Friday, January 31, 2014

Day 22 - Piggie Pals

 Carol Marine Workshop - Day 3

Carol's Demo - (of my shoes:-)

I love the way her medium gives her paintings a slight shine!   In her demo she also demonstrated the effect created when you re-mix the color for each stroke.

Today we talked about composition.
Carol emphasized the importance of setting up compositions and to start by playing and then look for something interesting to happen.       Looking at other artists work and drawing it out can help in figuring out what works and what doesn't.  Trust your instinct when you feel that something seems awkward.
There are a lot of rules around compositions that are worth learning (even if you choose to break some:)
Carol mentioned a great book that I want to get:
"The Simple Secret to Better Painting" by Greg Albert
"One way to make your painting dynamic is to have a whole lot of this and a little of that!"

After the demo we got a chance to try the exercise of re-mixing the color for each stroke.  It was a fun challenge and I realized I have a little difficulty with grays.   I also talked to Carol about the importance of taking a look at my composition before I start to see if I can find anything that is going to be awkward down the road.  I found myself using colored papers in the workshop, but not always paying attention to their placement which created spots where a piece of the paper might be lit, but not enough to make it read like a piece of paper...tangential areas if that makes sense?

This is my attempt at the different strokes exercise. 

 Piggie Pals
oil on canvas panel

Painted a little set-up in the afternoon with my Swedish pig ornament and a pig salt shaker I had found at Hallmark a while back.  I had lots of fun simplifying them!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Day 21 - A Spoonful of Slices

Carol Marine Workshop - Day 2

The beginning stages of Carol's demo

On Day 2 we got to watch Carol paint a beautiful demo with orange slices (the grapefruit colored variety).   You can see the early stages in the photo above.   Unfortunately there is a glare, but you can still see the luscious colors on the slices and the process Carol uses of painting over the lines, which ultimately helps create nicer edges!

We learned some of the tricks that can be used for creating ellipses, 

 I took these notes.   Carol draws around the boundaries of an object - top, bottom, left and right -  (and it helps to have her panel-holder when you draw a cup like the one above so that you can draw it off the canvas panel).  For the cup we measured the side (the shorter measurement) to see how many times it went into the opening.     Drawing the cross helps to make sure the ellipse is equal on all sides. 

Here's a link to a great explanation of all things ellipses by Mike Sibley.

We also talked about the importance of putting the paint down and leaving it alone instead of fuzzing with it.  And as someone in our group pointed out:

 "Painting is like Golf, the fewer strokes the better."
Another expression for "fuzzing with it"that I loved; one that Carol's artist friend coined was, 
"licking the canvas".  Something I always need to remember not to do:-)
be conservative with your strokes
plan it 
and leave it alone.

We also focused on values this day and did 3 samples of compositions all with a different value combination.

2 of my 3 are below:
 Medium value dominant, light value secondary and dark value as "the smidge".

Dark value dominant, medium value second and light value is the smidge in this one.

We also did an exercise on edges and then in the afternoon we painted a set-up of our own.
Can you tell that each day is jam-packed with great learning opportunities?

A Spoonful of Slices
Oil on Gesooboard

Monday, January 20, 2014

Day 20 - apples, apples

 Carol Marine's Workshop
 Day 1

This past week I had the pleasure of spending 5 days with Carol Marine, teaching one of her highly sought-after workshops.    It took me over a year and a half to actually get into one, so it was with great anticipation that I arrived in Eugene, Oregon to learn all that I could.    As I slowly (very slowly:) move closer to teaching some day, I want to learn from the best and it's clear that Carol really knows what she's doing - and she freely admits when she doesn't, which is just one of her charmingly refreshing qualities as a teacher!

The week was so much fun!  Making new friends with a wonderful group of "new kids" and passionate painters was such a treat!   There was a lot of laughter shared amidst "getting ready for the races" in Carol's 10-minute boot camp exercises:-)  and learning from Carol's about the ups and downs in her art career before arriving at the joy of daily painting, which was truly inspiring in itself.

 Carol's Apples -
 Day 1 Demo

There were several demos during the week including demo 1 where I learned the value of being a methodical, deliberate, thoughtful and organized painter.   Carol doesn't even wear gloves and her hands stay cleaner than mine, and I'm wearing gloves?!!...If only it could whip me into shape to make less of a mess with my paint! 

Other valuable lessons I took from Day 1:
  1. After doing a ground in Burnt Umber, you can use the same color for the drawing.  As long as you don't dilute it with OMS you can wipe off the excess leaving a ghost image for when you start painting.
  2. How working from the inside out (from islands to oceans) can give you a painting with cleaner colors and more interesting edges.
  3. Reflected light is not as light as you think.
  4. How to create cast shadows with an umbra and a panumbra:-)
Carol has some great ArtBytes that include some of these lessons.

 10 minute apples by me

Monday, January 13, 2014

Day 13 - Cows in Color

Oil on Linen on Panel

Cows are interesting animals.  I had my own close encounter drawing some back in Sweden years ago.  I was sitting on a rock as they closely moved in to take a closer look at me.  They are curious and followers, which I experienced when I got a little nervous, turned and started running...only to have the whole flock start running after me...:-)  I try not to do that anymore...

With this painting I wanted to keep the brush strokes simple and get those beautiful warm and cool "whites".  I had a good time with it and only did some of the grass, may just leave it that way.

Day 12 - SLO Study on Vellum

Oil on Vellum 
Value Study

Back to my values studies!   Saw this scene traveling through San Luis Obispo last year and I liked the way the light fell on the woman waiting at a table...

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Day 11 - Foxy Friends

Oil on Linen on Panel

It has been a while since I did this - Set up a still-life.    I got this cute fox and his little friend from my husband and the kids for Christmas.  We all seem to like collecting things.  I used to collect owls, but maybe this will be my new thing!  It was interesting to try to capture the reds and pinks together. I put this black high light on the black, not because I necessarily saw it, but because I've seen it work well in other paintings!  I'll have to think about whether it works here?
I also found myself paying attention to what Vadim Zanginian mentioned in his demo the other night - working from cool to warm (and back) - within the same color fields.
Now I have a little catching up to do for the 30 in 30, as my husband and I got to celebrate a belated anniversary in Santa Barbara this weekend.   For those of you with kids, you might be familiar with how rare an occurrence this can be:-)  We consider ourselves really fortunate to have some great friends who made it all possible.   The kids had a blast as we recuperated, relaxed and walked on the beach.
Happy Painting!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Co-Hosting with Leslie Saeta Artists Helping Artists

There will be no post of a painting for Leslie Saeta's 30 in 30 challenge today, but it's for a good reason! 

This morning I had the great honor of co-hosting with Leslie on 
the #1 Art Show on BlogTalkRadio, where we discussed:

To hear it on your computer Here is a link to today's show!
It's also possible to listen to the show, for free, on iTunes where you can set up to subscribe it and down load it to your iPod or such.

I have been listening to the show for years and have often taken "Leslie and her co-hosts", on the road so to speak, and it's kept me jazzed and energized for hours, not to mention all the valuable tips I've gotten on anything marketing.

It's a marvelous resource when it comes to learning more about how to promote and sell your art on-line!   There's wonderful interviews with well-known artists and I love feeling part of this community of artists sharing ideas and the journey of an artist!

Before going live this morning I called in to do a sound check and quickly talk to Leslie and I was reminded of what it felt like to move towards the open door in the plane when you get ready to sky-dive.   Time keeps ticking and there's no going back... 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1 ...blogtalkradio...

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Day 8 - Hiding

oil on linen on panel

I had fun with this piece.  Did an orange (complimentary color) under painting and then put my darks in loosely and kept some of the orange...well a lot, of the orange peeking through:-)  I see something I need to fix though...isn't that always the case?   One of the side mirrors needs to way they'd be at two totally different levels...oops/

Saw a great demo at WVAG this evening with Vadim Zanginian.

He's an extremely talented artist I recently studied with who really knows how to simplify, develop great values and say a lot with a limited color palette.
Vadim was trained in the Russian Academic tradition at the Art and Teatre Institute in Russia and in his art Vadim tries to make his brush depend on his first impression, and tell a long story in a few words, just like a limited palette can give you 100's of colors.

Vadim used a limited palette of Zink White, Lemon Yellow, Cad Red Light and Ivory Black to create all the colors he needed in this demo.

Here are the pictures I promised, I'm sorry they are not the sharpest as they were taken with my IPhone and of the screen, as we project the process up on a big screen ..but I hope it still shows you 
a master at his craft!
After deciding on his composition and vantage point Vadim toned his canvas with a gray mixture, leaving the area with most light - lighter and going darker away from the light source. 
He lightly put in the top and bottom of the figure, added the figure in silhouette, then put in his dark values and connected the dark shapes.

In the next step he used a paper towel and a nifty little tool called a clay shaper to create his lightest lights by erasing to reveal the white of the canvas...

Vadim then worked very methodically adding values within values, always being careful to go from cool to warm to cool as you can see in the figure and the arm for example.

Here's the final picture of the night's demo and Vadim then took it home to put some final details on it for the lucky winner of the raffle.   Note the beautiful painting below on his easel as well:)
Guess who wishes she could have won it?....yep, me!

For those of you in the L.A. area:   Vadim has worked out a fast learning program for Academical drawing and painting and he teaches classes at his studio in Glendale and at LAAFA

Monday, January 6, 2014

Day 7 - Tug of War

Oil on Linen on Panel

Painted this today at the Thousand Oaks Community Gallery where I have my work featured this week.   I stayed sort of loose...started with a burnt umber values sketch and then put my dark and lights in..finding the drawing.  Something Patti Mollica talks about in a great post where she discusses two different approaches.  Check it out here
As you can see I'm pretty   I sometimes wonder if I even have a process? changes so much.   My husband did tell me that he now sees an identifiable style to my paintings...great compliment although it's not always the style I'm aiming for!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Day 6 - Look at that...

 Oil on Gessoed Board

A study with color...taking a break from my limited palette.   I caught this grandmother and grandchild in Sweden this summer at a wonderful farm we visited and was captivated by the back-light and the great color of the girl's sweater...wish I could remember what they were both looking at?

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Day 5 - Sipping 4th of July Spirits

Oil on linen on panel

Here's another Value study I finished today.  It's black and white on an earth tone under painting.  The little girl is part of the yearly 4th of July parade here in Westlake Village.  The parade consists of kids on bikes and in wagons, along with dogs (also in wagons:) and their families, all decorated in their red-white and blue holiday best.   It's very cute, and if I get myself organized, I'll finish a color version to include in next year's calendar.    

Dilemma - 
I painted this on a Centurion wrapped linen canvas board and I just noticed today that the linen canvas has separated from the board creating a pocket of's too bad...I really like these boards, but I don't know if this is fixable?  Have anyone else run in to this problem and found a solution, other than re-painting it?

Day 4 - A Sunny Companion

Oil on Linen on panel

 This was painted with just black, white and orange, part of my value studies this month.

Here are some thoughts on Art, beautifully expressed by Robert Genn:

Art is a path on which we honour our world. Art may not be the only path, but it is a good path, even though at times a difficult one. As bearers of this honour, we artists do not need to simply render our world as we see it but as we might ourselves redesign it. As artists, one of our privileges is to invent. "We are created creative and can invent new scenarios as frequently as they are needed." (Maya Angelou) On our path, design is everywhere and invites the soul.

From my window, art is a worthwhile cause. Whether we choose to delineate the rare birds that come to our shore, to broadly honour the spirit of the sunset, the deep forest beyond or the tiny foreground mosses, this is our opportunity to connect. In a world that appears now to have more connectivity than ever, and yet also less, this is what art looks like from my window.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Day 3 - Market Values

Oil on Linen on Panel
Value Study

Did a little better today.   It's interesting how much more work I create for myself when I don't measure and draw things correctly from the start.  That's what I learned in yesterday's exercise.  Today I'm continuing my study on values.   I picked Ivory black, Titanium white, and then randomly added Cad Orange ...there might be a better color to add, since I seems to have a hard time sticking to just the black and white...Ideas of 3 colors anyone?
 I actually changed things around and edited way more in this one than I usually do when I use a photo as reference....taking new liberties in the new year...wohoo!  It's also part of being more disciplined and doing thumbnails ahead of painting;)

 Here's the reference photo to show my editing:-)

Check out all the other artists taking part in Leslie Saeta's challenge this time around here.

Day 1 - Like Two Peas In a... Cot

January - A Month of Value Studies

oil on Linen on Panel
Value Study

I wasn't sure I'd be able to join Leslie Saeta's challenge this time around.  I want to start painting larger and make sure I have time to do that...but, with all the focus on our re-model and moving these last few months, I definitely feel a little rusty, not having painted as much!   So I'm looking at this as a great opportunity to join the fun and do some value studies to get ready for those larger pieces!
I hope all my artist friends are looking forward to this new year with excitement for what is in store artistically, and I wish everyone checking in on this blog a fantastic 2014!