Monday, August 30, 2010

Portrait Session

Today was another portrait session at the Swannanoa Valley Fine Arts League.  There were nine artists in attendance.   This is my version of our lovely model.  It is approxinately 12" x 16" on pastel paper - Charcoal with pastels.  I was very pleased with the charcoal drawing, but lost some of the details when I added the pastels.  One of these days I will have to learn to stop before messing it up.  :-)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Day 2 of Watercolor Workshop

Today was day 2 of a 2 day watercolor workshop.  I was able to finish the snow scene that I started yesterday, and was also able to start a floral.   Both can be seen below.  The class was a lot of fun.  I think many of the students were surprised by the quality of work that they were able to produce.  This was the first class ever for one lady, and she painted some really pretty pieces.  It's nice to have a teacher who is able to relate to both beginners and advanced students in the same class.

Both of the following paintings are 8" x 10".  The snow scene is on 140 lb paper... the floral is on 300 lb. paper.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Watercolor Workshop Day 1

Today was Day 1 of a two day Watercolor Workshop with Lorelle bacon at the Swannanoa Valley Fine Arts League.  There were nine students ranging in age from 11 to 85 and it was a lot of fun!  We experimented with several different techniques before beginning our projects for the day.  Our first one was a snow scene...I'm still working on that one.  Then we started a still life of a cluster of grapes in a crystal bowl. 
Yep, it was the first time I had tried to paint crystal in any medium.  It was a bit tedious, but fun nevertheless.
It was certainly a challenge. Hope you enjoy seeing today's project... 5" x 7" on 140 lb watercolor paper.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Garnel Life Study

I went to a live model session at the Swannanoa Valley Fine Art League studio this morning.  Our model was a lovely young black girl named Garnel.  This is only the second time that I have tried drawing a portrait from life.  Usually I use photographs.  I think it came out pretty good, although there are a few things that I could have done better.  It is charcoal and soft pastel, and measures 12 x 16 on pastel paper.  I worked on it about two and a half hours.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pink Tulips

I started another painting today... I just couldn't wait to have something else on the easel!  The working title for this piece is Pink Tulips.  Hopefully I will be able to come up with something a bit more creative for a title.  It is 20" x 24" on stretched canvas.    The first picture was taken after I had just blocked in the basic colors. 

The second was taken after I had spent a couple of more hours on it, adjusting the colors and adding a few more details.   Hope you enjoy watching the process. 

Sweet Kitty 2 is finished!

Whew!  This was one of those paintings that just kept going and going.  I would look at it and think "yes, I am finished."  But then, I would see something....something small... something that would just take a moment.  And then, one brushstroke would lead to another, then another...  Yes, I am sure you know what I mean.  :-)

I finally finished the whiskers last night and signed it.  NO more painting on Sweet Kitty 2 allowed!

I am debating on my next project.  I have several ideas mulling around in my head... another close up of flowers, a portrait, a still life, another kitten picture (Wait! Maybe not another kitten picture.)  I do have some illustrations that I need to do for a children's book.  And yes, I need to get to them soon. But I have been waiting for the studio to be completed so I can set up my new drafting table.

Bert and I worked on the studio yesterday.  It was good to be part of the actual building process.  The inspector came and we won't need another inspection until it is completed.  That in itself is exciting.

Today Bert is picking up the inulation that we need for the walls.  Unless he puts it up sooner, we will be hanging the insulation on Thursday.

I can hardly wait to get out there and get everything set up!  I plan to have my new drafting table set up, my pastel station,  my studio easel, a flat work surface to use for framing, pattern assembly (for my pattern company), and fabric layout for my quilting and sewing.  Needless to say, I will post pictures.

Well, here is Sweet Kitty 2...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

"Sweet Kitty 2"

Yesterday, Day 1 at the Sourwood Festival in Black Mountain, I did a pencil drawing of a darling tabby kitten.  Today I took my oil paints with me, used the same reference photo, and painted  a color version of the same tabby.

Painting on site did seem to draw more people to our booth, but sadly, there were no sales.   I was able to wander around the show some this afternoon, and had a chance to speak to several of the other artists   It seemed that they were all in the same predicament... lots of lookers but no buyers.

I still have some final refining to do on "Sweet Kitty 2" but he is nearly completed. 

Saturday, August 14, 2010

"Sweet Kitty"

I spent the day today at the Sourwood Festival in Black Mountain, North Carolina.  While I was manning the booth, I decided I had better do something productive. This pencil drawing "Sweet Kitty" is the result of my day's efforts.  It is done in #2 pencil on bristol vellum 9" x 12" paper.  The actual sketch measures 8" x 10".

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"Still Life with Onions"

I stayed up late last night, painting into the wee hours of the morning, then got up early to the "Sound of Music".  No, it wasn't Julie Andrews, though I do love her in that movie.  It was the sound of hammering!  The construction crew had arrived, and they were working on my studio at 7:30 am.   I could have slept a little longer, but having them here, even at that hour, makes me smile.

I finished "Still Life with Onions" this morning.  I think it came out well.  It was the first time I had ever painted transparent glass, or attempted anything semitransparent like the onion skins.  For the most part I think the painting is a success.  I certainly enjoyed the process, though the bottle rims were a pain.  I think I spent more time on them than on any other part of the painting.  I hope you enjoy seeing my latest project.  Please excuse the glare - the paint is still wet!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Still LIfe with Onions

I started this painting last night, but forgot to take a picture of it in the earliest stages.  I am enjoying the challenge of painting it so that you can see both the transparent glass and the semi transparent layers of the onion skins.  We will see if I am successful.  :-) It is 12 x 16 on stretched canvas. I apologize for the glare - wet paint does that.

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Master Sailor

I came across the following article, and thought I would reprint it here for you, my readers. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did. 

A Master Sailor by Keith Bond

This article is by Keith Bond, Regular contributing writer for FineArtViews. You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here.

The seafarers of old are not that much different than you, an artist.

One didn’t just wake up one day and decide to sail a ship around the globe. Much learning was required. Depending on the type of vessel and the time in history, a seaman may have learned as an apprentice or may have learned through formal education at a naval academy of some sort. Even those who had more formal studies also learned hands on under the tutelage of a seasoned captain or sailor.

But what did the mentor, teacher, or captain really teach the aspiring sailor? In the end, they gave them him the tools needed to problem solve. That is it. Everything else the young sailor learned was through his own experience.

Whether in the academy, as an apprentice, or as a sailor’s son, the student would have learned the constellations. The seasoned captain would explain how to chart a course by them. But it wasn’t quite that simple. Currents needed to be taken into account. Wind speed and direction also influenced the course to be taken. Weather needed to be understood and even predicted. Obstacles, such as islands, shoals, reefs, etc. needed to be avoided. Situations constantly changed on the open water. Bearings would need to be checked. Adjustments on a regular basis would need to be made to ensure arriving at the desired location. Seldom could a straight course be taken. Depending upon wind and currents, sometimes a zigzag course was necessary. Yes, much learning was required to understand how to navigate the ocean.

But, all of the theory means absolutely nothing to the aspiring sailor until he captains the vessel on his own. He can be told or even shown how to adjust the sails under different situations. He can be told at what angle he must approach the wind. But until he does it, he has learned nothing. He must feel how the vessel moves with or against the wind. He must gain experience through doing. He will have trials and errors. New situations will arise. But the seaman learns by doing. The knowledge accumulated over the years would tell the sailor things he could never learn from a book or teacher. Over time, his intuition will guide many of his choices.

Artists Are Like Sailors – You Are Self-taught

You are not much different. You may have learned your art from dvds, books, instructors, a mentor, etc. Regardless of how much tutelage you may have had, you are largely self-taught.

A Good Teacher Does Not Teach You How to Create Your Art

Your teacher or mentor is important. He or she serves a crucial role in your development (books, articles, videos, etc. are also beneficial, though they lack the individual attention provided by a teacher). But that role is not to teach you how to create your work. Rather, the role of an instructor is to teach you how to observe, how to question, how to problem solve. You will be taught how to sift through all the stimuli that are the seeds of creativity.

Art Fundamentals Are Like Constellations

Just as the young sailor learns the constellations, you must learn the fundamentals of art; design, color, value, edges, drawing, rhythm, etc., etc., etc. These are guides only. They are tools, not blueprints. They give guidance to reach the end destination. And yes, they must be understood well.

But, the fundamentals do not take into account everything that lies between you and your destination. You must know how to navigate around the multitude of challenges, emotions, stimuli, etc. as you keep your end destination in mind. The fundamentals are there to fall back on or refer to when you need to check your course. They may help you make corrections along the way. But then you must be in the thick of it, making your way through the swells, rains, winds, etc. of each work of art.

Learn All You Can From Your Instructors (or books, etc.)

They will help you understand what tools are available. They will help you learn how to problem solve. But do not expect your teacher to teach you “how”. Again, that is not your instructors’ role. You must learn on your own by doing. Only then will you discover the freedom of expressing yourself through art.

You Choose Your Own Course

Your teacher cannot chart your course. The constellations cannot decide where you want to go. The fundamentals of art will only serve as a guide. You, and only you, must decide where you want to go and how to get there. Everything you learn is merely how to problem solve.

You must have a desire to get to your chosen destination. You should understand why you want to go there. You must see all of the choices and obstacles along the way. You must understand how your choices will affect later stretches of the journey. You must evaluate your progress and make adjustments as necessary. You use the tools you have learned to aid you, but you do not become enslaved by them. This you do with each work of art. This you do with your broader body of work. This you do with your career. Then you will be a master sailor.

Happy Sailing,
Keith Bond

This article appears courtesy of FineArtViews by Canvoo, a free email newsletter about art, marketing, inspiration and fine living for artists, collectors and galleries (and anyone else who loves art).

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Saturday, August 7, 2010

"Daisy Delight" is completed!

I finished fine tuning the flower center on "Daisy Delight" this morning.  I am very pleased with it.  Now on to another painting.  I am trying to decide if I should do a still life, or another oversized flower...decisions, decisions.  Then again, I could change gears completely and do a portrait. Hmmm...

It has been an unusually hot summer, but this morning it was 64 degrees when I got up.  Ahh!  That's more like the mountain weather that I love. I am so blessed to be able to do what I enjoy most - being creative, while living in an area of our country that is so dear to my heart, with the man of my dreams (Yes, after 36 years of marriage I still feel this way.)  I am so very, very blessed!

As I type this, Bert is outside working on the studio. The construction crew is supposed to return on Monday and begin building the carport extention that we are adding.  The electrician is also supposed to come and do his part.  Once those are both completed, we will have another inspection, and  after that, Bert and I will hang the insulation. More inspections, drywall, etc...

I can hardly wait to get out there and claim my space.  I have both a drafting table and a full size studio easel in boxes waiting for me to set them up.  Bert says that the way it is progressing, I could be out there sometime in September. Yippee!

Well, here is the completed "Daisy Delight" with the added details to the flower center.  If you scroll back through my previous posts, you can see the progression. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Ice Cream Anyone? is finished

I finished drawing "Ice Cream Anyone?" this afternoon while it was raining.  We are blessed to have the privilege of living in the mountains surrounded by woods. In my opinion, there isn't any place more peaceful during a rain shower.

However, yesterday morning the construction crew removed the old roofing shingles from my new studio in preparation for the new roof.  Of course, it rained yesterday afternoon - a real "gully washer".  We got over an inch.  They had left the felt lining on the roof, which is waterproof.  However, they failed to notice the 1000 or so nail holes that no longer had nails in them. Ooops! Can you imagine a colander turned up-side-down on my studio instead of a roof? Yep, my studio was drenched on the inside.

Bert and I opened the windows this morning and put several fans in there to help dry it out.  Thankfully we were able to put a couple of tarps over the roof this afternoon just as it was starting to rain again. No colander effect this evening.  Phew! By the way, the studio is still completely empty with cement floors and no drywall on the walls yet. 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Ice Cream Anyone?

This morning I worked at the art show sponsored by our local art league.  They recommended that I bring something to work on.  Well, I obviously couldn't bring "Daisy Delight" - I would have had paint all over everything.  Instead I decided to do a little pencil drawing.

I haven't decided on a title for this one yet, but I think this will be used in notecards to sell at our local ice cream shop. I am really pleased with the hot fudge sauce. It makes me want to go in the kitchen and make myself a bowl.  No hot fudge sauce here, but I do have Hershey syrup.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Daisy Delight - adding the flower center

Today I spent a couple of hours working on the flower center.  It still has quite a bit of detailing to take care of, but that will have to wait until it dries a bit. The additional colors that I am using are Cadmium Yellow Light, Yellow Ochre, Raw Umber, Sap Green, and Burnt Sienna.
I am very pleased with this painting, and look forward to seeing it hanging in my new studio.
The studio remodel is progressing quite rapidly, and today we passed our first inspection. I now have all my windows installed, an AC wall unit installed, and a front door with keys.WooHoo!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Daisy Delight continued...

Well, it's time to call it an evening.  I have the petals all blocked in, and will adjust the shading on them tomorrow.  This is so far out of my comfort zone in painting - but I'm having a blast!

Daisy Delight - let the coloring begin!

Well, I have started putting in the color.  Obviously a lot yet to do, but I am really enjoying this one. It has a limited palette so far: white, dioxazine purple, untramarine blue, & cerulean blue.  I will be adding other colors when I get to the center of the flower.

Daisy Delight

Well, I am going in a completely different direction than anticipated.  Instead of a traditional still life, I am doing something totally unexpected.. . an oversized close-up of a daisy.

I just finished the charcoal drawing and am waiting for the fixative to dry.  This is 20 x 24 on stretched canvas.