July and August 2017: A small selection of my work, courtesy of Darrell Bell Gallery, is available at Boffins restaurant (111 Research Drive, U of S campus) throughout the summer months.

November 10, 2016:
I was interviewed by Daily Paintworks as their Spotlight Artist for a week! Read my interview on the DPW News blog!


Ongoing: my 8x8" original oil paintings are available exclusively at Darrell Bell Gallery in Saskatoon. For a limited time several of my large oil paintings are also available at
their new street front gallery on 21st Street (formally Lifestyles By Darrell Bell Gallery).

Ongoing: a selection of my larger work is available at The Black Spruce Gallery at Northside on Highway 2 just before the turn to Christopher Lake.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Trouble in Paradise

my space in the studio
Kenderdine Campus
The studio building with covered outdoor work area

After the skies I painted (my last two posts), things went downhill for me. That same afternoon I decided to paint a fallen tree and the forest floor. The entire time I painted I kept wondering what on earth was wrong with the paints. They seemed so dull and lifeless. They didn't have the same sheen as the tree top studies I had done just the day before. I am quite new to oils, so I am on a steep learning curve and, as much as I like experimenting, the hit-and-miss approach can be a bit tedious! In this case I just figured I was mixing my medium and paint differently and yet at the same time I truly couldn't work out what had changed. As my painting time went on and nothing improved I began to feel frustrated. The results were so poor. Do I keep plodding along or do I quit, regroup, and start fresh? But without knowing where I had gone wrong, the next painting could end up with the same problem. I took a deep breathe and went through a checklist in my mind...

1) same paint? check
2) same medium? check
3) same brushes? check
4) same board? che... hey, wait a minute....!!!!

This is where it all came together. Yes, I was using the same type of MDF board that I had used in my tree top studies but... and this is the kicker... I was painting on the un-sealed side of the board!!!!! The paint was literally soaking into the surface as fast as it was being applied. No wonder it looked completely dull and matte. And yes, it took me a good hour or so of painting time before the lightening bolt struck and I put it all together. Therein lies the problem with my new GAC-100: it is clear, so at quick glance the board appears the same on both sides. Really, it could happen to anyone... right?   

10 comments:

Janie B said...

How funny! Glad you figured it out.

-Don said...

Whew! I'm glad you found your solution. Yes, it COULD happen to anyone. We all have so much going on as we prepare to paint that anything could happen. Recently, I was a bit distracted as I grabbed my Acrylic Matte Varnish to finish up a piece and didn't realize that I had actually grabbed Gesso until I squeezed some of it onto my painting. You've never seen anyone grab paper towels and water quicker. Thankfully, I was able to get all the gesso off before it had set. No harm done, except the raising of the heart rate and blood pressure...

I like your studio space. It's nice seeing your works hanging together on the wall. Inspiring.

Happy Creating,

-Don

Elizabeth Seaver said...

Yep. It happens to us all. I'm just glad not too much more time went be before you did your mental inventory. I do understand the frustration!!

suzanneberry said...

of course it could!! it never occurred to me that a quick drying medium might work better than the oven, a huge fan and baking in the hot sun, so i'm right there with ya! great story, thanks for sharing.

Melanie Statnick said...

LOL, thats a trip. You learned something new and that what life is about. Happy painting

rahina q.h. said...

Nicki, i have warred with surfaces and war still. one particular canvas was virtually imposssible to paint on so i gessoed it myself and strangely it made no difference... so i trashed all four canvases and having read your post i am thinking perhaps i should have painted on the back where there was the manufacturer's label:)

Nicki said...

Hi everyone,

Thanks so much for your empathy!!! And for the stories some of you shared... I really am not alone!

:o)

Nicki

Lori Bonanni said...

Hi, Just found your blog! Love your painting and I can relate to your story! I'm still trying to figure out what surface I want to paint on! Just took back a pile of unused canvas to the store today and bought some gessoboard....

Nicki said...

Hi Lori,

Nice to "meet" you! I'm curious to know how you like the gessoboard. I wonder how that would compare to the MDF boards I had cut at Home Depot.

Thank you for stopping to leave a comment!

Kind Regards,
Nicki

Lori Bonanni said...

Hi Nicki, Thank you for visiting my blog and for the compliments. I'll try to paint on the gessoboard this week so I'll keep you posted.