Painting brings balance to life and philosophy behind old barns

In the light of upcoming workshops, I decided to post some painting steps in order to set potential students in the right mood. These barns are not the same we will be doing during adult acrylic painting workshops. These we were painting during 2013 and 2014 spring classes.

I will also place some pictures about preparation of canvas for workshops and classes during the new painting session. It is not complicated, I also expect meeting some of the students and artists on August 3rd.

We all have some problems, some less bothersome, some more persistent and severe. I can tell from my experience that indulging in some painting helps incredibly and allows to find piece of mind and to forget about some not that pleasant stuff . It can be simple sketch and it can be multiple step painting: that is not of importance. The main thing is to immerse oneself into the meditative state of creation. Many students have told me they sometimes needed these classes and come-together so much just because life was too stormy or too complicated. These art classes served as a safe harbor where to take a breath and see further perspectives along the road.

This year we will be working on under-painted or at least toned canvasses.

This will save us time, as well, and it is much easier for many students to start out on a medium dark surface than on a completely white. It is just our perception, but painting happens smoother and faster this way.

Underpainting canvas

You will need a fairly large brush which can be some old brush or not that expensive brush. I am using some leftover or not that great quality paint. It is advisable to use some brown and grayish shades or warm oranges and red browns for those who love bright colors. I personally prefer neutral base since that works the best with my perception. This is something one can choose depending on their personal preferences.

Preparing canvas for classes

 

You should not make the base coat very dark since acrylic requires quite a few layers to build up lights. We are using 20 x 16 inches canvasses in workshops and in art classes. Slightly smaller size is fine, however, much larger will not allow finishing painting during classes.

You can mix paint and gesso straight on canvas. No worries if you get not very smooth color, however, there should not be any texture yet since that may disturb during painting.

Neutral gesso and paint coat on canvas

Just brush the mixture on not forgetting edges because we are always painting around the edges as we go. That gives us a ready to hang painting which can be used without a frame. Allow some time to dry, at room temperatures, that may be 2-3 hours depending on what paint and how thick layer you have applied.

Students love watching time-lapse and speed painting videos. However, I would like to remind that painting in reality requires much more time. If you have decided to join workshops or classes, please be prepared that painting is not ready in one or two hours.

When I look at old barns, they make me feel warm. It is hard to explain, but cozy, too, which is somehow weird, but, nevertheless, I am painting them warm and cozy because that is how I perceive these objects. When I see abandoned farms or barns, I have to think about people who long ago were there. Why don’t they come back to fix the barn? Where are they now? Did they move away, or are they in another reality? Sort of nostalgia mixed with sadness and realization that Vanitas vanitatum et omnia vanitas. The strongest controversy straight before our eyes: the present wild beauty of the nature and an abandoned building with blind and empty windows witnessing past and better days. Well, there is so much behind a simple old barn in the wildly blooming summer day or at he mirror-like lakeside.

Barn paintings steps: acrylic for adults

Talking about the steps, there were quite a few. I would always start with just dark and general outlines or blocks of shapes which get defined and refined during the painting process.

Basic layers to block in main shapes

Basic layers to block in main shapes

Painting half done

Barn has got some red and fields, too

Placing them side by side allows noticing what needs more work

Placing paintings side by side allows noticing what needs more work

Why don't they come to fix it?

Why don’t they come to fix it?

Mirroring the past

Mirroring the past

August barn project: old barn paintings in acrylic

The collage view of the most recent versions: old barn paintings in acrylic

The most unpleasant drawback of acrylic paints is the loss of lights and highlights as the painting dries. Therefore, we may need to rework some by adding more and more light color as the paint settles down. That does not happen right away, I have had paints which became dark only after some 2 weeks. That is  something we learn cope with because the advantages of acrylic paints outweigh their minuses plenty of times.

I hope you will enjoy our workshops!

 

0 Replies to “Painting brings balance to life and philosophy behind old barns”

  1. I like what you’ve said about getting into the meditative state. Most of my creative work is with words, poetry, but I often do some drawing to get into that quiet-yet-alert frame of mind…. sometimes it could be just an extra slow contour drawing of a banana peel, my coffee cup, or my hand!

    1. Exactly, I feel the same. I also have to type a lot sometimes when doing my medical research and translation work, sometimes it is really depressing because this means to deal with symptoms, side effects, causes and bad outcomes, clinical trials are a bit more hopeful. When I am in this state, I can also forget about all my health issues, and this sort of re-energizes. It’s great you are doing drawings and sketches. We can easily get into this quiet and relaxing state of mind, we just have to do it.

  2. I love what you say about the therapeutic value of creation. Whether it is painting, or playing music, or writing, or maybe all of the above, there is such value in this discovery. It is a natural outlet and progression. I don’t know what people do who feel that their supposed lack of talent keeps them from expressing themselves artistically in some manner. Everybody has something unique to say. It is a beautiful thing that you help them express and develop it.

    Best of luck with the new class, Inese.

    1. Thanks for your fantastic comment! Exactly, it is difficult to imagine how to live without creating something. Creativity takes care of so many things, and obviously, the added bonus is the created stuff whether that is some poem, some story, photo, illustration, song, or whatever. There is so much more to this process, because we all have this need to express ourselves. To express ourselves in some artistic and creative way is a beautiful thing which awards us in most pleasing ways. Have a great day! It’s my birthday today, so, it’s very nice to read a comment like this!

Your comment is greatly appreciated