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Moving on…………Beyond the bottle!
By Ruth DavidsonI have been a decorative painter for many years; I learned when Pricilla Houser was a household name. To me decorative painting was the “bees knees“, something I could actually do and enjoy. I went to conventions and classes and painted just about anything that I could put paint on!
Boutiques and church bazaars gave me the opportunity to show off my work and sell it to help out with the family budget.
I have to admit that I am a “bottle baby” I only used premixed colors and never even gave a second thought to mixing colors…..no that just seemed too far advanced and who needed to do it anyway, not me. After all I had hundreds of bottles of paint, every color one could ever want!
Well now as time has passed and I have just about run out of things to paint, I needed to find something new to peak my interest, after all my kids are all grown and I have time more than ever to paint, but unfortunately for me it had become a bit mundane.
Not getting the thrill I used to get when I painted I started looking around at possible solutions. I looked into other mediums but found that they just didn’t do a thing for my needs. Then I happened to see a painting in one of the painting magazines, it was a small landscape on canvas….a light bulb went on….what if I could refine my art to be more of a “fine artist”? Could I actually do this was the question of the day.
I started looking around the internet to see what was available and I found a book by Sharon Teal-Coray, it was painted with oils and I didn’t want to use oils but acrylics. I went to her site and found that she had a conversion for acrylics so I went ahead and ordered the book.
I completed a painting from the book and it looked pretty good, my family encouraged me to continue and paint more canvas paintings because they liked what they saw, personally I think they were all very tired of the painted wood gifts I had been giving them for a long time!
Still I felt like an imposter….I was still using bottled paints. I wanted to be like a real fine artist and learn how to actually mix my own colors.
I wrote to Sharon and asked her advice and at the time she had just come out with her color workbook. I debated and finally ordered it and worked on it for a while, at first I tried to use the bottle colors but found they didn’t work. It didn’t take a brain surgeon to understand that something was not working….. I could see the bottled colors had something in them to make them look less brilliant and my colors didn‘t look like she said they would… So once again I emailed Sharon for some advice, she was so helpful to tell me what was going on, she said that the bottled colors had black or grey added to make all the shades they sold and so the pure colors they started with were no longer pure brilliant! So I had to make a purchase and get the colors Sharon’s book used.
So now I have ordered her companion color mixing DVD, and I just about have my workbook finished. I have started using DecoArt Traditions at Sharon’s suggestions and I now only have to look through a few colors of pure pigments to find what I need to mix my colors, I donated all of my bottled colors to my granddaughters school…..glad to be rid of them!
At first I thought the expense of the Traditions was a bit much…but after working with them I found they last so long that I only have to use a very small amount to get the color I want. An added benefit is that I never run out of a certain color because I can mix it! No more running to the craft store for one bottle of color!
I have progressed farther than I ever imagined I would, I am so excited because each time I mix a new color I feel the old thrill I got when I first started to paint, something that has been lacking for a long time. It is all about learning! We are never too old to learn something new, it is good for our creaky old brains to exercise them! I feel like I have so much to learn, I want to be a fine artist and paint beautiful canvas paintings for my family. They are so proud of me and I know they are looking forward to next Christmas!
My next adventure is to paint Sharon's DVD Seascape!
Sharon asked if I would share my story with you. Maybe you are feeling like I did and are looking for something new to peak your interest. Learning how to mix colors just might be the answer for you as it has been for me. If I can do it so can you, I am in my 70’s! It is never too late to learn how to do something you have never done before and it is a challenge that will keep you young and energized about life!
Don’t let fear of something new stop you….just take the first step and do it.
Good luck with your journey!
An aritst in training!