Archive for September, 2010


Painting Techniques

Here are some painting techniques demonstrated with acrylic paint and watercolor paper.

Dry wash: place the paint on dry paper.

Wet wash: place the paint on paper that has already been primed with water.

Glaze: add multiple layers of thin paint to paper. This can be done with wet or dry layers.

Frottage: French for “rubbing,” frottage painting is a technique used by artist  to create textures by literally rubbing the texture on. This technique was developed by surrealist Max Ernst in 1925 and can be found prominently throughout his body of work.

Sponge: add texture and color with a common household sponge.

Cardboard: the material can be used to add texture and streaks to your painting.

Splattering: use a pencil end and paintbrush or preferably an old toothbrush to splatter your painting like Jackson Pollock.

Stippling: is the creation of a pattern in solid forms or shading by using small dots.

Masking: the technique of covering part of your paper so that paint may be placed partly over it without the overlapping area being visible.

Stenciling: using a template to draw or paint identical letters, numbers, symbols, shapes, or patterns.

Scrapeback: a technique to used to partially reveal the underlying layer of a canvas or paper.

Wax resist: a technique commonly used with children and crayons. The wax will resist the paint causing the design to be more visible in the painting.

Dry stick: to paint with a dry stick or paint brush end.

Wet stick: o paint with a wet stick or paint brush end.

Dabbing: to apply paint lightly with a piece of absorbent material using short poking strokes.


Japan House at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Here are some photographs from Japan House at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Last Tuesday we had a wonderful visit to Japan House for Dr. Liora Bresler‘s The Arts in Elementary and Early Childhood graduate course. Professor Kimiko Gunji performed the traditional Japanese tea ceremony which embodies history, culture, taste, and aesthetics.


Polish folk music group Latawce at The Urbana Free Library

A few weeks ago I attended a performance of the Polish folk music group Latawce at The Urbana Free Library for Dr. Liora Bresler‘s The Arts in Elementary and Early Childhood graduate course. Latawce’s music was thought provoking and creatively rich even if I couldn’t understand the meaning. The Urbana Free Library is an excellent site of community gatherings and inter-cultural exchanges.

A member of Latawce wears traditional Polish hand-made shoes.

The Urbana Free Library


Our new home and adventures in paint stripping

We are in the process of closing on our two unit home in Urbana, Il. The duplex is close to Lincoln Square shopping mall and is located in Historic East Urbana. Our home is over 80 years old and needs some updating in but has a lot of old-fashioned charm that I wouldn’t trade for the world. Included are some photographs of the paint stripping process.

Here is the living room with citristrip being applied to the baseboards and door frame.

The office/second bedroom

The master bedroom.

The kitchen door frame in the process of being stripped.

The finished stripped door frame.

A cross-section of the stripped and unstripped door frame.

The living room with stripped baseboards, door frames, and windows. This is a long and messy process. To strip paint I’ve been using citristrip and klean-strip products. The citistrip omits less chemicals than the klean-stip and stays wet for 24 hours so you can strip at your own time as needed (this helps if you are removing paint from a larger area). However, neither product removes all layers of paint after one application and in order to do so I’ve had to apply the product 2-4 times and then scrub the area with bleach. Removing paint is hard work and takes a lot of elbow grease. You will need many pairs of chemical proof gloves, a lot of scrubbing pads/brushes and several paint scrappers to get the job done.

Here I am with my paint fume mask and splash-proof goggles.


Buckingham Fountain, Chicago

After experiencing the contemporary sculpture, art, and architecture at Millennium Park we walked over to Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park. The fountain is elegant and engages the public with a water display and music every hour from 8am to 11pm in the summer. Mom Rees and I sat back and enjoyed the show with ice cream.

Segway tourists on the way to Grant Park


Jaume Plensa’s the Crown Fountain at Millennium Park, Chicago

The Crown Fountain was inspired by the people of Chicago. It displays giant images of ordinary citizens whose mouth opens and becomes a fountain where children splash and play.


Frank Gehry’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park

Frank Gehry’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park is an aesthetic marvel of art, architecture, music, shape, and form.  It is an open public space where visitors can interact with the city, sit on the grass, gaze at the sky, and listen to some live beats. It doesn’t get better than this…

Jo’s tweets


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