to get a better link, this one works for some, but not for everyone):

Thank you all for coming and sharing your ideas and your paintings. Next week Thursday, October 9 suggested table topic: “Overworking” what has been your experience? What do you know about it? Do you have suggestions on how to avoid it?

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