Season's Greetings to all. May this holiday be filled with peace, love and charity for all. Let us create the New Year with optimism, a respect for the earth and all its creatures, and a renewed allegiance to democracy, freedom, truth and the pursuit of happiness.
My studio is located in the Gowanus area of Brooklyn. Ever since I moved my studio here, I've been astounded by how much support local artist receive from just one organization: Arts Gowanus. Headed by Abby Subak, and aided by a steadfast crew of loyal hardworking and thoroughly involved staff and volunteers, the group is a cornerstone of the arts community in Brooklyn. Running everything from workshops to help artists learn to better their careers to the yearly Arts Gowanus Open Studios, the organization is a huge benefit -directly and personally- to us artists here.
Every year they hold a benefit event- where you get to pick and take home an original artwork by a local artist. Last year it sold out, and was tremendous fun. This year, I am donating a framed watercolor titled " Sauvage." It's a study for a new large painting. The image is 9 x 12" and it will be framed to 16 x 20" I actually have an opening in Williamsburg the same evening, so I won't be able to attend, but I am honored to donate it as a support to Arts Gowanus. Here is a link to the event page where you can register!
When my watercolor paintings need a little "umpf" it's time to break out the farm fresh eggs and stir up a little egg tempera. An almost impermeable substance, egg tempera can add a lot of dimension to a watercolor. Purely speaking, it's not for use on paper- it's more appropriate for sturdy backings like wood. But if you're using massively thick Arches 300 gram paper, it may be used in moderation without causing worry.
As an oil painter who uses paint to build up surfaces and then alter them over and over, adding tempera layers to a watercolor can bring the medium closer to what I prefer. I love seeing light, spontaneous watercolor paintings, ones that showcase transparent effects and ways to use the white of the paper. But I usually revert to my old ways of layering, and so constantly seek for ways to add substance to the paint. Every artist has their tricks, and this is just one of them. I remember seeing Andrew Wyeth watercolors at an exhibition that were heavily worked, scraped and layered and feeling a kindred spirit.
Building up an image bit by bit, paint stroke by stroke, helps to make the painting feel like more than just a flat surface. I'm trying to bring a luminosity to the image, and a past that the upper final layers have to be viewed though.