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Experiment, it’s what we do

Summer is the time when I really give myself permission to experiment, to try something new: new paper, new colors, new styles…and this summer is no exception.  Every week I have four days of four hour afternoons in Frank O’Cain’s class at the Art Student’s League where experimentation is encouraged. I’m not trying to produce the next masterpiece (although that would be nice).  I’m just trying to do something different.

First, I started fooling around with Yupo, that plastic paper (see my June blogs) and discovered it was really good for painting the rock formations and striations and reflections I saw in China.

Dragon Path

Dragon Path, 14×10.5, $725


It also worked really well for capturing the colors and feeling of Spain.


Toreador, 11 x 14, $725


Then the alcohol based inks I had ordered from Jerry’s finally arrived and I experimented again, this time at home. What a mess!  Red ink all over everything (including my hands, my desk, my nightgown and, yes, the Yupo) before I finally figured out how to handle it.  When I was finished, the colors made me think of Imperial China…

Imperial China

Imperial China, 14 x 10, $700

Same paper, different medium, very different result.

Back at the League, I was having trouble with a painting of a bridge I saw in Ronda, Spain. Frank suggested I try Ching-Bor’s approach so I started flinging paint (see my last post for more of the gory details).

Ronda, ver. 3

Ronda, ver. 3

The result gave me a healthy respect for Paul Ching-Bor and the realization that I had better take his class at the League if I wanted to pursue this technique.

Somewhat chastened, I decided to focus on the unique and complex still life set up in Studio 12 at the League and try to just paint what I saw (sorta), albeit somewhat differently from my usual style. The results so far are somewhat of a mixed bag.

Summer Hat II

Summer Hat II, 12 x 15, $775

Summer Hat

Summer Hat, 12 x 15, $775













Beach Ball

Beach Ball, 12 x 15, $775

Two summer hats (on different days) and a beach ball later, would you ever think everything in this post was painted by the same person?  Ah, I love summer experimentation.



Posted by ruthhurd on August 3, 2014
2 Comments Post a comment
  1. 08/4/2014
    Eva Baker

    Beautiful work. I particular like Toreador!

    • 08/4/2014

      Thank you, Eva. Me too.


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