Changing Mediums and Styles

Flowers and more flowers! That has been my subject for as long as I can remember but my medium and style has changed over time. For many years, I loved painting in watercolor because of the easy flow of the paint and the effects of layering color. The transparency of each layer was like looking through stained glass. For me, this is so beautiful. Within the last five years, I’ve switched to acrylics and found they can be just as transparent when you use professional quality brands, like Golden. I didn’t realize that acrylic paint came in many variations of transparencies. If you look at a tube of artist quality paints, you will see a little square printed on the front. There is a solid box, a split colored box and a transparent box, which indicate the transparency of that particular paint color. This was mind blowing for me! So today, I continue to use acrylics somewhat like watercolors in that a thin wash of the paint over the white of the canvas is usually the most brilliant color and letting this peek through the finished painting creates a luminous quality.  

My art medium has changed and so too, my art style. For years, I’ve painted very tightly with tiny detail work, struggling to make things look “realistic”. It can be very therapeutic to paint small details but also frustrating because it rarely turned out how I envisioned it. I would always overwork and overblend the paint, creating flat and plastic looking flowers. My paintings were boring. I loved the look of loosely styled paintings from other artists but just couldn’t figure out how they did it. They made it look so easy. So, after I retired from teaching, I took several workshops and online classes from well-known artists to learn their techniques. Over time, these new found tips and strategies of creating looser works have transformed my own style. I’ve learned how to stop over blending the paint, how to create more dynamic compositions, how quality acrylics matter and how to be more expressive with my brushwork. It’s taken five plus years to really see how my style has changed and with each passing year and new techniques learned, it will continue to develop for the better. If you’re interest in learning my techniques, take one of my tutorials or watch me paint on my YouTube channel. Thanks for being here and appreciating my artistic efforts!

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