Friday, November 14, 2014

25 Painting Challenge - Painting 7 - First Draft - November 14, 2014

"Five Trunk Tree" - Pastel - 9x12 - November 2014 - First Draft
Painting 7 of the 25 Painting Challenge - This week I selected several reference photos.   I still had a couple of reference photos on foam board but I was drawn to this one.    This is of a walkway at Gibbs Gardens beside a five trunk tree.    It is a favorite spot for people to take photos.    On this painting I decided to try a different approach at the end.   What is it they say "if you do things the way you've always done them - then you'll get what you've always got".    Well my approach by the end of the painting would usually be to see what's wrong and know I don't like things about it - and plunge head strong to finish.    This time I decided I would try a different approach.  
- take a photo of the painting
- go back to my thumbnail drawing and compare the shapes and lights and darks
- make a list of the changes that are needed to get the painting in line with my original thumbnail
- focus on the shadows and carefully add color to help with the definition
- use very light strokes
- choose where the colors are not right and slowly modify identified areas of the painting.
Will re post the final and see if the strategy helps.

Friday, November 7, 2014

25 Painting Challenge - Painting 6 - November 7, 2014

"Little Girl in the Snow" - Pastel - 9x13 - November 2014
Painting 6 of the 25 Painting Challenge - Today's painting has been sitting around for a while waiting for the finishing touches.    Special thanks to Ann Cockerill of Red Cockerill Gallery for her 1-1 class today  and helping me with some trouble spots.    I love this painting done from a reference photo last year of my granddaughter in the snow.   Her big over size red coat and furry collar takes on the feel of Little Red Riding Hood.    No big bad woods in this forest!!   Just a friendly backyard to play in the snow.     I also dropped off 3 paintings to be framed.   A new show is coming up at Dog River Library in Douglasville in February 2015.   My goal is to have 25-30 all new works.    I've already done 25 but with the challenge it will push me up to 50 and it will be fun to be able to select the best of them for the show.   
Currently I have two paintings in the NOVAS Show at the Cultural Arts Center in Douglasville - "Mill House Road" and "Hydrangea".    There are two other paintings in the show at the Douglas County Courthouse in Douglasvillle - "Starr's Mill" and "Christmas Home".    

Thursday, November 6, 2014

25 Paintings Challenge - Day 6 of Painting - November 6, 2014

"Fall Tree" - Pastel - 5x7 - November 2014
Red Top Mountain State Park

25 Paintings Challenge -  My 6th day of painting since October 25, 2014 when I began the challenge.   Today I decided to just have fun with an old reference photo I took at Red Top Mountain several years ago.   I won't to go back and do this one again to get the right shape to the tree but I stuck to my guns on my approach.    I completed my sketch with values, then I did my best to put in light strokes.   When I found myself going back and going back, I stopped and laid it to rest.   There are sections of the painting that are overworked but overall I did a better job of letting go.   Nice to have set up the reference photos and paper in advance.   That is definitely helping me be more focused.   I have to more left on foam board.   Will assign weekends as a time to pick out next 6 reference photos and set up boards.    I think I will work in all 5x7 for the remainder of the 25 challenge.   That will give me a chance to try lots of things and I can go back and choose the one that would work well as larger paintings.

25 Painting Challenge - Day 6 - Painting 4 - November 6, 2014

"Sunflower Welcome" - Pastel - 5x7 - November 2014
25 Painting Challenge - Day 6  of the challenge is really day 12.   I'm discovering some things about myself.   First I may never become a daily painter but I have to give myself permission to be OK with that.    I have painted 28 paintings this year.   I have done 4 paintings in the first 12 days of the challenge.   I started "Sunflower Welcome" thinking it would be a quick study and found myself going back to it because I was not satisfied with the results.    Several days later....I finally return and rework and still am not satisfied.   But today I walk away and will file it in the later file.
What I've learned?    
1.   Resolve to paint more -  It's OK to not become the daily painter but I do need to push myself to paint most days.   The act of putting the pastel to the paper frequently does improve your skill - even when the results are not what you would like.
2.   Walk away from the painting -  I've discovered that I'm a one sitting painter.   I rarely am happy if I leave a painting on the easel and come back to it.   It always seems to leave me disappointed or I get stuck in the "get it right" mode.    I need to accept what I've done for the day and put it aside.   There are lots of other days of the year that I can get out my discarded paintings and decide if I want to rework them.    I can be more productive if I don't spend days languishing over an unsuccessful painting.    Remember the object of painting is to enjoy the experience.
3.   Keep on - Keeping on - When life gets hectic and I don't get to the easel or if something doesn't turn out as a would like I just have to keep on keeping on.   Get up and paint the next day.
21 paintings to go!!   Can't wait to see what the next few weeks produce.

Friday, October 31, 2014

25 Painting Challenge - Day 5 - October 31, 2014

"Sunflower Welcome"  First Draft - Pastel - 5x7 - October 2014

"Sunflower Welcome" - Sketch - Pencil - October 2014

25 Painting Challenge - Day 5 - What to do when you are short on time and don't feel inspired?   Today was a hectic day.   Visit with family and grand kids.    I was short on time and not feeling particularly inspired.    What to do?    I was glad I had set up some reference photos the first of week and had varied the sizes.   I picked up the smallest one, a 5x7 and went for the sunflower.    Sunflowers are one of my favorite flowers and when I look back I have painted lots of them.    I started with a simple sketch.     I cropped the photo to get the sketch view.   I knew before I started that I was not satisfied with the composition of the sketch.   RED FLAG.   I should have stopped and relaxed and reworked it to think more specifically about what I wanted to capture.    But I proceeded and laid in some color.     After a few minutes I decided it was time to step away from the painting.   While I liked where the color was going - I was not happy with my overall composition.   Tomorrow is another day.
What did I learn?    Planning helps on days you are busy because everything is ready for you to paint.    If I'm not feeling inspired I will work on a smaller composition and choose a favorite subject.    Use the time to play around with composition and color and decide what you want in the finished painting.   
TOMORROW!! - I'll work on finishing "Sunflower Welcome" and add it to my collection of sunflower paintings.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

25 Paintings Challenge - Day 4 - October 30, 2014

"A Walk by the River" Final - Pastel - 9x12 - October 2014
Vogel State Park

Day 4  - 25 Paintings Challenge - Today I reworked "A Walk by the River".    I loved this scene at Vogel State Park.   So quiet and peaceful.   At first I ended up with a darker painting with dark tree trunks and a hard shore line, not enough sky.    Karen Margulis did a blog yesterday on creating lyrical trees.   The technique of going lighter on trunk and using the sharp edge and letting the pastel lightly touch the paper.    I reworked several things and it definitely helped this painting but I ended up with to much pastel on the painting and some of the corrections were difficult to achieve.    The good thing is I learned some more things.    Funny things that you already know but seem to forget when the pastel gets in your hand.
Lesson for the Day - Less is always more.    I put entirely to much pastel and hard strokes in a painting.   It really makes it difficult to rework sections of the painting.   I need to focus more on the right choices of color pallete before!!! I start.    I used the pastels I had handy and never got the right color for water and sky.   I did a thumbnail sketch before I did the painting.   Unfortunately when I finished the first draft and was not happy with it, I noticed that I had gotten away from the shapes and lights and darks of my thumbnail.    I need to depend on the thumbnail sketch until the bitter end - then check out the reference photo for the final icing on the painting.   I have a busy day ahead and am giving myself permission to call it a day.   So far 4 days and 3 painting.    Definitely on the right track.  I'm thinking of joining the local Camera Club.   A good chance to get in field trips for photos that I might not explore on my own.     

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

25 Paintings Challenge - Day 3 - October 29, 2014

"A Walk By the River" - Pastel - 9x12 - October 2014
Vogel State Park
25 Painting Challenge - Today getting started was easier.   My reference photos were selected for the week.   I had a paper mounted to foam board ready to go.   I did the thumb nail sketch and selected colors for under painting and the painting.   I decided to do an alcohol under painting.    The day came to an end and I had been back and forth to the painting. I was not happy with it!    I decided to take a photo of the painting which is my usual practice when I finished.   I knew I wasn't finished but in the spirit of making myself move forward I took a shot.    It actually helped me better clarify my next steps.   The shore line is to straight, the tree are to uniform, color scheme does not work.    I like the shape and feel of the piece however and will tackle the completion tomorrow.    So glad I mounted an assortment of sizes on foam board.    Since I will be finishing this one tomorrow, I will do a small study for my Day 4 painting.   

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

25 Painting Challenge - Day 2 - Prepare & Choose

"Quiet Stream" - Pastel - 9x12 - October 2014 - Vogel State Park
Day 2 of Challenge - October 28, 2014
- Prepare foam board with Uart paper.
- Choose the first 6 painting reference photos for the week
- Organize my painting space
- Paint

What I learned from this step.
- Organize supplies.   My finger had already selected a roll of Uart paper and I was eyeing some lovely pastels when I decided to look downstairs.   My problem is I've kept my supplies in my basement garage and they get lost.   As kids and grand kids leave "stuff", my garage is rearranged constantly.    I found some great mounted sanded paper that was bought who knows when that I've never tried.   I also found some pastels in their boxes.   I cancelled the order and one of my future projects will be to get some shelves so that I can organize my supplies in EYE SIGHT!!

- Create Space for Different Mediums     I love watercolor but haven't painted anything in months.    Last year I created a supply "box" for pastels, watercolor and acrylic.   Sort of a grab and run box.   I need to identify some space.    Time to plan a garage clean out!!

- Move on when you hit a Paint Freeze -  Several weeks ago I started a snow painting of my grand daughter.   I like it but hit a snag on the face.   It sat on my easel for several weeks.    What I should have done is put it aside.    Save for another day.

Monday, October 27, 2014

25 Painting Challenge - Day 1 - October 26, 2014

"25 Painting Challenge"

25 Painting Challenge Day 1 -
STEP ONE - My goal for this morning was to go through my photos and select 25 reference photos.    It took a long time but I was please with the outcome.    After I selected the photos, I printed small prints and on the back answered 3 questions.    Where? - Where was the photo taken.    What? - What will be my working title for the painting.   Why? - Why did I select this photo to paint?   What about the photo or place captured my interest.
  1. Organize - I need to organize my photos and sort so that I can find things when I need them.   Sort by place is where I think I will start.
  2. Proactive - Start a practice of placing reference photos in computer files by place each time I download from my camera or iPhone.    Print off the ones that I want to place in my "immediate" reference photo file.
  3. Reference Photo Folder - Create a folder with reference photos.   I think I'll find an small expandable folder that will allow me to sort them by some categories so I'm not just shuffling through tons of photos.
  4. Make a weekly Plan - Choose the set of reference photos for the week.  Identify Where?  What? and Why?   Set up my paper and boards for each.
  5. Practice Good Habits - After choosing the reference photos set up a good plan.   Do a thumbnail sketch - Choose my painting size - Choose under painting method and color palette - Choose painting color palette.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Expressive Painting - Karen Margulis Workshop - 10-25-14

"Mountain Meadow" - Pastel - 9x12 - October 2014 - Blue Ridge Mountains

Always love attending a Karen Margulis Pastel Workshop.   I had been wanting to paint from my reference photos taken on a trip to Blue Ridge Mountains this year and this Expressive Painting Workshop was the perfect time.    The challenge is 25 painting.   Karen has given this challenge before and I always seem to get distracted.   This time I plan on taking her advise and actually cutting and taping on form board 25 pieces of pastel paper and painting until they are filled.    My personal goal is to finish before Thanksgiving.   

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Pastel Challenge Group - Study in Red

"Red Park Stream Study" - 5x7 - Pastel - September 2014
This study was done as part of the Pastel Challenge of Karen Margulis.   I took the photo at Vogel State Park in August 2014.    This exercise was a good one to identify the lights and darks and composition for the painting.   Can't wait to start on the larger painting.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Painting Sunflowers - August 2, 2014

"Tuscan Sunflowers" - Acrylic - 2014
Painting Sunflowers - This painting was done at Art with a Twist at the Red Cockerill Gallery.    I've always loved sunflowers and when I looked back I discovered that there have been lots of other sunflowers in my gallery.    I've painted many more but these are the ones that made it to a "frame."     I'm so please that out of eight paintings of sunflowers, seven have gone to family or friends.    It nice to know that I've helped spread sunflowers around the country. :)    It's also interesting to see how my painting has developed over the years.    I simply must get more creative however in naming my paintings.    
"Sunflower Surprise - Pastel - 2013

"Sunflower Face" - Pastel - 2013

"Sunflower Face" - Pastel - 2013
These three painting were done for my April 2012 Art Show.    I loved them and my daughter, Amy did too.   I told her if they didn't sell at the show she could have them.   They now hang in her dinning room over her buffet.    She narrowly got them though because after the show closed a friend asked about them.   I actually painted them to be a collection and it was great fun.

"Sunflower Pot" - Acrylic - 2011
This painting was done as a still life from a pot of sunflowers on my sunroom.    I still have this pot on my porch.  The painting was in the April 2012 Art Show and sold to my brother Gary.    I'm so pleased he and Lois attended the show and he purchased two of my favorite paintings, this one and "Mark of the Potter."
"Sunflowers 2" - Pastel - 2010
I so loved my "Sunflower" painting that I really hated to let it go.   It was hung in my house for months and after several failed attempts to duplicate it I gave in and gave it to a dear friend.    I loved this one also and put it in my April 2012 Art Show and it sold to my friend Ann.    I learned early on that I am not suited to "paint on commission."   Just the idea of painting something specific that someone has requested changes the whole experience.   I have to just paint what I love and if someone else loves it - so be it!    
"Sunflowers" - Patel - 2010
Looking back I made considerable progress between my paintings.   This one was always a favorite.   It is owned by my friend Robyn.   It was a gift at her retirement.
"Sunflower" - Pastel - 2010
This was one of my first pastel paintings and was painted in a class with Karen Margulis.   I see so many issues to correct but at the time it was a fun experience that helped get me "hooked" on pastel.   This painted is owned by my friend Ruth.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Painting Hydrangeas - July 17, 2014

"Pink Hydrangeas" - Watercolor - July 2014

Watercolor - I've been in a watercolor mood the last week.    I think because I was painting pastel and hit a couple of snags and hated everything I painted.   Sometimes it just helps me to back away and just have fun trying something new.   I love the loose look you can get with watercolor.   I guess in all my painting I'm more of a loose, impressionistic painter.     I love muted colors and soft shapes.     This one is part of my watercolor practice.  I really like letting the colors combine.   I probably did 4-5 different loose paintings - painting over the original each time.    Just experimenting but I like the effect.  

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

More Watercolor Practice - July 15, 2014

"Botanical Study" - Watercolor - July 2014
Watercolor Diversion - Occasionally you just need a break from your primary medium.  Mine is pastel but I've always wanted to learn watercolor.   I've started practicing with some small flower pieces.    I may try pen and watercolor.  I've seen some really great pen sketches that were painted with watercolor.   Fun to try something new.   

Monday, July 14, 2014

Try...Try...Try...Gives New Meaning to "If at first you don't suceed." - July 14, 2014

"Spring Flowers 2" - Watercolor - July 2014

"Flower Study" - Watercolor - July 2014

Watercolor Practice -   Painting with watercolor is like dancing with a partner.   It has an active part in the painting.    I painted a flower study several years go.   It was fluid and loose and I loved it.    I've been trying ever since to get to that same experience without success.    I just keep try, try, trying.     

Monday, July 7, 2014

If at first you don't suceed....Try...Try...Again! - July 7, 2014

"Spring Flowers" - Watercolor - 8x10 - July 2014
"Spring Flowers" was an accident.   I had attended a workshop and was painting a barn on a large piece of paper.   The first one I loved and it's posted in June 2014.   But when I got home and was working with the one inch brush on the second piece, I hated it.   I also hate to waste paper so I decided to turn it over and do some practice painting on the back.   This flower study is one I had done before.   I still need to go back with a smaller brush and add just a few details and darken the middle but overall I was pleased with it.   I love muted colors and more of an impressionistic feel.   This one I will probably finish and frame.    The one below "Flowers" was done in June 2012 from the same study.    It was a favorite at my Art Show and was one of the first to sell.   Guess simpler is better.   I have to agree I loved "Flowers" too.   A project I need to do one day is to drag out all my old "discarded" paintings and do some rework on them.   There might just be a painting there waiting to be discovered!!
"Flowers" - Watercolor - 5x7 - June 2012

Friday, July 4, 2014

Painting your Front Yard - July 2014

"Morning Flowers" - Pastel - 9x12 - July 2014
Painting Your Front Yard - Sometimes the most beautiful things are right under your nose.   One of my favorite things to do each morning is to sit and have a cup of coffee and look out over my flower garden.   This unfortunately does not do the flower bed justice.   Have to work on fewer strokes. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Reminder of the Painting Journey - 2010 to 2014

"Jekyll Island Club Hotel" - Pastel - 9x12 - June 2014

"Jekyll Island Club Hotel I" - Pastel - 9x12 - April 2010
Reminder of the Painting Journey -  Since I started painting in 2010, I have kept photos of all my paintings.   The good, bad and ugly alike have been saved to my "All Paintings" file.   I haven't looked back in a while but as I painted the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, I was reminded that it was one of the first images I ever painted.    The paintings above represent a journey from April 2010 - June 2014.   While there are many, many things I am still working on today, I am happy with the journey.   There has been the natural benefit of improving from painting #17 to painting # 192 but there is also the personal joy of painting and reliving experiences.   An added benefit has been the new friends I've made and the "new" way of looking at the world through painting.    

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Vacation Trips Make for Great Reference Photos - Jekyll Island, GA

"Sunny Bay" - Pastel - 9x12 - June 2014 - Jekyll Island, GA

Vacation Trips Make for Great Reference Photos -    Several years ago I attended a Road Scholar Watercolor Workshop on Jekyll Island.   It was my first extensive experience with watercolor and we painted lots of beach scenes.   While I was there I stayed at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel.   The hotel has lots of grounds and behind the hotel I found this lovely spot in the inland waterway.  It's taken me a while to get back to some of those photos, but I love this scene.   It's a reminder of the quiet calm of the island in the evening.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Barry Sholder Watercolor Workshop - June 2014

"Country Home" - Watercolor - June 2014 - Barry Sholder Workshop - Red Cockerill Gallery

This workshop utilized a one inch brush for the entire painting.   A small thin brush was used for some lines but the exercise was focused on the one inch brush.   Basic concepts of drawing a loose sketch and identify composition, color, values and  using values 1-4 (white to dark),    I've attended other watercolor workshops where the focus is minimal detail and loosely worked.    Probably a good exercise for me since I tend to overwork paintings.   

Barbara Jaenicke Workshop - 2014

"Winter Road" - Pastel - 9x12 - 2014 - Barbara Jaenicke Workshop

"Winter Road" - This painting was done at a Barbara Jaenicke Workshop.  Not sure how I misplaced this one because the workshop was in the winter sometime.   I love the snow shadows.   Great workshop.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Monastery of the Holy Spirit - Conyers, GA - June 2014

"Monastery of the Holy Spirit" - Pastel - 9x12 - June 2014
Monastery of the Holy Spirit - This monastery is located in Conyers, GA.   It's a beautiful place to visit.   Prayers are in the chapel at noon lead by the monks.   There is a great garden center with lots of bonsai and bonsai supplies and books, bread, candy, jellies, etc. sold in their shop. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Senoia Mill House - Pastel - June 2014

"Senoia Mill House" - Pastel - 9x12 - June 2014

Starr's Mill Revisited - This painting is of a mill house behind Starr's Mill in Senoia, GA.   It was a grassy field but somehow I envisioned it as a wildflower field.    Pastel on wallis paper.    

Sunday, June 15, 2014

2014 Challenge

2014 Challenge - The last few years I haven't made the time to paint as much as I did the first year.   I've only been painting since 2010 so I don't have much of a reference point, but I find that I have to find ways to motivate myself.   Funny ....since painting is something that I love, but life has a way of just happening.    So these days I have permanently set up my easel in my sun room.   It's not an ideal painting location and I find that the light is not always good...but it keeps painting in front of me.   I've also discovered that I must have a "working" painting on the easel all the time.  It tends to draw me to it, so as soon as I complete one painting I immediately put up the next blank canvas or paper.    The other thing I've done is focused on my own photos.  I have used photos made by friends with their permission.   It is satisfying to paint beginning to ends something from my own work.   It also is a good excuse to go on day trips and connect with friends looking for the next painting.

Since 2014 I have had two art shows and entered my paintings into numerous shows.   My goal for 2014 is to complete 50 original paintings from my own photos.    Of course I will thrown in a painting completed at a workshop each month as I continue to study with some of my favorite artist.  

10 paintings out of 50 is the count.    8 original work from my own or friends reference photos and 2 from workshops.  

Painting Flowers in Acrylic - June 2014

"Hydrangeas" - Acrylic - June 2014

"Hydrangeas" was painted at a Red Cockerill Gallery Art with a Twist Workshop.   I love these workshops that Ann Cockerill does each month.   She is a wonderful artist and each month she takes one of her paintings and walks the class through the steps in painting their own version.    It's amazing that each one is different and has their own unique beauty.   I love my pastels but I must say that working with acrylic is more satisfying when painting flowers.   I always feel I can put lots of colors layered in and it seems to never refuse to accept more.    I love hydrangeas and this dark background really sets this apart.   A few things I'd change but sometimes you just have to walk away.  I thing I will do a series on my favorite flowers--lets see......hydrangeas....sunflowers.......roses..........    There is not a flower that I don't love.  

Friday, June 13, 2014

Memory Painting Exercise - Barbara Jaenicke Workshop - June 2014

"Still Life" - Pastel - 5x6 - June 2014 - Jaenickie Workshop
Memory Painting Exercise - Took a workshop from Barbara Jaenicke this week and she had us do a memory painting exercise to improve our observation skills.    She set up a still life and we were given 5 minutes to study it.   Then we went in another room and were to paint from memory.    We did this several times back and forth.   It was a difficult exercise but fun.   We frequently are glued to our reference photo and don't just simply look at our painting and figure out what's wrong.   My next still life project is to get sunflowers and my watering can and make a still life arrangement to paint.

Starr's Mill - Pastel - 9x12 - June 2014

Starr's Mill was one of many mills that were built in mid 19 century taking advantage of the endless supply of water power.   This mill in Fayette County was built by Hananiah Gilcoat and was the first grist mill along Whitewater Creek in 1825.  The Gilcoat land was less than a mile from Creek Indian territory.   Hilliard Starr took over the property in 1866 and it was a working mill for 13 years using the Starr name.   The mill is just over 100 years old and was the first mill constructed on the mill foundation.   Visit the mill just outside of Senoia GA.    I took photos on a recent trip to Senoia, GA.   This pastel was satisfying except for the structure.   I know what to do just couldn't make it work before I got to much pastel on the painting.    Need to soften the edge of roof and blend into background.    I may try this one again in a larger version.  My family on the Pylat side were originally from Senoia, GA.   My daughter and her family current live there....history come full circle.

Monday, June 9, 2014

"Reflections" - Pastel - 9x12 - June 2014

"Reflections" - Pastel - 9x12 - June 2014 - Darien, GA
"Reflections" - This painting was inspired by a photo taken by a friend of a scene in Darien, GA.    I love the Georgia coast but don't ever remember going to Darien.   The inland waterways are beautiful.   This was actually a sunset but somehow I wanted to see more colors.   I just order a couple of pastel painting books and am learning some new techniques.   I want to try this one again with some of the techniques in Maggie Price's book.   The other book is by Richard McKinley.   Both are great.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Use of reference photos from friends - May 2014

"Lonely Sky" - Pastel - 9x13 - May 2014 - West Texas near Pecos
"Lonely Sky" is a pastel done from a reference photo of a friend.   My preference in painting is to use my own reference photos but occasionally a friend post a photo I can't resist.    I want to paint this one again on a bigger paper in order to capture the vastness of this landscape.    This is a pastel on sanded paper 9x13.   I really think this painting needs a space more rectangular.    This is a field in West Texas near Pecos.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Revisiting the Gold Mine - May 2014

"Gold Mine Path" - Pastel - 9x13 - May 2014"
Revisiting the Gold Mine - May 2014
I painted the first one quickly because I was so excited to finally get a photo of the Gold Mine ruins in Villa Rica, GA.  It was posted earlier and used purples, yellows and greens.    I revisited the painting a second time and made all the colors more subdued.   I like it better.    Purple is always my go to color.   I've noticed other artist also have similar color palettes in their paintings.   Some artist I can recognize their work simply by their color use.   I think I will lay out some colors I rarely use and make myself paint this with a very different palate.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Tips on Enjoying Your Painting Experience - May 2014

"Mark of the Potter" - Watercolor  at Cultural Arts Center Show - April 2013
Tips on Enjoying Your Painting Experience - When I retired in March of 2010, I was looking to fill my days with meaningful experiences.   I had been fortunate to have a career that was fulfilling and it had occupied a large part of my life.   A friend suggested that I consider getting outside my comfort zone.    I did several things that were great fun and I learned a lot but the one thing that has been the most meaningful is painting.    Four years ago I went to my first pastel workshop with Karen Margulis.   Since that time I've studied under Barbara Jaenicke and Ann Cockerill.    Of course, I took classes from lost of other artist but these artist have had the most influence.    Here is what I've learned.
  1. Select a great teacher - Choose teachers that you "love"..."love" their work.    You will learn but your skills will be influenced by art that you really love.   I've studied under many but Karen Margulis, Barbara Jaenicke and Ann Cockerill have had the most influence.
  2. Paint often - I was fortunate to take my first class from Karen Margulis.  She challenged us to paint 50 paintings.  To date I've completed 181 paintings.   I still use that challenge to motivate myself.   My newest challenge if to paint 50 "new" paintings from my own reference photos so I will be prepared for a "all new work" exhibit.   In four years I've painted 181 paintings.    Of course there were lots of small studies and "didn't make it" paintings but real framed work 181.    I'm kinda overwhelmed considering this was new just 4 years ago and I started from 0.
  3. Share your painting -  Join art groups.   Even if you don't attend all the meetings they offer networking, opportunities to show your work and mentoring my other artist.
  4. Let the paintings GO!! - One day I was putting together my paintings into a large portfolio.   I asked myself WHY!!    Why spend all this time and money for it to sit in a closet.    Of course I framed things to enjoy personally but I was intimidated to "sell" my art.    Well you don't have to sell it.    If it is indeed a hobby then enjoy sharing it.    I started giving paintings way to friends and family.     Before long I was an "international" artist because my paintings went to people all over the country and world.   I have sold painting ( over 30 actually) but I'm confident I'd personally never sold one if I had not given the first one away.  Several reasons - it feels good, it builds confidence.
  5. Record your progress -   Since the beginning I have taken photos of all my work.   I keep a file and it is encouraging to look back on my work.    It also means when you give away a painting you forever have a copy of the paintings.   It also means when you get ready to enter a show you have a jpeg file ready.    I've also done a painting book each year or a book of one of my major shows.    These are so easy to do on one of the photo center websites.  I actually do mine on but vistaprint is good also.
  6. Post on facebook and create a blog -  Early in my painting experience I found that if I posted on facebook my "friends" were the most supportive and encouraging.    I remember the first painting I posted, a friend said "I want that"......well I gave it to her and it felt good to share the art.   I created a blog a few years ago to motivate myself but to also share my art.    I use facebook to share the link.   While I don't have many followers on the blog, I have had thousands of views of my blog by friends and friends of friends.
  7. Show your paintings - This is hard for lots of artist and especially new artist.   Aren't we always the most critical of our work.   But showing your art is a great motivator.    Why paint if you don't share.    I started by showing my work in a local gallery the Red Cockerill Gallery,  where my teacher Ann Cockerill taught painting.   I joined the local Douglas County Art Guild and showed painting at the Cultural Arts Center when the guild had their special showings.    I entered for exhibits at the Cultural Arts Center.    After four years, Ive had two major shows and shown my work in seven other shows.    Really that was without even much effort.   There are tons of shows it you are motivated.   My goal was not to receive awards and develop credentials but to just have "fun".    I've shown work at the Douglas County Cultural Arts Center, Dog River Library, Red Cockerill Gallery and Douglas County Courthouse.  One of my favorite experience was the April 2013 Cultural Arts Show.   I decided to donate the sales to the CAC and to the Fine Arts Academy at my church.   
  8. Paint somewhere exciting -  I scout out locations that have classes to pair my interest.   I've done a week long painting workshop at Jekyll Island Club Hotel.    Great scenery, good company and fun painting.    When I travel to Tybee Island, which I do twice a year, I take painting classes at the local Art Center.    Again great scenery, building a network, painting and "fun."    I've taken several classes at Callaway Gardens.   My goal is a European trip!!!   I've also started a plein air group.   Sometimes the group is just me....but it's a fun way to see new things and enjoy painting.
  9. Learn something new -  I'm always looking for classes where I can learn something new.    Exploring new medians can be addictive.   I paint in pastel, watercolor and acrylic.    I'm considering taking a class in oil this fall.   Plein air is a great experience.   The Hydrangea Festival in Douglasville always has a "paint" in the garden day.   Great fun.   But there are groups or you can start your own group.   Paint from your own reference photos.    This took me a while, but once I started I was hooked.    You go somewhere great, you enjoy the experience and take photos, then you relive that experience by painting and then you have a permament record of the experience in the painting.
  10. Make new friends -  A benefit of classes and joining art groups and showing your work is making new friends.    I make business cards on vistaprint and keep them to network with fellow painters and friends.   I've met so many great people this way that share the "love of painting."
  11. Have FUN ! -    Paining is fun and relaxing to me.   Learning new things from great teachers is fun.   Going to places and taking reference photos or plein air painting is fun. Sharing your paintings is fun.    Actully at my two major show, I threw myself a "party" and invited friends.    What a good time.  
Ten is a good place to stop but I could resist # 11 which is the "main thing" - HAVE FUN!   There are many more things.   I'd love to hear from others about their tips on enjoying the painting experience.

Gary Curtis - Watercolor Workshop - May 2014

"Still Life" - Watercolor - 19x12 - May 2014
Gary Curtis Watercolor Workshop -    I received an invitation to participate in Gary Curtis' Watercolor Workshop at the Red Cockerill Gallery.   While that style of painting is not my favorite, I learned some things about watercolor at the workshop.   Gary does beautiful work and is a very patient and deliberate painter.   This is a wooden bowl, book and a silver cup on a wood desk.   I'd say I captured the wood desk, the book and the wooden bowl but I never quite got his silver cup.   Oh well 3 of of 4.   He also showed a tip on painting a dark background.   I obviously didn't follow it.   First mix lots of paint - paint the detail next to the figures in the painting - paint the rest in quick horizontal strokes - then the real secret--take a flat brush and paint in vertical strokes.    You can see that I missed next to the figure and there are some white peeking through.     Figures definitely stand out against a dark background so getting it right is very important.  

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Gold Rush in Georgia?

"Gold Mine" - Pastel - 9x13 - May 2014
West of Atlanta in Villa Rica there is a Gold Museum with ruins of the gold mine.    There was a Gold Rush in Georgia in the 1820s and it was not just in Dahlonega.    Villa Rica had 19 commercially mining operations.    This location is not far from Villa Rica but you have to look to find it.    I tried three times and the fourth was the charm.   This pastel is a quick study working on the painting composition.    I want to redo this one with different colors.     It is a shady hill overlooking the present day museum.   Definitely want to go back and visit and explore all the grounds.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Ducks in a Row - Pastel - May 2014

"Ducks in a Row" - Pastel - 9x13 - May 2014
"Ducks in a Row" are really geese but could not resist the name.     My brother was on a golf trip and posted this picture.  I loved it and knew immediately I wanted to paint it.     Trying my best to get back in a routine of painting.   When I first started I painted every day and that is definitely the best.    My goal is 50 new paintings this year from my own photos or original photos given to me by friends.   Maybe I will throw in a plein air or a still life!     While I've done numerous paintings this year at classes, etc, I'm only counting the original ones.    So with that in mind I'm a little behind   I think there are only two.   #1 - "Daffodil Morning" from a photo at Gibbs Gardens in Ballground, GA and #2 "Ducks in a Row" from a golf course that I'm waiting for my brother to name.     I visited the Gold Museum in Villa Rica, GA yesterday and that one is next on the list for #3.  


Monday, May 19, 2014

Catching Up on Painting - May 2014


Catch Up on Painting May 2014 - The year has flown by.   My life has been a little caotic.   It is good to get back to painting.    I was fortunate to have another Art Show this year in April 2014 at Dog River Library.   Thanks to Douglas County Art Guild.   While I rarely get to go to meetings, I am fortunate to be a member of this group that provides opportunities for local artist to share their work. 

"Christmas Home" - Pastel - 9x13 - December 2013

 "Christmas Home" was inspired by a snowstorm during the 1960s at my childhood home in Beulah Community in Douglasville GA.   While I took some liberties with the photo, it is an idealistic view of my only snowman I remember us making as kids.   It was my 2014 Christmas Card. 

"Gibbs Gardens - Daffodil Morning - Pastel - 9x13 - May 2014

Gibbs Gardens is a treasure that I found a couple of years ago when I visited with friends.  Located in Ball Ground in North Georgia it is a beautiful place.    A real treat was a visit I made with friends this spring to see the daffodils.    This painting helped me capture a memory but certainly doesn't do the daffodil hillside justice.    My goal is to get back to my daily painting this year and to have 50 new paintings before I do another show. 

Currently I have three paintings in the Douglas County Art Guild Show at the Cultural Arts Center in Douglasville.   "Shady Path", "Pear" and "Christmas Home"

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Dog River Library Art Show - Featured Douglas County Art Guild Artist

April 2014 -  25 paintings were featured in a month long show at the Dog River Public Library, Douglasville, GA.    Paintings included some of my pastel, watercolor and acrylic paintings.    A reception was held on Tuesday, Aptil 22, 2014.    This is a great opportunity that is offered to Douglas County Art Guild members to display their art in a beautiful facility.