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Orange Zotz and Others

December 28th, 2011

Well, I finally awakened from my Christmas stupor and headed back into the studio for the first time in over a week. I think that’s the longest break I’ve taken in nearly 4 years and I was starting to go through withdrawals…

Part of getting back to work entailed heading out to Michael’s Arts and Crafts store to do another demo to promote my upcoming Acrylic Workshops. Happily, I walked out of there with a new addition to my Eye Candy: Zotz series…

Orange Zotz – 4″x4″ – Acrylic on canvas – Completed 12/27/11

©2011, Don Michael, Jr.

As I was preparing Orange Zotz for posting I realized that I had forgotten to post about another Eye Candy painting I completed last week. I had originally intended to use it in my Christmas greeting post, but completely spaced it out. It probably has something to do with all those holiday spirits… 😛

Crimp Ribbon – 5″x5″ – Acrylic on canvas – Completed 12/19/11

©2011, Don Michael, Jr.

Oh yeah… I also realized tonight that a piece I had started on early this year is actually finished. (I originally wrote about it here.) All I needed was the title and it came to me just seconds after I decided the piece was indeed complete. All I had to do then was sign it, date it and add a clear gloss finish…

Keeping An Open Mind – 12″x12″x4.5″ – Acrylic and Paper Mache’ on canvas – Completed 12/28/11

©2011, Don Michael, Jr.

This was originally an experiment which incorporated both my 3D mask paintings with my Over the Under-Schmeerings paintings. As you can see, the 3D is actually UNDER the Under-Schmeerings and there is nothing OVER the Under-Schmeerings, but who’s really keeping score? Since it’s really hard to get a sense of the 3D element from a straight on photo, I thought I’d include a sheet of multiple views…

Keeping An Open Mind – alternate views

©2011, Don Michael, Jr.

Now it’s time for me to go rest my eyes after a happy, long, and fruitful day of creating. I anticipate even more fun tomorrow – oops, I mean later today…

Happy Creating!

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8 Comments for 'Orange Zotz and Others'

  1. Sharmon Davidson Said:

    hi Don! Thanks for visiting my blog- I appreciate your words of encouragement, especially since you paint in acrylics all the time. WOW- I mean. ALL the time; you are incredibly prolific!! (I’m jealous, of course, but will try to avoid whining about my 24/7 day job, as I have no cheese to go with it. Ha!)

    I haven’t had time for much blog-visiting lately, so hadn’t seen your Candy series. It’s fantastic! I love the way they look like shiny metal, with the reflected colors. My favorite is ‘Zero’- just beautiful! I hope you’re planning more of these.

    Zotz- you said you hadn’t tried them, so I’ll try to describe. I didn’t know they still made them, but in the ’70’s, when I was growing up, people thought they were quite entertaining. they’re kind of like normal hard candy on the outside, but if you chew them of get to the center, fizzy stuff bursts out. Personally, I thought it was like ruining your candy with a shot of Alka-seltzer. the fun, I suppose, was in giving one to some unsuspecting person and watching their reaction. There- way more than you wanted to know, right? Happy new year to you and yours, and happy painting!

  2. Sharmon Davidson Said:

    p.s. sorry, I forgot to ask your advice about sealing/varnishing your acrylic paintings. What do you recommend? Thanks!

  3. hw(hallie)farber Said:

    Well, the UTUS certainly has an open mind! For you, it would be perfect for holding palette knives–for me, a whirling pinwheel. Great work. The silver reflecting the gold (or orange) in Orange Zotz is amazing. Happy New Year.

  4. Don Michael, Jr. Said:

    Sharmon… It was easy to brag on you – you did such a great job on a difficult painting after such a long hiatus. Impressive! As for me being prolific, I have to be. I have this drive in me that makes me realize that I only have a finite time to create, and if I’m going to get anything done, now is the time. Thanks for the great comments on my work. The Eye Candy series has not only been a lot of fun to create, but they’ve also been a learning experience. I anticipate many more to come. Thanks also for the explanation of Zotz. It sounds like they would be a lot of fun to prank friends with. 🙂

    Now, your question about sealing/varnishing your acrylics… I use Liquitex or Golden’s matte finish varnish or gloss finish varnish on my finished paintings. I brush it on with a large soft bristled brush. Either one does a wonderful job of even-ing out the surface sheen of the acrylics. Gloss is a little harder to photograph, but gives the painting a shiny finish almost like a varnished oil. Matte finish is easier to photograph, but you have to be careful with it because it can become milky if it’s too thick or brushed over too much in its application. You’ll see Satin finish varnish available, but I don’t buy it since it’s basically just a mix of the gloss and matte finishes. If I want a satin finish, I mix my own.

    No matter which finish you use, make sure to brush it on quickly and DO NOT brush over it too much – especially after it starts drying. This can leave a foggy-looking residue. Sometimes it may look a little foggy right after you’ve brushed it on, but you have to leave it alone until it dries. Usually it clears up upon drying, unless you over-brushed it. A second coat is possible, as long as you let the first coat dry completely first. And always remember, two thin coats are always better than one thick coat. One last thing… if you brush too quickly you can create bubbles in the finish, so watch closely as you brush it on. Usually, you can pop the bubbles by lightly blowing over them, but sometimes you have to lightly brush across them – before they get too dry.

    I hope this helps…


  5. Don Michael, Jr. Said:

    Hallie… Nice one – “UTUS”. At first I thought you’d typo’d OTUS until I remembered how clever you are, even with those pinwheels a-spinning. 🙂 Thank you! Happy New Year.


  6. Celeste Bergin Said:

    you now “forget” to blog things….lol…ah that we all could crank out so much work we “forget” to blog it! As always, your paintings are marvels. I should come to Michaels and take a class–you are so good at delivering “the shine”

  7. Dan Kent Said:

    “Keeping an Open Mind” is so cool- love the texture and combo of colors. This may be an under-shmeering painting (UTUS, I see) but somehow it is different than the others I’ve seen, rougher, less defined. I like it! I am saving your description of varnishing acrylic paintings in the hope I will actually finish one good enough to varnish. Thanks.

  8. Don Michael, Jr. Said:

    Celeste… The shinier the better, don’t you think? Come on out any time, I’ll save a seat for you. 🙂 Thanks!

    Dan… I agree, Keeping An Open Mind is quite different from the rest of my OTUS series. That’s partly why it took me forever to decide that it was actually finished. I kept wanting to paint something recognizable on top of the schmeerings. Thankfully, I had a moment outside of my own head that put it all into perspective and I was able to finally realize that it was indeed finished. Thanks for the great comment!




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