Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Hi everybody, it's been a while since I've posted on here. We've been crazy busy with the holidays, I'm sure you all know what it's like. Now that Christmas is done maybe our classes can start getting back to normal. Today we had a fun group, we got some painting done, had a few laughs and Chuck finished his piece. It's so gorgeous I just had to post it here! These flowers were done in colored pencil on Canson paper. The color in the photo is actually a little cooler than the piece really is. The paper is a soft yellow and the flowers have more magenta in them. I tried adjusting the color but just couldn't get it where I wanted it. (I just took it this morning with my little camera and I'm not home where I can really color correct). Anyway.... you can still see how beautifully he painted it. He's developed a hard edge, graphic style that I really like.
One of the real joys of teaching these art classes is seeing the students develop over the years. It's an interested process to watch. Like the rest of us who paint, they go through the struggles of finding a voice, figuring out how to speak in that voice, learn and build the skills they need to say something and then one day it all comes together. A beautiful painting is born.
I hope you're enjoying the holidays and I wish you peace and creativity for the new year!
Thursday, December 16, 2010
We were at the Appleton Museum in Ocala on Wednesday of last week. We were invited to give a demonstration to the Ocala Art Group (OAG) and we received a very nice response. This photo collage was put together by Ray Jowers who played paparazzi that day.
They served us a really good lunch in the Museum Cafe and as Carlynne already mentioned, it was really fun visiting with our friends Nancy, Julie and Maggie. We don't have lunch with friends nearly often enough.
Then we talked to the goup for about an hour and a half and demonstrated ways to combine colored pencil with other media. We also took questions and sold and signed quite a few of our books. All in all it was a very good day. Thank you OAG for inviting us and Ray for taking care of all arrangements.
Peace and love to you all, especially at this time of year,
Hard to believe it's been 20 years since the beginning of CPSA and the letter that Vera Curnow wrote to the Artist's Magazine wondering if there were other colored pencil artist's out there. The book features work by 177 Signature members. To become a Signature member you have to be accepted to the CPSA International Exhibition 3 times within a 10 year period. Like the Best of Colored Pencil series, all the work in the book is 100% colored pencil but with this one you get to read a little something from each artist. I've been lucky enough to go to some of the conventions and meet people who are included in this book. Every time I open it and see their work I think of them and the time we had at the shows or FL chapter meetings.
The book is a limited edition so don't wait too long if you want your own copy. To order one go to this page. BTW.... the art on the cover is by the very talented Bonnie Auten.
PS: When you get your copy make sure you find page 59. :)
Monday, December 6, 2010
Here are two more pieces that I pulled out yesterday. These are watercolor and colored pencil on hot press watercolor paper. I haven't worked on paper in a while. I love the feel of it, the way the water flows and mingles, the way the pencil works on top..... oh, I'm feeling the urge. It may be time to get out my pile of paper and start playing.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Do you remember when Kelli and I did the Landfill Art Project and painted hubcaps? This one was done by Robin, a friend of ours in Orlando. I came across her video about the work and thought you might like to see it.
Hope you're having a fabulous weekend!
Thursday, November 4, 2010
ARTISTS MAKING MONEY! Doesn't that sound good?! That's the title of our newest workshop presented in two half day increments at Red Swan Paint and Art in Ocala, FL. This class is designed for the advanced student artist (or hobbyist) who is doing high quality work and getting ready to sell. The basic business information in this workshop will include helping the artist to price artwork, accept commissions, approach galleries, stay out of trouble with the IRS and more.
For a long time now our advanced students, some of whom have been with us for more than 10 years and doing excellent work, have been asking us how to price their work and how to go about negotiating a commission. We've decided to compile some basic info on the business of art and present it to anyone who is at that in-between stage of not yet professional, but more than Sunday painter. This workshop will give them the foundation to sell successfully, make a profit and pay taxes.
If you need this information, comment to this post or email us at our address so that we can send you more info:
Workshop takes place from 2-5 on November 17, and Dec 1. Isn't green a beautiful color?!
Peace and creativity,
Monday, November 1, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
The Avocado Grove
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
I wanted to tell you about an incident that happened in one of our regular classes a few weeks ago. It was a particularly small class that day and as those days tend to go, there was probably more gossip and exchanging of recipes than working. So there we are, Carlynne and I enjoying an easy day in class, although not a financially lucrative one, when out of the blue, one of our students, we’ll call her “Sheila” (names are changed to protect the very guilty) said, “Can you recommend a good teacher to give me art lessons?”
Now, let me remind you, this student asked this of her art teachers in the middle of an art class! At first I thought she was joking, then realized she was not. Then I thought, Wow, “Sheila” is getting dementia, but that was not likely either. I looked over at Carlynne who looked like she had been sucking on a pickle, with her face all wrinkled up in puzzlement. Then I looked back at “Sheila” who was waiting for an answer. In that moment I felt the way I imagine a parent does when they find out their only child is shooting up heroin, where did I go wrong, what could I have possibly done to cause this?
Before I could come up with an answer, another student, we’ll call her “Rosie.” (also very guilty) said, “I have always thought Bob Ross was pretty good.” Well at that point, the middle of Carlynne’s face disappeared entirely like a deflated balloon (no kidding), and I turned back to “Sheila” to try to regain control of the situation, not to mention classroom. I said, and this is a direct quote, because I remember it distinctly, “Weeeeelllllll…… I thought that was what we were doing here.” At that point “Sheila” says, “I mean to teach me how to really paint.” Even though I knew by now that I would never regain control of this situation, I repeated myself, a little more confidently this time, “I thought that’s what we were doing.” (By the way, we also mentioned that it would be hard to reach Bob Ross as he died a few years ago.)
Then it dawned on me that “Sheila” had come in to our studio class a year or two previous, waving a wrinkled up magazine swipe, (a photo of a painting, no less). She said, “I don’t want to know how to paint, I just want to copy this for a friend.” And periodically since then, she has brought in another magazine photo that she was copying for someone else. I asked her one time if she ever painted for herself and she replied that she had no interest in that and didn’t have any wall space to hang any. So, we went along like this for quite awhile with her dropping in now and then to have us help her copy something. I guess somewhere along the line, she decided that she wanted more (hallelujah!!) but for some reason didn’t think we were capable of it. That is apparently where we went wrong.
Let me just tell you right now that we have had all ages in our classes, we have taught from 6 year olds to 90 year olds, we have taught all media in classes as well as workshops in various places around the country from drawing to pastel, watercolor, colored pencil, acrylics, oil, etc. We have had students with all types of needs, from “I just want to learn how to draw horses” to “Just show me how to fill in the colors on my craft stamping.” In addition to our personal painting, between us we have also painted three full size horse sculptures, 3 very large butterflies, and one large panel on the local library. Did I mention that we also have a book out, a real honest-to-goodness-not-self-published-book?! Yep, we’ve done it all. Well, that’s what you do when you are trying to squeeze out a living while painting in every spare second of time.
Soooo back to the classroom. We finally got enough info out of “Sheila” to know that she was asking us to finally teach her how to paint. Our weekly classes are designed as studio classes and all students working in all media come together for what we think is mutual benefit. Everyone is working on their own project and we serve as guides to help them achieve their own personal goals. I’ll admit right here that I used to be a snob about art, but over the years working with so many students has taught me that everyone has a need for creativity and it takes as many forms as there are people. I have even seen people who started with paint-by-number and became very excited about learning to really paint. We also have many students who have been with us for 10 years or more and are very fine artists in their own right, doing high quality original work. In fact we are getting ready to teach a two part workshop that will help those advanced students learn about the business side of art because they are ready to sell their work.
If you live in our area and are interested in learning more about our classes and workshops, email us and we will forward info to you. I’ll sign off for now as I still have to deal with “Rosie” and her recommendation of Bob Ross.
Peace and Creativity,
Saturday, October 9, 2010
I have always told students that when they introduce a new medium into their work, it feels like going back to kindergarten. I am now back in kindergarten. I have worked with most media but have never gotten seriously involved with oil paint. The solvents don't like me and the feeling is mutual, difficulty breathing, rash, etc., not pretty. I have decided to paint with oils and not use any of those nasty solvents. At one point a few years ago, I tried the water-miscible oil paints and was less than thrilled. These paints are not exactly water soluble but can be used with a small amount of water and cleaned up with water before they are dry. After painting for years in acrylic, the water-miscible oils were, in my opinion the worst of both worlds.
But I have always loved and I mean LOVED the way that oil paints blend like nothing else on earth. Well, now I am using blending mediums to mix and using vegetable oil for clean up. It works beautifully and I am a happy artist. I am reading everything I can get my hands on about oil paint as I have nothing in my extensive art library on this medium. I have downloaded info from sites such as Gamblin (a very good site by the way) and Carlynne has loaned me several of her books on oil painting. There is nothing like having a new media to get you really excited about your artwork.
One line in the Complete Oil Painter by Brian Gorst, really stopped me in my tracks:
"Good painting is an art, not a science, and cannot be fully learned from any book: it is a combination of skilled craftsmanship, creative bravery, and determined trial and error."
Don't you love that-- CREATIVE BRAVERY?! I love that phrase and nothing was ever more necessary than this for quality artwork. And how true is it that good painting is a combination of skilled craftsmanship, creative bravery and determined trial and error! We were just talking in class about the role of "talent" in art. The jury is still out as far as I am concerned. I feel the same way about talent as I do about UFO's. There might be life on other planets, I am very interested in finding out, but I have not seen any proof yet. Ditto talent.
For me, quality work comes about in any field in two ways, having a profound interest in the work you are doing and practising. I always tell students that if there was a shortcut, I would have found it by now. Talent is just a word.
I wish you Peace and Creative Courage,
Friday, October 1, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Saturday, September 11, 2010
A Treasure is a group of Etsy pieces from many different sellers/artists that all have a harmonizing theme; it might be a color, a name, a season, etc. The treasuries are beautiful assemblages of lovely, unique hand made things. Carlynne and I have been fortunate to be included in many, but I enjoy looking at all of them. I have yet to see one that was not a pleasure to the eye and an inspiration to my creative bone.
Happy Fall and Peace to all,
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Hope you're doing something creative and fun this weekend.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Rocks are inspiring, intriguing and mysterious. They sit around in the studio, I pick them up and listen to the sound of them hitting each other as I juggle a few in the palm of my hand. My fingers rub the smooth surface and wonder how I can make them part of the next painting.
I love the look of buttons in a jar. Some are big and flat, some are little and thick. 4 holes or 2 did they live on a shirt or a jacket? Did the little shiny white one live alone on the back of a little girl's dress?
The line up of spools waiting for their contents to be unwound and reshaped into who knows what.....
My brushes with evidence of washes past call to me. Some of the ferrels are getting rusty but it constrasts so nicely with the blue that doesn't want to let go.
The soft flowing paint that I pushed around with a knife now sits raised and stiff revealing itself after the grit of sandpaper brings back the ridges of color.
*Well, I tried to get creative with the layout and it didn't work, hence the weird spacing.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
I spotted this heron sitting way up high in a tree and since I had my long lens on the camera I thought I'd try to capture him. I was tickled with what I got. I'm a painter, not a photographer so to be able to catch him taking off like this was great fun - gotta love technology.
Hope you're having fun and staying cool,