I am frequently asked about how to work with oil paint mixed with cold wax medium, especially on Instagram (you can find my Instagram at DaynaLovesArt). When I post videos of my process, I get a lot of interest and questions. Since I recently taught two four-day workshops in oil and cold wax at Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, I thought I would post a series of photos of the process. Thank you to several of my students for taking photos and generously sharing them with me.
A beautiful comment from Angela, who has taken my class several times:
It was amazing to see you obliterate a piece, reveal fabulous lower layers and ultimately create your incredible composition. Seeing you do this in class was huge? The lesson in itself was the best possible, teaching us more by showing, creating and telling us your thoughts throughout. Angela
*This demo piece went on to become this painting:
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Week six was the final week in my on-line course taught by Jane Davies. The theme for our last lesson was creating depth and atmosphere. Jane covered transparency and opacity, and then more specific information on building an interesting composition. All of this requires the use of color, adding paint and removing it, shapes, depth, pattern, veiling, and lines. Since I’ve been on vacation the past couple of weeks, I’ve been working from the table in a condo using the supplies I could easily pack and transport, which means, I was just a tad limited (i.e., in our last lesson, we were to practice building layers using transparent paints, well, I hadn’t brought any transparent paints).
So, instead of following Jane’s instructions, I veered a bit to the left and took a sharp twist to the right. I used what I had learned over the past six weeks and applied those techniques along with my own body of knowledge to create a series of 4×6 pieces (going over some of the pieces I had created in earlier lessons). I enjoyed playing with collage, pattern, color, line, and shape – all things I use regularly in my art. I’ve added some new tools to my repertoire, and strengthened some techniques that were weak.
I totally and completely recommend taking a class from Jane – online or in person. She has another composition class beginning in January, Extreme Composition: Breaking All the Rules. You can bet I’ve already signed up for that one!
I’ve done my homework for lesson five of the Jane Davies class I’m taking, Dynamic Composition. Our lesson for this past week dealt with lines and shapes, with the addition of working in grids with lines, and of course, with collage. I lined up my papers along the floor to choose from.
I’ve been on vacation for the past week, so I’ve worked on this lesson from a hotel and from a condo. Here is where I worked on the first phase of the lesson, on a little desk in a hotel room.
Here are the underpaintings I did in preparation for the next phase.
One of our exercises was to experiment with an open grid using only collage papers, no paint, and to add a line.
We moved to a condo for the balance of our vacation — and where I had a much bigger workspace.
The next portion of the project was to add a line to a collage painting. I worked on two.
I’m taking an on-line class, the second time I’ve done this. Although I love the in-person classroom experience, I must admit, these on-line classes are a pretty cool way to: 1) take an art class from anywhere, 2) experiment with new techniques and ideas, 3) connect with new members of the art community, and 4) build a new body of work.
The class I’m currently taking is from Jane Davies, an artist I have followed for a long time and last AprilI had the privilege of taking a class from at Art and Soul in Kansas City, Missouri (here’s a link to the blog post I did about Jane’s class – just click here). I’ve had friends take some of Jane’s on-line classes and they raved about the experience (and how much they learned). So I jumped in and registered for Keys to Dynamic Composition. I’ve completed week 1 (of six).Take a look at Jane’s website and blog to see her amazing work.
Our first lesson in creating a dynamic composition had to do with using variety of size and repetition with a limited color palette (yikes, that was difficult for me!) and only squares and rectangles. Here is my Pink Series from our first exercise.
For our second exercise, we had to again use a limited color palette, squares and rectangles, but we got to add one shape of our choice. I was much happier with being able to mix it up a bit. I give you my Blue Series.
I’ve already read Lesson 2 and watched the accompanying videos and I can’t wait to get started with a new series. Stay tuned for my next post about the process and my finished work.