In the past I have tried painting in acrylic, but never enjoyed it. I like the luscious quality of oil paint, the fact that you can blend and work it as long as you need to without the paint drying, and that colours don’t change between the initial marks and the final dry painting. However, I was lucky enough to win The Picture House Gallery Art Prize last year (see here for the work, which will be included in my upcoming show) and the prize was a pack of acrylic paints (along with brushes, palette knives, mediums and more), so decided I needed to try them out.
Clearly the quality has improved since I last used acrylic paint – the colours remain true from beginning to end, and once I added a drop of Open Medium, the paint stayed wet long enough for me to blend in a way that was closer to oils. I still have a lot to learn, but enjoyed experimenting – clean-up was quick and easy and much less odour as well. I won’t abandon my oils, but I have now become a convert to acrylics!
These paintings were done on small blocks of mdf, or medium density fibreboard to give it its full name. They were thoroughly sealed with several coats of gesso, sanded to a smooth finish, and then the sides and back have been painted black. The boards were given me by a friend who was having a tidy out, so I gladly accepted them. I thought they were all the same size, 15 x 15cm, but realised after I had painted some of them that half were 15 x 14cm! But that hasn’t mattered. The imagery is inspired by small collages I make from random photos of plants. The final paintings are generally quite far removed from the original images. My plan was to have these as individual paintings for sale at my upcoming exhibition, but when I pushed them together to take a photo I realised how strong they looked as a whole. So, I will offer the option of the individual panels being sold, but my preference is for someone to buy the set.
The exhibition is a two person show, with a friend I exhibited with two years ago, in a small gallery in Woolloomooloo, near the docks in Sydney. Sue paints mainly landscapes and seascapes, and I will be exhibiting my recent drawings, both the abstract ones and the more realistic ones in coloured pencil, and we will be showing a set of concertina books that we have collaborated on. Later on I will do a post of the concertinas. To see the drawings, go back through my posts of the last year or so.
Below are the individual panels.