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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.

Friday, January 24, 2014

"Making Tortillas" fluid acrylic & watercolor 30" X 19"

Making Tortilla by April M Rimpo
Making Tortillas 
acrylic & watercolor
30" X 19" image
36 " X 25" brushed silver frame
$1300 includes shipping within the United States*

Contact April regarding Purchase

One of 59 paintings selected for the Illinois Watercolor Society's 33rd National Exhibition 2017. 

I have wanted to paint Making Tortillas ever since I returned from Guatemala in 2008. I have considered different color schemes; different focal points; different cropping of my source photographs, but none of the designs satisfied me. Recently I decided to try a different approach to the scene, cropped in closer and using a much more limited color palette.  It was the happiness of this woman and the gesture of her hands as she went about making her tortillas that I decided was the focus.  The beautiful reflected colors in the table top, which had been a distraction in earlier designs, were really not important.  It was the sense of joy she communicated with her expression that really mattered, so what more did I need?  Sometimes finding that quality that drew you to take the photograph is harder to find than you would expect.  Details that you may not have noticed when you took the photograph start to get in the way of that original inspiration.
For the artists in my audience, I started this painting by masking off much of the woman, the white areas, all the orange and red areas, and the light blue fabrics in the baskets. Then I poured on very wet washes of DaVinci fluid acrylic paint, tilted the paper to let the colors run and mix, added some granular light colored watercolor pigments to add interesting swirls and granular patterns, then let the paint dry.  I almost never use a heat gun or drier since I feel the colors are not as vibrant when I use these.

Most of the painting was done using fluid acrylic and small amounts of granular watercolors.  Exceptions were the red flower on her shirt and the orange/red corn in the basket.  I wanted these to be very vibrant.  I find when I use straight acrylic pigments for reds they seem a bit dull, while watercolor reds seem to almost glow. So after establishing some blues where the dark shadows would be, I applied an orange watercolor pigment to create the underlying color. When the watercolor was nearly dry I added some Alizarin crimson acrylic to create darker red passages.  A number of thin washes of Alizarin and some Quinacridone burnt orange were layered over the orange watercolor to create a variety of red shades. Blues and purples were used in the shadow areas and an Alizarin layer was added on top to add definition to the corn. Throughout the piece I repeated the same colors in different combinations and strengths so the painting holds together.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on Making Tortillas and your experience with finding and expressing the essence of a photograph that seemed so right at the time, but continue to elude you when you want to express it in your art.

Contact April regarding purchase outside the United States

More of my paintings of Guatemala can be found by clicking on the titles listed below:
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.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

"Aerial Bikes II", 13.5" X 22" gallery wrapped acrylic & watercolor

Aerial Bikes II by April M Rimpo

Aerial Bikes II
acrylic and watercolor
13.5" X 22" varnished gallery wrapped paper*

More inspiration from aerial photographs I took in New York City resulted in Aerial Bikes II.  I am really happy with the clean lines I achieved in this painting. I decided to do this as a gallery wrapped painting so the image doesn't have to be constrained by a frame.  Since gallery wrapped paintings are varnished there is no need to put the painting under glass. The gallery wrapped edge eliminates any visible staples.

Here is a little on my process for this painting. Because this is a small, non-standard sized painting I decided to use an old frame as the stretcher bar. No need to buy special stretcher bars when other materials are available. The frame is cut to 13.5” X 22”, the final size of the painting.  I varnish the frame, as I would varnish a stretcher bar, and then stretch the paper over this frame. I put the drawing on the paper before wrapping it on the frame. A 1.5” boarder was left around the image which wraps around the frame. Normally I stretch the paper first so I don’t have to worry about the alignment being perfectly square on the frame, but since this is a small painting I believed I could control the stretch.  This approach worked out well.  I do like to experiment with different methods to allow me more flexibility in my work.

First step prior to stretching

While preparing the frame for stretching I went ahead and used very watered down fluid acrylic to splatter the paper, as shown at right. The splatter is an initial textural layer for the building and sidewalk.  A lesser amount of splatter is on the umbrella to unify the painting.   
Four colors of acrylic were used alone and in combination for the splatters: Cerulean Blue, Paynes Gray, Quinacridone Burnt Orange, and Permanent Alizarin Crimson.  These same colors were used throughout the painting.  I used some granular watercolor pigments (Daniel Smith Buff Titanium and Olive Green) in the walk and in the bushes.
* Framing not required on gallery wrapped paintings
** Contact April regarding shipping outside the United States

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Exhibit in Frederick, Maryland

I'm proud to announce "Flora, Figures, and Found Objects", an exhibit of The Pleiades Artists, as group of seven women artists from the Baltimore-Washington area.   

The exhibit will be at at Delaplaine Visual Arts and Education Center, 40 South Carroll Street, Frederick, Maryland 21701, from February 1st - 23rd. The reception will be Saturday February 1, 2014 from 3 - 5 pm.

The Pleiades Artists is a group of seven Maryland women whose paintings demonstrate the wide variety of styles and techniques used to produce vibrant images in water media. All members of Pleiades Artists are accomplished watercolorists who are signature members of several local and national organizations. Three of our members teach locally.  Members include Stephanie Lyon, Kathleen Stumpfel, April M Rimpo, Joyce Bell, Yolanda Koh, Susan Avis Murphy, and Janet Belich.   

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