View Full Version : Hello from New Mexico Newbie

NM Painter
08-27-2008, 03:33 PM
I've been 'lurking' for a little while, as I'm new to this forum messaging business, and now I'm so impressed with this site I can't resist jumping in.

I recently retired and have been getting back into painting after a LONG absence. I've been taking acrylic painting classes with a great teacher here in Santa Fe for almost four years, and loving the beautiful earth forms, colors and clear, open light of the high desert.

The extremely dry air, though a welcome relief from NE humidity, makes working with acrylics VERY challenging (frustrating to the point of melt-down when working outdoors!). I've begun experimenting with Golden Open Acrylics over the last few weeks, and am really liking them! As a painter with a huge investment in Golden Heavy Body Acrylics, I especially like the fact that they are compatible with the Opens, and that Open medium, gel and thinner can be used with the HB's to extend working time.

I've learned a lot from the Acrylic Forum posts that members are sending about their experiences with this new medium, and am looking forward to being able to share my own as soon as I have some worthwhile results and insights.

I also love the ability to get critiques from other painters.
I'd appreciate any advice on participation that any veteran users would like to share with me.
NM Painter

Here is my first try at uploading images:

All C&C VERY welcome!
Cheers, NM Painter


From my photo of Chama riverbank, 17"X29", on Arches 300# hot press, Golden Heavy Body Acryl. w/ Lots of Acryl. Glazing Liquid.


Echo Amphitheater near Abiquiu NM, on a plein aire sketch, 18"X14", Golden HB underpainting for quick-dry, w/ Golden Open Acryl. + Golden Open Gel and palette knife overpainting. (the paint has been on my covered palette for almost 2 weeks and is still 'Open' !!)

08-27-2008, 03:48 PM
Welcome !!! I'm new to WetCanvas myself and love it here. I have no "words of wisdom" about painting because I've taken up painting for the first time in my life - 6 months ago - so I'm learning all that I can.

My brother lived in Los Alamos for 30 years before recently retiring. It's beautiful country. You'll have lots of lovely places to capture in paint and I look forward to seeing them..

08-27-2008, 04:02 PM
Welcome to the Acrylics Forum, NM Painter and Susan. You will enjoy it here! Very nice paintings NM Painter! I am new to painting, as you are Susan (wonderful name, by the way :lol: ), tho' I have about 6 months on you; I waited along time to find out how much I love it!

08-27-2008, 05:02 PM
Welcome to both of you!
You will (as I am sure you both already know) that it is a wonderfully friendly site, where honesty (when you ask for it) is given with kindness and a willingness to help you see things in a different light.
Ask me, because I know, I have been helped/prodded and encouraged along by my fellow (and now yours) posters here many times.
NM....I really like the top painting below, one would be hard put to decide if it is a desert scene or the sandy part of a beach!
Great work, better colours.

Bright Eyes
08-27-2008, 05:27 PM
Very nice paintings NM painter! I'm originally from Northern Arizona. Your paintings make me miss all the sand stone! I've been painting for about 4 years as well. And I hear Santa Fe has a lot going on in its art scene, seems like an ideal place to get lessons! Welcome to the board, I joined a few months ago, lurked for a while and recently started posting. You're going to love it here!

NM Painter
08-27-2008, 06:16 PM
Thank you all for your welcome.

Kathleen: Thank you for your observation on 'Chama riverbank'. I took the photo because of the very unusual color of the water (full of yellow sand/silt after a heavy rain), the odd perspective (looking down from a bridge), and because of the mysterious light coming from the right. In a sense, it IS a desert scene.... a river through the high (7000') desert of northern NM.

NM Painter

08-27-2008, 07:15 PM
Hello NM painter, I am from Northern NM as well.
I've just recently started in acrylics, OPEN acrylics to be specific. Regular acrylics were just too plain difficult in this climate, Although with all the recent rains, probably not so much right now:) I'm still working on my first OPEN painting but am enjoying the experience. I keep meaning to go outside and paint the beautiful scenery and light but, alas, I have yet to do so. It's always dark by the time I get to paint. But I have taken some very nice reference photos.
It's nice that you are tryng different styles. I should try acrylic knife painting.

08-27-2008, 07:29 PM
Welcome! I really like the first painting, great job on the rocks and I like the long shadows!

NM Painter
08-27-2008, 07:53 PM
Hello NM painter, I am from Northern NM as well.
I've just recently started in acrylics, OPEN acrylics to be specific. Regular acrylics were just too plain difficult in this climate, Although with all the recent rains, probably not so much right now:) I'm still working on my first OPEN painting but am enjoying the experience. I keep meaning to go outside and paint the beautiful scenery and light but, alas, I have yet to do so. It's always dark by the time I get to paint. But I have taken some very nice reference photos.
It's nice that you are tryng different styles. I should try acrylic knife painting.

Please let me know how you like working with 'Open' and if you discover any useful hints to pass on. And please post your painting when you're ready.

Have you seen the tech. info page on the Goldenpaints.com website? It's really helpful. The knife painting is my first try with both knife and 'Open'. I really enjoyed it. Doing the underpainting with Heavy Body and GAC 100 really helped shorten the drying time, and allowing the 'Open' to 'set up' for 1/2 hr. or so allowed me to overpaint without 'lifting' the first layer. If you are brushpainting, use softer ones than you would use for standard acrylics.

I haven't tried plein aire with 'Open' yet. That's next. I want to get familiar with it before I get to a 5-day plein-aire workshop in Taos in mid-Sept.

NM Painter
08-27-2008, 08:00 PM
Thanks Lillian. It was a long (~40 hours) process using many translucent layers of glaze, but never tiresome. It's the first painting I've been happy enough with to frame.

08-27-2008, 08:19 PM
:wave: Hiya Fred, Susan, welcome both of you to our little corner of WC.
I'm sure you will love it here.. alot of great artists new and well seasoned.
Everyone is so great about helping, encouraging, supporting and praising artwork.
Trust me I know.. I'm pretty new at painting myself.. just 6 months have I been painting, never before! I just love it and my growth in the past 6 months has ALOT to do with all of the Folk here at WC.
Can say they nurtured the artist in me.

Great paintings, I love them both. great colors, shadows and tones.. Would love to see more of your artwork!!
I hope it was ok NM Painter to call ya Fred??:D if not plz let me know.

08-27-2008, 08:32 PM
Welcome and good job! I especially like the first and the interesting long shadows. I'm jealous that you have access to lessons and an art teacher. I had dabbled-flounderd with painting a bit on my own, but when I found this site by accident, I really started painting. WC friends have been the most AWESOME teachers! You will really like it here. Wish I was retired to be able to do this more often!! Ruthie

08-27-2008, 08:33 PM
Welcome, glad to meet you. Iv'e seen that color of water during our travels, you captured it well. Your second painting reminded me of a location in Zion National Park and one of the arches being formed. Looking forward to seeing more.


NM Painter
08-27-2008, 09:01 PM
Hi Kathie,
I've been called a lot of things, but.... Fred????
I'm assuming that's a hint to sign my posts with a 'real' name?
(see below). Glad you enjoyed my efforts. Feedback gives me courage to post again.

08-27-2008, 09:02 PM
Welcome, and Thank-You for posting, pull up a chair and make yourself at home!! Nice work!!!!

NM Painter
08-27-2008, 09:13 PM
Thanks Ruthie,
I feel truly blessed to be living in Santa Fe, to be retired at last, and to have found a great teacher. I now feel extra grateful to have found this web site. It's like having many teachers, and I gain so much from seeing other people's work.
I just found some of your work. You're doing really well! Keep it up!

Thanks Patti, I'd love to see some of your work too. I just read your '07 thread about glazing. The Chama riverbank was built up over ~40 hours with many layers of translucent color glazes, and would have been impossible without zinc white and a LOT of Golden acrylic glazing liquid (and the patience to let it dry between layers). I hope you were able to find the zinc white and that it helped.

Thanks Bizkit, From your avatar I thought you were female, then I checked out your post about posting our pics next to our work. So much for running assumptions... I should know better at my age! P.S., my avatar is myself.

08-28-2008, 01:54 AM
Forgive my mistake Mercia! Welcome:wave:

08-28-2008, 03:56 PM
Hi-I'm a new member since last week, and have enjoyed the couple of forums and threads I've participated in. Very lively discussions. I lived in Las Cruces and Albuquerque a good while back, but enjoyed it very much while I was there. You are fortunate to live in such an art center as Santa Fe. I was in Santa Fe on business the week the Georgia O'Keeffe museum opened in 1997 and enjoyed seeing her work up close.

08-28-2008, 05:36 PM
Welcome NM Painter..this is a wonderful place to learn and we are all lucky to be part of such a big artistic community with some serious talent and diversity. I really like your first one...keep painting!


Charlie's Mum
08-28-2008, 05:44 PM
Welcome to the forum Mercia and thanks for sharing your work. :D

Love that first one - the view point is very interesting and I like the limited colours too.
I like the rocks and the trees in your second - there's some very strong painting there ...... not so convinced about the amphitheatre though, perhaps its central position on the canvas is just a little too prominent and ambiguous. Really good feeling of heat though :thumbsup:

08-28-2008, 05:45 PM
Welcome to the forum! You'll find help from everyone here on any subject concerning acrylics, composition, etc. We're glad you're here! TJ

November Sky
08-28-2008, 11:45 PM
The first one has such flow... Very nice!

08-29-2008, 01:51 AM
Hello and welcome to the acrylic forum :) it's so nice to have you on board! I really enjoy seeing your work and hope to see more soon!

NM Painter
08-29-2008, 07:57 PM
Thanks Maureen. The first is my favorite too. the Second is a very quick 1st experiment with Golden OPEN acrylics, and the more I look at it, the more things I see that I want to change. The amphitheater is one of those things.

NM Painter
08-29-2008, 08:01 PM
Thanks to tonyjazz, sonita & November Sky for your warm welcome to this great site and for your very welcome encouragement.

08-30-2008, 09:40 AM
:wave: Hello and welcome Mercia!

Such lovely work, both of these! I was actually drawn immediately to the second painting. I think it was because of the technique you used. It has a very unique texture. The first is equally impressive though. Very good light and shadow and those rocks are some of the best I've seen!

How wonderful for you that you have time now to pursue painting. You are quite talented. We're so happy that you've decided to join our group and forum. As you have already found, it is a great group! :D


NM Painter
08-30-2008, 11:42 AM
Thank you so much, Elizabeth! I just clicked on the link to your Flickr gallery, and now I have serious 'tree envy'. I love trees too, but haven't mastered them the way you have. You draw beautifully! I spent my working life designing houses with people, and I love your paintings of them. Especially the pink one and the victorian.

08-31-2008, 04:06 PM
:wave: Hi again Mercia!

Oh, I am envious of your used to be job. My day job has nothing to do with creativity at all! I love houses, and in fact, my degree is in drafting (though I have never officially done any). Thank you for looking over my work on Flickr. Trees are my passion and were actually what lured me into painting. Kept getting a niggling to paint trees....so I did. I've branched out since though - hey, a pun! lol!

It was nice of you to mention the house paintings as well. Ironically, you mentioned the two nearest and dearest to my heart - my house and my dad's. Must be there was some heart showing when I painted those. :)

I am really looking forward to seeing more of your work as time goes on. This really is a wonderful forum and there's always room for more!!! :D