Do Rabbits Have Noses?

I was lying in bed last night trying to get to sleep, slowly drifting off when a loud thought entered my brain … “Do rabbits have noses?”.  It’s a bit late as I’ve done most of the painting on 2 new pieces featuring goofy, tubby bunny rabbits. Hmmm.  So in the world of rachelcreative bunnies have pink noses.  Got that?

I think it demonstrates my current slightly faltering thought process which I blame on ME/CFS. Mr Creative says I’ve always been a dit dizzy and a bit ditzy but even so usually important things (like bunny noses) are well thought out.

The other example of this is the total doofus I have been over getting the right varnish finish for my new acrylic paintings.  I’ve been wrestling with this for a couple of weeks at least.  Mixing gloss and matte to make satin finish, preparing test paintings to experiment on, reading articles and searching through forums for advice.  I resorted to buying a third bottle of Golden’s varnish which is ready mixed satin and was still getting the same result – a kind of odd silvery effect on the surface that reminded me of slug trails. Sigh.

Try as I might I have just not been able to get the finish I wanted and was getting ready to compromise on the finish just to get these finished paintings finally, properly finished and ready to sell!

Then last night … just before I started stressing about what bunnies noses look like … I realised where I’ve been going wrong.

Here’s me adding a bit of gloss to matte to try and get my desired satin finish with a sheen but not really reflective finish.  When what I needed was to add a teeny bit of matte to the gloss.  This morning I add 1/4 matte to 3/4 gloss and BAM there’s the beautiful finish I wanted.

Two weeks of looking at this totally the wrong way round.  Argh!  At least my ickle brain got there in the end before I drove Paul utterly mad with my rantings about varnish.

So onwards for me and thanks for reading all the way to the end – I’m sure hearing about mixing varnish is almost as interesting as watching paint dry. Mind you that can be quite interesting …


  1. I remember having these kinds of brain farts long before CFS:-) Ever tried coating w beeswax? Probably not interested now that you have your problem solved. I use it. It gives a bit of a dreamy quality and is quite archival.

  2. Back when I was inspired to paint, a long time ago, I had a similar problem but not the discipline you have to work through it. I would simply randomly mix different bottles of finishing goo my local art shop stocked and try ’em out. Sometimes delicate details would get mushed up due to some chemical reaction I suppose. I always painted with acrylic, not the most sturdy medium I guess. By blogging this you have effectively solved the problem I’d long given up on. If I ever make a painting again I will use your formula. So, er, thanks!

  3. Hi Rachel! Thanks for following my Twitter…it brought me to your lovely blog. It made me smile the moment I landed here! Hang in there with the CFS, learn to enjoy the ride if you can, and you’ll have a whole new [better] life before you know it…I should know, I got sick with M.E. back in 2000 after a lifethreatening infection. It cost me a lecturing career, and a whole lot more, including my driving license, my mobility and more. But like you, I had a great partner. Almost four weeks ago, I finally married her, and we jumped on a ferry to France, we’re working [I’m a freelance photographer, web designer and artist these days] our way through France, Spain, Portugal and Morocco, traveling in our VW camper van that I fitted out…I do all the driving, I work 6 days a week these days on my own thing, and life is rip roaring awesome. I’m telling you all this, because it was meeting people who had recovered and hearing their stories that got me through the tough times. I learnt so much while I was sick, and it’s all made me the better for it. I got my brain back too, as well as my mobility! Just need to slim down the fat arse I grew too now, and I’ll be golden : )

    Anyway…I’ll be dropping by from time to time to say hi, so HI!


  4. As I remember, watching varnish dry can be very interesting if you dilute it to the point where it’s mostly solvent then paint it onto a microscope slide and watch it through the microscope 🙂 I tried that in my teens but can’t remember what sort of varnish it was, other than being intended for acrylic paintings. It made feathery patterns on the glass and the edges rushed inwards at great speed as they formed.

  5. Nina – Brain farts is a good description! I’ve not tried beeswax no. Sounds interesting. Something to consider thanks!

    Christ – See I am just more boring than you ;o) Random mixing sounds more fun. I did a lot of reading on forums which is where I got the recipe. Others like 1/4 gloss and 3/4 matte. It’s personal preference as to the kind of finish. There’s also a lot of (technical) reading on Golden’s website

    But like you say you don’t need to read all of that because here I am blogging about it! I also bought a hog hair brush as recommended by Golden and it’s giving a more even finish. I tried a soft brush but it was synthetic so I got better results with hog hair.

    I do worry about blogging all of these discoveries because it kind of shows how much I still have to learn! Or how green I was before. Ah well.

    Blue – Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. It’s good to hear how well you are now. Congratulations on your marriage :o) Sounds like an amazing start to married life. Thanks again for visiting the blog and the lovely comment :o)

    Tim – See no that does sound kind of cool. I’m going to enjoy it through your description and not acquire a microscope just to watch varnish dry. But it does sound very cool.

  6. I was at the pet store yesterday and bunnies do in fact has noses just like the ones that you have been drawing!

    I’m loving your paintings and am glad you figured out the varnish issue – i have fought with the same problem and EVENTUALLY made the same discovery…

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