Wednesday, January 6, 2010



Backyard Snow

Acrylic on board, 5" x 7"
$125 plus $6 shipping in U.S.
SOLD

You've had this experience: you're trying to learn something, you're struggling along and it's just not coming, so you drop it. You put it out of your mind for awhile. Later you come back to it again and it is suddenly so much easier that you wonder what the problem was in the first place. Somehow you were learning, even while you weren't doing.

That's what happened with this piece. It is painted with Golden Open acrylics, a new formulation that stays wet longer than regular acrylics. When I first got the paints a few months back, I did several paintings with it. I felt the paint was promising, but it didn't quite handle like any other paint, so it was always a struggle. Finally, I stopped using it altogether.

I picked it up again for this painting, and immediately felt right at home with the medium--it just clicked and I seemed to have a newfound understanding of how to handle the paint. It was so much fun!

I love it when that happens.

16 comments:

rahina q.h. said...

wonderful light and composition Don. i know what you mean about 'subliminal' learning but i think it has more to do with the artist's ability:) r.

t_rAt said...

I like warm light and cold shadow.

Don, paint with these acrilics like paint with oil?

Sheila Vaughan said...

Thats funny Don - today I picked up the oils again after quite some time without using them. Some kind of instinct guides us sometimes I swear. You did great with this snow painting - they are much harder than one would imagine. I tried yesterday and utterly failed - painted over the start of it today.

Don Gray said...

Thanks, Rahina. Well I'm sure general experience helps, but I like the idea of learning something while sleeping...I could be a very good student! :^)

Don Gray said...

Thanks, t_rAt. The paint stys wet longer, so blending similar to oils is much easier than regular acrylic. The final look is closer to oils, I believe.

Don Gray said...

Yes, Sheila, it feels like a gift when something suddenly comes a little easier...it IS a gift! Thanks for your comments.

Pierre Raby said...

Great light and composition Don.
Also, your "Heaven and Earth" series is very interesting and inspiring- a contemplative moment for the viewer.
I wish you a Happy New Year!

Don Gray said...

Pierre, it always means a lot to me to hear your thoughts--thank you. Happy New Year to you as well!

Diane Hoeptner (hep-ner) said...

Yep. It's a beautiful painting. And I do believe our brains continue to work things out for us, even while we sleep. Sometimes it's best not to "try harder" just take a break and/or sleep on it! Great post.

Micah said...

A'm tempted to buy some of this and try it......like the results you got with the side of the barn and the tree colouring. Did you use the thinner or any of the gloss with this one?

Don Gray said...

You're right, Diane--often when we stop consciously struggling, things come to us. Strange, isn't it? Thanks for coming by.

Don Gray said...

Mixtures were a combination of Open Medium and water--didn't use the Open thinner in this case. You can speed dry time by using more water. If you try it, Micah, you'll find it doesn't quite behave like oil or regular acrylic...it has it's own nature.

Dean Grey said...

Don!

The thing I love most about this is the subject itself.

It looks like someone's backyard and yes, yes, I know it is.

But I mean it's like looking into a slice of someone's home life.

You captured that "everyday" essence in this piece! (Does that makes sense?)

-Dean

Don Gray said...

Thanks, Dean--that's a very nice compliment. And it IS a backyard...ours!

Rajeev Mohan said...

Beautiful light. Simple and lovely.

Don Gray said...

Thanks, Rajeev--welcome to my blog.