While sitting on my patio painting a traditional landscape in pastel, I looked down and realized that there was a different type of landscape right beneath my feet.
For many months I had been dreaming of ways to use the various acrylic mediums on the market. Now the two came together and the experimenting began! Highly textured, dimensional/sculptural, realistic mixed media “landscape” paintings were created.
By mixing different types of acrylic mediums together, plus adding talus or sand, I could form all kinds of textures like tile, concrete, blacktop, and even mud and moss.
Once a base is laid down on a wood panel, it is left to dry for a few days. The next step is to add a series of thin semi-transparent washes. Anywhere from two to twenty washes may be added. Final details are then added using encaustic, rice paper for leaves and grasses, wood shapes for rusted washers and grates, plus some real sticks and rocks.
I name most of the paintings by using sayings from the past in hopes to keep these somewhat humorous quips and philosophies from being lost completely. Some are to invoke a sense of “I’ve been in that situation!” and a chuckle with a little angst.
My goal is to bring you, the viewer, to places you have not noticed before. I want to change your point of view beyond the electronic device that is held in your hand by looking down at the ‘’Landscapes Beneath Your Feet.”
Throughout my life I’ve loved painting, pottery, woodworking, stained glass and sewing. I pursued art and science obtaining a B.S. in Graphic Arts and a B.S. in Art Education at Southeast Missouri State.
A few years after graduating, I moved to Michigan where I taught Instructional Graphics in the Television Production Department at Ferris State University. While in Michigan, I continued to paint in watercolor and experimented in combining textured glass with my watercolor paintings.
After moving back to Missouri, I began seeing the potential in utilizing the various skills learned from my past endeavors. I was accepted as a studio artist at the Foundry Art Centre in St. Charles, Missouri. This has enabled me to expand my artistic boundaries, resulting in dimensional, textured acrylic mixed media paintings.
Although I have won awards for my watercolors and mixed media paintings, I am most excited about the reactions and smiles from the people who “see” my paintings.
Artist Roberta Lynn Rose invites you to follow her on Instagram.
I was a working actor for years in Los Angeles doing guest spots, commercials and voice-over work. I wrote a few scripts with my husband by night as we raised our kids by day. Then I wrote a book—The Three-Martini Playdate—which ended up getting published and being a bestseller.
I wrote four more books, and a few more scripts, with a writer friend. I sang Depression-era and original songs with my band Doozy. I never considered myself an “artist,” because drawing was just something I did on the side. At some point I had an idea to paint a series of portraits on found drawers and boxes, acrylic portraits I called “Your Bartender,” incorporating bartending tools, ephemera and keepsakes.
I was a little intimidated by painting, having had no formal training. But at this point I’m too old and impatient to spend another ten years doing studies and sketches, which I know is a terrible attitude! If I have a picture in my head, I want to paint it.
So, I start painting and figure it out as I go. I’ve picked up tips along the way from artists I admire. The internet can be helpful.
When our youngest son left for college, we decided to move from our Los Angeles house of twenty-four years to a 550 square foot New York apartment; so of course, that’s when I decided I had to teach myself to paint in oils—when my studio went from a huge, light-filled room to an 8 x 10 kitchen. Painting in a tiny New York apartment kitchen really drives home the point that if you want to paint, you can paint anywhere.
I started a series I called “Paintings at the End of the World,” and I think everything I paint now is part of that series. I look at my paintings like they’re pages from some giant picture book of allegories and dark fairy tales. I generally start with a face, because I love painting faces. Faces caught in the middle of a drama or mystery. I have a story to tell you, but I can only tell it in pictures. What I love about oils is the ease with which I can change faces and expressions—repaint and redo—just like writing is always better after many rewrites.
A lot of my friends think I’ve painted myself in the faces I paint. If that’s true, it’s not intentional, but sometimes their expressions mirror my state of mind. I know I’ve accidentally painted my mother at least twice.
I’m inspired by John Singer Sargent, Max Beckmann, Alice Neel, Lucien Freud, Balthus, Maira Kalman, Bruce Gilden photographs, too many artists to name. Dorothea Tanning, wow. Neo Rauch is dreamy.
When I get a portrait commission, I don’t necessarily think it’s because they want a picture of themselves, but maybe because they want to live in one of my paintings.
If this post feels familiar, it might be because it’s an update with substantial changes to the original from another time. Some topics beg a revisit, and this is one of them. Every human has four endowments – self-awareness, conscience, independent will, and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom… The power to […]
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“I’ll take Alexander von Humboldt for $500, Alex.”
If you didn’t get a chance to purchase one of the Crucible curved card scrapers, you can make your own with a dry grinder and an existing card scraper. It takes about 30 minutes.
Download and print out the following template. It’s a hand-drawn version of Chris Williams’s scraper, which is where our design started.
Cut it out and affix it to your card scraper with the help of spray adhesive. Or make a cardboard template and trace its shape on your scraper with a permanent marker.
At your grinder, set the tool rest to 0° – parallel to the floor. Dress the wheel of your grinder (we use an #80-grit wheel, but a #60 or #100 will also do) so it has a slight convex shape. This convexity in the wheel makes the scraper easier to shape.
Get a bucket of water and put it by the grinder.
(Hey wait, where are the step photos? I’m in a hotel room that’s 400 miles from my shop. You are going to have to use your imagination.)
Place the scraper on the tool rest and start grinding the excess metal away. Don’t work on one part of the scraper for more than a few seconds. Keep moving around the perimeter. After 10 or 15 seconds, try to pinch the scraper with a finger and thumb. If….
… you can pinch the scraper with no pain, continue to grind.
… your fingers reflexively jump away, cool the scraper in your water bucket.
… you smell bacon, also cool the scraper in the water bucket.
Once you have ground down to your line, you will have become pretty good at grinding flat shapes – congrats. Now you need to remove the grinder marks from the edges.
Use a block of wood to hold the scraper at 90° on a coarse diamond stone and stone the edges. Remove all the scratches from the grinder. Then move up to a #1,000-grit waterstone (or soft Arkansas) and then up to a polishing stone. Then you can proceed with normal scraper-sharpening procedures.
This is exactly how I made all of our prototypes. I promise that you will become emotionally involved with your scraper after putting all the work into it, and you might not ever want to buy one of ours.
So be it.
— Christopher Schwarz