Demo at WASCO or how did those chickens get into my paint?!

WASCOchickacrylic, collage on illustration board, 15 X 11″ (unfinished)

Yesterday afternoon I did a demonstration of acrylic textural painting at the Watercolor Artists of Sonoma County (WASCO), a wonderful group of artists, many of whom I’ve painted with over the years.  My topic was a bit daunting.  How does one do a painting with layered textures in the one hour I had to present?  I picked a subject I know well, since I couldn’t imagine starting in my usual open-ended abstract way.  I brought a dry illustration board, textured with tissue paper collage, so that I wouldn’t have to wait for the surface to dry before I started putting the fluid acrylic on.

texturedemo-ing the paper collage texture

When I started painting in the second half hour the strangest thing happened.  There was an overhead mirror so that people could watch me paint while sitting comfortably in chairs in front of me.  However there was a big enough crowd that the people way at the back couldn’t see what the heck I was painting, even though I told them it was a chicken.  So they started seeing chickens anyway, only not in my painting – on my palette!

palettechicksHere’s what they were looking at (while I was doing this fabulous painting demonstration, ahem!)  Now I ask you.  Where’s the chickens?  I see a camel with a football helmet and another helmeted dog (must be on the other team) poking his head up behind a tree stump, but a chicken?

WASCOdemoSo afterwards people came up to see what my chicken painting looked like up close, not nearly as realistic as the paint blob ones I guess.  But all kidding aside, they were a great audience and very appreciative.

Tomorrow I get to teach a workshop in my studio on this technique, which I thoroughly enjoy. Note the Golden fluid acrylics bottles.  Golden paints are fabulous and I use all the fun gels and mediums and irridescents and interference pigments!  They have generously given me samples to share with students who come to workshops.  Also, please note my new apron, long enough to cover my knees (which always seem to get splattered with paint).  I just purchased it at ACE hardware for $20!  Such a deal.



  1. Hi susan! I just wanted to say hello! and to let you know that, even if I do not manifest myself very often I visit often (or read in my mail) your blog! and like a lot what I see… I wish I had too my hens and roosters to draw and observe… and to eat real eggs… Say hello also to bob…

    Hope to be myself more active soon…


  2. Hey, Susan! I was at that demo, in the back of the room and I swear that palette had a green and blue hen on it! But I only see your helmeted dog now (and a yellow Imam). Great demo, so much fun! You really inspire! See you again in 3 weeks. I can’t wait. 😀


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