Week 19 - Time on my Hands

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

Groucho Marx


Why is it the older I get, the faster time flies? I remember when I was a kid, an hour seemed like a lifetime. Now, a lifetime seems like an hour.

Since returning from London, days have just wizzed by without any constructive way of measuring them. It's not that I haven't been busy, I've done lots of "stuff". But it seems, these days, I measure time in paintings.

This past week I've busy putting together my 100/100 limited edition prints, signing, numbering, matting, bagging, displaying, and posting. I'm happy to announce they are now available at Cranston Gallery, and will be available soon online as well.

I did manage to take a purposeful day trip out to my wood panel maker in Bridgetown, NS, the Twisted Doorbell Studio Gallery. They are my "go to" for Baltic birch wood panels. Custom made to any size, these panels rock. If you own one of my paintings, it's probably painted on a Twisted Doorbell panel. I'm thinking I'm good now for panels... for a while anyway!

Panels from Twisted Doorbell


This coming week I'm planting myself in front of my easel. I have paintings percolating in my brain. It's time to create.


Favourite Substrate... Board or Canvas or ?

I'm pretty much into boards when it comes to painting with acrylics, but as I enjoy painting with different mediums, other substrates are sometimes preferred.

When painting with Oil and Cold Wax, I work on either cradled board or Arches Oil Paper.

For Gouache I'll use either watercolour paper or Illustration board. I'm using gouache more and more when plein air painting.

For Pastel painting, my choice would be PastelMat, in white, so I can start with an acrylic underpainting.

For Oil painting I use beautiful Belgium oil primed linen which I order in rolls from Green and Stone in London, UK., it's the Ferrari of substrates.

How I prepare my boards: First a coat of Golden Gloss Medium to seal the wood. Next I brush on a layer of Golden Molding Paste medium for texture. Third layer is Golden Gesso in white. I let each layer dry overnight before applying the next.

When I'm applying the Gloss Medium to a board, I'll include the sides. After the gloss medium has dried, I'll cover the sides with frog tape to protect them. Once the painting is done and varnished, I'll remove the tape for a clean wood side cradle.

For any store bought canvas other than the linen, I'll put on a layer of molding paste for texture, then a layer of gesso.

Using canvas right out of the pack can be like painting on wax paper. Brushing on at least one coat of gesso before you start your painting can correct that.

What's your favourite substrate to paint on? Comment below...


Ask the Artists


Holly O: Canvas is my chosen painting surface. I begin with an under painting in a colour that compliments my subject matter. Instagram link.
Wendy Birmingham:
I prefer to work on wood panel. I gesso them with 3 coats of Golden white gesso....sanding in between each coat. I also gesso the sides and then cover with painters tape to protect the sides. I like to leave my sides white. Instagram link..
Ed Parmiter: Canvas is my preferred choice. Facebook link.
Sheila Davis: I prefer board. And I use clear gesso. It has a real tooth to it and gives the feeling of paper. Takes me back to my watercolour days   I like to see wood through the gesso as well. Instagram link.
Aili Kurtis: I use gallery thickness (1.5 inches) stretched canvases. Most of my paintings are 30x40; 36x48, 30x60 inches, although in recent years I have created paintings that are 36x72 inches (the biggest size I can fit into my car). These ready-made canvases (Apollon) are already triple-primed with gesso so all I have to do is stain the canvas and begin. Instagram link.
Louise Hicks: I prefer board since sunlight can't shine thru when painting outside and, with canvases, sticks can poke thru them when thrashing thru the woods.  In studio, I am currently working mixed media portraits so I prefer the stiffness of boards.  I buy primed canvas boards so sometimes I don't gesso them.  I want to paint thicker and I hate seeing the canvas texture so subconsciously, I think it forces me to lay the paint down thick...sometimes. Facebook link.
Jen Lawton: Gallery canvas for straight oil paintings, and cradled board for mixed media work. I buy pre-gessoed canvases, and gesso my own cradled board – usually 2-3 coats with sanding in between. Instagram link.
Brian Buckrell: I work on gessoed board MDF for anything less than 18x24. Stretched canvas larger. All plein air are on board Instagram link.


Until next week...



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