Messing about in boats

I have to say that this was one painting (or pair of paintings) executed under the most hostile of weathers.  No, not so much heat, but the desiccating wind.  I had to stop on the second morning and go back for a short session closer to dawn on the third day, and then it was a struggle.  The good news is that once I’d drawn up the letters, I could quickly go from one side to the other, painting layers, knowing full well that that my start point would be completely dry by the time I returned to it in about 25 minutes.  At the end of the second day I had to quit because the paint was drying on the brush.  The east side of the boat was too hot to work, and the west side, in the shade and wind, I was shivering.  And I still had to figure out how to spray with an acrylic glaze with the UV component – in a stiff breeze.

Nevertheless ‘Poseidon’ has its name on its sides and today will be test launched.  Eventually this boat will carry a solar powered pump which will pump water from the Salton Sea into the marina ‘fingers’ in Desert Shores, to maintain the water level and mitigate red agae.  Launch day is on Sunday.



Collapse of an eco-system and the last superhero.


I’m not usually an openly political person – this is something of a political posting, but more of an ecological item, not party politics.  If you live anywhere in North or Central America, this could affect you.

Monthly Newsletter


October’s newsletter

Please enjoy October’s newsletter – Changes.

A quick visual.


Wild gecko

Earlier in the month I delivered a couple walls full of paintings to the Borrego Springs Library for the art show in their community room.  They have a monthly show of local artists’ work and December through early January was assigned to me.  I confess I did not take the photograph when I put the art work up – as one might think an artist who has it all together would do.  I was distracted initially by a lizard.  It may have crept into the library then got stuck under the door.  I noticed as soon as I walked in – and the curator and I initially thought it had been trodden on and killed.  But no, when I picked it up it slowly started moving again.  We went to the librarian who apparently is knowledgeable about local wildlife and he confirmed it was a wild gecko, not an escaped pet.  It seemed injured, but gradually started moving all its limbs and, convinced it would likely survive without further intervention from humans, I took a quick photo and found a suitable bush on the other side of the parking lot to release it into.  Back in familiar surroundings, it scurried away.

Skyscapes in Borrego Springs Library

Skyscapes in Borrego Springs Library

Then I went and hung up my art work and, mindful of the fact I also had work to deliver to the Borrego Art Institute, the curator had to hurry off to another appointment and there was a storm coming in (the road sometimes gets washed out between there and home) I hurried away.

Last weekend I was in Borrego to sit in the Art Institute to sit in the gallery so after I went to the library to photo the display in place.  Then I forgot to post this.  Oh well, at least I did it before the show was taken down.

Green glues.

Three sample glues from Nine Lives Products

Three sample glues from Nine Lives Products

A couple months back I blogged about Nine Lives ProductsKickstarter project.  Nine Lives makes glues from used styrofoam and plant products.  Super eco-friendly, recycled, green, keeps stuff out of landfills, you name it! I was one of the project backers and they were successful, and for my thank you gift I received samples of three glues.

I experimented with the Tile and Ceramic Glue – glued some plastic fork pieces together as I didn’t have anything ceramic that’s broken at the moment that I could work on.  I found this glue worked very well.

I was very interested in the paper-oriented glues as I’m hoping to make my refractured watercolors more eco-friendly.  Over the last 24 hours I’ve been experimenting with two of those glues.  I use glues or glue-type substances in two stages – attaching the paper pieces to the surface, and creating a touchable, splash-proof surface. I prepared some watercolor collages, and in my first experiment was to glue one down with School Glue.  It was easy to work with, spread well, smelled vaguely citrussy and cleaned up nicely with water.  I did find that I needed to go back and peel and re-glue some areas, and weight down the whole collage overnight.  Perhaps this is a side-effect of using 140lb paper, which for those of you who don’t paint watercolor, is like a thin cardboard.

Glu6 as a glaze

Glu6 as a glaze

This afternoon I tried Glu6, which is very thick, and has a strong tangerine scent.  I first used it as a surface glaze on the collage I’d glued the prior afternoon, and then tried it as a glue.  Glu6’s thickness made it harder to brush, though I liked what I first saw in the layer of glaze – the brush marks settled out to a slightly wrinkled surface, almost like undulations on a lake.  I set this aside and went to glue the second collage.  Both collages I’m putting on Ampersand Artist Panels.  Again I find it necessary to weigh it down and at this point, about an hour later, it hasn’t stuck the paper to paper areas, though the papers sticking directly to the gessoed board seem to be well attached.  When I went to clean the brush I found that it’s not a water-cleanup glue – it’s waterproof.  Fortunately I also paint in oils so I had turpentine to hand otherwise I would’ve killed my gluing brush.

Drying to a dull sheen

Drying to a dull sheen

At the time of writing the glazed collage is drying nicely – to a dull finish, but also sinking into the paper more than I had anticipated.  It’s rated for semi-porous surfaces and I think watercolor paper is just too porous for this glue.

Sadly it seems that neither Glu6 nor School Glue would be the best choice for my usage.  School Glue does glue the papers down well, but the need to weight down overnight limits it to small collages, so I will use the sample on those.  Glu6 and Tile and Ceramic Glue will be put to use around the house.