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January 10 - Jack Fortenberry - using masks with acrylic or oil

Jack Fortenberry graduated from Baylor with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Art and Education. Asked to return temporarily to teach commercial art, he stayed 18 years and established a BFA program in Commercial Design. Meanwhile he began his own commercial design business, which eventually required so much of his time that he had to leave Baylor to tend it. A man of many interests, he has served in many business and community organization, including advertising associations, BBB, Kiwanis, and the Texas Ranger Museum, which he co-founded. He also flies a plane, and has raced sports cars.

Retirement took Jack back to his roots in Mississippi, where he built a studio and began a second career in fine art. He served as president of the South Mississippi Art Association for three years and showed his work in many art festivals and museum shows in Mississippi and Alabama, before moving back to Texas. He is currently a member of the Outdoor Painter's Society, a very unique artist's organization that meets once a month somewhere in a five state area to paint as a group. He tells us that "Plein-Aire Painting is my best effort because it allows me the greatest opportunity to break away from the hard fast rules of illustrative art and flow into the wonderful world of impressionistic response."

Jack prefers oil, but also paints in acrylic when the occasion demands it. His demo will feature a quick way to to separate the background from the foreground (subject) by overpainting cut-outs which have been adhered to the canvas prior to painting. This is similar to masking or rubber cementing parts of the image in watercolors to preserve the whites. Due to the time constraints, he will work in acrylic.

Don't miss this one. We will meet Sunday, January 10, at the Waco Charter School, 615 N 25th Street. Refreshments and conversation begin at 1:30, the meeting at 2, and the demo soon thereafter. First time visitors are free, so bring friends. Also, bring an artwork or two for our Show and Tell during the break.

January 10 - Jack Fortenberry - Using Masks with Oil or Acrylic

Jack began by showing us photos of art restorations he has done. He was able to save paintings that were burned or  torn by having the surface removed and transferred to a new canvas (wax reline process). Then he filled the missing areas with a plaster of Paris and glue mixture. Finally, he had to match the colors, brushstrokes, and styles of the originals to make the painting look like new. For painting dimmed by tobacco smoke, he uses Ivory Liquid and water and a cotton swab. For varnish that has changed color, he uses a special solution and a very light touch so as not to remove the paint. He also restores broken or chipped embellishment on a frame using the same plaster mixture mentioned above to resculpt the design while the clay is wet, making sure it matches the original design. He then sprays on the gold color, and tones back unwanted brilliance using a faux art stain with brush and paper towels. His goal is to make the repairs invisible.


For today's demo, Jack painted a scene of a white egret in a swamp setting. He first made a mask by sketching the egret on heavy paper and cutting around it. The mask was then coated with rubber cement (left) and placed where it would be on the blank "canvas." (He actually used masonite board, which may be easier to seal properly than canvas.) For the background, he used cobalt blue, cerulean blue, titanium white, medium yellow, and burnt umber light, which he mixed on a glass palette. He pulled one color into another on the canvas, creating variations in color and value in the sky and water as he painted horizontally. He added black for the vertical trees to get a darker hue. The masking allowed him to get continuity of brush strokes for the background as he painted right over the mask. He paid special attention to making the water look natural, using his color mixtures to create reflections.


Then he carefully removed the cutout from the canvas (left), leaving a white hole for the egret. He painted the shadowed side of the bird first, adding details and highlights later, including the black legs, which were not included in the mask (right). As a final touch, he added flowers and other contrasts to liven up the scene (lower left). The final painting is shown at the lower right. We welcome Jack back as a member, and enjoyed watching a professional at work. Included in the audience were a couple of new members, some guests, and Jodi Wheatley, a reporter working on an article about us for Waco Today.


 Thanks go to Jack, to Charleen Isbell, Myrl Luper, Gloria Meadows, Bill and Judy Franklin, and Karen Groman, who brought refreshments, and to all of those who brought their work for Show and Tell, shown below.


  Nancy Cagle         Julie Cash           Bill Franklin        Judy Franklin




   Larry Garza         Linda Green         Tom Godby       Charleen Isbell



Rose Jacobson      David Leifeste   Christine Niekamp    John Vasek

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