Technique Tuesday: A Tip from Elizabeth Floyd

"Persimmons on a Wooden Crate" by artist, Elizabeth Floyd. Oil on canvas. 2013. Available at Principle Gallery, Alexandria VA.
“Persimmons on a wooden crate” by artist, Elizabeth Floyd. Oil on canvas. 2013. Available at Principle Gallery, Alexandria VA. http://www.principlegallery.com

My wonderful friend & painter, Elizabeth Floyd is the talented artist behind the “Bountiful Observations” series of floral still lifes and the creator of the beautiful persimmon painting above. She also writes a really awesome creative lifestyle blog which you can subscribe to here. Her lovely paintings will be included in the Small Works 2013 show at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria VA in December. Elizabeth has graciously agreed to share this Technique Tuesday tip with all of us today:

“My tip that I find invaluable is that I like to use spice jars that have a metal lid when mixing my batches of medium.  I have found that these spice jars are the best because it is always better to mix small batches of medium and the threading of the metal lids are some of the best available.  Baby food jars do not work well over the long haul because the lids do not have quality threads and deteriorate over time.”

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Elizabeth Floyd’s must have copy of “Formulas for Painters”.
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In this photo Elizabeth shows us how she marks off the one inch measurements on her re-purposed spice bottle.
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The last step, filling her jars with medium following the desired formulation and labeling her bottles.

Thank you Liz for allowing me to feature your tip today! This is one that I for sure will start incorporating into my studio routine.

And to all of you in the States, especially to our service men & women abroad–may you have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Technique Tuesday: Walking Canes Ain’t Just for the Infirm

WIP photo of my current commission showcasing my sexy walking cane.
WIP photo of my current commission showcasing my sexy walking cane.

I stole this Technique Tuesday tip a couple years ago from master painter Richard Schmid who famously uses his walking cane as a mahl stick (to steady your hand in painting). I have even taken it with me to workshops and have had people laugh at me and say “I was looking for the old lady when I saw that”. To which I have answered while shaking my cane in their face, “He who paints like Richard Schmid can cast the first stone!”. Then I smash them over the head with it. See, it serves a dual purpose.

I also have another Mahl stick I use when traveling or copying at the National Gallery of Art. It is affordable, collapsible and very sturdy (made out of aluminum). Although don’t drop the threaded end on a hard concrete floor as I did, or you may have a problem putting it back together again. You can purchase it at most art supply stores. Here is a link to one.

Technique Tuesday: Unique Toolz

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Here’s a quick little Technique Tuesday post. Like any artist, I love my gadgets, especially those I find in non-art stores. I bought this cool little magnetic clamp at my local WoodCraft store for under $5 and it is PERFECT for keeping my palette knife out of the way when I am painting (and for opening paint cans). Thanks to this little impulse buy I can now keep my taboret relatively tidy which is a real plus because I can be quite a hot mess when I paint.

No More “Redskins”

"Native American Portrait". Oil on birch panel. 2013. Artist, Suzanne Lago Arthur.
“Native American Portrait”. Oil on birch panel. 2013. Artist, Suzanne Lago Arthur.

Here is a portrait I painted from life in Rob Liberace’s class last Spring. The model is a really interesting guy–a re-enactor who makes all his costumes by hand. It is not every day that you get to paint someone dressed up like him!

This painting makes me think of course of the current controversy regarding a suggested name change for the Washington Redskins. For the record–I completely support it. That moniker hails from the days when the colonies closely associated with Native Americans as a way to emancipate themselves from their European fore fathers. But people are not symbols. We have the Bald Eagle and the Stars and Stripes for that. Dan Snyder-get over yourself! We can no longer have an NFL franchise in the 21st Century representing our Nation’s noble capitol with such a degrading name as the Washington Redskins. In this day and age when the “minorities” in this country are quickly outnumbering the majority, your position is at best insensitive. And a worst–racist.