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Copyright April M Rimpo All Rights Reserved. You may share my work with attribution and a link to this source site, but all other uses are prohibited.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Solo Exhibit: Travel the World in Transparent Media

I will be exhibiting my watercolor and fluid acrylic paintings plus my fused glass art at the Columbia Art Center in the Main Gallery.  The exhibition opens February 7th, with the Opening reception on Saturday February 9th from 3 - 5pm.  I will be giving an artist's talk at the reception to describe the connections between my water media paintings and my fused glass.

The connections between my paintings and glass are the subject of a small book I created for this exhibit.  It's called Travel the World in Transparent Media. It also discusses stories and inspiration behind many of the paintings. A few copies of the book will be available at the Columbia Art Center.  If they run out the art center staff can add you to a waiting list to obtain a copy from the next printing.

Most of the paintings in this exhibition will be on display for the first time.  I think you'll find viewing them live, rather than through my blog adds a new clarity and dimension to the art. 

You can retrieve directions to the Columbia Art Center, in Columbia, Maryland by clicking here.  It is easiest to access the art center from Cloudleap Court rather than Foreland Garth.

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

"Through the Willows" step-by-step, fluid acrylic and watercolor

Through the Willows,  fluid acrylic and watercolor 
by April M. Rimpo

Through the Willows
Fluid Acrylic and Watercolor
27" x 20" painting
with white mat and 35" X 28" frame


You may remember that last summer my husband and I visited the New York Botanical Garden.  Their feature exhibit was of Monet's Gardens.  A set designer from Broadway had been hired to make sure the garden had accurate colors and structures to match Monet's.  One of my favorite features was a bridge over a pool of lilies with a Weeping Willow tree cascading behind it.

My husband stood on the bridge reading about the plants while I walked around admiring the lilies. When I got to the back side of the bridge and saw my husband through the willows I shifting from photographing flowers to photographing him on the bridge.  You know me and color; seeing his orange shirt and blue jeans peeking through the willows with the beautiful color of the bridge just screamed out to me, "Take a picture, quickly."

I've always loved the variety of greens that I achieved in Poinsettia Tree so I decided to use the same approach combining fluid acrylic and watercolor.  The series of images at the bottom shows the progression.

The left image is only masking fluid (which is really thinned down rubber cement); it covers areas where I want to preserve the white of the paper.  I don't generally use this much mask but, when using fluid acrylic in a very wet-into-wet style, the paint is flowing like water over the surface of the paper and is difficult to control where it might run.  I find mask necessary since you can't lift off acrylic like you can watercolor.

The right image below is all fluid acrylic.  I worked in sections in an attempt to get some hard edges in the acyrlic to add texture to the leaves.  Normally I do this by applying the acrylic to small areas, drying it partially with a hair dryer then washing off the wet areas leaving behind hard organic edges.  However, I used a different paper (Fabriano Uno Soft Press) this time and was afraid the mask would stick to the paper surface after heating and tear the surface when removed.  Given the amount of mask on the paper I let the acrylic dry on its own, putting small dots of water back into the painted areas in hopes of keeping part of the acrylic paint wet.  Although this worked to a small degree I did not get as much texture as I originally intended.  In the end I don't think the painting suffered.  I like the surface of this paper and will no doubt use it again, but I'll need to do some experimentation to see how much abuse it can take. 
April M. Rimpo's Through the Willows - step 1 (mask)April M. Rimpo's Through the Willows - step 2 (fluid acrylic)
Once the acrylic was totally dry I applied more masking fluid over the acrylic in places where I wanted to be sure I preserved the light colors.  I often get so absorbed, reacting to what the paint does, that I forget about the pattern of lights and darks in my design.  The mask helps keep me on track.  From this point forward I paint only in watercolor.

In the two photographs below you see the addition of watercolor for the darker leaves.  You may think it is counter-intuitive to use acrylic for the pale wash and watercolor for the darker leaves, but this is because I wanted a background that was fixed and not going to change.  I could layer a variety of colors over the fluid acrylic greens and purples to achieve the colors I wanted in the front foliage.  Putting blue-greens over purple acrylic make great dark green leaves.  With watercolor over acrylic it is easy to remove watercolor and redo an area to get it right.  The photo below left had only a few sections of leaves painted.

The right photograph was taken after all the leaves had been painted, the masking removed, and the turquoise blue bridge structure added. There is one tiny orange patch just above the upper bridge rail and to the left of the white area.  That is a hint at the shirt my husband was wearing.  I had placed it there to make sure I knew where the edge of his back was going to be.  This acted as a visual barrier, keeping me from painting the wrong color where the orange shirt would be.  After adding my husband I dotted orange and blue tones throughout the painting to make him fit into his surrounds.  I also clarified the edges of some leaves.

April M. Rimpo's Through the Willows - step 3 (add watercolor)April M. Rimpo's Through the Willows - step 4 (remove mask)

Take a look again at the finished painting at top. In addition to the color scheme and the horizontal bands of the bridge rails, I love the dappled light coming into the painting in the upper left corner that leads you to my husband. Let me know your favorite parts of this painting.

Follow this link to see more of my paintings that combine fluid acrylic and watercolor 
I have prints of many of my paintings available at my online store.

Copyright April M Rimpo All Rights Reserved. You may share my work with attribution and a link to this source site, but all other uses are prohibited.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A Review of 2012

2012 was a wonderful year for me. I've been able to focus full time on my art, enter national exhibitions, work with new galleries, learn about the business side of art, and enjoy memories by painting people and places I know and have visited.  I have to thank my wonderful husband, Chas, for all of his support this year, which has contributed in so many ways to my success.
The video above includes examples of the art I created and exhibited during 2012.  All paintings I exhibited nationally are included here as are a few examples of portraits I painted for a book of Family Portraits completed in 2012.  Some very recent paintings that have not yet seen the light of day are also included in this video.  Enjoy!

Some of this work will be included in my solo exhibit "Travel the World through Transparent Media"  at the Columbia Art Center in Columbia, Maryland during February 2013.  That exhibit includes my water media and fused glass art.  During the reception on February 9th from 3 - 5 pm I plan to give an artist talk describing the connections between the fused glass and water media pieces.

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