I tend to love the medium I am using at the time, but I always go back to painting.
These days I do two kinds of paintings: plein air (painting directly outdoors) and studio paintings. Both are small- perhaps due to my time available, storage, affordability or my age…the giant wall sized works have been replaced by a quieter, more intimate size.
Most of the plein air paintings are done near our cabin at the Whiteface River Reservoir, in Makinen, MN. My husband, Scott Bean, and I outfitted a golf cart to become an "art cart" in 2010 and in 2012 we converted a small paddle wheeler into a flat-bottomed pontoon "art barge". Both vehicles permit us to get very close to our painting subjects and offer a greater variety of locations and perspectives. We pack all our supplies on these 2-3 hour outings – we have it down to water containers, water-based oils, brushes, paper towels and paper palettes, portable easels and stools – and hang the paintings to dry in the cabin over the summer. Then in the fall we bring them home, varnish and frame them, and show the summer's work on a big wall in our home. It's constantly changing. We show and sell them when we can - they're 8" x 10" for $150. Our inspirations are the Canadian Seven, a group of painters who worked outdoors on similar sized wood panels.
See Scott's paintings on his website: www.scottbeanartist.com
The studio paintings are done with an acrylic-gouache paint. It's water based, like an opaque watercolor, but without the water staining problems that often affect plain gouache. These are mostly interiors and are even smaller than the oils- about 5" x 7" on paper. I am attracted to scenes with luminosity; many are interiors and often contain people or animals. I also like a lot of pattern details. These paintings take much longer to make - 15 to 20 hours is not unusual.