Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Painting with acrylic and Taxie the studio pup

I sometimes feel, and in this very soothing way, like I am living in a Norman Rockwell panting or something. Taxie the Studio Pup, who still somehow thinks that I am going to desert her and send her back to the SPCA , settles under the easel at my feet. I put my headphones on and start to paint.

Speaking of dogs, my life with Taxie is so about Dubose Dog Park, it’s a Lower Haight/ Dubose Triangle/ Wiggle life style. I am reminded of the San Francisco painter Roy De Forest’s “ Country Dog Gentlemen”. He did this painting in 1972 using polymer on canvas. Polymer is an acrylic based product. Well, to be exact, polymer and matte mediums are used to extend and thin acrylic paints, while promoting even flow and leveling, and maintaining the film's stability. This might be boring, but it is important as I now paint in acrylic. I started experimenting in the early 70’s using water based house paints as a wide range of colors were not readily available at the time… wow, how the medium has progressed and been enhanced. (And just to name a few who also worked in acrylic: Rothko, Lichtenstien, Warhol, Hokney).

I find it amazing that so many gallery owners are still unwilling to show artists who work outside of the “oil on canvas” box (and so love people like John and Jessica Trippe of Fecal Face Gallery www.fecalface.com/SF aren’t stuck in the proverbial past) isn’t art and medium up to the artist? Isn’t it all a valid means of expression? Don’t get me wrong, I love working in oils, but with a dog in a studio, it’s toxic. Acrylics have there own challenges, experimenting with pushing the color, and the medium being sensitive to weather conditions as they are fast drying when it’s hot, can get gummy when it’s humid or damp. I find acrylic very rewarding and challenging. Isn’t that what art is, what the artist chooses to push?

Speaking of pushing. I love periodically visiting fellow 2nd Floor Studios artist Kirsten Tradowsky to see what she is up to. Kirsten seems to always push her limits and I so admire her wonderful work. She does her own thing... and yes, paints in oils and get’s “rock’n” colors!

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