Saving Paint

I’m sure you have done it – ended a painting session with a whole lot of paint left on the palette and wondering how to save it. Here are some tips for each type of paint. Watercolour: Your freshly squeezed out paint is a lovely creamy consistency that is lost if it is let to dry rock hard. I never squeeze out a whole tube into the wells of a palette. It does not reactivate to the same lovely texture if it all dries up. So, if you have accidently put too much out, simply spray your palette with water and put a layer of plastic wrap on top. It should keep moist for a couple of days that way. Acrylic: The water spray and plastic wrap work for acrylic paint too. There are also special palettes sold that will keep the paint moist longer. They usually consist of a thin sponge that you keep wet that is below the main palette area. You can make your own stay wet palette with a damp paper towel folded up and placed underneath wax paper or parchment paper that you put your paint out onto. Lastly, there are times you will want some of the acrylic mediums that make the acrylic dry more slowly. This is especially useful if painting out doors. Stir a generous gob of the medium into each of your colours as you put them onto the palette. Oil: Oil paint cures by exposure to light rather than evaporation. So the simplest way to keep paint on a palette wet is to put the palette into a dark drawer. I have found this method effective for a week or even more. In conclusion: I hope you are not shy about putting out generous gobs of paint onto your palette. You are more likely to make beautiful painterly works with a well loaded brush. Perhaps knowing the tips above will help to encourage you to be generous with your paint knowing it can be saved for awhile. Happy painting! 

What is an Abstract Painting?

There seems to be a lot of confusion about what the word ‘abstract’ means when it comes to painting. Here’s how I like to understand it. On the one end of a scale is realism. You are looking at the painting and really not sure if it might be a photograph. On the other end is pure abstract, also called nonrepresentational – colours, shapes, lines, but no recognisable subject in the painting. Now here’s the key: inbetween those 2 extremes are a whole lot of painting styles that are not realistic, but do still have a recognisable subject. These are generally known as, for example, abstract landscapes, or abstract florals – or any other subject that is being more freely interpreted. This is a large general group. Like many things about art, there is no right or wrong about which types of art you enjoy and which you don’t. Fact is there are some terrific realistic paintings, and awful realistic paintings. There are some terrific abstract paintings, and some awful abstract paintings. It is the skill of the artist that matters, and not the classification of the style of art. 
Painting Judy M.

Brentwood Report

As anticipated, the Brentwood Lakeside Painting Retreat was a wonderful time. The weather was gorgeous, and we were a happy group of painters indeed! Here are a few photos for you to enjoy. The wonderful gardens were inspiration for painting, as were the beautiful sunsets. Next opportunity for you to join us will be June 2014. Hope to see you there!      Painting by Judy Mennill  Painting by Brenda Scholten     
Painting - Last Light

New! Art Course – Grand Bend Art Centre

I am happy to be a guest instructor for a one day art course at the Grand Bend Art Centre. The date is Saturday July 13 and the theme will be landscape painting. Beginners through more advance painters are welcome and students may work through a couple of Cheryl’s paintings, or may choose to bring their own landscape photos to paint from. Here is the link for more information. It’s a great opportunity for my friends and students who may have a cottage is that area – hope to see you there! Landscape Painting with Cheryl O at the Grand Bend Art Centre 
Forest Painting

The Gadget & The Art Ap

I had been waiting for this. I watched a lot of my friends doing all kinds of things on their fancy phones, looked at the screen and thought, ” too small”. Then I watched people with their ipads, and although it looked very good, I thought, “too big”. Then the ipad mini came out – and I went for it! And yes, I like it. So, the reason I am telling you this is to let you folks who have these gadgets know about a fun art ap. It is called “Color Uncovered”, and you can find it in the ap store. It’s free, fun, interactive and educational. I think you will enjoy it, and learn some new things about colour too. What about you? Any art related aps to recommend now that I’ve joined the modern era? 
Painting - Once a Village

The Print versus Original Controversy

This is one hot topic among artists and collectors. Some people just love to collect originals. I think that’s great! They love the fact that the artists hands worked over that canvas or paper. They sense the struggle and the joy that went into creating. They enjoy the fact that they have the one and only original work on their wall. How wonderful. On the other hand… The quality of prints has in the last few years become amazingly good. I think that’s great too! Not everyone can afford an original. Prints mean that if you love an image, you can have it on your wall to enjoy for your lifetime. The quality really is that good. And if you could see one of my originals beside one of my prints, you would have a very difficult time knowing which is which. Does making prints of a painting in any way devalue the original? Absolutely not. Think about any famous painting and the innumerable times that it has been printed. Whether it’s a Group of Seven painting, or one of van Gogh’s much loved work, the fact that many people want to buy a print only enhances the value of the one original. More and more of today’s artists are making their art available as prints – it’s a huge trend. Here is a link to my paintings that are available as prints. For some images, the original is also available. Let me know if there are any that you are wondering about.