I’m continuing my quest to master mixing oil and watercolors successfully and just might have a new series emerging: winter aspens. Or winter birch. I’m a bit torn since I love the aspen trees of my native Colorado in winter, but also love the birch found in the Pacific Northwest where I’ve spent many months painting in the winter over the last decade (and now live).

Here are two of my most recent winter trees – layers of oil paint (I use oil sticks such as Winsor & Newton Oilbars), followed by layers of watercolor paint (some traditional paints along with my own mix of metallic pigment powders).  At just the right time, I scrape the tree shapes out with an old favorite tool: pieces of cut up credit cards.

I’m loving these early results… what do you think?

Winter-Aspens-No-3-and-5

“Winter Aspens No. 3” and “Winter Aspens No. 5”, oil and metallic watercolor, 12 x 12 inches, $350.

I’m finally calling my experimentation from the last month or so a success!  I’ve experimented with various methods of making oil paint and watercolor mix and love my results.  I mix layers of oil paint (using oilsticks such as Winsor & Newton Oilbars) and metallic and traditional watercolors, working on paper and then I’ve mounted the paper onto cradled panel.  More about my techniques another day…

"Forever Gone", watercolor and oil mounted on panel, 6x6x1.5".

“Forever Gone”, watercolor and oil mounted on panel, 6x6x1.5″.

"Golden Era", watercolor and oil mounted on panel, 10x10x1.5".

“Golden Era”, watercolor and oil mounted on panel, 10x10x1.5″.

“up/down, up/down, up/down”… is a funny saying we’ve had around the house for a decade now, coined by me on our honeymoon when my husband kept playing with the rental car’s controls for raising and lowering the convertible top repeatedly. Again and again – until he blew an electrical fuse and we were forced to drive around with the top stuck in the “down” position, sweltering in the Hawaiian heat.

Wet watercolor "elemental" squares.

Wet watercolor “elemental” squares.

Well, “up/down, up/down, up/down” is what I’ve been doing with my creative process in my studio lately.  I thought I was on to something new and good with mixing oil paints and watercolor, but after lots of experimenting and thinking that I love what I’ve spent the last 3 weeks painting (up), the last few days I’m frustrated and angry with my results (down).

Instead of destroying paintings that I might love again tomorrow, I’ve been going back to my most basic and comforting work – painting my “elemental” squares.  But even those aren’t going so swell… but there’s always tomorrow to turn things around.

I’m still getting settled into my new studio space on the northwestern edge of Portland’s Pearl District.  My space is small – about 1/4 the size of my studio in Columbus (and more expensive!). For now, I’m making it work!

Studio-Snapshot-07.31.15

"Bouyant" was chosen out of over 650 paintings to exhibit at the San Diego Watercolor Society International Exhibition in San Diego, California.

“Bouyant” was chosen out of over 650 paintings to exhibit at the San Diego Watercolor Society International Exhibition in San Diego, California.

I’ve had several of my new Metallic Squares series paintings accepted into well-respected, national juried exhibitions recently. I’m super-excited that my latest watercolor and oil paintings are receiving some attention and it gets my heart rate going in my studio to keep on exploring my Metallic Squares and painting more!

"My Personal Raincloud" one of 65 paintings chosen out of 665 for the Rocky Mountain National Watermedia Exhibit in Golden, Colorado.

“My Personal Raincloud” one of 65 paintings chosen out of 665 for the Rocky Mountain National Watermedia Exhibit in Golden, Colorado.

I’m following a 20-year dream and moving to Portland, Oregon!

I’ve soaked up lots of inspiration on my many trips and painting sojourns to Oregon over the years and am finally making the move in June. So, I’ll be closing my Columbus studio at the end of May and need your help to lighten my moving truck.

Through the end of May, all of my original art is available for 40 – 75% off regular prices.

  • Purchase online at DavidCastleArt.com and use Savings Code “PDX” at checkout to instantly save 40%.
  • Visit my Columbus Studio on Saturday, May 23rd (9am – 5pm) to browse hundreds of paintings at 40-75% savings.
  • Contact me to schedule a private Studio visit anytime through May 28th.
"May Flowers", watercolor and acrylic on canvas, 12 x 12 inches, $300 regular price ($180 after 40% savings!).

“May Flowers”, watercolor and acrylic on canvas, 12 x 12 inches, $300 regular price ($180 after 40% savings!).

As a followup to my last post about my crumbling love affair with Daniel Smith paints, I’m sad to say that Daniel Smith has definitely discontinued their entire acrylic paint line.  I’ve primarily used Daniel Smith acrylic paints (along with their watercolor paints) since the “beginning” for me over 10 years ago.  The last time I visited their website to order acrylic, I noticed all of them appearing on web pages that contained “discontinued” in the title.

My acrylic drawer filled with now obsolete Daniel Smith Acrylics.

My acrylic drawer filled with now obsolete Daniel Smith Acrylics.

Well, after a few emails to them, I was told they were discontinued, but they failed to respond with any additional info.  I couldn’t even find an official note from them to their customers and fans (lovers) to explain the what, why, when, etc.

I guess I could go on and on about my breaking heart, but seems I should just move on and start filling up my acrylic drawer with paints that are going to stay around!

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