Tuesday, July 29

New Work

Out There
Acrylic on Canvas Panel
16 x 20 in/40.6 x 50.8 cm
Copyright Byrne Smith 2014

Tuesday, July 22

Happy Birthday OrbisPlanis - 6 Years of Art Blogging!

Well, another year of blogging has gone by. It seems like only yesterday it was 2008, and I wanted to start blogging about art and painting. And now it's six years later.

I thought I'd share a couple of highlights.

- First blog:  July 10, 2008, A New Art Blog on How to Renew Your Art Skills 

- Blog with the most page views: May 9, 2012, Painters, Accept Your Own Unique Talent, 6932 views

- Blog with the most comments: A tie

July 15, 2008, A Favorite Artist, Norman Baxter, A Line on Texas, 9 comments

April 9, 2009, About Cold Press and Hot Press Watercolor Paper (and More), 9 comments

So, to all the painters and viewers and readers these last six years, Thank You!

Tuesday, July 15

Why Do We Paint?

Grazing in the Grass
9 x 12 in/22 x 30 cm
Copyright Byrne Smith 2014
What could be more relaxing than painting a beautiful, bucolic scene? Not a whole lot of other things in my opinion.

That begs the question, and the title of today's blog, Why Do We Paint?

Well, why do we paint? I suppose there are almost as many reasons as there are painters, but here's my list of reasons for probable cause:

  • We have no other choice than to paint--once we started painting, we must continue.
  • We like the idea of putting our creativity on a two-dimensional surface.
  • We must use our hands to create art.
  • Paint--all kinds of paint, including pastel--is intriguing to us.
  • Mixing colors is a never-ending pastime.
  • We want to find out just how well we are able to paint.
  • Painting is relaxing, most of the time.
  • We love it
Feel free to add your own individual bullet items!

Tuesday, July 8

Take a Painting Vacation (or Holiday)

Perfect Beach
16 x 20 in/40.6 x 50.8 cm
Copyright Byrne Smith 2014
We're getting close to high summer here in the northern hemisphere, which means it's time for us painters to try new things. Between June 1 and August 31, you should break out and break away from all the things you usually do in your studio the rest of the year.

During this time, pretend you're on virtual vacation/holiday every day whether painting in your studio or en plein air. Experience new ways to paint, just like you experience new sights and places when you're on a real vacation

If you usually paint on paper, try out MDF board or panel. If you paint in watercolor, try water-mixable oils. Swap out your acrylics for pastels or vice versa.

If you usually paint landscapes, try figure painting. If you usually paint seascapes, try a still life. You get the picture, mix it up.

Of course, if you actually are on vacation/holiday, try taking along some supplies that you normally wouldn't. For example, if you're an oil painter, take along one of those spiral-bound tablets of watercolor paper and one of those small, portable watercolor palettes with a few limited watercolors. Then paint your favorite scenes roughly and quickly. You'll enjoy these much more than those photos you take on your cell phone (or mobile).

No matter where or how you do it, summer vacation/holiday painting is good for creative soul.

Tuesday, July 1

Don't Be Afraid to Paint with Acrylic

There's something about acrylic. Many artists and painters seem to have positioned the medium in some obscure world of being "not quite right."

9 x 12 in/20 x 30 cm
Copyright 2013
This is even in view of the fact that it has been around for more than 70 years and used as a bona fide painter's medium since 1955. That's 1955--59 hears ago! So what does it take to be accepted? Sainthood?

Hardly. Artists and painters have always--and by always I mean since the Dark Ages became the Renaissance--used whatever was available to render their art.

Earthly powders and elements dissolved in different kinds of oil, or water, have been used for a long, long, okay one more long, time. Later those same elements among others were ground and bound into pastels for drawing/painting. Ditto for drawing with coal and graphite-like tools.

The point is painters didn't appear to limit their media to only one accepted thing, and they didn't look with suspicion on new-fangled inventions. Although there was initial resistance to the impressionist style,  remember, it was the Impressionists who embraced the newly-developed paint in tubes that encouraged painting en plein air in addition to the use of photography.

So why isn't acrylic considered a fine art medium, and why aren't impressionistic plein air acrylic paintings not considered fine art?

You tell me.