Painting on the fence boards has been a lot of fun. So far it’s been three sunflower paintings and one featuring Columbine, a bee and some dog prints. They’re faster to paint than an oil, partly because they’re painted in acrylic paint, partly because of their size and partly because of the nature of the job. They all belong to people I know and that makes me happy, too. So far, they have gone or are going to Montana, New Mexico and Idaho. Another has crossed Wolf Creek Pass and is another small Colorado town. I LOVE painting these.
Painting sunflowers is as much fun as growing them. ❤
Painting in acrylics requires that I mix paint. Yesterday, painting the Columbine sign, I got to enjoy that miracle. With acrylics I am pretty happy with the basic palette of primary colors — red, blue and yellow. You can do pretty much everything with just those colors.
The painting below is an acrylic painting of a scene at Zion Natl. Park I did in the 90s. It’s acrylic on Masonite. Not a great photo, but you get the idea. The only colors I used were the colors above. Amazing but wonderful.
I seldom mix paint for my oil paintings. I mix the colors right on the canvas while the paint is wet — if at all. The only actual mixing I might do on the palette is blue with white for sky.
Shopping for paints a while back — comparison shopping whites — I learned that the most sold white is Titanium white which is very white and opaque. It dries pretty fast, too, which is part of its appeal. The white I want exists, but I don’t think I’ll probably ever use it. It has microscopic bits of crystal in it, making it transparent. It’s also a lead white.
Most of the time I use Gamblin’s Flake White Replacement which was built to replace lead white. Never having used lead white, I have no idea how close it is to that beloved and deadly color, but I like it. In case you’re bobbling on the edge of your seat right now wondering, “More than one white? WTF? How can that be?”
All this painting of signs has given me some thought about business. I’ve been using Etsy which, for now, has more benefits than liabilities. I first opened an Etsy shop in 2011. The platform was smaller then, with fewer options for sellers (and buyers). A big problem for people like me is merchandising and marketing. That’s the MOST difficult part of being a self-published writer. Merchandising art is a little easier because you can SHOW it to people and they instantly know if they want it or not. I learned that in Denver in 1981 when I took my pile of gouache paintings to ONE coffeehouse to see if they wanted to give me a show and the owner said, “YES!!!!” Just like that. Maybe that happens with novels, but not in my lifetime. ❤