March 2nd, 2017

February was a bit of an odd month. I spent at least a week of it being sick or taking care of sick family members. I really wish people would just stay home when they aren't well, instead of going out and spreading it around!

I still persevered and finished "Secrets", and made good progress on a few other paintings. I am close to finishing a couple of others and I hope that March will yield more finished art than February and January did. We're still settling into our new home and it feels like unpacking takes forever. It doesn't help that our last house had lots of built-in bookshelves and dressers, and our new house does not. So there's nowhere to put half of our stuff! I think grabbing some cheap dressers from Ikea is on the to-do list, so maybe we can actually put away our laundry soon.

"Secrets", 9x12 oils on paper, mounted on panel

I also managed to make a "paint and chat" video last month, where I worked on a painting called "Gaia" that I didn't get to finish in February because of a horrendous stomach flu my son shared with me. I am still planning to finish "Gaia" very soon, perhaps next week.

This week I've been working on a drawing called "Wither" that I did back in the spring of 2016. I still lived in Montana when I started this one, and had gone as far as putting an oil underpainting over the top of it and glazing colors. Of course after I unpacked it and looked at what I had done, I realized I had made a mistake with my color glazes that I couldn't remove. I tried to scrub the color off with solvent but only a small amount would budge. Luckily I had scanned the drawing before I went too wild with the paints, and decided to try printing it onto canvas and then working over it. I don't usually work on canvas since I like my paintings to be pretty smooth so they scan well for prints, but working on paper presents some technical challenges and limitations that I'm getting a little tired of dealing with. I nearly lost a finished painting last month when I mounted it and part of the mount didn't stick in the center of the painting, leaving a raised bump of air between the painting and dried adhesive. I managed to fix it but it was very stressful and I have since been working on more sustainable, less stressful substrates like Gessobord (a primed hardboard) and now canvas sheets that can be mounted and re-mounted as many times as it takes to get them perfect. I may still use paper from time to time, but will be modifying my mounting process so I no longer run the risk of ruining a finished painting. Yikes.

"Wither" on the easel a couple nights ago. 11"x12.5" oils on canvas sheet.

Other things I hope to do this month are resurrect my Patreon with some new goals and content, and make more videos. I don't know for sure what else I will work on this month, and right now I am taking it one day at a time and hoping I can sneak through the rest of flu season without catching anything else... knock on wood.