Anyone who has taken one of my painting courses, or even attended one of my talks, will have heard me describe my studio as a laboratory.
I call it that because I am always experimenting, trying out new ideas, but also testing very specific things like I am today.
Curry's Art Store has a relatively new line of self-branded mediums. I was disappointed with their first product about a year ago, but they seem to have re-formulated so I've bought their gel and medium+varnish products specifically for testing purposes.
If they turn out to work well then they will provide a lower cost alternative to the premium brands. Some of the cheaper brands are not worth their apparent cost savings because they simply don't perform well. That's why I test!
Stevenson (officially D.L. Stevenson & Son Ltd.) is another line to consider if you're trying to lower your cost while keeping professional artist quality. Maybe I'll discuss them more in a future post.
Personally I will use the premium lines like Liquitex and Golden for most of my work, but not everything I do needs the top product lines, and many of my students are looking for affordable options whenever they're viable.
If you work (or play!) with art or craft materials, do you have a favourite way of saving money that you wouldn't mind sharing in the comments?
Some of the cheaper brands are not worth their apparent cost savings because they simply don't perform well.
This weekend I had a great, challenging and tiring time being a student again.
One of my first teachers when I got back into visual art in 2003 was John Leonard. I took a number of painting and figure-based classes (working from a model) with him, ending with his Wednesday Workshop, a by-invitation-only group of experienced and professional artists.
I began as the least experienced member of that high performance group, which was a little stressful, but that served to help me up my game.
This weekend I was back with John Leonard and many of my favourite people (with a few notable exceptions). And I was back to painting from the model… for the first time in at least 5 years!
Since my painting has been focused almost exclusively on non-objective work for a few years, it took a while for me to work my way back to the figure in an easily-discernable way. The photos below are in the proper sequence, showing how abstracted I began and how I did find the figure again.
Drawing was a little easier because of the prep and demo’ing I do for my 'Figurative Art' classes at Neilson Park. Make no mistake though, prep and demos are not the same as mindfully drawing from a figure with no other intent.
I always loved the challenges John threw at us and he didn’t disappoint (it felt like home!). If you click here, you will go to the first drawing of the group I’ve uploaded to Flickr. There I have captioned the photos with a list of approaches required for the exercise, in their proper sequence, for anyone who’s interested. Just click the right arrow on the page to view the next drawing.
I was nervous heading into the workshop after so long away, but after a brief adjustment period, the experience was joyful and the challenge has really refreshed me. Even for someone like me who is always inventing and trying new things, periodic challenges like this are invigorating and good for my creativity.
Here are links to a few of my skilled and talented artist friends who were in the workshop with me:
I love new beginnings. In artworks they begin with an idea (which doesn’t have to be much of an idea, just a starting point) and then, in the case of painting, a base layer.
My starting point this time is a little confection of a painting I call “Buried Treasure”. Because of its expanses of rich white surfaces with hits of smaller brights, I think of it as my Wayne Thiebaud moment. Not that I set out to make something along those lines, or to reference my husband Kal Honey’s work either, by working with a grid, it just happens that those qualities are what bubbled up in my process of making.
So while the original was an experiment on a small canvas, now I am scaling up. My first layer is all about large, impasto surface marks, which I think will require a few days to dry before I can move onto the next step. Check back for updates.
As a visual artist I like nothing more than getting up to my elbows in paint or little plastic toys, or wading in at the deep end in pursuit of an idea. When I am not teaching others in a similar vein, you can find me researching, writing and noodling around in my studio, seeing where my latest lines of inquiry lead me.
All images and content on this website © Kim-Lee Kho 2005–2018 except as indicated. All rights reserved. No reproduction without express, written permission.