This course is a comprehensive look at process, thoughts and materials as I developed “Indian Summer”, a 12x12in acrylic/mixed media on wooden panel, from beginning to end. The mini-course includes 5 modules with approximately 5 hours of video which documents the many techniques I use in acrylic and mixed media and how my thinking and action change as I go from PLAY to EXPLORE to CLARIFY. I even discuss what it feels like when I get stuck and tuck the painting away for a “time out”, and then bring it out months later to finish it! I show my final varnish and presentation for “Indian Summer” which gives a satiny, “encaustic look” to the final work.
Included in this mini-course I give detailed information of the many techniques I use while painting “Indian Summer”, including additive (markmaking, monoprint, applying thick, smooth paint, collage, stencils, glazing, etc), subtractive (sanding, gouging, wiping back) as well as many additional techniques in the bonus section (stencil transfer, paint transfers, image transfers, etc!). The videos are shown predominantly in real time as you look over my shoulder so you can get a better feel for time spent in various techniques and the overall painting process. You will learn a great deal as I discuss what I’m doing and what I’m thinking in these comprehensive videos.
I show you all the acrylic and mixed media techniques I typically use every time I paint using the acrylic medium, and share the “prompts” that allow me to really have fun and push boundaries – while maintaining a childlike attitude with no judgment, self-criticism or expectations. You will see that I spend quite a bit of time working hard to “be my inner child” while beginning this painting. This leads to a very “UGLY” painting. Good job, Pam!
In my EXPLORE stage, I face my UGLY painting and keep pushing forward – but I also encounter that “Oh No! I’m Stuck” feeling that many artists have midway through a painting! I’ll explain what I did when this happened, and how I was able to overcome this and finish the painting. Rather than quit when things are “ugly”, I explain why there is no reason to get discouraged, even when things look bleak and hopeless – the key is to just keep moving your painting forward and be an “observer” of “change”- good or bad! You CAN get past the ugly stage as long as you don’t quit! Knowing a wide array of techniques will keep things fresh and interesting!
After many, many, many layers of experimentation, I finally discover my “gems”; it isn’t always easy or fast, but if you stick with it, you WILL eventually find yours as well! When you do, it’s important to know which techniques are critical in order to clarify and edit away “noise”, harmonize your work and make sure its balanced so you can clearly see your “treasures”. I demonstrate fine tuning techniques in acrylic like glazing and how I use my “camouflage test” – especially in the final stages.
Tip for working with gold leaf
How to do the “camouflage” test to determine the value of your color
How to use a gelli plate and make your own collage material
Comparison test using Golden “OPEN” acrylic medium with three different types of acrylic paint.
Comparison of Acrylic vs CWM/Oils
How to do a pH test for found collage papers to see if they are acid free.
Comparison test of glazes showing relationship between warm and cool colors
Videos on image transfer, spraypaint/stencil transfer and paint transfers!
"I cannot recommend this course highly enough. It is densely packed with valuable content about all aspects of working with acrylics. For anyone already familiar with Pam’s incredibly thorough and clear-to-understand teaching style, prepare to have your expectations exceeded! I thought I knew quite a lot about working in acrylics, but have completely rediscovered this medium through the information, visual demos and practical tips in this course. Using a simple premise – one painting from beginning to end – Pam demonstrates a world of new possibilities in acrylics. She provides a fascinating running commentary of her ENTIRE process here, navigating the highs and the lows as she responds to what the painting is telling her, and sharing gems of wisdom that are easy to apply to take your own work practice in acrylics to a completely new level."
"Thank you Pam for a fantastic not so “mini” course! Very comprehensive class...a painting from beginning to end, demonstrating tons of Acrylic painting techniques in REAL time. Pam shares her struggles and challenges every artist experiences during the process of creating a painting. You will learn how to overcome and resolve potential blocks as Pam demonstrates AND verbalizes her thought processes! The finishing techniques, which include varnishing and framing, are very valuable! I highly recommend this course to artists of every level! An essential guide to have in your Artistic Toolbox! Enjoyed it!
Karin Husty, Mixed Media Artist
"This course is amazing! I would always get stuck in a ugly painting, get discouraged, and give up. After this course, I truly feel I know how to continue to work on the paintings I have that are incomplete. I am excited about beginning a new adventure in acrylics and mixed media based on the wonderful instruction in this course! The bonus section is great. I learned so much! Thank you, Pam! What a great addition to your online courses!"
"Pam this is just a great learning experience! The course on acrylics is really helping me see more clearly all of what you have been teaching! What a journey this painting took! It was reassuring to me that I too can get there! When I mean “there” I mean attaining the knowledge to critique my own work, on becoming unstuck, and correcting my own mistakes! The ability to have my own voice, make it stronger and make creative powerful art! Like wow! Excellent course! Thank you so much for giving us this!"
"I watched several "episodes" last night and I was on the edge of my seat, as usual, when you covered stuff up, but am beginning to see and understand and relax while watching that part. I am enjoying it sooo much! Especially since I've only worked in acrylic since joining the course in the spring. I guess I'm still waiting for the right opportunity to do CWO, but in the meantime, I feel I'm learning so much more about acrylics than I ever knew! Thanks so much, Pam!"
"I got so much out of this mini-course I hardly know where to begin. First of all, it filled in the gaps of my knowledge of acrylic painting. The biggest takeaway for me was that I finally understand how important the use of grays are to making gems pop. How to mix unusual grays and how beautiful they can be. When Pam says her studio is a lab, she is not kidding. Her students are the beneficiaries of her scientific breakthroughs. From her fascinating camouflage test to stencil transfers to gold leaf shapes, the bonus material alone is worth the price of this course. I’ll be revisiting the course again and again."
"So many little tips on art making that makes the journey easier and even more exciting! The chart on glazes and seeing the difference each color of glaze makes on on base color and how to test that for yourself, how to make stencils and stencil transfers and paint transfers and image transfers and how mixing all these techniques adds so much character to the painting itself. I have a Gelli Plate and now I can't wait to play with it because I now see how wonderful it is to incorporate collage papers into the painting and it doesn't have to look like arts and crafts but can be a very sophisticated finished product. Great info and I am sure I will learn even more after I play a while and then watch it again. Thank you, Pam!"
"Pamela is a wonderful, inspiring artist and truly generous, compassionate and brilliant teacher. She has been so instrumental in helping me to get back into art making after decades away, and her work, classes, and genius at critiquing work is not to be missed. I am so grateful."
"TThis course was the perfect addition to Watch-Learn-Grow and Powerful Design. Watching Pam go through her own struggles as the painting evolved and then seeing the emergence of the final piece was a real aha moment for me. I finally understood that Ugly is good, and Explore is so important and can't be rushed. I now know that with patience, I can work my way out of ugly and move on to something I actually like. I also now know that there is so much to be gained from the paintings that are hard. Pam's teachings have helped me enormously and my work has grown as a consequence. I can't recommend this course enough."
Pamela Caughey grew up in Wisconsin, where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from UW-Madison in 1983. After moving with her family to Hamilton, MT in 1986, she began her serious study of art, and in 2010 received her MFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Montana School of Art. She works in many media, with special interest in cold wax/oil, encaustic, mixed media and acrylic. Her work is in the permanent collection of several museums and public buildings nationally and internationally and her work appears in the newly published book by Rebecca Crowell and Jerry McLaughlin, “Cold Wax Medium: Techniques, Concepts, Conversations”. After teaching foundations courses at the University of Montana, Bitterroot College, Montana, she is now a full time studio artist and teaches workshops from her Hamilton, Montana studio, within the US and abroad.