Last week I went to the monthly meeting of the La Mirada Art Club to talk about my work and demonstrate part of my process for them. I was fortunate that one of the members agreed to take some pics of me working while I was assembling the refractured watercolor.
Here’s the empty room, just when I’d set up.
After having watched me brutally hack up my painting, I start by assembling the horizon.
I usually am looking at the sky the ‘right way up’…..
…and I usually start with the top of the sky….
Now it’ starting to come together.
Sliding some deeper blue under other pieces.
Well folks, that’s all we have time for tonight.
This is the layout that I created at the demo, but I just picked up the pieces without marking their places.
Riverside Art Museum is holding a fundraiser called Art Bark in the Park to which I applied and was assigned a pup. I decided to paint the pup in oil – a skyscape with lawns on the bottom of each paw with dogs on, and my sonnet about dogs painted into the clouds. So far I’ve done the sky and the lawns. I will need to wait a week or so until that is dry enough to add the dogs and poems. I didn’t know until I picked up the dog that I was getting a beagle.
The blank canvas. I’d had to fix the undercoat in a few places. The difference in undercoat color won’t affect the painting.
My fellow artist Mary Foote came over to see this as a demo so took some photos of me in action
I was showing Mary how to blend clouds in oil
Photographed this one at an angle to get the entire dog in.
And it’s possible to paint on the back, so I have another canvas to dream up!
This month is shaping up to be really interesting – as you can read in my Newsletter.
One of the things that I didn’t mention is that I’m also involved in curating another solo show at the Vanguard Gallery, this time for long-time associate Nick Foschi. I’ll get to hang two shows in two days. About 50 linear feet for Nick and about 7 for me! Just hoping that my flu symptoms wane enough to give a demo/talk on Wednesday evening in Redondo Beach.
The studio doesn’t normally look this messy. Actually it’s looking a bit better than it had done as 20 of the little oil paintings I had to do are drying on the line, one is on the wall, two behind me (not shown – one landscape, one pet portrait) and one on the left still in progress taking up the main project table. While I wait for a good time to make the next round of progress on the one on the left, I’m working on exercises for a class I’m going to start teaching next month. It’s a watercolor class and as you can see, there’s hardly anywhere to put the watercolors.
There really isn’t anywhere to put anything down! The painting on the left is on supports, with oil paints stashed underneath it.
This too shall pass in about a week when I get the large oil dry enough to put on a wall to finish drying, and by then the babies should be dry enough to stack somewhere until I deliver them next month. (Watch for the December newsletter probably to find their destination, it’s fun!)
In this class, the paintings all ended up really similar, despite the fact I gave free rein with placement of clouds, mountains, hills and sheep.
Sometimes it’s a big class, sometimes a small one. This month I goofed and brought the painting I’d intended to work with next* month – which is easy to understand when I’d been planning three classes next month and had the planner turned to September. Nevertheless, all the students, one of whom is a returning student, had fun painting ‘The Old Red Overalls’. Hmm, I really need to start picking some simpler subjects. One thing that teaching has taught me is how difficult it actually is for beginners or someone with just a little experience! The student on the left is an accomplished gardener and decided my ‘rows of crop’ were closest to red lettuce. Her crop looked a lot more like red lettuce. Good work all of you!
Last Monday I came home from a show at Menlo Park to a brown patch on the kitchen floor and an exploded bottle of balsamic vinegar. This week, after four days away at Monterey for the same reason, the mess was in the garage. Which is good because I’m husstling on a commission that needs to be delivered tomorrow and I really don’t have time to clean it up just yet.
This time it turned out to be the Low Luster Sealer, fortunately on the bottom* shelf of the cupboard on the left above (the vinegar had been on the top shelf which just added to the woe). I had set out the suspects – the sealer and two bottles of engine oil, also in sticky bottomed bags – to continue the leak and provide further evidence of actual guilt. I’m glad it’s the sealer, I can use the engine oil. I think this was left over from the porch floor project which was so long ago, it needs doing again, so a great excuse to not get into hoarding. It crisps up quite nicely in the 114 deg heat, so I plan on scraping it up tomorrow morning.
I wonder what will have exploded when I get back from delivering the commission painting…..
Serendipity struck earlier in the week when a couple of ladies who were rv camping at nearby Johnson’s Landing discovered on the internet that I hold art classes and called up to see what the options might be. Well, they were interested in the “Beginning painting” class that I had planned on running in Borrego Springs that day, but hadn’t had any students. But, seeing as there is enough space in my living room to hold a small class, and there were only two of them, they came on Thursday to spend the day learning a lot of basics, and to do a little practice in between some of the theories. It’s the first time I’ve taught this class and I was working from my crib sheet a little, but the timing of the class worked out just as I’d planned for a one-day intensive class. I’ll also be offering this class as a series of four 2-2.5 hour classes in La Quinta next month so I was able to see where I need to make a couple of adjustments to divide the class up more evenly into four.
Putting together almost everything we’ve learned in one painting.
Of course I got so involved in enjoying teaching the class I didn’t think to take a photo until they were on the last exercise. But after a long afternoon and evening in Yuma, it was really nice to be able to work in my slippers!
So in the grand scheme of integration of all social media platforms, I’ve yet to master having my mailchimp newsletters feed to my wordpress blog, so here’s this month’s newsletter, manually. Happy, healthy, prosperous and colorful 2016!