New Techniques

2010Article posted by Gilly

I’m a great admirer of the beautiful work of Arleta Pech, an artist from Denver, Colorado. For many years I’ve followed her career as a watercolourist and attempted to reproduce her techniques in my own works. I bought her first book about 10 years ago which is now almost falling apart, I’ve delved into it so often!

I’ve now discovered that she has moved into oils - working in many layers of glazes, much as she does in watercolour - to produce works of incredible luminosity and richness. I’ve been dabbling in oils myself and been rather disappointed in the final outcomes - too flat, too dull, lacking in that eye-catching zing. They’ve been OK as far as draftsmanship and detail, but just not ‘grabbing’ me, if you know what I mean? I’ve hunted about for other techniques without success but now, suddenly, it seems Arleta’s methods are exactly what I want. I’ve recently received her new book and two of her instructional DVDs and they are really mind-blowing. I can’t wait to actually start trying these techniques. Her first demonstration was of a rose so I’ve spent all of this week preparing several canvases - they were pre-primed but I’ve rollered on 4 more coats of gesso, sanding between each coat, to achieve a lovely, pristine surface, and have now sketched up one of my own roses (similar colours) and am ready to start. Of course, I need a few uninterrupted hours to begin and life keeps getting in the way but, hopefully, tomorrow I’ll be able to start. I feel very excited about it as I think these are techniques that I will really be able to achieve.

It’s good to experience that sudden, new rush of excitement. I mean, I’m always passionate about my work and really resent all the mundane tasks of life that prevent me from dashing over to my Studio, but to be learning something entirely new is such a buzz.

I’ve still been working steadily on more pastels (hopefully, my daughter will be able to find some time soon to install a few new paintings on the website. She has them all ready, she’s just been so busy of late.) Anyway, I think I have enough prepared for all the exhibitions that are only a few weeks away so it will feel good to pull back a little and just happily potter, rather than having it in the back of my mind that this one had better be good because I need it for display! That isn’t the way to be approaching painting. It’s supposed to be relaxing!

By the next time I write I should be able to let you know how the new techniques are progressing. Wish me luck!!!

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