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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Mixed Media Monday

Once in a Boo Moon

Once in a Boo Moon 24" X 30" acrylic mixed media on canvas

Meet Boo, the subject of the painting I made as a gift for my sister-and brother-in-law Mary Ann and Don. In the last few years we've begun to exchange handmade presents at Christmas, and I just love our new custom.Mary Ann and Don are both incredibly creative and talented people. Mary Ann, a retired Naval commander, has recently become fascinated with needlework and gave me a homespun muffler, and Don, a wood-turner made me a beautiful set of wine glasses with wooden stems. Boo, their West Highland Terrier, though not artistic herself, is the perfect nonetheless, and her unfortunate encounter with a skunk this past summer inspired this painting. Pet portraits make a wonderful gift for birthdays and holidays. Contact me at www.katherinemccullen@yahoo.com for more information.

The challenge at (Mixed Media Monday) this week was to use my least favorite color in a work of art, and since I love every color, I'd have to say white is my least favorite. I just finished this painting on Christmas Eve, and, when I was putting a finish on the painting, as I brushed the varnish onto the canvas, I noticed that the white in Boo's coat and the skunk's stripe immediately began to yellow, so I had to wipe it off very quickly. The varnish was labeled as a finish for acrylic paintings, but I will not use it again. I'd love to know what you use to finish your paintings, so please let me know in your comments.

41 comments:

indybev said...

I wondered what color you could possibly say was your least favorite. I might have known it would be white or black! This is a charming memento of an unfortunate encounter, and I'm sure it was well received!

*jean* said...

oo what a lovely new tradition! i'm guessing that you may have had a little paint in your brush that caused the yellowing? i use liquitex fluid medium & varnish and a clean cosmetic sponge haven't had any yellowing so far...i've always had good luck with the krylon sprays as well..

happy new year!!

Ozstuff said...

I live on a skunk-free continent so I am fascinated (from afar) by skunks. I thought you might have hinted at the outcome of the kerfuffle between Highland terrier and Mr Skunk. I can only begin to imagine what it would have been like for the dog's owners if he had been sprayed!!
Your picture is gorgeous - so whimsical and scrumptiously colorful and superb.
Happy New Year, Alberta!!

Sadie said...

Sorry about your yellow incident, but sometimes yellow just takes over. Isn't yellow the only color w/ its own verb - yellowing?** Therefore -- on a yellow brick road, on a yellow magic carpet, on a yellow sun day, I am tinted green w/ envy, while holding a yellow sunflower, for you are Goldilocks, in a yellow-paged fairytale, mixing yellow splashes w/ everything, in a blue attic room, where the yellow stars shine for you. And on a yellow parchment thank you card, I can only write in my best Meadowlark scrawl, "Yello Kathy, I'm Melissa." Happy holidays!

**Unless you consider the browning of yeast rolls or the greening of America but neither of those really have to do w/ color per se.

Diana Evans said...

I love creating handmade gifts too....I started this years ago and I really love creating and sharing things....this is a wonderful tradition!!! I love your piece!!!

Have a wonderful week!!!

Kris Dickinson said...

This is SO wonderful! You are a true artist Alberta...no artist should dislike any color. I think you explained it and nailed the challenge! BRAVO!

Kristin said...

What a wonderful memory you captured: I can only imagine how much your family loved their gift! Your work is so very inspiring - your students are lucky to have you! I too have found luck with Krylon spray . . . Happy New Year, Kristin :)

Amy said...

wow..wonderful..I love the idea of homemade gifts...your Scottie pup is Wonderful..my neighbor had two scotties and they adored them!
Your home is so lovely too

Sandy said...

OMG your painting rock. This is incredible. Lovely Dog.

peggy gatto said...

Too much fun!!!

Staci Danford said...

What a darling work... I know it's crazy....... BUT I just love skunks!!

Diane said...

Alberta, this is simply amazing! Love it! And what a wonderful tradition you've started. As to finishing off acrylic paintings - I sometimes use a matt or gloss medium, but I think most often I tend to opt for Micador matt or satin picture spray. That's so easy and convenient. Diane

Giggles said...

What an adorable painting....good job!! I bet they are thrilled...Like you, I adore all colors, except beige. I've always wondered what to put over canvases and hear some people use beeswax. Can't wait to see more paintings in the New Year!!Hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday and a great New Year!!!

Hugs Giggles

johanna said...

wonderful painting - sure they were happy to receive it! hope to see more of these in the new year:)

Hermine said...

Its lovely

Martina2801 said...

What a wonderful painting, Alberta!
It looks fantastic.

Terri Kahrs said...

Absolutely darling, Alberta! You've captured the true curiosity of this sweet terrier! Love that "white" is your least favorite color, and sorry to hear that you had difficulty with the finish. I've been using Golden products and haven't had any problems. I'm sure they were thrilled with this sweet and thoughtful gift. Hugs, Terri xoxo

Ava said...

There's a fish called a whiting--I'm just saying. Boo is totally delectable. I'd rather have your painting than the real dog, but that's just me.

Yvonne said...

Love your boo moon!

Faye said...

This is so adorable, Alberta, and especially so since it has a story behind it. I don't work much with acrylic paints and thought that by being plastic there was no need for a finish over them. What few wooden things I've painted with acrylics, I've put a clear Liquitex varnish over them. Also, I learned that black was the absence of color and white was the combination of all colors. But maybe that only deals with light, not pigments.

Diane said...

Love this--the story and the painting!

Rosie said...

Kathy, he is so gorgeous... and I should've guessed that the absence of colour would be your least favourite!

I use any spray varnish as I'd be so peeved if I could see brushstrokes on the top coat of a finished piece!! Plus it dries so quickly too!!

Taluula said...

I love the tradition of giving handmade kits too, and I bet this was well received by your sister in law and brother, it is simply wonderful.

Michelle said...

Lovely painting! I am sure it will be a treasured gift.

Kim Mailhot said...

Boo is wonderful ! I love that you have made the hand made gift a tradition. Unfortunately, I am the one in the family who has embraced their artistic side - my sister Natalie could create a gorgoeus haircut for me but by Christmas she is haircut out ! My sister Kristina could write me a great story or perhaps a poem but her mothering duties take up a lot of her writing time these days. It is all good though - they still always get a little bit of my artt goodness as part of their gifts and give the the "oh how beautifuls" in return.
I hope you enjoy your week off and that you get some time to play in that superb studio space of yours !
Much Love, beeautiful Alberta !

Elegia said...

Oh, this is so cute! You are very talented you know!

Elegia said...

I forgot to say I can't paint. I do everything in Photoshop. But I really would like to have that talent. I do have tried, but the result is something very weird ;DD

Becolorful said...

Just wanted you to know that I received a hijacked email from you as I am sure you are well aware of by now. My husband just went through this last week. Maddening isn't it??? They had changed his password so it was difficult to close the account. They went in and just took his Outlook address book. He now has a new account, and will start changing his passwords every few months. So sorry this happened to you.

Marit said...

Handmade gifts are so much more special than the bought ones... what a lovely tradition!!! I love your painting and you got that doggie just right! I don't paint much (not on canvas anyway) so I don't know of any varnish that keeps the white neat... If I'm not back on your blog this year: have a happy new year! See you then!

Alberta said...

I'm so sorry if any of you received that poisonously bogus e-mail purportedly from me. I'm certainly NOT in West Africa. I'm sitting at home watching Grey's Anatomy reruns in front of the fire. Thank you all so much for the concern and help today.

Love,
Kathy/Alberta

Silvia said...

Wonderful painting. Looks really great.

Dream With the Fishes said...

This is a wonderful tradition, exchanging hand made gifts, and I wish that I had people in my family who would appreciate this kind of thing more. I love your painting! Love those ferns and those cute little mushrooms, not to mention the adorable Boo! I use acrylic varnishes from Liquitex. I haven't tried anything else because I've been perfectly happy with them. Hope you enjoyed your New Year celebration and wishing you lots of good stuff in 2010!

*jean* said...

hey al - i just found the golden paints newsletter archives and there is a whole article on varnishing! if you are interested, i posted a link on my blog...happy new year!! i knew you weren't in africa....yeesh!

mixedmediamonday said...

Congratulations, Alberta! I have chosen this amazing piece for Art of the Week this Week on Mixed Media Monday :-) Diane

Anneke said...

what a fantastic piece and so original

aino said...

VEry originally. I like. NIce colours and style.

Oxana said...

Wonderful piece!!!

teresa stieben said...

I find Liquitex to be the best. The gloss medium and varnish is wonderful, does not smell atrocious either. I previously used Golden brand varnish but had streaks appear as it dried even though I followed the instructions to a tee. Sad to say after all my hard work I am left me with a few paintings that are not show worthy as adding more glazes to try and correct the problem only made the finish worse. It may be due to the humidity here, not sure. Since I started using the Liquitex brand a year ago I've had no problems.

smallawei said...
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