Sunday, November 29, 2015

Fall Art Class Setup - Take 3

For the last few years, I have taken an eight week art class once or twice a year. The instructor, is naturally an amazing talent – but also an incredible teacher. She handles all sorts of students from the beginners to the professionals. What seems so unique is how she keeps everyone from being overwhelmed by the complex setups and builds on each person’s level. Somehow she manages to recreate the setup two (and sometimes three) weeks in a row.

The artist dubs her style "saturated realism" because of the use of saturated color. Hey, they don’t call me “Boldy” for nothin’ and nice to know and learn from others in love with bright colors!

September Setting
16" x 12"
click here to purchase 

Setting the mood for the change in seasons with the last of the summer flowers and first of the autumn pumpkins. This pumpkin was a light pinkish color enhanced by the yellow spotlight. What’s not challenging about this whole thing!

Stay tuned, will post a few more from the class.

Being able to produce realism is a major confidence builder and most people probably prefer this style.  My preference is more abstract, looser painting that challenges the viewer to fill in even more "gaps" in the subject.  Looking forward to continued twists and turns along this journey!

Enjoy, life is joy we make one moment at a time,

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Lisa Daria Workshop - Awesome

This two day workshop was perfect in several ways - great host, great venue, fabulous food, fun crowd of artists and Lisa who gets my rave review!  

Here's the recap with a little about each challenge.  Lots of drills and trials like mixing grays, other ways to mix darker colors and the like.  The most powerful lesson we learned was to mix paint so that you never use the same color mix more than three times. It doesn’t take long to realize that you have to get creative while mixing!   It also helps you to focus on what you are actually doing – say a little more blue on the shadow side for example. 

Lisa is very up-front. She tells you there are rules and it is okay to break the rules, but her favorites to hang on to are:

  • No drawing! 
  • Squint so much that detail is eradicated!
  • Three strokes per color max!
  • Paint on a panel that’s toned in bright red to leverage the color energy! 

These four items keep the painting fresh, vibrant and interesting. I forget her exact words, but this is the list of takeaway gems if you ask me. 

Day 1 - Get in the Groove

First panel – no drawing, squint, get used to the bright red backbround.  Oops, vase got chopped off the bottom. . . . er, maybe a little drawing would be okay.

Second panel – Only 30 strokes for the whole painting; increases the fluid-factor and makes you really plan what’s happening.  

Can you belive the shadow was one stroke! Talk about planning ahead!
Third panel - Paint subject again with only the paint left on your palette – egads I only had a small dab of white, so focus was on what colors could be used while mixing to keep it interesting.  ahhhh . . . .darkness.

Day 2 - Work it Out
Paint all unlit areas in black with big blocky sections!  Without drawing - this is hard, but sets up drama and a new way to observe.  Shadow side of the orange really lucked out on this exercise.   BTW the green blobs are grapes :-)

Finally - Paint what you want keeping the rules in play – no drawing, squint, 3 strokes max and don't forget the red panel.  This photo is bigger because I absolutely love how it turned out!

Of course there had to be to one last twist. Paint setup again – but with your non-dominant hand! Not too  bad. I really enjoyed re-painting the same setup, getting more and more abstract.

So what do you think – should I keep doing a few more this way?

Lisa is high-energy, delightful, knowledgeable, fun and funny – she makes it exciting to be learning.  A lot of workshops are what I would call “passive” - where the artist gives out a list of “rules,” does a demo and then walks around making comments.  Helpful, but not my preference.  You never really know what type you’ll end up with, but I personally like what I would call “active” – constant stretching, short bursts of trying concepts, information on why, challenges, etc.  Workshops are expensive, so you always hope you have a good time and come away with a few gems of wisdom.  I got a ton in return and found more JOY in painting! Priceless.  

Lisa's facebook page is here

Enjoy - life is joy we make one moment at a time, 


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Catching Up

Been busy around here lately – or at least a few things going on. Basically, artist happy moments! 

First, I received a request for an art swap that ended up with the Morning Fox heading off to Easton MD where I know he will be very happy assuming he doesn’t tangle with the resident pooch!  In return, he had my artist friend, Kathie Rogers (link to her website), send her beautiful Goldfinch and Hydrangea painting that I will always cherish.  Art is so wonderful, it’s hard to stop staring at it and it is such a great reminder of fun times together.
Morning Fox
8 x 10

Secondly, out of the blue one of my favorite paintings sold - Window in Paris – now located in Chicago, just in time to warm up the place before winter sets in.  I just love when someone goes through art on DailyPaintworks and picks ME!  Secretly, I wish I knew how they go about it. . . . 

Window in Paris
6 x 6

Lastly, I took a weekend workshop from an amazing artist -- Lisa Daria.  Will blog about it tomorrow.  Lots of practice paintings, drills and new ways to approach a painting. Considerably more abstract than my normal style – if I have a style????   I am also going to try and incorporate some of her “lessons to live by” to help make time to paint and keep motivated.  Her daily paintings are here

Enjoy - life is joy we make one moment at a time,