Thursday, 29 December 2011

Pictures from the Advanced Workshop "Using Acrylics to Create Encaustic Effects"

First off I 'd like to apologize to all my advanced students who took the thick and layered - creating encaustic effects with acrylics workshops both this past October 2011 and in May/June 2011. I was sorting through files, photographs and blogs between christmas and new years and noticed that I had never posted these. My apologies.

To new or prospective students, these are photos from inside this workshop and would give you a great sense of what you would do, learn, and experience inside the "Using Acrylics to Create Encaustic Effects" workshop . Keep in mind that every workshop varies a little as I like to keep things interesting and am constantly improving them! Enjoy!

Embedding heavier objects - such as old chinese coins - into mixed media paintings.

The demo table - so much stuff, so much fun!

Taking notes, asking questions, watching Deb throw paint and mediums around!

Deb sanding acrylic p aints and mediums with an electric sander.

Going outside to talk about using an electric sander with acrylic paints and mediums.

Exploring mark making with different shapes, lines, and with both adding and removing paint.

Buttering on a thick opaque layer over a ground.

The girls go at one of my paintings, overcoming fears and just going for it!

Making acrylics paint stay wet longer with retarder.

Using GOLDEN absorbent ground.

Adding a clear transparent textured layer using regular gel.

An example of a painting using various different opaque, transparent, and translucent mediums to create depth, texture and interesting effects.

Seeing how light moulding paste can hold stencil shapes so well.

working with small pieces can be a great way to get to play with mediums.

Adding layers extended with water and gloss polymer medium.
Liquid acrylics work best for this process. Adding water increases the flow of the paints.

Creating a textured ground using Liquitex super heavy gesso,
and then adding glaze layers over top.

Dripping layers. So much fun!

Pouring clear polymer gloss medium right on top of the painting.

Using a putty knife to apply thick opaque super heavy gesso.

Applying a thin layer of glaze onto the dried textured ground. GOLDEN liquid acrylics works best for this!

A beautiful thickly painted under layer with some etching marks in it. Love this green colour!

Amanda enjoying the process! The green seemed to be very popular with this particular workshop!

So much fun - mixing paint and applying thick layers and scratching back into them.

Working away!

Everyone seemed to be working on green paintings for a while during this workshop!

Our fantastic and very enthusiastic father-son duo painting away!

Beautiful etch marks textures into that first thick opaque layer. Two more layers to go!

Working away!

Paintings on panel put by the fire and fan to dry.

Fran and Nicole really enjoying the process.

Deb priming a board with GAC 100 to prevent SID ( support induced discolouration)

GAC 100 - a mixed media painter's best friend. Use it to prime masonite, metal, wood or plastic. Use as a clear gesso. Use in between layers to add tooth on hard to adhere to materials such as pouring medium, self leveling clear tar gel and polymer gloss medium.

Student painting

Registration has now started for the next advanced workshop....


Thick, Layered & Encaustic-like Abstract Paintings. How to Build thick layers with Acrylic Mediums.

Dates: Saturday & Sunday February 25 & 26th, 9 AM - 4 PM. VANCOUVER , BC. TWO DAYS.

Registration: (604) 736-5111

Cost: $375.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Interview from Macedonian Art Student

Recently, via Facebook Sasho Ackovski from Macedonia contacted me and asked me a few question about being a professional artist. First, here is a little about Sacho and what he is doing with respect to his art and studies ...

"Hi Deb...firstly I want to thank you for your answers, it will be a great help for may essay. I will use this answers for my exam in history of art, I should write a short essay about " what conditions must to be done if you want t o be a free artist (professional artist)" I intend to make comparison of conditions in my country- Macedonia with conditions from other countries if I get response from other artists. This essay is a part of larger project which we need to do with my colleagues, we should explore the relations between artist, audience and institutions. My task is "Free artist"...a kind of institutional critique.
The essay will not be published in media , it will be used only for a personal purpose and if you allow me your name will be mentioned in the essay. If you are interested in I will send you a finished version.
I found you accidentally on net, when I looking for an idea to make some painting and I saw some of your paintings….and than I sand you a friend request……
I live in Skopje the capital city of Macedonia,I am born in 15.07. 1972. I have finished high school of economy. Now I am a student faculty of fine arts in Skopje “St. Ciryl and Metodius”. This is my final year of study, I will graduate in June as a “Painter with directions- conservations and restoration”. I have several group exhibitions and I hope that my solo exhibition will happen next summer. Except studying I am working a part time as a waiter in a hotel “Aleksandar palace” to pay for my study. My hobby is playing a guitar."

I thought I would share this with you as some of you may be interested in his questions and my answers.

1. How many solo exhibition you need to get status as a professional artist ?There is no set number of exhibition you have to have that I know of. But if you are applying for a certain competition or status (ex. I am an elected member of the Society of Canadian Artists which gives me SCA status) they might sometime ask that you have done 'X' number of show before you can submit to them.

2. Is it necessary some kind of art education ? Many artists that I work with and have mentored with have no formal art education. Many of my contemporaries also have plenty of art education -- BA, MFA, pHD. It varies. Education does not = success.

3. Do professional artists have any support by institution,state, museums and galleries?It's going to be different in every country. For example, in Canada you can apply for grants through the Canada ARts Council ( government funded). When I lived in California USA, there were many private grants available. There are programs and funding available through museums and so on but I don't have much knowledge of them.

4. Does he pay taxes ? Yes, when you are earning money as an artist it is like any other business, you must declare your income and pay taxes.

5. Some information about paying health and pension insurance and pension. Basically you are considered a sole proprietor/self employed so you have to look after all of these things for yourself.

6. Is it possible financially to survive as a free artist or you need extra job ? Most artist have another job, but, it is possible - I work solely as an artist and support myself from the sales of my fine art and my workshops. I don't have another job. :)

7. Which term you use for- free artist ? Professional artist. for me, that means someone who is making money from their art. As opposed to a hobbiest.

8. Few things that you do not like about work of institution, museums and galleries? Basically as soon as you start working with them ( museums, galleries, etc) you have to enter into an agreement in which you must abide by their rules. Some galleries won't let you be shown at other galleries. Some galleries may take a % of sales income if you sell an art piece directly to a collector. Some galleries force you to charge the same prices as their gallery at your open studio show and other shows. The list goes on.... Each artist has to decide if the agreement is worth it for them.

9. By the way I like your style of painting... Thank you

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Hot off the press: BC Artists 3rd Edition Book -- Just in time for Xmas

This could make a nice last minute christmas gift to inspire an artist in your life... .

Artists of British Columbia, Volume 3, Editor is Leighdon Studio Gallery/ Jane Richardson. ISBN 978-0-9783296-8-6. Soft cover. 112 pages, 9” x 9”. Published January 1, 2012. $19.95

This book, the third volume in the Artist of British Columbia book series, included information about thirty-nine British Columbia artists with sixty-five colour reproductions of their work. These artists are different from those who have already appeared in Volumes 1 and 2.

Artwork presented includes paintings (acrylic, oil, watercolour, and mixed media/collage) conté and graphite drawings, as well as hand-painted silk works, Chigiri-é, digital merged media, photography, and Raku ceramic sculpture.

Featured artists include Appleby, Argyros, Balma, Bernard, Bilodeau, Bruno, Chaney, Clark, Desjardins, Eisenbock, Faessler, Fogell, Gavel, Greig, Gunnars, Hill, Jaxon, King, Maurus, Maximchuk, McLennan, Mithrush, Mohr, Muma, Nichols, Osterlind, Pehme, Pistak, Roddie, Salemink-Roos, Scharback, Schmidt, Simpson, Stewart, Strong, Tiernan, Varney, Wade, Ward.

Contact the Publisher for more information:

Jane Richardson

Leighdon Studio Gallery


in Sechelt 1-604-740-0315

Monday, 12 December 2011

Collage Creations Workshop - PHotos!

The end of November marked the first Collage Creations workshop to run. We had a small group and enjoyed my home studio with the beautiful view of east vancouver - lots of light- and each participant had their own table to spread out and make a beautiful creative messes! Here's a look of what we did...

Yarn, collage papers, bicycles, horses ... no limit collage art!

We practiced gold leaf. Here's my gold leaf moon on a practice piece.

Beautiful messes of art in process. Love all the colours, textures and papers!

We made unique hand made journal covers from the white craft paper that covered our tables during the weekend and took our spills and drips.

Stained tissue papers, split ink, stamping...
Staining with india ink and acrylic inks

Our letters and lazertran project...layers of paint, old letters, gel medium, inks, and special image printed on clear lazertran paper as a focal point for the collage project.

My letteres project in process.
Dipping the dry printed image on lazertran paper into warm water to let the back peel off.

Hannah soaking her lazertran paper (warm water)

The start of a stained tissue paper colllage with inda ink and stamps.

Split ink technique on hot press paper with stained tissue papers using liquid acrylics.

Debbie hard at work/play.

A myriad of collage and round papers ready for use.

Full view of studio.

Deb's tissue paper collage piece in process. Rocks are so useful to prevent the light tissue paper pieces from blowing away!

Hannah working away.

Using the brayer to roll on thin scattered layers of paint and create beautiful effects.

Watching Deb demo.

Integrating old Little Gems from the Energizing and Experimental workshop into new collage work!

So much fun with many layers and adding gold paint pen embellishments to add some zing!

Hand printed words and PITT pen india ink scribblings added to layers of collage.

Want to do it? Next workshop runs in March 2012. details at -->workshops. "Collage Creations" see you then.