Painting to be included in upcoming book "AcrylicWorks 5: Bold Values"

"City Looks Pretty To Me", acrylic on canvas, 20" x 20".  This painting will be included in the upcoming hardcover book AcrylicWorks 5: Bold Values.


I received another exciting message in my email this week! My news is that my painting "City Looks Pretty to Me", acrylic on canvas, is to be included in an upcoming hardcover book by North Lights Books.  AcrylicWorks 5: Bold Values  is the title of the book, a compilation of work from approximately 115 artists, including artwork that's based on the use of bold values. Value, in paintings, means the contrast of dark to light colors in a painting, and is the predominating feature for the design of a painting.  I thrive on design and composition and it's a huge motivator for my painting process.  I often ask mid-painting "is this working?" .  In all the creative arts,  this is the personal question designers and artists are constantly asking themselves. To be followed by Tim Gunn's comment, to  "Make it work."  A gorgeous color palette (as a sole design emphasis) on a painting does not make a painting work, it's the use of values in design that makes a painting hold together well. 

The call for art from North Light Books stated this in the description: "One cannot overstate the importance of value in painting . . . we are looking for excellence in acrylic painting in a variety of styles and subjects. The dominant medium must be acrylic."  So, understandably, I am thrilled to have this in my future. This 5th edition of AcrylicWorks will be published in 2018. 

My next contribution for the book will be to write a short piece about my intention, my thought process and inspiration for creating this painting, and how these relate to the theme of bold values. Since I thrive on composition, design and the use of values  (the supporting framework for design), the only difficulty will be remembering what my inspiration was! Again, this is a painting that came out of my painting process, not from a literal or tangible reference.  The title came to me after I stood back and viewed the painting from a distance . . .I love the shapes, lighting, shadow effects and color palette found in the landscape and visual fabric of cities . . . these are such exciting sources for inspiration for my creativity. 

Update 5-27-18  I've received my complimentary copy from North Light publishing! Looks fabulous. See this link to preview and purchase the book:


AcrylicWorks 5, Bold Values: the best in acrylic painting

A peek at the 4th edition, published in April is here:

A layered life, by Lynne Cunningham

I like to write, so being brief in writing the descriptions and labels that caption my paintings, and short(er)  blurbs I write online is something I need to perfect.  I need to be more brief.  But there's usually a story for every painting and it can be short or long. There's the seed of the idea for the design; the beginning of the painting. There's the middle part, which is the execution of the painting. Mingled into this mixture of the whole process is what I'm feeling throughout the act of painting, which influences the artwork. And not to forget the the technical part of painting.

For my methods,  of beginning to paint with a layer in acrylics and then finishing in oil paints, this process is a well-accepted and an archival handling of paint materials; the painting will stand up to time.  Archival carries less and less importance now in contemporary art, however I'm traditional in my methods. I like to create paintings that will hold together over the years, with little chances of flaking or peeling paint.

Studio visitors ask about this when they read the label description 'acrylic and oil' . I explain that commercially sold canvases, or 99% of the canvas sold in the U.S. already has a layer of acrylic applied,  which is the base coat of acrylic gesso.  Oil paintings are painted on top of this acrylic underlayer . I might begin and finish a painting entirely in acrylic. Or begin in acrylic and then as I go along, I may see the painting could use some blending or some different textures, and I then switch to oils - - after the acrylic layer is dry.

I don't mix acrylic & oil while wet;  that won't bond well to the canvas. The differing layers need to dry in between. I do not use latex paint, that's meant for exterior or interior walls of a house.  Artist materials are for my paintings, whether pencil, pastel, ink, acrylic paints, oil pastel, oil paints, and artist mediums .  . . that's all! Tools, however, are less traditional and I get creative in buying tools for spreading and applying, buying paint tools from Home Depot or the paint department at the hardware store. Paints and paint mediums do need to be of Artist quality for my work. Besides, I just like working with brands that are a connection to art history (like Sennelier) and are a pleasure with which to paint!