Bartram's Garden, DoN BrewerBartram’s Garden, DoN Brewer, oil on canvas, 16″ x 20″

My friend John Benigno asked me the other day if I had ever finished the painting I posted on Instagram? I think it’s done. Painting plein air with the Philadelphia Art Meetup Group ignites an energy in me that had been dormant. Going into the field, with the security of friends, to paint the natural world stimulates creativity through performance. It’s like being in a play and everyone is making up their own parts. Sometimes there is participation from the audience like a dog-walker with questions or a passing car horn honk.

Posting progress of the painting on Instagram and facebook is also a kind of performance art with the satisfaction of ‘likes’ and comments. The act of painting is as scientific and technological as computing, it’s hard work and experience to learn the combinations. You really need to know your codes to get results and with painting it’s about emulsions.

When I’m outdoors I use Liquin medium to thin the oils, the result is a nice soft texture with a bit of transparency. In a home studio, though, the fumes are too much. I learned about Gamblin Galkyd Lite at Plaza Artist Material Hands On Creativity event this past Summer. Using the Gamblin Galkyd Lite medium indoors to finish the painting from a photograph was not as smelly but you still need good ventilation. The finish was nice and slippery, the paint layered and stayed in place, and the drying was faster with time to work wet on wet.

Bartram's Garden, DoN BrewerBartram’s Garden, DoN Brewer, Philadelphia Art Meetup Group

Thank you to Bartram’s Garden for being such a welcoming host for artists to work in a beautiful, safe and accommodating environment. Thank you to Philadelphia Art Meetup Group for their support and encouragement for painters to gather together and make art. Thanks to Plaza Artist Material for the demo and free stuff, the education and fine materials you provided pushed me to paint. Thank you to my followers who continue to show interest in my work, provide support and encouragement for me to be an artist.

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