Layering Media

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A particular pleasure in both painting and photography is merging different images to create a new image.  I enjoy layering different images so they can be experienced as a new single image laced with delicate ambiguities. We have varieties of tools to help with this from collaging, to layering photos in Photoshop to mixing media.

I use Photo Elements to layer different photos and discover new landscapes. The resulting hybrid photo becomes a point of departure as I explore what can happen  when overlay other media (oils, inks, watercolors, acrylics, graphite) in the painting process. New imagery keeps surfacing.  So many inviting alternatives present themselves. Here are a few examples of that process.

I sometimes begin with a landscape photo as you see in example 1. Next, I overlay  other landscapes with Photo Elements/ Photoshop with a result like example 2. Here I began my painting process by laying down acrylic ink.  This is usually quick drying so I can immediately introduce oil paints. I have two sequential examples here of how that can progress  (examples 3 and 4). This painting began with an underlying coat of translucent primary yellow acrylic ink. Nothing is finished here. These are just stages in the process.

Example 1. Photo of landscape,

Example 2. Two photos layered,

Example 3. An early stage in the painting “Audubon Lagoon”,

Example 4. A later stage in “Audubon Lagoon”

I also can use this process with differing materials when beginning a cityscape. Example one presents the first stage of preparation with an underlying stain of primary cyan over white Dibond (example 5).  I work over this cyan substrate which remains quite visible in the (almost) final state of the painting as you see in example 6.

Example 5. The substrate of primary cyan acrylic ink,

Example 6, The painting, “Brooklyn Bridge Encounter” in its current state,

First let me remind anyone interested in registering for my Spring semester classes at the Silvermine School of Art in New Canaan, Ct (which begin the week of April 22) that registration begins at 9:00 AM on Wednesday March 20th.  Call (203 966 6668 ext 2) or come in person or register on line.

I also invite you to my workshop “Explore Spectacular Flowers and Nature” with David Dunlop on Saturday and Sunday , March 23 and 24th at Artsplace in Cheshire, Ct. at or call Joan or Karen at 203 272 2787.

You may also wish to join me at The Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida for my workshop “Natural Wonders” May 17, 18, and 19. Demonstrations in watercolor oil, acrylic and mixed media. This is a studio workshop.  Call Sara Bass at 904 280 0614 ext 204 or register at

I have a variety of other workshops coming up. The first weekend in June I will be at the Lyme Arts Association with a two day studio workshop.

In July ( 18,19,and 20) I will conduct a studio workshop on Nantucket with the Nantucket Arts Association.

Additionally, there may be one spot left in my workshop in Portugal in June. This workshop is sponsored by Adam Cave Gallery in Raleigh NC. Call Adam at the gallery for questions about this week long  painting trip with me in an 18th century country estate 919 272 5958.

See this website under Classes and Events“ for further details on these workshops and classes.


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