Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Creativ Magazine

I have a new issue of the magazine Creativ. You can find it at Chapters, select International News locations and McNally Robinson - which is not in Vancouver. The front and back covers, above, show the free-thinking approach. The front cover is even slightly molded- while the back has the back view of the panda! Inside there is some of the most beautiful photography you will see anywhere and lots of inspiring pieces about people who asked "what if ?" and came up with something definitely out of the ordinary. There is: a French photographer who reimagined superheroes in the style of old Flemish paintings, fashion forward pants that come with the stories behind the block prints, a  surprisingly beautiful hand-cut sculpture of a bacterium, an unusual story about a physicist who says "Science is the journey of human intention; it is the process of risking it all for the chance of expanding what it means to be human", eco-playgrounds, an amazing painting of Manhattan - and that's not all. Both inspiring and thought-provoking, this tribute to creativity is a good one for artists and all creative thinkers to ponder. Hopefully, we can all rise to new levels of creativity.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

-from September Newsletter

     I just posted this painting on my September newsletter . It is called "Love for Three Oranges" but there wasn't room for the oranges in the newsletter space - so here they are. I first heard that music when I was at Art School and the title has stayed with me. I thought it would be a good warm painting for a fall newsletter. If anyone reading this doesn't get my newsletter (very short, a picture each time) just e-mail me at lorainewellman@shaw.ca and I will add you to my list.                               The main news on my newsletter is that the Grand Prix of Art Steveston is this Saturday. There will be around 100 painters painting all around Steveston and Britannia Heritage Shipyards. The tricky thing is, until we pull a slip of paper with the location, we have no idea just where we will be painting. Then we have three hours to complete a painting which will be turned in for judging. I hope I get an interesting location that is different from where I have been before.
    Plein aire painting started just before the time of the Impressionists. Before then, paint had to be ground and mixed as it was to be used - strictly an indoor job. Then paints became available ready to use in tubes. Of course, the artist still adds a  mixer-medium. For oils, it used to be turpentine and an oil- probably linseed. This is a bit smelly and probably a bit toxic but one whiff does remind me of Art School ! Now oil painters use a different non-toxic, non-smelly medium. Some oils are now even compatible with water. Acrylic paints, mixed with polymer plastic instead of oil, became available around 1940 and have proven their durability. The actual colours - or pigments- are the same in both oils and acrylics - and, for that matter, pastels and watercolours. Acrylics have the advantage of being  a material than can be cleaned up with water.  They maintain their  flexibility so paintings don't crack. They also dry fast - and the artist keeps brushes in water because of this. Drying fast has both advantages and disadvantages. Now, mediums have been developed to slow down the drying so it is not awkwardly fast in the outdoors. I will be using a retarder gel when I am painting in the Grand Prix. It slows down drying enough to give better control for softer edges where I want them. Another advantage to acrylics is that the finished painting needs no varnishing and can even be wiped off. I recommend them for kitchen paintings especially. Needless to say, artists have great discussions about the advantages and disadvantages of oils, acrylics, watercolours and pastels. My feeling is that artists usually find the medium that appeals to them the most and with which they are most comfortable. My personal choice is acrylics - a modern paint for a modern world.