Like many people I'm trying to simplify my life partly by cleaning out proverbial "stuff". As I and my friends have said for years, "I just want to paint." It doesn't work that way, folks, when you have websites, online and gallery venues, etc. plus aiming for a balanced work/life. The goal still is to simplify for the purpose of freeing up more time to paint. I'm getting there.
I've been playing with art ideas and materials. My struggles with water miscible oil paint quality ended happily when I invested in a few Cobra brand oil paints. On my personal color wheel of oil paints below note the interior ring of a red, blue, yellow, and green. They retain their sheen better and hold their body better than the other oils which sink into the canvas to look flat. I even tried going back to traditional oil paints.
Using small pieces of gessoed watercolor paper I enjoyed my own at home workshop by working through the exercises in one of my favorite books, "Oil Painting The Workshop Experience" by Ted Goerschner wiith Lewis Barrett Lehrman. Using one of Robert Burridge's suggestions to pin up your studies in one place, I used a very large sheet of corrugated cardboard to tack up my little exercises. Great way to see your progress over time!
With the unusually warm weather for the Pacific Northwest, I soaked up the warmth, enjoyed with neighbors the abundance of flowers and vegetables in my garden, and watched new families of birds of different species bring their young ones to their safe spot in my yard for food and water. And I went down the hill to a nearby beach several times for lunch and to enjoy the kids playing in the water and the throngs of fishermen on the pier.
One trip took me for the first time to the "Alps of Oregon", the Wallowa Mountains. Spectacular scenery including the Wallowa Lake and farming/ranching areas of Oregon and Washington!
And I unplugged much of the time from social media. I "lost" my cell phone more than once by just leaving it behind or stashed somewhere. I developed a better plan of limited use of these technologies.
Kids are getting ready to return to school and I'm ready to welcome the gray, rainy days of studio time. Today I cleaned up some of the garden looking toward my plans for another year of color and growth. I finished a new 8 x 10" oil painting this past weekend and I have canvases prepared for more colorful paintings. I'm ready to write a fall newsletter via my FineArtAmerica print website where more exciting decor products are being developed. Someone said to me this past week, "You need to paint that sunflower," while noting one tall and bright sunflower in my garden. Yes, I need to paint!