Sorry if I don't look happy to see you. I was focusing my camera before filming my gouache painting video. Posing for a timer over and over gets tiring if I smile. Nonetheless, thank you for joining me for another Studio Session!
I just returned from a painting trip to Canyon Lake this morning where I completed one piece from the first section of Boulder Creek Trail. This was my first trip to Canyon Lake and the third destination for hiking since I've lived in Arizona. Megan and I woke up at 6:30 and left by 7:45 to drive an hour to the lake. The last few miles of the drive were stunning. Yellow mountain peaks stuck out in between red walls of canyon. If I return here I'll have to get dropped off at one of the resting stops leading into the canyon.
As I setup my easel I thought, "Hey why don't I take a few photos of me setting up gear!" I grabbed my camera from my bag and turned it on. The screen didn't turn on. Great is my camera busted? Wait. I opened the battery clip and sure enough it was empty. DAMN!
This morning when I packed up my things I stopped and thought yeah the camera still has the battery. DID I CHECK?! of course not.
So, after that happened I was annoyed at first. These painting trips have become a fun escape from the larger paintings in progress at the moment. I've always enjoyed documenting the process of painting from life of such beautiful places.
I met a gentleman, who's name I forgot, DAMN! He stopped on his way in and out. We talked about Colorado and Wisconsin, where each of us are originally from and the type of people we've met. At one point I gave him my card and a few digital prints and he said sweet thanks here are some of my business cards and reached into a tube. He dumped a handful of bud into his hand ready to give me free weed. I have to say this isn't the first time I've been offered free weed from a kind stranger. I told him I didn't smoke because of bad experiences and it would be best if he kept it. He was a really genuine person who gladly opened up about his life and his appreciation for the arts. I love meeting people who are so down to earth.
Besides the time I get to spend analyzing and getting to understand the places I paint in, the people I meet are the best part of each trip. I think people are not used to seeing painters on trails without knowing ahead of time. So it creates a perfect ice breaker for conversation and before I know it I'm learning things about people I never would've known. Sometimes the conversations I hear from hikers passing by have such interesting context where their phrases would make perfect quirky titles for the paintings. Maybe I'll give that a go.
The last two days I've picked up a handful of used frames from goodwill to hold these oddly sized plein air panels. I don't tend to organize my surfaces on panel well enough to plan on using common sizes such as 8" x 10" or 6" x 6" making framing a breeze. Instead I'll cut large panels like 24" x 24" and use their cutouts for small panels. Many of them are not square and land on fractions of an inch so it would challenging to find pre-made frames at a reasonable price.
White frames always give a clean and contemporary look to my paintings so I've spray painted the black and stained ones. Here's a few shots of how they're turning out.
Spray painting, sanding, cutting masonite as backing board, and gluing the panels to backing board. I debated how to attach the panels and considered velcro, but ultimately I wanted a more permanent hold. First I tried using wood glue, but the masonite and panels are sprayed with a white coating that prevents any absorption so wood glue was a bust. Then I thought two part epoxy might adhere two slick surfaces like this, but two panels have already began to slide or pop off. The rest of the frames are holding without budging so those I'll leave. If anyone has any tips on adhering these types of panels please let me know. One of the only downsides to using these goodwill frames is finding ways to float the panels. Each attempt is getting me closer to a full proof system.
I can think of a few people who are going to cringe when they see this photo... I realize my methods are not the most professional or respected but it works without damaging the artwork believe it or not.
Here's a pretty well lit and staged photo that I hope shows off the sexy sides to these frames.
And to seal the deal I varnished them, watch how in this video:
Well better get back to work! THANKS FOR READING!! (Hopefully this session didn't have you feeling like this!)