Ce Jamieson’s Artist Diary

Date: 2 January 2021 – Painting: The Piazza Medium: Acrylic on Canvas

Time: 6:00 PM

It’s hard to climb back in the cage after a long paint session. Yet, I’m here dressed and ready to go. Now to strip the palettes, wash the jars and brushes then get stuck back in. I’m working on a new painting, ‘The Piazza’. It has been a long while since I’ve painted imagery. I see a bird on a fence, a dog eating ice cream and soulmates dancing across roof tops. Italy is such a lovely happy place. I also have another painting in mind. All I see in the mind’s eye at the moment for the second painting is red. I love to dance across the canvas in tones with the brush. I’ll switch back and forth between the two paintings and give the studio’s poor old blow dryer a break tonight. Acrylic dries fast.

Acrylic Tip: When using water with acrylic paint remember to watch the ratios. Some do add water to keep it wet. It’s best to add a medium to the paint instead however. Water reduces the binder of the paint. Too much water and the paint will begin to peel at some stage. Never add more than one part water to three parts paint.

Time: 1:51 AM

I’m switching between the two paintings. Red is such a merciless colour. It’s proving to be a battle to get the background under control on the second painting. I did have to use the blow dryer in the end as I’ve been working fast in making constant improvements. It’s been too much like hard work all night with my thoughts wondering about but now I’ve settled in and focusing fully on the work. It’s like that some days. I’ve decided to paint a rose on an abstract background and name this work, ‘A Passionate Rose’. The first painting, ‘The Piazza’ will need to be removed from the easel and placed on the floor so I can draw the bird, etc. Drawing must be done early not late. As after too many hours painting my hand tends to shake a bit.

Time: 3:53 AM

Making progress in laying the flat colours. Paintings never look like much at this stage. The detail, shading and what not are all still to come. A large bird will sit at the front of, ‘The Piazza’ and I’m going to paint a fountain in the centre. My palette is the colours of the sunflower. I have so many happy memories of sunflowers from when I lived in Italy. There was a beautiful field full of them which always made me smile. Such a wonderful memory. I have many happy memories from my life there. I hope to paint them all in time.

Time 6:08 AM

Working on, ‘A Passionate Rose’ again. I’ve painted over the green as it drew the eye away from the rose. And the green and red together were a bit too watermelon. Red and pink are dancing across the canvas at this hour. What a beautiful start to a new day. I must crash though before I fall asleep covered in paint sitting in the studio. It won’t be the first time. I spend more time taking cat naps in the chair here than I do sleeping in my bed. The completion of the two paintings is now simply down to focus, weeks of hard work and dedication.

Date: 1 January 2021 – Painting: The Hidden Heart – Medium: Acrylic on Canvas

Time: 10:44 PM

I’m a busy, busy, busy girl. A big part of the week is spent marketing. There was a time when the paintings took centre stage. The internet changed that. In a world where humans run down feeds viewing as many as five thousand images per day we professional full time artists had to up our game. Now the artist, studio and paintings are all on display. Do I like this? I won’t comment. It simply is what it is. I’m currently marketing a new work, ‘The Hidden Heart’. I love this painting. In low light it looks to be an entirely black canvas. Yet turn on the lights, and blue comes to life dancing across the scene in a vast array of tones and brushstrokes. Ballet is a hobby and a passion. And at times the deep love I have for dance, music and theatre appear in the work.

And now it is time to shift back to painting. I just finished preparing a large canvas. I will wash the water jars and brushes then set to work. I try to paint at least 8 to 10 hours a day and not let marketing cut into that precious time. It is a difficult struggle. But one must remember, the only way to improve is to paint, paint, paint……..

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Date: 30 December 2020 – Painting: A Sudden Freeze – Medium: Acrylic on Canvas

Time: 11:00 PM

The night begins as they always do. Cleaning up the mess from the last paint session. I’m working on a canvas in which I’m completely lost. It has been many things, none of which were worthy to remain. There are elements I like now, however. The grey at the top, yellow centre, and green on the bottom. I’m on to something I’m just not sure what yet. The painting will reveal itself to me when it is ready. Such matters can’t be rushed. Abstract expressionism is experimental. The goal is to step up to the canvas with no preconceived ideas whatsoever. Then one must let the image flow naturally. Many don’t understand this. A modern abstract expressionist’s deepest desire is to create something new that not only was inspired by emotion but inspires others to feel emotion. I’m not seeking to please the audience nor to create something that is decorative. Good or bad I want to open up my soul and share what needs to come out. As in all relationships the more honest, I am able to be the more the work will connect with viewers, patrons, and collectors. It’s deep and perhaps corny but that’s what I’m after – a soul connection. To speak through the power of art. And for this, I must create something true, real, and pure. A work untainted by the thought, “will they like it”. Complete truth and maintaining truth is required in order for souls to connect and remain connected on a deep level. This is true in art as well as life.

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Time: 2:48 AM

I work nights so it is normal for me to be painting at this hour. When I first began working on this painting I was in an entirely different mindset. Since then a blizzard has hit Minneapolis. This afternoon I enjoyed a walk through the wintery landscape to Mass. Followed by a conversation with my mother. She lives in a tropical place but unfortunately, a freeze hit and a few of the plants around her cottage died. So when I returned to the studio my mind had remapped which is the trouble with leaving before a painting is fully finished. However one must live. As new imagery flowed through my mind the painting began to change as well. As ever 3:00 AM has now found me covered in paint, stuck in and enjoying my work.

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Time: 4:28 AM

I’m making fast progress now for I can see clearly down the path. I’m at that point where I know I have the skill to finish. Yet I’m aware that if inspiration and creativity aren’t with me, I’m going to crash and burn in this piece. Here lies the difference between the draftsman and the artist. What I am doing is not precise. I guess one could call it a creative dance. I’m moving the brush quickly across the canvas and letting the magic happen. Wonderful areas are beginning to appear. I particularly like the one I posted below in the slide show. Please click the arrow to see all photos. I’m a complete mess now. More paint than human.

Time: 5:24 AM

I’m quite pleased with, ‘A Sudden Freeze’. What changed? I painted over the lime green on the bottom with yellow oxide leaving small areas of green. Only a hint of course. And mixed naples yellow and primary yellow adding it above the black for better contrast. It’s the brushwork and balance of this painting that makes it work so well. Where the black ends I balanced the image by dragging naples yellow over a section of grey mixed from ivory black and naples yellow. Before I decide to go to sleep each morning I blow-dry the painting I’m working on completely. Acrylic paint dries darker and I don’t want to wake up to any surprises. I have a bit of clean-up to do tomorrow and then I can sign it. This painting is all but complete.

A tip for acrylic use: If there is a great deal of paint on the palette at the end of a studio session lay a damp paper towel over the paint, place aluminum foil around the palette and place it in the fridge for later use.

Good morning to you and a good night to me. For I will now sleep through the day, wrap up this painting finally and make a start on a new one. Cheers!

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