Silver painting – Work in progress

In the fall I was out in Canmore and after my best friend ‘dragged’ me into an art gallery, I couldn’t help but purchase a beautiful painting from The Avens Gallery.

Can't Stop It on display in the window at the Avens Gallery.

Can’t Stop It on display in the window at the Avens Gallery.

The painting is called “Can’t Stop It” and it’s by a local Southern Alberta oil artist, David Zimmerman.

(I also totally loved Jo Ludwig’s glass vessels  which were on the ledge below – but they might just have to wait before joining my art collection!) 

The gallery staff explained that David started with a layer of real silver and gold leaf under his oil paintings, which brings an extraordinary shimmer and shine – a sense of brightness and light behind the colours. They also explained that the painting was coated/sealed with a clear ‘resin’ which would not yellow or crack with age, but left a smooth, glossy, highly-reflective finish. (Which really shows off the shimmer and light behind the colours.)  I was totally in love with the painting, and right now it’s hanging up proudly in my living/dining room.  (If only I had better lighting set up to show it off!)


Of course, I loved the look of the painting, and thought that perhaps I might give the technique a try.

Step 1 – applying the foil

The first canvas

I had two canvases (which I had actually planned on using for something else…) and the first I prepared by underpainting with black. I don’t work with oils, so I used acrylics…

Once the paint was dry, I roughly sketched out the basic outline of what I wanted to paint, and then coated the canvas with glue where I wanted the foil, and then applied the foil mostly according to the instructions.  (The shop where I bought the foil didn’t have any specific foil adhesive or sealer, so I had to improvise.)

Foil applied to the first canvas over the black underpainting

Foil applied to the first canvas over the black underpainting

I waited overnight, and then brushed off the loose silver leaf, and then put a glossy acrylic medium over the foil to seal it, ready for the painting I’ll be doing next.  The medium didn’t work as I thought it would – it puddled on top of the foil, since the foil isn’t absorbant in any way.

acrylic medium puddling  up on top of the foil

acrylic medium puddling up on top of the foil

The second canvas

The second canvas I underpainted with blue and red for a different painting.  Rather than waiting for it to dry and then coating the canvas with glue… I thought I was being clever, and applied the foil to the wet paint.  This really wasn’t a good idea, because the paint took a LOT longer to dry – and I started touching it too soon, breaking the foil.

foil applied to the red and blue painted canvas

foil applied to the red and blue painted canvas

The third canvas

Since the paint-as-glue technique didn’t seem to be working, I went out to a different shop and picked up the foil adhesive (which has a REALLY long ‘wet’ time and stays tacky forever!) and the foil sealer. I took my third canvas, painted it black like the first one, then applied the adhesive. When it was tacky (within half an hour) I carefully (way more carefully than the previous two attempts) applied the foil to the areas I wanted foiled.

Step 2 – Painting

The third canvas

Silver painting work in progress

Silver painting work-in-progress

Here’s the painting as a work-in-progress, where I have painted in the foreground hill, the background rock wall, the background trees, and the foreground tree. I love that in the photo you can even see the shine of the foil through the blue paints – though the colours aren’t as intense as I would like… This might require more work (on another painting…!)

Pottery gifts

Beautiful purple and blue bowl

Beautiful purple and blue bowl

I mentioned back in November about a pottery show I attended, where I picked up a few of my holiday gifts – WAY in advance. Now that the holidays have passed, and I’ve given away most of the gifts (… and for those I missed catching up with before the holidays.. just pretend to be surprised!)

For gifts I bought:

  • A gorgeous purple and blue bowl
  • A fantastic blue/green teapot
  • A lovely blue/brown mug
  • …. and then, just for me – I bought a blue, black, and red bowl.

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Pottery Sale & FCA art show

Fairview Pottery sale

Fairview Pottery sale

Back in May, I went to the Fairview Studios Pottery Sale at the Canyon Meadows Community Hall.  I took some photos, and since the posts about their Open House were so popular I thought I’d post them now, rather than waiting until after the holidays (since I bought some of my holiday gifts WAY in advance there…)

My cousin attends classes at the studio, and she recommended I attend the sale.

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Calyx art show & sale

This weekend is the twice-annual Calyx art show and sale, so I wanted to include a brief blurb about the show and encourage others in Calgary to attend!

Very crowded after noon on Saturday, October 19th

Very crowded after noon on Saturday, October 19th

I got there on Saturday after noon, and took a quick photo of how crowded it already was (faces blurred for privacy). Of course I entered the door prize draw, and then looked around… There are a number of different areas, and a number of different art styles represented. There are easy gift items like small paintings, sculptures, glass art, pottery, and jewelry. (The jewelry included hand-made glass beads, leatherwork, beaded items, miniature paintings in little pendant frames, and other items.) There are also really lovely treasure-worthy items like gorgeous alabaster vessels, encaustic paintings (which I’m always drawn to!) oils, pastels, charcoal, watercolour, and mixed medium paintings as well. Prices vary, though I was able to find two pieces to purchase… (more about that in another post…) and it’s nice to have the chance to chat with the artists directly!

door prize items up for grabs - I would LOVE the octopus plate!

door prize items up for grabs – I would LOVE the octopus plate!

If you don’t already have plans for today (Sunday, October 20th), the show is at Crescent Heights Community Centre – 1101 – 2nd Street NW, Calgary, AB, and doors are open from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. Even if you did have the chance to go on Saturday – there are different artists both days, so maybe head down again!

If you miss this weekend (or just want to mark your calendars for upcoming shows) the next shows will be:

  • April 26 and 27, 2014
  • October 18 and 19, 2014