Friday, April 5, 2019

Where's the Sage?

Actually the title of this painting should be Parsley, Rosemary and Thyme.   I'm sure most will get it the nuance.  More importantly this was my first at-home painting after attending Sarah Sedwick's workshop on dynamic painting.  Wonderful class and terrific crowd of artists.  Shout-out to the venue and Mónica Linares.  Check it out - wide variety of workshops. 

Where's the Sage?
click to zoom / purchase

Sarah's approach is nearly opposite to mine, but figured it was time to switch things up.  I am mesmerized by her work and so lucky that this Oregon based artist ventured out to the east coast. Sarah is a delightful person and more importantly a great teacher. She runs an engaging workshop with demos, instruction, "exercises" and enlightening critiques (direct and positive).  Her involvement even continues afterwards with an alumni Facebook page, links to supplies, YouTube Videos, etc.  She also offers an online mentorship program. 

Sarah's approach that I incorporated into this painting (unlike previous ones!):
  1. Sketch - it's one thing to draw an outline on a canvas with paint, but another to actually sketch it out emphasizing the lights and darks.  These are large thumbnails which are quite helpful in making sure the composition works. 
  2. Apply Underpainting - cover canvas with a neutral tone and draw "again" by wiping out the light areas and darkening the darkest parts. This I get, but can't you just paint it that way?
  3. Globs - Premix all the paint you are going to need, for each area - well this involves MATH and guesstimates so another super-sized challenge. 
  4. Execute Painting - okay this was familiar, BUT this time there's a whole plan, strategy, multiple eyeball-to-mind-melds with the subject, and a different comfort level than before.  Hard to explain, but the number of decisions to be made are mostly done up-front rather than on-the-fly.  hmmmmm. . . . 
Did you notice the SAGE advice numbered above?

Thumbnail ~ 3 1/2"
How can it be that a former professional project manager and software engineer not have a plan before a project?  Today's mystery for sure - ha, ha.

Learned a ton and continuing along my artistic journey - now time to practice, practice, practice. 

Feel free to contact me for more info.

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

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Bread 101

If you've never made bread before it's quite interesting and fun.  There's a woman nearby who teaches old-world style - and get this - new advancements in bread "technology."  For real.  After a few hours of hands-on labor and learning, we were served an over-the-top Charcuterie board to enjoy with the bread she started, but we finished making/baking.  A time to enjoy our accomplishments and ask questions. We all happily left with our new knowledge, ready-to-eat brioche & focaccia,  and our prepared, unproofed dough to make at home.  Check out her website if you're in the neighborhood Knead and Know (Middleburg, VA).  Other people in the class drove over an hour to get there, it's that good.

I loved her story about someone who said "do people really pay you to teach them how to make bread? Can they not follow a recipe?"  Since I grew up with a non-baking Mom, I think it might be a lot like making art - anyone can do it and read a bunch of book(s), but not really "get it" until a teacher takes you by the hand and guides you forward.  Then it's practice, practice, practice!

Bread 101
click to zoom / purchase

Enjoy, life is joy we make one "bite" at a time, Johnna

p.s. my Mom was an awesome cook - always trying new things and making every day a bit of an adventure.  She took a bread baking class later in life which is what inspired me to give it a try.