[First published in March 2016, I think, or somewhere near then...]

Garden in the Abstract

Garden in the Abstract

Let me be the first to tell you that I am not, actually, a very good housewife.  Until my youngest daughter was three, she didn’t realize that our family even owned a vacuum cleaner, she thought only the cleaning lady had an “hola” (she didn’t even know what a vacuum cleaner was called!).  I like a clean house, but I like someone else to make sure it’s clean.

Still, I do have house-wifely tendencies, which mostly show up in my frugalities with regard to paint.  Paint is expensive.  I don’t like to waste it.  Watercolors are kind to my frugal soul, allowing me to use them over and over once squeezed out.  Just add water!

Acrylics, on the other hand, dry quickly when exposed to air; so, if I am painting with acrylics and suddenly am called away by a child’s calls (phone or voice), I may return to find lumps and puddles impervious to my brush.  Or, I may have a palette full of useable paint when I realize I have only 20 more minutes to paint before I need to clean up and go.  What to do?

What I’ve taken to doing in the latter case is to pull out a clean sheet of paper and just begin laying the paint down all over it.  I’m working fast, so I’m usually using a palette knife or a wide brush.  My goal is two-fold:  use the paint AND cover as much of the paper in an underpainting as possible.  I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the outcome of this process, since I seem to intuitively create interesting shapes that provide a great springboard to a finished painting.  This painting, “Garden in the Abstract”, is the happy result of this technique

The dried acrylic has turned into another fun tool for me.  It can be peeled off the palette paper, and comes off in most interesting shapes, which I then press onto my painting.  These bits and blobs, which I’ve learned are called “skins”, provide color, shape and texture—again, a fun jumping off place for the underpainting or a little bit of inspiration when the painting process gets stuck.

I don’t mind being house-wifely – when it comes to painting!