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Saturday, April 28, 2018

on getting old

by Rain Trueax

After last week on changes, I thought discussing aging would be good. I don't spend a lot of time being introspective. I did more of that in younger years. Still, it's good to stop and think where I am in life. The blog is a good place to ponder that.

Old age is about change. Obviously, changes happen throughout life but more in youth and old age. Even what some consider to be old actually isn't that big a deal for us all. My sixties were more like my fifties or forties. 

Now, midway into my seventies, I see more differences in appearance and physical abilities. Some want to deny they are old-- I'm a child inside, they argue. Words have meaning or need to. If we deny old has meaning, then does young?

Not all of the changes in old age necessarily come from aging, of course. Diseases can impact our bodies. Weight gain, which I mainly began to experience in my late 60s, can be more of an impact than years. When I was younger, if I gained weight, never as much as now, it spread evenly over me.
Now I have a belly and while i know it's unhealthy, more so than just being fat, it's where it went-- thank you lack of exercise, eating what I shouldn't, and of course, hormones. One thing about aging is-- you can cheat with less consequences when you are young than you can once you get old...

When we are children, changes come all the time. Those hormones kick in and the changes became massive. For most of us, it establishes us as as a gender more than childhood even. When I see my grandchildren, who are mostly still in puberty with one out the other side barely and the youngest just getting into it, they change all the time. Deeper voices, bodies shifting into what they will be as adults. It's an exciting time.

On the other hand, when in old age, there are also changes that are a factor of parts wearing out but also hormones. There is more pain in joints as most of us will get arthritis to one level or another. It takes more to get in shape if we get out of it. Looks change with thinner skin and sags where it never had. This makes us look different than our middle years. Little by little, men and women resemble each other more than in those mid-years. Little old ladies and little old men acquire more similar bodies-- for those who get old enough.

Thinking about death is necessary with our elder years. To be responsible, we should prepare for our inabilities and especially for our demise. What do we want done with this body we have occupied for so many years but eventually will not be able to continue to use? I am choosing cremation but not sure where I want the ashes put.

We will have more friends who die and the older we get, the more that will be true. We don't have to be depressed about it but it's obvious at 75 that there are less years ahead than behind-- and those years will be ones of deterioration and loss. For anyone who lives into deep old age, the body begins to shut down. Disease takes many of us ahead of that.

For those of us who have inherited physical problems, those can worsen with old age. My familial tremors have become more of a disability in my 70s than they had been although they've long been with me. i knew to expect that as I'd seen it in the family. Reality but we don't have to be thrilled by it.

Old age and what it brings with it is a reality. Accept reality and live it fully-- where it is, that's what I consider to be fully living. I don't tend to think back over what was unless I have to. I know I had better years than others but why dwell on either. Be where you are is my philosophy; and although it's not particularly joyful to realize I actually look old lol, it's reality and where I am. Everybody gets there if they live long enough. I know some think they fool it by plastic surgery. I think they just look plastic especially if they take it too far. We have to release what was to fully be who we are and where we are.

For those of you, who are younger, this will be a reality but not for you now. My advice, from where I sit, is do what I did, when I was younger, figure out what things you want to do, what you are still capable of doing, and do them. If that means changes, calculate the cost. 

The book I recommended in the last blog is a good one for mid years-- In the Meantime. It moves you toward living where you want to be, not putting up with what isn't giving you that life. Change isn't always a bad thing. It is always a reality.

At my age, especially as a writer, but as an old woman, I do a lot of observing of life. The photos here are from our Tucson  home. I believe the simple and small things are often the best.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

My Artist Life While Aging

One of the boxes of my mother's creative sculpting and her automated doll's violin.
Her display dolls from the 50’s are represented and documented in the Rosalie Whyel Doll Museum in Belleview, Washington.
 I also wrote an article in Doll Reader Magazine about how my mother made me feel growing up as her doll creating partner.
 I am humbled by how well she made doll making a shared family involvement. She even extending her sharing her skills in an leading a Girl Scout interest group in which we casted our own clay sculpted puppets for Jack and the Bean Stock characters.
 She introduce me to plein air painting as a group activity with other children in the Big Sur Camp Ground.

At age 75, as a result of my mother's nurturing and my continued involvement in art, I am grateful to her for my now having the most productive and creative period in my life. I am filled with joy and thankfulness. Yet, I am aware that my elderly years are precious, much more than the selling of the art I make. So I am immersing myself in the process of creating as opposed to marketing.

The paintings accumulate.

 My priority to do lists includes making an illustrated Power Point catalog containing all the work  ready to be exhibited or sold. Will it be enough for my heirs to have my art well documented with catalog numbers and my statements?  Maybe at some point I should seek on line painting sales and gallery representation taking a load off my heirs? Or finding more places to donate it?

My husband and I do less and less of the things we used to do. We no longer belong to a roller skating club,  or a mountain rescue club. We do not snowshoe, or camp in a tent while backpacking to name a few of the ever growing list of things we no longer want to do. So my husband is home with me more with all our toys taking up space. Even when we got rid of a few toys like a couple of Model A's, my art encroaches on  my husband's shop area.

 I am looking for another artist who can use some of my unneeded art paraphernalia. Some of  the art media I have been fortunate enough to have experienced recently is paper making. Paper making was a short lived family activity. Other remnants of media that I am giving away include bookmaking, ceramics, batik, mosaics and cement garden sculptures. I am having difficulty thinking about giving up oil painting. I am starting to paint in oils now that the weather is nice but this might be the last season of oils if the watercolors without glass becomes my primary medium.

Years ago faced with a full shed of her decades old disintegrating latex dolls, I selected a few more permanent tools that reflected her creative process.   I kept a plaster mold for casting  and her books that instructed her hoping they would become family heirlooms. Maybe some family member will want to use Margaret Widler Doll heirlooms in making installations or even videos or what can be imagined.

As an artist I see my life in phases. When I was a very young child painting was all about the doing of it. The result did not hold my interest. In the in between years I saw myself as the maker of a product that would please a teacher, or someone who might buy it. Now I still care about how the work looks when finished. Caring is central to the process. I care that my paintings satisfy me. I hope  to involve the viewers of my paintings in the process seeding their creative drive as well. I've come full circle doing art for the sake of the experience of being in the present, always learning and really seeing.

Paper making paraphernalia in my husband's shop.
 I want to give away all the paper making stuff plus cotton paper pulp I have used to strengthen recycled paper.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

aging and changing

by Rain Trueax

Currently, as a writer, it might appear to someone around me that I have not been working hard. There's been needed research, but that's actually fun. I let my computer print off the needed pages-- no work for me. What I am mostly doing is mental as I let my story get populated before I start creating the scenes. Growing characters requires my slowing down and just thinking, letting the little mining town (fictional) become real in my mind. I don't take many notes although I have a yellow pad with some of the aspects on it. So, it's developing but I admit my thoughts are elsewhere.

Like to this article:

When I was in my middle years, I don't recall coming to a year and thinking-- this is important. Mostly, the importance came out of what stage my kids were in. When I turned 50 though, the fledglings had fled the nest, were feathering their own, and I did think-- what will my 50s hold. To celebrate turning it, I suggested my husband and I go to Oregon Caves, where i had last been as a child.

My 50s held remarkable good things. The year I would turn 56, we bought our desert home. Those were years I walked a lot, hiked places I never had, took photos of myself (glamour and sexy shots) for the fun of doing it. I think I felt more conscious of my looks than I had in any younger years. I read a lot of books on improving my life, figuring out what I wanted (If you are at that point in your life, I highly recommend In the Meantime.). I did a lot of sculptures, painted, took risks, and did things I'd never done before. I changed major things spiritually. To sum up my 50s in one word, it'd be adventure-- of the emotional and mental sort. My 50s were fun with some pain intertwined. That's what adventure is about though-- ups and downs.

Entering my 60s, the picture above here along Romero Creek, I found a new awareness. When I was younger, I was supposed to do this or that. I lived a lot of my life doing what i was supposed to do. I had lived a full lifetime at 60. I had gone through changes, taken what i wanted, let go of what I decided no longer worked. It hadn't been a big, glamorous life, but I felt good at where I was. From then on, whatever was left (if anything) was for me-- I could do whatever I wanted. I didn't need to do anything if I didn't want to. No more self-improvement books.
One momentous year came midway into my 60s with another significant date. I turned 65, which meant eligible for Medicare. The picture above was the day i went into town to sign up for it. I wanted a photo to memorialize it. I felt excited at the new time with being officially old, and able to get Social Security, although I waited a bit for that.

The next big change came the year I would turn 68-- and decided to become an indie writer with not only the books I'd written much of my life, but with new ones I was still writing. Until then, my writing had been more of a hobby than a serious endeavor. Becoming an indie writer led to amazing pressures and discoveries. When I could have been sitting on a cruise-liner, instead I was calculating how to promote a book, writing blurbs, creating covers, reading devastating reviews on my books, and generally moving into, what was for me, virgin territory. Again, it was a mix of joy and pain with no way to predict which would be coming that day. It really was amazing to take such a new risk (and sharing creative endeavors to be judged by others is an emotional risk. When the work is rejected or ignored, it hurts. Anyone stepping out that way will tell the same story). It was time consuming and hard work and in years where I would have expected to be sliding into a comfortable old age.

I wrote more books and they were about adventure, sex, heroes, women getting what they wanted, the land, places, and history. They always ended with making a reader feel good-- that's the promise of romances.

Though no one watched me, I felt self-conscious, as I laughed my way through royalty free modeling sites judging men and women there for being hot or not. He's not strong enough-- why don't they have more blond male models? I'd written books when it didn't matter that i had an image to represent them. It was important once i needed covers.

This wasn't the original cover for [Desert Inferno] but it was the first book I brought out as an indie writer. I needed an ugly man for the cover-- you know, the kind who actually is attractive but have those rugged features that make him not know it... They don't exist in the royalty free world but I see them now and again in real life-- without the nerve to ask them to let me use them on a cover ;). I tried many things but eventually got around the cover issue by emphasizing her and blurring him.

The year I would turn 70, we were supposed to be in Yellowstone but that was the government shutdown and the park was closed. We took our relatively new to us travel trailer in a trip around Oregon-- the eastern part of the state. It involved rivers, lakes, mountains, museums, more ideas, and finally I got to see Tsagaglalal, She Who Watches, a significant petroglyph/pictograph in the Columbia River Gorge. For years, i had wanted to see her and what more perfect time than now when I put so much into my writing. She fits a time as a writer, observer of life, but someone who still wants to contribute in new ways. (If you are into myths, this is one of them about her-- Legend of Tsagaglalal according to the Wishram people.)

When I read Barbara Ehrenreich's thoughts on being over 70, I related to it though I haven't read the book. I had never had a desire to get really old although I hadn't intended on checking out just yet. Still, this year, I'll be 75 and that is older than I expected to reach (I thought I'd die before 30 and once that didn't happen, I quit predicting a year). I am now genuinely old, the category where if something happened to put me in a newspaper, they'd describe me as elderly. I can see old age bodily changes far more than I ever did in earlier years- these are the reverse teen years.

Because of my age, I have made some decisions on what i would not do to stay living if something catastrophic hit. Those might, of course, change if something catastrophic happens to my health-- and for many of us, it will-- although, some just go. It's how my mother and father did it. That doesn't guarantee that it'll be that way for me. I don't fear being dead-- the dying process though is the worrisome part. You can't though get into your 70s and not think some about it.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

My answer to “How do I make time for painting?”

How I make time to paint is such an interesting question,  I wonder why it never occurred to me.

This is an excellent question for all of you beginning for the first time  as well as those painters with busy schedules.

The flip side of making time to paint is how I make time for taking care of myself, quality time with family, being a friend. Writing a blog to me is an outreach to creative friends.

 Of course there are the everyday chores I  make into art experiences. When it is time to vacuum, the first thing to do is rearrange the art on my walls so while doing repetitive chores, my mind is busy seeing new relationships between my paintings.

My patient, supportive husband deserves a great deal of credit.  He shares grocery shopping,  house and yard work as well as helping me prepare the paintings to be hung. The whole house is a staging area for my half finished paintings and sometimes when my husband and I are together, I am as though far away looking at my paintings.

The number one thing I have in common with those just beginning to paint is finding a medium that is best suited to my lifestyle. I am still looking for ways to increase the quality of my painting time. Cooking is creative and enjoyable to me but cleaning up afterwards not so much. The day before yesterday I purchased an Oster 12" electric fry pan with a ceramic surface. It heats fast and cleans with a simple wipe with a wet towel.  It holds promise for a variety of cooking methods so for some jobs step aside Instant Pot. I will have more creative time now.

Very important is having work areas that can be easily setup and put away quickly. I carry an on the go bag for travels whether I am going from my studio to the patio or to just pick up groceries or a larger bag for vacations.

 Just this week I found that 2 small pocket Van Gogh palettes half filled with pan watercolors are working the best with dilute gloss medium in the adjacent empty wells. The Van Gogh palettes have the right amount of paint and mixing surfaces  for the 11X14 inch canvas boards. These boards are fine to carry in a suitcase.

The prepared plywood boards take considerable work to prepare for painting and I don't like the rough feel. I will continue adding more coats of gesso and plaster. The translucency and wetting ability of  the paint respond so interestingly to customized surfaces, I don't want to go back to unmodified machine made surfaces.
The next most important suggestion is immersing myself in seeing. Even when not actually painting I think how I would in response to what I see.  I enjoy looking with painting in mind every day and plan the next painting series.

Please take a minute or two to vote on topics that would be useful to you on making time to paint.Answer in comments but if you prefer I will be happy to get your email at

1) A series of blogs about my on the go painting paraphernalia.

2) Inspirational books and web sites to jump start painting.

3) More about my progress in finding a way to work outside doing watercolors that are durably finished, ready to hang without frame and glass.

4) My remedies when a laps of time has occurred when I couldn't paint and I find it hard to start again.

5) Do I have to paint every day to consider myself an artist?

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Healing Times

by Rain Trueax

I've written often how much nature means in my life. I use it in my books as a secondary character. It is part of any creative endeavor to feel nature and let it fill me. I believe it's healing.

This blog by Susan Tweit was inspirational to me and thought it might be to some of you. It's not just about a conference she attended, a lot of driving time, but also about her creative friendships along the way. These are what I find especially rewarding-- creative connections, where a love of the same things is shared. Such relationships are also healing.

And in view of that, the rest of this blog is photos of nature here in Tucson, which I always enjoy on a multitude of levels. If you are stressing, and many are these days, take some time with each image and let it fill you as it would if you were here.


looking down
from the skies

It is a bountiful world. We need to keep it that way in all the ways we know.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Andries Fourie's criteria of selecting works for the 2018 "Around Oregon Annual"

I am very enthusiastic with the well said statement of the "Juror's Statement, Andries Fourie, Around Oregon Annual 2018.

 To me these criteria embrace opposites that are like reminders of meaningful directions. These remind me of my instructors at Portland State University. Like Frederic Littman who showed the marks of his knife  drawing onon the surface of his sculptures harkening back to the many preparatory drawings he did.

Also Frederick Heidel in his watercolor paintings put down general washes then he left tentative markings  before adding another wash and finaly  drew  his confident emphatic lines . This process reveals his journey towards resolution. His work is rooted in his vision of his garden  and figures with mysterious stories that engage the viewer in the process of their own imaginings of a story.

Andries Fourie's criteria also remind me of Katharine Kuh, the art editor of the "Saturday Review" during the 70's.  She said what makes a painting of nature great art to her is when the image changes the way she sees nature.  So when she sees a tree, she sees it like it was painted.
These are ideas I can use in looking at my own process and where it is going. Andries Fourie said:

I feel truly fortunate to be able to spend my days looking at, writing about, and making art. Every time I look at a work of art it allows me to see the world through someone else’s eyes.  When a work of art holds my attention I lose my sense of self and feel, even if only for a moment, immersed in the experience of another person. I am thankful to all the artists who submitted work, and gave me the opportunity to see the world through the lens of their temperaments and experience.
One of the reasons we value art is that it serves so many purposes.  It can examine the idea of beauty, explore the nature of perception, communicate ideas or emotions, or even evoke pleasure.  Art is a house with a thousand doors.
That said, a juror is tasked with selecting a small number of works from a large pool of submissions, and in doing so, each juror employs a set of fairly individual criteria.  My own criteria for selection were roughly as follows:
I am interested in art that is more than just an image or an object, but rather serves as a catalyst for an experience.  I am less interested in work that is academic or was executed purely as an exercise, and more interested in work that seems to me fully formed, complete and resolved.
I am drawn to works of art that create their own consistent and convincing logic or reality.  I value originality and a distinct perspective.  I am attracted to work that is almost immersive in nature.
I respect craftsmanship, technical facility and mastery of design, but feel that they are most effective when used in much the same way a writer uses grammar: to tell stories and relate experiences.  When it comes to form and meaning, I want to have my cake and eat it too. 
I prize confidence just as much as doubt, and emphatic gestures as much as tentative ones.  I love clarity as much as ambiguity.  I am impressed by work that shows me something in a new way, or from a new perspective.  I am as impressed by spontaneity and the beauty of an accidental gesture as I am by the simple clarity of structure and intentionality.
I want to be challenged and seduced by forms, textures and colors.  Sometimes I appreciate work that stumps of baffles me, and forces me to unravel the maker’s strands of thought.  I believe ideas can be as elegant as textures or colors.
I value persistence and consistency.  Nothing makes me happier than to see an artist pursue and elusive idea, skill or visual effect doggedly and thoroughly.  It gladdens my heart to see work that shows evidence of having consumed and absorbed its maker.  I love to see the residue of struggle and joy in a work. I am inevitably impressed by art that bears in its form evidence of the nature of its birth.
I will be very interested to see the "Around Oregon Annual 2018" June 1 -July 13 with a reception June 7, 5:30 -7:30 with a brown bag art talk June 14,  noon -1:00 pm at The Corvallis Arts Center

Thursday, April 12, 2018

After elation came critical changes until I found new meanings and a new title

Four times I made changes.  After each I was elated; I thought the painting resolved, but that didn't last. This morning I did the most painting changes.  Now not only does the blooming bush look more natural, the whole concept of the painting is resolved with my brushes framed by the window. Also symbolic is connecting visually the blooming bush to my painting brushes.

I painted intuitively and less from memory and copying what I see. I hope this painting is an epiphany gateway to working more intuitively outdoors. I  changed the title from "Controlled Accidents"  to “Happy Accidents Spark Intuitive Responses”.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The elation from overcoming a struggle to paint

Only covered the  painting with a few colors
 before I tired from the effort and the weather changed.

Finished in my studio
"Struggling and Overcoming"
watercolor with acrylic medium and acrylic white
on canvas board covered with absorbent gesso.
14" x 11"

I set myself up to struggle a little. I like to feel the excitement of doing something the first time like the excitement of solving a puzzle. I love setting myself up to have ah ha moments. What do I have to loose or hurt?  It is only paint and inanimate materials, I can take big chances. On my self-imposed obstacle course I will encounter problems that I can cover with white Golden Absorbent Ground to reestablish the brilliant white ground. With my no fail net I am brave. The pay off is partly the feeling of elation of arriving at a resolution and partly from new insights to carry on to the next painting. Most importantly I select obstacles that will further my ability to develop my own voice. Currently I want to paint with out interruption of framing watercolors under glass. The more painting I do the better the flow and all the more reason to feel elated.

I start painting "Struggling and Overcoming" without a complete plan. I didn't know when I started  if my first outdoor painting using dilute acrylic medium in watercolors could be the sixth in my series about my process. I was sad at first that this painting wasn't going to be happy like the others. My mood was agitation by the difficulty of managing a large palette on a small easel table. But when I thought about my predicament, I knew that having struggled, I was all the more gratified when the painting started working with the addition of the title, "Struggling and Overcoming".

 Two days after starting I named it "Struggling and Overcoming', I saw the cloudy sky and our Stars and Stripes as being symbolic of struggling.  The stars could be symbolic of unity of the parts of the painting as well as uniting it with the theme of  the other paintings in the series. The brushes and buds of the rhododendron repeat the symbols of the first one in the series, "Promising Blossoming".

When I started it was warm and beautiful outside but I knew from the sky that a storm was coming.  Besides being rushed, I was experimenting to see if I could use a rather large palette with many colors, palette knives with watercolor, a Fleet's enema bottle containing dilute medium, a jar of acrylic white paint, 4 brushes, water in a Cool Whip container and a water spray bottle and a rag all managed on a make shift floppy table which was an adaption of a oil or acrylic painting easel. I felt very tied up by these limitations. Just filling the surface all over resulted in needing a break.

 Monday was warm and sunny again, perfect for my second outdoor painting. On the last canvas board that I have prepared I started a wet into wet painting and used up the colors and medium I have been keeping over a week on a round palette balanced on a wet sponge in zip lock plastic bag.

After setting up my easel.  I first put water all over the surface and used the colors in the round palette allowing the paint to spread and drip. As it dried more precision was attainable by painting around the mermaid  steel cutout by the window.

 I felt considerably freer than my first attempt outdoors. However, I am not satisfied with the smaller palette because too much of the medium overflowed into a plastic bag. I was OK with the limit of colors and later  indoors added acrylics to the flowering bush.

As I was painting I was happily excited watching somewhat  planned accidental flows of pigment into the indentations of the brushed texture of  thick absorbent ground.
The puzzle was set for me to resolve and a title to discover. Maybe  "Controlled Accidents"!
My elation melted into expectations as my mind filled with future challenging plans.
Maybe I have a complete series about my process.


Saturday, April 07, 2018

Process II

by Rain Trueax

An example of how process works in my life. In 1999, when we bought the Tucson house, the patio off the dining room had a sandy area, bricked area, and covered concrete patio. We painted the concrete a brick red, added a fence to keep in cats, lawn furniture, and a barbecue but pretty much left the patio area alone. It is separated from the pool area by a gate. 

When we arrived this year, the sandy area was immediately adopted by the four cats to roll in and, well, you can imagine what else. We would sit on the patio and watch the birds, enjoying the fact that the cats couldn't kill them, while the cats could be with us. Win/win for us-- if not for the cats.

Then I got the idea-- what if we used some of the sandy area and created an herb garden, which would be nicely off the kitchen for cooking. If we end up renting the house again, others might enjoy them. We began buying the herbs we'd most often use.

They looked quite nice with the tiles between them. Then I thought, in the storage room, I had some of my sculptures, too big for the house. We brought them out, moved them around the herbs and now had a herb and sculpture garden. It was done... or so I thought.

Due to an ad at Facebook, I learned of a store in Tucson that specialized in fountains, Zona Fountains. I loved the designs in their photos. Not at all sure we could afford any, we headed there at least to enjoy the beauty. Then, there it was-- the perfect fountain to work with the sculptures, herbs, and in our price range. Farm Boss installed it. 

We enjoy watching and hearing the water-- and, of course, also the birds, who are outside the fence. I can sit out there for two hours and think only a few minutes have gone by. 

We took what had been kind of wasted space and created a second reason to enjoy the patio. This all happened with no plan beyond one step at a time-- and no idea there'd be another step. I do think it's done now...
I worried some that the birds might be attracted to it but so far it's only drawn this hummingbird, who was high enough to avoid any attacks.  

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Aiming for Plein Air Watercolor Paintings Displayable Without Glass

Experimental watercolor painting from the 70's  upon which I build my current direction
Last week in preparation for painting outdoors, the studio window view was the subject for trying some prototype palettes where I mix tube or pan colors with diluted Liquitex Gloss Medium and Varnish. This is a technique Professor Heidel introduced me to in a summer school class I took after graduation in the 70’s. I painted the picture of an adolescent dancer on the back of a 21 1/2” x 14” scrap piece of paneling covered with gesso.

This year now  approaching 75, I decided not to use glass and decided to incorporate some new products like absorbent ground for painting watercolors that can be displayed without glass.

The four window paintings soon became more than an experiment. Observations while painting the first painting (upper left), led me to seeing the similar shape of the brush bristles to the rhododendron buds. Then a neighbor pushing a stroller passed my view and I thought the child was a bud beginning to blossom. So I named the painting “Promising Blossoming”.
The second painting, “Creating by Cutting” is focused on telling what I am thinking in the painting process. In composing a painting I cut down my view to a few things or elements like colors shapes and lines.

 The third painting is “Connecting Releasing”.  Releasing balloons is joyous to me like letting go of control. When the painting was all but complete, I saw I could put a figure waving in the two windows across the way from me and the idea came to me of connecting and releasing as being important in the creative process. Releasing the critic while having little direction in mind, trusting the subconscious to take command while bravely putting down color and texture knowing the ideas will flow just as the theme evolved for this series of illustrating opposites in my creative process.

The fourth painting is “Taking and Sharing”, another title about opposites predominant in my painting process. I take ideas from nature and share them through my paintings.
Many more themes, colors and textures can be achieved with the beautiful transparencies and luscious buttery heavy body acrylic white or layers of absorbent ground. Especially advantageous to me is spending more time painting and less time cleaning glass. The finished piece is lighter weight making transporting and hanging shows easier.

There are some hurdles still remaining for me to overcome in learning to paint outdoors with watercolor thinned with acrylic paint mediums. The mediums can put a hard film over the paint in the palette rendering them unusable.  so I am trying to keep the watercolors separate from where I mix them with medium. Palette knife is an excellent way to move the pure watercolor to the mixing area where poured medium is mixed into it with a brush. Of all the pocket pan color palettes that I own, I selected two VanGogh palettes because each has a deep well in which the half pans sit.  I remove half the colors in each leaving deep wells for the medium.

Perhaps the best palette is the larger palette for tube colors because there is a trough at one end of  each of the five mixing areas where poured medium can be stored far from the pure watercolor.
When painting outdoors I will need a bottle for dilute medium and a bottle for water. I am nearly ready to paint outdoors.