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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Lessons through Small Paintings

I've been having a blast creating small paintings for the last few weeks.  It started after a friend of mine told me she was going to do a 6"x 6" painting every day for the last 3 months of this year.  Her goal: 100 paintings in 100 days.  I decided that since I still have some large pieces I'd like to do for a variety of exhibit possibilities, that my goal would be to do one large painting and one small painting each week.
Wisteria I, 6" X 5.5" acrylic on paper

Wisteria I
by April M Rimpo
6" X 5.5"
acrylic on paper, matted and framed 10" X 8"

Well, since I was finding these small pieces so enjoyable I have exceeded my small painting goal, but completed only one large painting in the last two weeks.  I'm actually okay with that, since I feel I am learning a number of new things in the process.  As you scan down the images at left, you can see that many of these were done using fluid acrylic instead of watercolor. Often I'll combine fluid acrylic with watercolor in my paintings because I like some of the textures I can create with fluid acrylic. However, in these small paintings I used only fluid acrylic.  Working very wet into wet, they appear much like watercolors, with the exception of Wisteria I, where I intentionally thickened the fluid acrylic paint with an acrylic medium to be able to raise some of the wisteria blooms up off the surface of the paper.

View by the Bridge, 7.5" X 12" acryic on paper

The two water scenes were done "en plein air" (i.e., on site outdoors). A fellow artist and I went to a lovely spot in Annapolis to paint.  Everywhere we looked was another great view asking to be painted.  There was even a group of a dozen kayakers who departed from the park where we were painting.  Too hard to paint fast enough to capture them, but since I had my camera with me I hope to capture them soon in a studio painting.
"View by the Bridge"
by April M Rimpo
7.5" X 12"
acrylic on paper, no mat
$125 + $12.50 shipping and handling with US

A Seagull's Life, 5.25" X 12, acrylic on paper

"A Seagull's Life"
by April M Rimpo
5.25" X 12"
acrylic on paper, no mat
$80 + $12.50 shipping and handling within US

Chickens in the Road, 6" X 6" acrylic on aquabord

As I progressed with my small paintings I decided it was a good time to try different platforms. Instead of working only on paper, some were on aquabord and others on canvas. Chickens in the Road is the first of my acrylic on aquabord paintings.  Aquabord is a product by Ampersand that is made with a clay-like surface on a Masonite-like base.  It was created specifically for people who work in very wet media, like watercolor or fluid acrylic. You can paint on it very much like working on paper.  When done, you spray it with a fixative to protect the clay surface, then use an archival mineral spirit acrylic varnish to further protect the painting. The painting can then be framed without glass.
"Chickens in the Road"
by April M Rimpo
6" X 6" in blond wood frame
acrylic on Aquabord

Artist at Work I, acrylic on 10" X 8" canvas

Years ago I painted with oil on canvas, but Artist at Work I may be my first painting on canvas using a water-medium.  Again I decided to use acrylic rather than watercolor. Some canvases are prepared specifically for watercolor, but this was not one of those.  I decided to try using very watered-down acrylic to see if it would work on the canvas.  I very much like the final result. When looking at this in a larger image, the texture of the canvas is prominent since the acrylic was so thinned out. I feel that texture enhances the abstracted appearance I wanted for this painting.
"Artist at Work I"
by April M Rimpo
10" X 8"
acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas
$160 shipping and handling within the US

Meeting in Provence, 8" X  7.5" watercolor on paper

Meeting in Provence, is the only sample in this post of a small watercolor on paper.  Unlike my larger watercolors, I wanted a simple scene that was striking to look at because of my use of color and strong contrasts. These two appear to have met on the street and struck up a conversation.

I plan to continue my exploration through small works and hope you will  join me along the way.  It would be great if we too could strike up a conversation as they did in this painting.
"Meeting in Provence"
by April M Rimpo
8" X 7.5"
watercolor on paper, no mat
$75 + $6 shipping and handling within US

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I look forward to hearing from you. - April

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