Monday, April 14, 2008

Testing...and Opinion

This weekend was one of painting and one of testing. If you remember last week I did a post showing a small painting on the Ampersand Aquabord. This particular product works very well. I also mentioned in the comments that Golden has a product known as Absorbent Ground which I had not tried, but owned a pot that I wanted to try. And try it, I did...

To use this product, you have to thin it with twenty percent (20%) water and paint it, thinly, on a gessoed surface. The directions said the thinner and more layers used the better the product. So here is what I did. I had some Ampersand Gessobord, so on one I painted 2 thin layers of the product allowing the first to dry before adding the second layer. The second layer was allowed to dry thoroughly before dropping paint on the surface. For this first piece, I sprayed the surface of the prepared board with distilled water and dropped thinned acrylic paint on the surface. As you can see, it clearly did NOT take up the paint in the way watercolor paper would or in a way the Ampersand Aquabord did.

This particular material handles in a very different way. It is a surface unlike paper or Aquaboard. If you are more of a traditional watercolor painter, it might work very well for you, though. If you are more of an experimental painter or abstract expressive painter with watery paint, you will get a very different result than the other two products. I have already began to change this particular was very difficult to look at even as a test!

The second Gessobord, I did three layers allowing for thorough drying between the layers. This time, I also sprayed the surface with distilled water, but I used acrylic ink rather than the watery paint. The intensity of the ink was more appealing to me, but the ink still sat on top of the surface more than I had wanted. Since a lot of it was just sitting on top, I tossed a bit of sand on the surface (I am not really a good tester, am I?) to get this result.
I liked the result of this okay. It is fine, but nothing to write home about. I, personally, still like the other surfaces better than the Absorbent Ground.

But, once all this had dried, I noticed my pot of Golden Pearl just hanging out nearby. So I picked up that and did a bit of dry brushing over the sandy surface. Granted this is not controlled at all, but I really liked the result.
I know it is difficult to see the pearl effect here, but I thought being able to see the difference would help. Photographing those more reflective paints is a real bear!

So what experiments have you done recently? Are you willing to share the techniques? Do you think it is good to share this kind of thing or do you feel it is something an artist should keep to themselves? How do you feel about sharing just bits and pieces like this...not really art, but tests or how mediums and materials react with each other? And is this kind of blogging unfair to other professions such as writers or workshop instructors?

I look forward to hearing from you...

Have a Very Beautiful Day!


sukipoet said...

Re: sharing. I love to share and also to be shared with. Isn't it just curiosity and enthusiasm about the chosen skill, talent, technique. What kind of workshop instructor or writer would feel it is unfair for people to talk about that which they love??

I have met a # of artists though who feel it's giving away special secrets to share. As a writer, for many years, I rarely came upon not sharing of techniques but possibly not sharing of agents kinda thing. Although some paranoid souls fear their great idea will be stolen and get into "copyright" stuff. Unless it is downright plagiarism, again I say hey someone wants to steal my idea more power to them. You can never steal an idea exactly anyway.

Really, there are no secrets that can be kept from an interested and experimenting mind. I see the artwork and say to myself hmmm, can i do that or similar and then just plunge in to see if I can do similar or similar but different.

I say share/bare all.

Andrea and Kim said...

Whew! Thanks Suki! You know I do feel the same way, but I do know people who feel the whole blog/internet/communication world is wrecking havoc with their business. So it prompted me to ask these questions with this post.

As you can tell, I share some of my own art here and enjoy hearing what people have to say about it, but I try not to focus on what I have created. I would rather share what I have been doing, what influences me and what other people have been doing and are sharing with me.

I have always felt as though creativity is there for everyone to explore. It does get my goat when people down right you have mentioned...but no two creative people (who are honest with themselves) are going to use the same bits of information the same way! Heck! I can't even re-create my own stuff! LOL!

I really do appreciate your response here, Suki! Your insights are really, very appreciated and insightful.

Thank You!

david mcmahon said...

Great idea to invite comments on technique - I always believe that shared knowledge is so crucial.

Andrea and Kim said...

Thank you so much, David! I really do appreciate your insights and support here.

Thanks for stopping by...

Todd Camplin said...

Experimentation is the hallmark of a great artist. Have no fear of failure and if a work fails, enjoy the process and move on to the next one. You will be surprised what you learned from the last piece. Good luck.

Unknown said...

I agree with your other friends, shared knowledge is great. Your sharing your knowledge and experiments could not harm workshop instructors, in my opinion, because I guess, a workshop needs different kind of preparation and follow-up.

The first experiment: I love this, it is so fluid, so transparent with different layers, very beautiful. And so is the shawl your friend made for you: I just want to wrap up in it (together with Oscar the cat)
have a great day

Andrea and Kim said...

Thanks Todd! Clearly I am one of experimentation...well, my own unscientific means of experimentation...and I like sharing it, but I wonder if it is offensive to others for me to do that? Would one rather see the end product?

It is good to have you visit here, Todd! I hope all is well with you!

Have a Lovely Day!

Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Andrea! Thank you for your helpful insights here. So I will keep on sharing these crazy experiments if I think they might be at all helpful to anyone. You are so right about workshops having a different kind of follow up. As people were talking here, I thought maybe some of the artist who would have some issues may be those who felt is not appropriate to show what artists go through to get to the final product.

I am glad you are enjoying some of the things I am showing here.

I am very honored you have had the opportunity to visit me here today. I know you are really quite swamped with work right now. Thank so much, Andrea!

Kim Hambric said...

I go along with those who want to share. I am trying to do the same on my blog. I have picked up great ideas from other blogs and have purchased products as a result of sharing. Wouldn't this sharing also be a way of promoting the workshops of others? I don't think the results of sharing new techniques and experiments would be as damaging as NAFTA.

I am a fabric artist, not a painter. I don't come to this blog to get specific ideas. I come to experience the wonderful world of sharing. I am always encouraged to create after reading your blog.

Keep Sharing!

Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Kim!

It always seemed to me to blog was to share, but I have also read/heard so much about how other things have been loosing ground because of communications such as blogging. For example, publishing feels as though they are not doing well due to the quantity and quality of information on the web. Thus the reason for my questions.

Like you, I visit a lot of other blogs for inspiration and sharing. I am glad this blog is one you feel is encouraging. I probably need to move out a bit with creativity which expresses more than painting, here. So, Kim, you are giving me another idea here. Thank you...

I really do appreciate your visit. I try to make rounds to all of the other blogs I love, but sometimes I just can't make to make some art, sometimes, don't I?

I will be visiting you soon, Kim!

Anonymous said...


Golden's description says, "GOLDEN Absorbent Ground can be used to create a porous, paper-like surface on many different substrates... Absorbent Ground allows for wash and staining effects on a stable acrylic film as an alternative to staining raw canvas."

When you say, "As you can see, it clearly did NOT take up the paint in the way watercolor paper would"

Do you mean your experience was that the paint was not ABSORBED like it would be on paper?

Guess I should try it myself. I'd like to be able to do stain effects with acrylics on stretched pre-gessoed gallery wrapped canvas.

sukipoet said...

Interesting topic. Again. Can't it be a situation of both /and rather than either/or. re:publishing. I heard something on the radio about people "publishing" their novels on ipod directly. IE: they read their novel in segments and others can pick it up and listen. Then maybe later the book gets published in hard copy. The world is changing fast and those that think their downfall is happening due to those changes I would ask--how do they know. Maybe the publishing "downfall' (which believe me they have been talking about since the 1920's at least) would have happened anyway. Maybe those who see a downfall or interpret monetary facts in a particular way are just looking through the empty part of the glass and also jumping to conclusions that may or may not be accurate.

PS thanks for the tip re: Rotring. I wrote response on my blog. But think I'll order that converter along with some ink. Give it a try. By exchanging links do you mean on the sidebar of our blogs, I list you, you list me? Great with me.

Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Chewy,

You know, as I was doing this I thought of the work you are doing now. I had the surface wet and wanted the paint to absorb into the surface like it would if I sprayed down watercolor paper. It didn't do that as well as the paper would have. Did I not lay down enough layers? I don't know. While the dry surface felt more paper-like than gesso, and it might behave differently when you apply it to a prepared canvas than it did on the board. I also think that if I had of used a brush to apply it in a specific place rather than use my less controlled method, I might have liked it better. I know I will try this again sometime in another way, but with this method it was just not right for me.

I can say I do not feel it took up the color as well as paper, though!

I do think it might be a good thing for you to a small pot to begin with, though. It goes a long way.

I would love to hear your thoughts on it when you give it a try...

Thanks Chewy!

Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Suki,

You might be just right on that topic of the publishing company. I think I am relatively sensitive to it, too, because I know so many writers and people with published books. Believe me, though, they are not the nay-sayers. Mostly this is heard from the big guys! You know? And those who have been publishing for years and years... and are very used to the way things have always been. :)

Let me know how the refillable cartridge works for you.

Yes, that is what I mean by a link exchange. I will try to get you added in today!

Thanks so much for your input , Suki.

CMC said...

I say share all you can. When I was a young newly wed, my m-i-l was doing a cross stich one day that said "give to the world the best that you have, and the best will come back to you". (possibly paraphrased) and I've taken that as my motto for everything in my life. I haven't been sorry for it.

Andrea and Kim said...

Thank you Cheryl! I like that quote your mother-in-law stitched! What a great motto to live by. I have sure felt that this venue of art blogging has helped me to find the ultimate in people who live by the "pay-it-forward" theory!

Thank you for your visit and for your comment here today.

fiona long said...

I think it's wonderful to share! Thank you so much for sharing your techniques and experiments Kim! It's very generous of you! I find it very interesting seeing what you've been up to and how you do it. I'm happy to share almost everything but there is one technique that I developed that I wouldn't want to share. Maybe that's rather selfish of me but we have to have some secrets don't we? ;0)

Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Fiona!

Well, I am a sharer by nature. I like telling you about all the messes I make! :)

I know what you mean about keeping something for yourself. I am quite sure there are a lot of artist who have those things they hold in their back pocket....just look at all the lovely blogs of finished products! :)

Thanks a ton, Fiona! You always give me lots to think about!

~Babs said...

Oh yes,,,,sharing,,,I visit blogs, websites, etc,,,not to try to copy anyone's work,,,but to observe,,,learn,,,and at times just strictly enjoy the bounty of work before my eyes.So I love that people want to share.No two works will ever be the same ,,,no pair of hands or minds work in exactly the same way,so I don't mind sharing ideas or technique with other creators at all.Any little thing anyone might receive from my work,,,I am flattered.

With as small as the world has gotten with all our new technology, I think anyone moaning about publishing, etc. had better wake up and smell the coffee. It's a big new morning in that world.
Even the numbers on the big-time Newspaper subscriptions are down.Sometimes I'm amazed that people still go to movies at ALL with what's available to be rented/purchased at a lot less cost than the price of an evening at the movies.

Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Babs! You are so right! No one ever sees or creates the same sight the same way! I have always felt that way. I don't even think any two people could use the same mediums the same way. I love your attitude and from here on out will adopt that with my work...if someone gets something from it to use in their own way, I am flattered. What a great spirit!

Yes, the world is changing and maybe it is the big time dealers which are going to be feeling it the most. Maybe the time has come for the little people to prevail...YES?

You know, moaning never gets people anywhere. When things change, why moan about it...use it to your advantage and move forward. Oh, I can think of so many ways people have found to moan lately (did someone say it was an election year in the US? LOL)! All Moaners Beware.... :)

You are sure right about the movies. I never thought of that! I guess there are those who want it when it first comes out, but hey! The DVD is often released when the movie is still in the theater! Oh, the prices at the is amazing to consider, isn't it?

Thanks Babs! You always give me so much to consider...and quiet those questions, too!

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