Last week I had a visit from my highschool drawing and art history teacher (Gosh, highschool, that is what.. 30 years ago!). This year the school (Kamerlingh Onnes Groningen) is celebrating it's 150th anniversary and with that in mind my former art teacher, Hans van der Veen is organising an exposition with his former students that graduated in drawing and art history and are now in some way working in the "art" area. Whether it are painters, graphic designers and even me :) (but more about that later).
Anyway, he came by last week to talk about what I do (teaching, art journaling, scrapbooking, mixed-media and magazine work) and when he went through my art journal he asked me if I never feel restricted by the size. I told him that I do sometimes and that I've been wanting to work bigger for a while. That I also would love to do acrylic painting on larger canvasses and I even have been looking for courses acrylic painting lately because I have no artistic schooling of any kind and I feel like my self learned skils are somehow coming to their end.
And then Hans kind of challegned me. He challenged me to just do it and go bigger and I think that was just the trigger I needed. So I went out and bought 2 larg canvasses. One 60x60cm (24"x24") and one 70x90cm (27.5"x35.5"). Huge in my opinion as I usually work on Scrapbook size (30x30cm), A4 or even smaller.
I just started with the materials I had available. I thought I wanted to do a landscape but found out very quickly that this isn't the right thing for me (at least not until I learned more about painting with acrylics).
So I covered up my first poor attempt with a layer of gesso and started over. Playing, experimenting, not to much thinking, my usual bright colors, shapes... I soon realized that I could not do "just" acrylic, I had to throw in some patterned paper, book paper, micro beads, Posca pens, stamping ink...
After 2 days of fun this is the result:
It's far from perfect, the background doesn't have enough layers, I really don't like the big circle and the white acrylic paint was of poor quality... but hey, it's my first try right?! and I love the colors :)
And I learned a lot!
I learend that my heart lies with mixed media and I don't want to use only one medium.
I learned that a background needs many more layers than I used here to get interest, have more depth and tension.
I learned that there is a huge quality difference between different brands of acrylic paint and that it is definitelly worth spending some more money on better paints. Somehow I didn't really notice it that much in my art journals or maybe it wasn't that important as they are really just to play and not to hang on a wall...
I learned that I sometimes need to be more patient (not my strongest point) and that it can acturally work in your advantage if the paint does not dry instantly.
I learned that I need some new brushes.
I learned that I have a LOT to learn.
But best of all I learned that this is what I want to do! I LOVED having more space to work on, I LOVED the process and I want to learn and to learn and to learn!!
Just when I finished this canvas a book I ordered arrived. It's called "Acrylic Solutions - Exploring Mixed Media Layer by Layer" by Chris Cozen and Julie Prichard (Dutch title "Grenzeloze Creativiteit in acryl).
I read the first 50 pages so far and I already understand so much more about creating an interesting background using layers. I also learned that I'm missing a very important medium to be able to create such interesting backgrounds: Acrylic Glazing Liquid. So that one is on my shopping list and I'm not starting with the next canvas until I have that. That there will be a next canvas is for sure :)
Thank you so much for stopping by today! Any comments with tips, good books and interesting websites about mixed media art with acrylic paint are more than welcome!
...and don't forget to be creative today!