Last month I visited the St. James Art Fair in Louisville, Kentucky. This is one of the most prestigious art fairs in the country. I exhibited on Belgravia Court for many, many years when I was traveling and doing art fairs. Although the day was very hot for early October, many years the weather is rainy and miserable. This year, the crowds were out en masse.
One of my favorite parts of walking around on city streets is looking into alleyways. I always think of this as the back doors of the inhabitants. The alleys seem so much more interesting to me than the front facades. This is true for large cities or small.
This is an acrylic painting on canvas, 20 x 16. I switched to acrylic last winter as I felt the fumes from oil painting and the solvents were probably not good to breathe in a closed environment. As you can see, I handle acrylics very much like I handle oil paints. The good part (and bad part) about acrylics is that they dry so much quicker. As I painted watercolors for over 25 years, I am used to working under the clock. To slow the drying process, I will often use a retarder which makes the acrylic paint dry more slowly. I also like the tactile quality of oil paints. Painting in impasto, or thick paint, is fun but challenging. It is almost like sculpting in paint. For acyrlics, I use a flexible sculpting medium to add more body to the paint even though I use heavy body paint. The flexible medium allows the paint and canvas to breathe and to be, well, flexible. It shouldn’t flake off the canvas as a stiffer medium would. My ultimate aim is to capture the feel and results of painting in oils without the toxic fumes.