Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Juliette Aristides Workshop

I just completed a 5 day workshop at Rockwater Arts Center in Poulsbo, where top artist Juliette Aristides came and worked her magic. I wasn't sure what to expect, I am by no means a classical realist, which Juliette is, but I was very impressed with her teaching. She set very simple exercises for us to follow, from underpainting values to posterizing the subject matter. I was shocked at the improvement at the end of the week. seems for me that I can do better as an intuitive painter. I found that my last painting, completed in less than an hour on the last day, with a bit of a " devil-may-care" attitude, was better than the one I had labored over for days. I'll let you be the judge when I upload the images..........

Saturday, August 7, 2010

WPW Award

I went to the opening night of the WPW fall show, My first event where I was exhibiting. I had one painting in the show, called " visions on 3rd & Pike" and was pleased to see it won an award. The best news for me was that the juror was Barbara Shaiman of the Seattle Art Museum, so I took that as a real " thumbs Up" for my work. This was on top of a First Prize last weekend at the North Kitsap arts and crafts show. So things looking up.

Heres a painting I did the other day with my friend Gillian Bull, we were out in the hottest sun, painting what I thought was a rather uninspiring view. Still its great practice. I tweeked it a bit in the studio, I have discovered Prussian Blue is great in landscapes, contrary to every other painters view I think.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Plein Air Problems

I went on a 3 day plein air painting course last weekend with Jim Lamb, at the Rockwater Art Center. I thought it would be a good challenge working from life, and I was sure right about that! Jim was a great instructor, he gave a good demo the first day and showed us a few tricks. He always ' warms" his white, with a little yellow and red, makes a huge difference. Also he showed how he makes a " mother color" which helps keep the harmony of the painting as you basically add color to that to make other color. Really useful if you have a lot of green .

I had a huge problem keeping my pallette organized, tidiness is not my best quality, and I soon had a big mess, but the paintings turned out pretty good, I thought. The main challenges were working with bright sunlight, wind ( that blew my easel over and ruined possibly my best painting by giving it a lovely muddy surface), and lack of toilet facilities, big problem for ladies.Anyway, here is one of my better efforts that didn't get completely ruined, although it did have a small accident in the car on the way home, a bag fell on it.

Jim was very good at spotting the compositional errors and telling us to always do a thumbnail, something I would never do in the past, but am making that a must do from now on. You can really see what will work if you get the values massed in on the small scale.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Still Life

I have started a new challenge, which I am ashamed to say I have not kept up with, and that is painting from life. Having taken Henry Yan's figure painting class in April, I found myself struggling with working from life. I have spent the past 2 years working from photos and was amazed at how hard it was for me to even place the figure well, compositionally. I also had not realised how much is lost in a photograph, in terms of depth.

I have done 2 so far, the first was not great, and I am posting the second one here. I don't conside it really finished, but it is not ever going to be. I am trying to just do quick studies. I am definitely drawn to reflective transluscent surfaces, and wish I could render them well.

I have signed up for Juliette Aristides class, which hopefully, will be a great learning process.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Try something new or thrash a dead horse?

Just created this Blog and want to check out how it looks. I'm a bit behind the times here as eveyone I know is already blogging away madly.

OK so I have today only to get creative, the rest of the week I am at work. I should get in my studio, I want to experiment with Gold Leaf, if anyone saw Brad Kunkles' work in American Art collector they will know why. I want to do that, I love how the viewer is reflected in the art, and the surreal effect it has.

I am applying for an Artists Trust grant which I want to use to create some paintings on Gold leaf for an art show in January 2011, the title of the Show will be " Seattle, - Boom to Bust" if I get it done. It will be a series of paintings showing the effects on the local economy of the housing bubble. The first in the series will be over gold leaf as a kind of " gold rush" feeling where nothing could go wrong and everyone was making money. Still getting the logistics sorted out on that.

I do have an unfinished painting thats not going well, and have to figure out whether to try and resurrect it or to call it a day and paint something else over it. Somehow I think I'll try the former, its the challenge........