Saturday, May 28, 2016

Getting the "Hang" of It!!

Yesterday my daughter and I took down the Dog River Library Show.    I've finally gotten the "hang" of setting up my show for this exhibit.    I remember the first time I did a show at this location.   It took hours and by the end I was exhausted.    I told my daughter "never again."    But time passed and this makes my third "one person" show at this venue.    Here are my tips to a smooth set up.

1.   Preparation - Decide on what will go in the show
I keep a computer file of photos of all my paintings by year.   This show I wanted all new work so this made it easier to sort through and select paintings that would fit the show.   I had been painting some "my town" reference photos so that made for a nice collections.    It takes around 25-30 paintings to make a good show in this venue, so I had to add a few painting from 2015 to round out the collection.    I begin planning the list a few weeks before the show.

2.   Paperwork - Getting the list, bio, business cards and labels complete
This is not the fun part but it is necessary.    I set up a list of my paintings with name, medium, size, year and price.    This can then be used to do a label merge to create the clear labels that will go on the wall by each painting.   I keep a bio and photo and so it just needed a few changes to be up to date.  Since I always have business cards, I pack a few to leave at the venue.    I also have labels preprinted with my name and contact information.  These are done in a gold foil.   I place one on the lower center of each painting as it is framed so these are already in place.    The week before I ensure all these items are completed.

3.  Packing - Safely packing the paintings to avoid damage
For this task I use large cardboard boxes and a rolling file box.   I wish I could find a larger rolling file box because this is definitely the easiest way to transport the paintings.   I save cardboard and bubble wrap and use to secure the paintings.   Packing I place front to back and back to back when possible.
I usually try to get this done the day before and leave in the garage.

4.  Ask a Friend - Hanging a show can be done by yourself but it sure moves more quickly with the help of a friend.   Fortunately I have a daughter who is willing to pitch in.

5.  Set Up to Hang the Show - How to get it done quickly
In order to get the best arrangement without a lot a constant rearranging I follow this process and it has streamlined this to around 30-40 minutes.    After bringing in the boxes of painting, we unpack and place against the wall around the room.    This venue has tables in front of the walls so it makes it super easy.   Then I look and see how the existing hangers are set up.   While you can change them, it saves a lot of time if you just go with what is there and make only needed small changes.    We then distribute the paintings around the room based on hangers.    After this I do a final look and make adjustment to ensure a harmony and continuity of the show.   If a hanger needs to be moved are added we do it at this point.

6.  Hanging the Show - Team work helps with this process.
The paintings are already laid out where they need to go around the room.  One of us gets a stool and is the "hanger".    The other one hands the paintings and stickers off.    Then it is like magic around the room.   A painting is hung and then the label is placed on the right lower side of wall.    After the hanging is finished, we step back and take a look at the show.    We make any needed adjustments to ensure balance.

7.   Who is the Artist - Always leave your information so people can contact you.
This venue has a small bulletin board at the entrance to the room, so it is easy to post my bio, tack up some business cards and the painting price list.    It's fun to hear from people who I've know from years ago but haven't seen in a while.   This month I got an email from an old friend I haven't heard from in years who stumble onto the show while at the library with his granddaughter.    Of course, our guild publicizes the event and I use my blog and Facebook to get the word out.

Sharing your work is an important part of painting.   I encourage you to join a local art guild and get involved.   There are usually opportunities to either participate in a show or like this have a "one person" show.  

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Southeastern Pastel Society - Three Day Workshop with Richard McKinley

Richard McKinley signing his new book.
This painting was done with an oil paint underpainting.   I don't work in oils but I loved the bold pigment that it created.    It was fun to learn to respond to the underpainting    

This painting has a watercolor underpainting.   I left more of the underpainting and love how it created a lighter effect.

May 20-22, 2016 - Fun long weekend with Richard McKinley painting in pastel.   The Southeastern Pastel Society sponsored this workshop and I was one of the lucky ones to get into this three day event.   I love Richard McKinley's paintings and he is a great teacher.   I learned so much from him.   We listened, watched demos, experimented with different underpainting and techniques, received one on one feedback and painted a ....lot.    I was a productive weekend and a good way to jumpstart a fresh look at painting.  

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Richard McKinley Pastel Workshop

This week I am attending the Richard McKinley Pastel Workshop.    Yesterday we spent the day with Richard as he explained many of is "pastel pointers" from his book and blog.   I've heard some of these before but Richard gives you the whole story and back story that make the "light bulb" go off in your head.   One of my goals is to take a workshop with some of the best of the current nationally recognized artist.    So far I've taken from Albert Handel last year and now Richard McKinley.   I think I'm off to a good start.

Yesterday we did pastel primer underpainting and a watercolor underpainting.   We also are adding pastel primer to an existing underpainting to give it more texture.   Can't wait to try my pastels on this surface.    I've tried the watercolor and like that underpainting medium but the pastel primer is new to me.   He uses a crete color pencil 140 mars violet to do underpainting.   I have always used hard pastel.   The difference is striking.   It is very hard to go light with even a hard pastel.    I'm definitely going to try the colored pencil especially when doing a wet underpainting.  

Sunday, May 8, 2016

May Art Sale 2016

In addition to the presale items, the following watercolor and pencil paintings are also offered for sale. These are currently in my art show at Dog River Library.   You can check them out in person during regular library hours.

#1  "East Palatka" Holly 17x21 Framed - color pencil 2016  $125

 # 2 - "Christmas Holly" 11x11 framed watercolor 2016  $75

 #3 "Downtown RR Crossing" 9x12 Framed  watercolor - 2016 $75

#4  "Field Tree"  17x21 Framed  Watercolor   2016  $125

#5   "Fall Trees"  9x10 Framed  Watercolor  2016   $75

#6  "Potter's Stream"  9x10 Framed  Watercolor 2016   $75

#7  "Red Barn"  16x19  Watercolor  2016  $125

#8  "Through the Gate"   16x19  Watercolor  2016   $125

#9   "Hometown Crossing"   12x14  Watercolor   2016   $75

#10   "Sloss Furnace - Birmingham"  10x10  Watercolor  2016   $75

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Presale- Annual "Belated" Valentine's Day Sale

I'm offering 8 paintings in a presale.   These paintings were completed in 2015.   Most are pastels and one watercolor.    If you'd like to purchase one or more please just email me at    No Shipping......   Pick up from Atlanta Metro area of I can meet locals in Douglasville, GA.   First one to email me has it.   I will acknowledge and post the owner name on my blog (let me know if you do not want me to post your name).    Thanks   

At the end of my May 2016 Art Show at Dog River Library I will sell 10 more of my 2016 watercolors and pencil drawings.   In addition, I will offer 10 more Sale paintings from 2014-2015.

My way of spring cleaning my studio is to offer these to family and friends.    

# 1 - Quiet Stream - $75 Framed  14X18  Pastel

# 2 - Daffodil Morning - $75 - Framed 14x18  Pastel

# 3 - Mountain Morning - $75 -  Framed 14x18  Pastel

 # 4 - Ducks in a Row - $75 - Framed 14x18   Pastel

# 5 - Gold Mine - $75 - Framed 14x18   Pastel

# 6 - Pink Hydrangeas - $75 - Framed 14x18   Watercolor

# 7 - Senoia Mill Road House - $100 - Framed 14x18  - Pastel     SOLD 5/2/2016

# 8 - Temple Barn - $100 - Framed 20x16  Pastel

Getting Back in the Painting Groove

Watercolor Workshop with Jan Ross at Paulding Fine Arts in Dallas, GA - One of the fun things about attending a workshop is there is time to just "paint".   Sounds simple but it's an important thing.   During the winter I was on a roll......everyday I was up and after grabbing a cup of coffee, I'd be in my studio painting.    I had decided that I was going to limit myself to watercolor and charcoal.    The best way to learn something new or improve on something you are not good at is to practice.      After weeks of watercolor, watching You Tube videos and tossing many paintings in my discard drawer, I finally had around twelve paintings that I wanted to frame for my show at Dog River Library in May 2016.    Then....came spring and the garden has been calling me, maybe not daily but several times a week I'm spending hours tending to my flowers.   What a spring it has been!    The garden has been beautiful but during that wonderful experience I got distracted by my garden and oh yes, a new author, Steven James too.   He writes thrillers and I have become addicted to his books, reading one every couple of days.   Thank goodness he's only written around 15 so I'll come to the end of that obsession soon.    But like most artist, after a few days away from the easel you find that either you are anxious to get back or you keep finding excuses to do something else.   For me it was read or work in the garden.

To snap myself out of my "unpainting coma", I signed up for a workshop.    I had signed up for a couple of classes lately and been disappointed.   Either the teacher didn't really teach or the class was so slow you could go to sleep during the "talking" build up to painting.    I took a chance and signed up for Jan Ross' Watercolor Workshop at the Paulding Fine Arts in Dallas, GA.    I don't know that I learned anything specific that was new information but we basically painted from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.    It was just what I needed to get back in my groove.    No masterpieces but definitely good to experiment again with what watercolor will do.