Aquabord, The Next Generation: May Madness Day 20

True to their word, Blick sent a replacement pack of the Aquabord by Ampersand  – (4) 4″ squares – at no charge.   I received it yesterday via FedEx.  This painting was done in watercolor on the first board from the pack, and there was NO flaking on the edges this time.  (Even after rinsing once.)  Relieved!   And a little bit addicted, I must say, to this forgiving and firm surface.   I called Ampersand and got more information from them with some tips for painting on this surface, and suggested products to fix it once finished, and I’ll share those tomorrow.

052016

I almost want to title this “Summer in the City”.   I was watching one of Debora Stewart’s lessons on Artist Network TV on composition and color in abstract work.   If you want to be inspired, pick up her book or watch any of her videos.    She works primarily in pastel, and she is amazing.   Her thoughts and demonstrations on abstract work, she says, can be applied to any medium, and based on my experience, she is absolutely right.

In the video, she used a masking tape technique on one of her paintings in the grid composition, which I liked.   I tore my masking tape so that I’d have irregular lines, and began by running painters tape across and up and down on the board in a grid composition.    I like this technique, because I could adjust the tape until I was happy with the composition.  After taping the board, wetting it, and getting some initial color in, I let it dry.   Removing the tape, it looked strange at first.   I expected the taped areas to be white.   But the clay surface of the Aquabord is textured, which allowed color to pool beneath the tape, darkening those areas instead.

Looking again, it gave some depth and dimension to the lines that I felt added interest.   So I decided to use those lines as structure for my painting, and try and define them with additional layers of paint.   This was my result.   I kinda like it!   I’m going to take another look in the morning and see if I should rinse all, rinse part, or maybe just define it further.  I’m even considering adding a bit of black line here and there with a paint pen.   Any suggestions welcome!

I feel honored to be a part of the art community here on WordPress, and I want to thank all of you for reading, commenting, and encouraging…..and you know I just LOVE it when you tell me what you see in these concoctions I’m working up here.   Kerfe, if you’re reading this, this one keeps reminding me of you.   I’ll be curious what you see.

Happy Friday!   Dance like you mean it!   Peace.

77 thoughts on “Aquabord, The Next Generation: May Madness Day 20

  1. Summer in the City…sounds like a good title, and now that song will be in my head today. I could use a little summer heat. It’s another cool, rainy morning. I’m going to fix a cup of herbal tea and head for my watercolors. I’m reading one of Debora Stewart’s books now, and I love her suggestion for painting to music. I often have music playing in the background while I’m drawing or painting, but I’ve never used it as the basis for a piece of art. Right now I’m listening to a bit of “space music” on one of my Pandora stations. I wonder how that would translate in colors and composition? Maybe I’ll give it a try later to find out. I love the bright sunlight in your abstract. It could be almost surreal…sort of like the buildings are melting away. I definitely see a NYC taxi at the left. It’s that blue shape that goes to pink. A fun painting!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ramshackle sheds and buildings aglow in the last of the afternoon’s light…… the golden yellow background perfect for the sun’s flaring light. the dark hints of blue – shadows perhaps, and lovely darker tones.
    This is very Well Designed and painted Laura!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Debi! I thought of you when I brought in the light first thing! This was a cool technique, I may try it again now that I have a better idea what it’ll do. With acrylics on gessobord, or claybord, a smooth surface, it’d be all new again. Love the experiments!!! πŸ’œπŸ’›

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Hey Debi, yeah, it is because I am the opposite of a city girl and I’ve never thought about painting a city scene, really. But after taping, painting, and then removing the tape….the lines were just so structural and there were windows. And I see two roofs and a chimney. So I felt I had to respond to what was in front of me and go for it. I think Kerfe once said that “these abstracts have to find their own way” and I didn’t want to interrupt the flow. I kind of thought since I started with the grid composition that I would wind up with a “window” painting. And I guess there still are windows, but as part of a building. Funny, huh?

          Liked by 1 person

            1. Thank you! Because of you, the first thing I aim for is Light. And then I’m thinking always throughout the painting now of Light. And I am so grateful to you for this because I think that is so key! This one is definitely not one of my higher rated abstract paintings in terms of “likes” but I do like it. It’s not me really, the city scene and all, but I like the primary colors and I do like the light in it. I like that it was accidental and I didn’t rinse it off. I went with it and created something from the ashes of my original plan. That’s what I like about it. I’m really glad you are liking this one so much. It always makes me feel like I’m on track when you like anything I am doing! ❀

              Liked by 1 person

              1. LL, not all of our likers, will see/know the value of the ‘LIGHT’. so we can’t be too reliant on popular vote of a painting to determine its real quality. imo. Most will see Color. I know, I did. and its still deeply entrenched.
                this painting has Lovely Attributes!!!!!!

                Liked by 1 person

  3. You know me too well! The masking tape idea is great, and the results, with your usual excellent color sense, is mysterious and evocative. It seems a lot larger than 4×4, lots of depth. Don’t change a thing! (K)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kerfe! I saw NYC in this from the start, but not until I removed the tape! I see two roofs and a chimney. You’re all over this painting, to me! Have a great time in NC! Avon again? I hope you get to visit the Kill Devil Hills coop on the way south; I promise you’ll be glad you did! It’ll be on your right. πŸ’œ

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Right? This is why I love it! The company says you can probably only rinse it once, and doesn’t recommend submerging it so you avoid warping the wood, but I paint a lot more relaxed with a surface like this (I’ve rinsed some of these boards a LOT. It’s worked for me so far. They are very small, so I’m sure that is helping.) I’m hooked on these things, Catherine! So glad you like it!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. OOOOOH Loo! I ADORE this one – Dare I say swooning again! This really reminds me of the homes I saw in the little villages on an excursion we took in Punta Cana – the small homes with open doors and windows in the heat of the tropics. The homes are colorful and the sun is hot. Their life is simpler – not less – almost more. This painting makes me so happy – and appreciative – and makes me want to appreciate the simple things in life. BRAVO Artista!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL I love your comments, Jodi! And YAY for swooning! Wow, so cool that this reminds you of those villages – and I can totally see that! Other than the heat, I think I’d really love living that way, the simple life, simple food, simple community, I think it sounds pretty darn cool! I’m so glad for your swoon! These abstracts are so darn fun, Jodi, I just can’t stop! The aquabord (for me) removes the pressure. I know I can fix it! With wc, it really helps me to know that. I may.never.stop.this.abstract.thing! hehe! Have a wonderful weekend, my friend! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL! πŸ˜€ Thanks, Dawnmarie! I never would have thought I’d be an abstract girl, honestly. My kitty became very sick last August and I started painting my feelings, painting peaceful watery scenes in abstract as a way to escape the sadness and her discomfort. It really helped me. I think this forgiving surface just spurs me on, because if it goes awry I can always correct it. Watercolor is a big challenge for me, so that is really helpful. I’m so glad you’re loving the abstracts! Who knows what abstracts may be flinging from your brush soon! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My abstracts generally come from covering up a painting that isn’t going my way. I did one this week which will not be posted. It started out as foxglove which look like flowers that are sticking their measely tongues out at you and all I could think was measles…open wide. They turned into some sort of blossoms after I started smearing paint around. My weird sister and weirder husband loved them. Sister took the painting. I doubt I will ever paint one purposely right off the bat, but it is a good back up when I dislike the painting underneath. But you never know. I might break out of my conservative, held in traditional shell…or not. I am a very stiff, proper sort of gal and I am trying to loosen up. Painting helps.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Wow, you don’t come across as stiff and proper at all! πŸ˜€ Painting does help, no doubt. I feel like you posted about that painting – I have a really bad memory and follow lots of bloggers, but it sounds familiar. I think it’s awesome that they loved it so much. That’s the best thing about art – we never know how something we make, even something we really dislike, will be perceived by someone else. Some of the things I’ve disliked most have had really enthusiastic support here!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. You are talking bout the red trumpet like destruction flower. Yes, I did post about that monstrosity. This week was a new monstrosity. You have a good memory!

            Liked by 1 person

          2. “Some of the things I’ve disliked most have had really enthusiastic support here”…

            Yes. It is weird. Confuses me when that happens.

            Liked by 1 person

          1. I feel ya. Mine passed away two years ago and I will never get another. It hurts too much. Plus I lost my 16 year old shepherd the month before and my Boston terrier 7 months later. Such a horrible year.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. A lovely image, Laura. I would leave it as it is or at the most add some lines in colour rather than black. Thanks for the book recommendation too – I’ve seen some of her abstracted flower paintings and tried to do my own versions of them, but now I’ve ordered the book I’ll be able, hopefully, to make a better job!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Michael! I really appreciate your feedback. In the morning light, I tend to agree that black might be a bit much. If you’re interested, she has a DVD that’s available on Artist Network TV that is specifically about the abstract florals she does. I have really been wanting to try that also!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Laura , you are moving through your abstract journey with such happy results. Everyday your posts are so full of creative energy. I especially like the “Summer in the City”. Thanks for posting your explanation of the process and you are always so generous with your online artists links. Have a beautiful Friday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Charlie! Composition is still a challenge but I think working abstractly is helping with that a lot. So glad you’re enjoying this! Another nice thing about this surface is the colors stay so much brighter because the clay surface doesn’t absorb the way paper does. I’m loving these boards! πŸ’ƒπŸ»πŸ˜

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Laura! GIRL! I adore this….love this painting! I do believe that abstract is your love, your segue into who you are as an artist. The colors, the glow, the composition, it is all perfect in my eyes. I agree with Charlie, my favorite as well. You out-did your self! whew…..I just can’t tell you enough how much I am so happy and proud of you. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Margaret, you are the kindest woman ever. You really know how to make a girl feel good! Thank you! I have a feeling that when I get back into my 100 Face Challenge, I’ll be all about realism for awhile but I think if we do decide to go on in June, it’ll be a really good exercise for me to incorporate both styles into a given month, even alternating between realistic drawing and abstract painting every other day or so. Trying to capture a face can be tough, depending on whether you’re after a likeness or not, and I think maybe alternating with these little abstract pieces may be the perfect diffuser. We’ll see. It’ll be interesting to see whether I really wanna cling to one or the other. I want to thank you for your encouragement this month; it’s been invaluable to me. Doing this challenge with you is lots of fun! Doesn’t feel like a chore at all the way I had kinda feared it might. I think mixing mediums and leaving the door wide open to “painting” daily is helping me a lot. I’ve been so happy with your growth and the light and joy I see in your paintings too! Really a metamorphosis for us both! πŸ’ƒπŸ»πŸŽ¨πŸ˜ŽπŸ˜πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, it would be fun to join you to an extent in June with faces. I love portraits and figure drawing but I haven’t done more than a few in watercolor. I will join you with your theme as the spirit moves me. I have been wanting to go back to my figure drawing group, who knows I might take my watercolors? I have always relied on my charcoal but who knows! I haven’t yet comprised what I want to focus on in June but it sounds like a neat idea and one that I have been wanting to do is to use watercolor in portraits. So, we’ll see. Oh and it was easy coming up with all that sugary talk about your painting and you, very easy because it is the darn truth! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

        1. lol, thank you. (((((M))))) It would be a huge challenge for me to paint a face. Drawing is a whole different thing. I really admire anyone who can paint a face, particularly in watercolor! Yay for June! And yay for May! Hooray for July! πŸ˜€ Won’t it be fun to see where the seasons take us?!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. exactly! and who will join us! I can help you and encourage you with the drawing of faces. It is actually one of my first loves. I love nature and ventured into that territory naturally. I go back and forth periodically. There is something magical and spiritual to drawing and painting the human face. Oh I am excited now! πŸ™‚

            Liked by 1 person

            1. YAY! Ok, this is weird because the only thing that’s ever interested me in art is living things and nature. It’s what juices me. Birds are what got me started. Seagulls, and backyard birds. I could never draw people in high school (took art for four years), but went to Open Studio and they had a model. I started enjoying the figure, tried faces and poof it was like a miracle. Almost 30 years since I’d tried a face! Very strange. This is one of the reasons I think God must really want me to be an artist. I could never draw before, although I tried and tried to be like my brother (and sister), who could. It’s so cool that you’re into faces too! Who knew?! ❀ This is gonna be fun!

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Well, I have had people tell me that some of the portraits that I have done are “spiritual”. I truly believe that God can be seen and viewed in a painting or drawing by a Christian. I know that…..I have a few stories to tell on that subject. Check out Matt Tommey’s books….I’ll recommend them to you over on GRs. They are amazing books. πŸ™‚ very exciting indeed! πŸ™‚

                Liked by 1 person

                1. Wow, that’s very cool! I will have to go see those. ooh, goosebumps! I’m including animals in my challenge as well, and birds. If it has two eyes and a mouth, it counts as a face. I was doing this almost exclusively in the early part of the year, but once busy season kicked in it became a little too tiring. Human faces, I find more difficult. But any face, I seem to enjoy drawing. Very cool, your comment! This is starting to feel like a (page-turner) novel! πŸ™‚

                  Liked by 1 person

  8. Such a pretty soft color palette, Laura! πŸ˜πŸ’•πŸŽ¨ Interesting results you got with the tape too. Learning about composition in a painting can be fun – glad you found a teacher you like! Keep up the great work!! πŸŒˆπŸ’•βœ¨πŸ–Œ

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m not sure why there is a ginormous bear climbing up on the Golden State Bridge, but I’d suggest all the people standing around by their cars to begin running for their lives.

    I’m not sure where you get your ideas from Laura, but I like it!
    πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay so glad you like!! They do ship internationally, you have to click through for a price quote, I should find out how much it costs. Is there something they have that you can’t get there tho? Really glad you like this one! I really liked that tape technique.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh sorry I keep forgetting. 😬 Painting every day is challenging and sometimes I’m happy I have something to post at the end of the day. Usually exhausted and of course more forgetful than normal. I need to write this down so I don’t forget.

      Like

I'd love to hear from you! Constructive criticism is most appreciated. Thank you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s