I remember the first time I saw one of Leah Giberson's paintings: I smiled. All too frequently realistic painters choose to add deep shadows & foreboding images a la Edward Hopper & the vanitas tradition. Leah's work remains idealistic in that "happy camper" way, with chromed surfaces & neatly manicured lawns. This utopia is welcome & sunnily desired. To keep up with more of these gorgeous images check out Leah's website, Facebook, Twitter, Flikr & Etsy. For greater insight into how she creates these wonderful paintings check out Leah's detailed #PaletteProject responses below.
I put together a new palette for each painting so I rarely wish a color wasn’t there. That said, I paint with liquid acrylic and there are lots of times that I accidentally squeeze too much out, resulting in WAY too much of one color.
What is your favorite brush?
My absolute favorite is Robert Simmons' short handle Sapphire series 1/4” Angle Shader. When these brushes are brand new, I’m able to get really precise crisp lines and smooth edges with them. They are also beautifully responsive and lovely to work with when building up thin layers of paint to create gradations of color. Finally they are relatively inexpensive brushes, which is important because I go through A LOT of them. Since I really need the bristles to be in near perfect condition for the kind of detailed painting I do, I usually can only get 3-4 solid days of painting per brush. I periodically donate 50-100 gently used brushes to my kids’ schools and after school programs so they can continue to be used by others.
What is your favorite paper/surface to paint on?
I begin each piece with a photographic image that I print onto one or more pieces of archival paper. After cutting away parts of the print and reassembling it, I mount the paper to a panel and then paint over every part of the printed image as well as all exposed parts of the panel, including the sides.
What is your favorite color to work with?
That’s a hard one for me to answer because it’s mostly the relationships between colors that really excite me - especially where cool and warm colors meet. One of my favorite pairings: Prussian Blue shadows on a surface warmed by a (very wee bit of) Pyrrole Orange.