This course is a comprehensive look at my process, thoughts, materials and techniques as I work through a series of four paintings based on a common theme - DOTS! I love dots, and I wanted to create four acrylic/mixed media paintings on 12x12in Baltic Birch wooden panel. Watch over my shoulder as I begin these paintings with "PLAY", continue until something speaks to me in each painting ("EXPLORE"), and bring each painting to a satisfying conclusion with final touches ("CLARIFY"). I once again make a mistake when I forget to sign my name before applying the final varnish. However, that's okay because it gave me an excuse to show you how to remove the varnish - great if you forgot to sign your name OR decide you aren't finished after all and wish to keep painting! I show my final varnish and presentation for these paintings which provides a satiny, “encaustic look” to the final work.
I demonstrate lots of acrylic and mixed media techniques I use while painting all four paintings in this series, including mark making, collage, subtractive techniques (sanding, gouging, wiping back, etc.) and applying four different colors of glaze to create cohesion throughout the series. 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.You will learn so much in these 9 hours of video content!
I show you all the acrylic and mixed media techniques I typically use every time I paint using the acrylic medium, and begin early on with the theme of "circles" or dots - simple shapes which I love! In this series, I decided early on to find many ways to create repetition, with lots of variety, to build each painting with "shape" as just one of the many connective threads between each of the final paintings.
In my EXPLORE stage, I face many confusing and jumbled beginnings which I consider "UGLY" because they are at first "messy" to the eye, with too many shapes and distracting colors. Watch as I work through each of four paintings to to gradually find shapes and colors I LOVE. I call these my treasures or "Gems"! I must decide what is worth keeping, and what must go. Even if I like some things, i realize I can't keep everything. Creating art requires so much decision making, doesn't it? Change along the way is sometimes good, and sometimes not - progress can go forward and reverse. Even when things get challenging, it's important to never quit! Knowing a wide array of techniques will keep things fresh, interesting and moving forward!
By the time my four paintings have grown up, they need some final touches which require finesse and subtlety. The painting process slows down, and I pay attention to a variety of edges, surface quality, thickness of paint, textured vs smooth areas, and many other considerations. Watch as I go through each painting and decide when it's finished and ready to frame! I'll show you how I varnish each painting to create a smooth, encaustic like finish and then add the final touch - the frame!
This course is meant as a stand alone course in acrylic and mixed media painting as well as a great reinforcement for those artists who have already enrolled in my Powerful Design and Personal Color Course, and/or my Acrylic and Mixed Media Techniques Course where I show you how I painted "Indian Summer" from beginning to end. Working in a series is one of many ways to gain momentum and be productive in your studio - and it is my favorite way of working to create cohesion. If you've ever wondered why your work sometimes looks like 15 different artists painted them, it is cohesion that may be lacking. How do you develop your personal voice in a way that conveys a strong point of view? I hope to show you in this series of four paintings! There are approximately nine hours of video in this course!
"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.