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A surface area (or support) is the name given to a supporting surface on which all (oil,acrylic,etc) paintings are created, or carried out.
Many artists prefer to use panel or board because the surface is rigid, smooth and not heavily textured and requires less prep-work and priming. Canvas is flexible and heavily textured and requires extra work to get a firm desirable surface for painting.
Primer is the first coat of paint applied to the support. One of the main purposes of a primer is to prevent the color pigment from absorbing into the surface. A white coat of primer or Gesso keeps the brilliance of the paint.
Gesso can be purchased ready made. It is similar in consistency to acrylic paint and comes in a multitude of colors. Gesso firms the surface, preventing the paint from soaking into the support; giving the veneer a little more texture or “tooth,” enabling the paint to stick better.
Adding primer to ALL surfaces is HIGHLY recommended- with an application of between 2-4 coats before actual pigment painting can begin.
Apply first coat with a vertical brush stroke and apply second coat with a horizontal stroke to fill in the groove. For each coat alternate and repeat, letting each coat dry thoroughly.
WATCH: HOW TO PRIME YOUR SURFACE
(full supply list in the tabbed section below)
Based on ease, quality and convenience- we recommend a gessobord with a 3/4 inch +(plus) cradle, meaning the support is attached and thicker widths can also function as a frame. Take into account what you want your finished product to be.
Application of a coat of gesso is still recommended, before painting, even on gessobord.
complete information on prepping your surface to paint on
(expand sections below)
LINEN: Linen is the finest weave of canvas. Linen is less likely to shrink or loose its shape than regular canvas. Cotton canvas more inexpensive but is more prone to distortion. Linen is on the pricey side.
HARDBOARDS: Hardboard is made from compressed wood pulp. This type of surface area is largely favored by artists because it comes pre-made, it is lightweight, inexpensive and strong. Hardboard should be properly primed so that acid or oils do not leach in from the board which could result in yellowing of the painting. (This includes Gessobord and Masonite, which are both brands.)
WOOD PANELS: Hard woods are more suitable to use as panels, as softer woods are more likely to warp. It is believed that paintings on wood panel are likely to last longer. Panels can be should be cut from well seasoned wood and be free of knots, cracks and or defects. Painting on wood panels can create a heavy painting, and is therefore not recommended for shipping.
*best hard woods to paint on include: oak, cedar, birch, walnut, or mahogany.
(Visit Blick Art Materials, for our recommended selection of pre-made hard wood panels)
The “drumlike” tautness of a canvas is achieved by stretching the canvas over a wooden frame called a stretcher. The stretcher is a mitered frame in which the beveled corners do not press against the stretched canvas. Ready made stretcher bars can be purchased here, and a list of full supplies below for stretching your linen or canvas.
WATCH HOW TO STRETCH A CANVAS:
(full supply list in the tabbed section below)
When considering what size you want your surface area to be, consider using standard framing sizes. If you plan on doing an framing you will be thanking yourself.
Below is the Standard Canvas Size chart in both inches and centimeters:
SUPPLIES & RESOURCES:
We recommend gessobord, and if you live in the United States, the best selection and prices come from Blick Art Materials. Blick Art Materials has the best selection for all supplies and materials listed above. These were the resources that were used in the creation of this article: If you require large quantities of Gesso, it can be made from scratch. Recipe to follow in a separate post.
BOOK: The Materials of the Artist and Their Use in Painting- With Notes on the Techniques of the Old Masters by Max Doerner
BOOK: The Complete Book of Painting & Drawing by Gerald Woods
-article compiled, photographed & written by Lyrica Glory, founder of Patron of the Arts
We recommend gessobord, and if you live in the United States, the best selection and prices come from Blick Art Materials.
Blick Art Materials has the best selection for all supplies and materials listed above.
These were the resources that were used in the creation of this article:
If you require large quantities of Gesso, it can be made from scratch. Recipe to follow in a separate post.
“I recommend her to you [Frida Kahlo], not as a husband but as an enthusiastic admirer of her work, acid and tender, hard as steel and delicate and fine as a butterfly’s wing, lovable as a beautiful smile, and as profound and cruel as the bitterness of life.” –Diego Rivera
“Frida by Ishiuchi Miyako (2013) is a photographic record of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo’s wardrobe and belongings. Following Kahlo’s death in 1954 her husband Diego Rivera began placing her personal effects into the bathroom of their Mexico City house, “The Blue House”, which later became the Museo Frida Kahlo. Rivera gave instructions that this room should remain sealed until fifteen years after his death and it in fact remained unopened until 2004 when the museum decided to organise and catalogue the contents. Ishiuchi Miyako was invited to photograph these artefacts, over 300 unseen relics of Kahlo’s life.
“As a project Frida is both a departure from Ishiuchi Miyako’s normal practice and a natural conceptual progression. While moving away from the Japanese subject matter of her earlier series, the work reveals Ishiuchi Miyako’s continued obsession with the traces we leave behind both as individuals and as a society. In her earlier series, Mother’s (2000-2005) and ひろしま/ Hiroshima (2007-), she photographed previously worn garments, evoking the lives and memories of the people who wore them as well as the social climate of post-war Japan. In documenting Frida, Ishiuchi Miyako again respectfully sifts through the ephemera left behind by an individual and in doing so makes intimate revelations about one of the twentieth century’s greatest artists. Frida Kahlo (1907 -1954) was an invalid throughout her life. Having contracted polio as a child she was then involved in a near fatal bus accident at the age of 18, which resulted in numerous surgical interventions. In the aftermath of her accident Khalo constructed her iconic wardrobe to camouflage her physical ailments. Ishiuchi Miyako’s images document the traditional Tehuana dresses that both concealed the damage to her lower body and acted as a feminist salute to the matriarchal society from which they are derived. * Through her photographs Ishiuchi came to recognise the parallel between these traditional garments and the kimonos of her own country, an “ephipany” that is evident in the images themselves. Throughout the photographs there is a particular awareness, a tenderness that is inherent to a woman looking through another woman’s intimate possessions. As she painstakingly catalogues the chic of Kahlo’s sunglasses, the intimacy of her darned tights and the corsets that were to be the armature by which she survived.” -MICHAEL HOPPEN GALLERY
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An ‘Artist Date’ is a creative tool conceived by best-selling author of the Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron.
Directly from her website:
“Artist Dates are assigned PLAY…
‘The Artist Date is a once-weekly, festive, solo expedition to explore something that interests you. The Artist Date need not be overtly “artistic” — think mischief more than mastery. Artist Dates fire up the imagination. They spark whimsy. They encourage play. Since art is about the play of ideas, they feed our creative work by replenishing our inner wellof images and inspiration. When choosing an Artist Date, it is good to askyourself, “what sounds fun?” — and then allow yourself to try it.”
Why is this an effective creative tool? Creativity can come to anyone who wants it but you have to put yourself, the artist, into a receptive to state in order to allow it.
Take yourself somewhere special- break the routine and do something that excites and delights you. Treat yourself a little extra special and it will open the door to inspiration. Blocks will become unblocked and new ideas have the potential to flow into your creative spirit, if that is your belief or intention.
The best word in describing the Artist’s Date is flow (a steady, continuous stream of something). Artist dates help in increasing your flow of creativity. If you would like a little more inspiration in your life, take yourself on an extra special date.
-written by Lyrica Glory, founder of Patron of the Arts
“Native ancestors believe the night air is filled with both good and bad dreams. The legend of the Dreamcatcher is that it attracts the good dreams while catching in the center web, the bad.
The good spirit dreams float down the sacred feather into the psyche of the dreamer while the bad spirit dreams are held in the center web and burn off in the first light of the sun.
Believed to be sacred objects, dreamcatchers bless those with pleasant dreams, good luck, and harmony throughout their lives. Native cultures also believe that a good and easy nights sleep will allow the dreamer to remember messages and visions from the higher spirit.
This Dreamcatcher also represents a medicine wheel with every component having meaning- according to Native American lore:
The web represents, the spider, the brother of life- infinitely repairing the eternal web of our existence. The spider weaves our life’s dreams and energy in the universal patchwork when the dreamer falls asleep.
MATERIALS & SUPPLIES:
The ring represents the Earth mother and the humble walk we tread upon her.
Covered in multi-colored textiles, the dreamcatcher represents the mind, body, spirit aspects of our personality, moods and emotions.
It is believed that we are related to all things, and that all things are part of us. The Dreamcatcher and medicine wheel are representative of such a sacred belief.
The ring and the web woven together represent love, honesty and purity.
All of the combined elements on the dreamcatcher represent aspects of earth, fire, water and ether- all things we need to live. Once the dreamcatcher is hung freely, it represents the element of air.
Also reflected are the qualities of love- to “be” love and to love. To take risks, leave the nest and fly out on one’s own, it instills the ability to live and thrive beyond ones shadows.
Crystals attached to the dreamcatcher represent the element of earth. Imbuing it with the qualities, energies and magic of those specific stones. (Use stones that are conducive to the activation of the dreamwork- see recommended crystals in the tabbed section below).
- metal rings – center ring of dreamcatcher
- scraps of leather (long strips approximately 1/2 inch think) -to wrap the ring
- embroidery thread -to weave the center of the web
- feathers,assortment -for the tail of the dream catcher
- beads,assortment -for the tail and the center web. (Make sure the center of the bead is wide enough to string the embroidery thread through)
- a variety of strips- (leather,ribbon,yarn,cord) – For the tail of the dreamcatcher
- crystals and stone beads (see the meaning of each stone in the following tab “STONES & CRYSTALS”)
The following resources were used in the compilation of this article:
–“The Book of Stones” by Robert Simmons and Naisha Ahsian (book)
–The Legend of Dreamcatchers (website)
-Get more inspiration & ideas for your dreamcatcher from our Dreamcatcher Pin Board.
The best crystals for a peaceful and fulfilling dream state are listed below and have been compiled from “The Book of Stones” by Robert Simmons.
- Moonstone – (keywords:mysteries, self-discovery, intuition, in-sight,dreams,the goddess) Moonstone is the talisman for the inward journey and meditation-taking one deep into oneself. What is revealed in that state are missing pieces or links to the puzzle. This stone connects one to the power of the moon. It is the stone of the High Priestess.
- Rainbow Moonstone- These stones act as a prism that diffuses energy throughout the aura. It is a positive protection stone. It is particularly good for psychic protection and maintaining clarity of energy. These stones emenate great vitality, life force and exuberant joy. Rainbow moonstones offer the gifts of inner peace and harmony,emotional balance and strength, purification and transformation of negativity.These are like regular moonstones but with an extra dose. They also facilitate the opening of the rainbow light body.
- Herkimer Quartz Diamond -(keywords: dreams,visions,purification) These crystals are manifestations of pure solidified spiritual light. They broadcast their own energies and magnify the frequencies of other stones. They emanate a high harmonious light. Their is a state of bliss and rapture in the vibration of a herkimer diamond. Dream work with Herkimer’s can be a wonderful experience.
- Clear Quartz Crystal– (keywords: programmability,amplification of ones intention,clearing) This is by far one of the most versatile and multi dimensional stones in the mineral realm. Clear quartz can be ‘programmed’ by ones focused intention to assist in achieving virtually any any goal in inner or outer life. This is a stone of light and can be used for any metaphysical purpose.
- Angelite– (keywords: angelic communication, gentle self-expression,serenity) The stones themselves emanate benevolence and serenity. Angelite is an excellent stone for dreamwork and can help one to remain lucid in the dream state and to assist in remember the guidance received in dreams. It can also enhance the spiritual qualities of ones dreams. It helps with the exploration into the Akashic Records It can help in one understanding and interpreting the symbolic content of dreams and inner visions.
- Smokey Quartz– (keywords: grounding,transmutation of ones negative energies,manifestation of ones dreams and inspirations) Smokey quartz offer protection from negative energies in ones environment, it cannot transmute unlimited amounts of negative energy by grounding into the earth. It is a stone for “keeping things clear”. Smokey quartz has a way of drawing the ethereal into manifestation.
May you be blessed with a beautiful and happy dream-filled life.”
-created, written & photographed by Lyrica Glory, founder of Patron of the Arts
“An intention is the starting point of any dream, wish or focus. Setting forth an intention, or a wish is a powerful practice for bringing fourth creative energy into any area of your life.
For our most recent celebration we set forth “Flying Wishes,” into the Universe. Flying Wishes is a magical activity that all ages will enjoy. Using the special “wish kit” really adds magic and delight to the process of sending a wish into the Universe- but you can using this same process using paper and a fire place(practice proper fire safety).
In a group or alone, write down your wish on the wish paper; set forth a strong, positive intention into the Universe. Once written crumple up the paper, this is the process of releasing control over your hearts desire and surrendering to the powers of the Universe. If you are using the wish kit, roll the wish into a tube and place it on the paper,light it and watch your wish fly off into the Universe blessing this process with a flying feather.
Flying wishes and setting forth positive powerful intention adds unexpectected fun and delight to any celebration- festive, creative, mellow or even somber.
A Note on Setting Forth Intention:
As with anything, stop take a deep breath. Just let your self breathe for 5-17 seconds. You want to let the day’s energy settle, replacing the volume of your breathing with the volume of your thoughts. Find a space of peace and calm. Then ask yourself, “what is it that I want?”
Allow yourself to focus on the clarity of the answer. Look for the emotional desires, not the intellectual ones; follow the emotions of relief and fun.
As you begin to write your intention, use emotional, positive words to describe what you want. Your intention can be as simple or as detailed as feels right for you in that moment.
“Every journey begins with the first step of articulating the intention, and then becoming the intention.”
-photographed & written by, Lyrica Glory, founder of Patron of the Arts
“I am a child who is getting on.” –Marc Chagall
“Chagall, the Russian-born painter who went against the current of 20th-century art with his fanciful images of blue cows, flying lovers, biblical prophets and green-faced fiddlers on roofs, had a firm idea of who he was and what he wanted to accomplish. But when it came to guarding his privacy, he was a master of deflection. Sometimes when people approached to ask if he was that famous painter Marc Chagall, he would answer, “No,” or more absurdly, “I don’t think so,” or point to someone else and say slyly, “Maybe that’s him.” With his slanting, pale-blue eyes, his unruly hair and the mobile face of a mischievous faun, Chagall gave one biographer the impression that he was “always slightly hallucinating.” One of those who knew him best, Virginia Haggard McNeil, David’s mother and Chagall’s companion for seven years, characterized him as “full of contradictions—generous and guarded, naïve and shrewd, explosive and secret, humorous and sad, vulnerable and strong.”
“Chagall himself said he was a dreamer who never woke up. “Some art historians have sought to decrypt his symbols,” says Jean-Michel Foray, director of the Marc Chagall Biblical Message Museum in Nice, “but there’s no consensus on what they mean. We cannot interpret them because they are simply part of his world, like figures from a dream.” Pablo Picasso, his sometime friend and rival (“What a genius, that Picasso,” Chagall once joked. “It’s a pity he doesn’t paint”), marveled at the Russian’s feeling for light and the originality of his imagery. “I don’t know where he gets those images. . . . ” said Picasso. “He must have an angel in his head.” -Smithsonian