Well, a couple of paintings from a recent batch ended up going to forever homes before I had time to post them here! Better get a few more up before the next show takes them away (I hope). Though there are a few I wish I could hang onto for a while before they fledge the nest.
Before you get too excited about my achieving second place with my chalk painting last Saturday in Moreno Valley, it was a very small field of competitors. I also had a small booth at the art fair and my beloved was being the store keeper for me, while I wore off my fingerprints. I discovered fairly early on that our choice of space to set up (chosen because putting Doug under the tree in the shade would allow me to use the umbrella to keep the blacktop I was working on from melting my fingers), was in front of the band. The band (there were several during the course of the day) and the between-bands background music was LOUD. So, to relieve Doug and allow him to walk around and repair his eardrums and sanity, I hurried through my work.
The need for speed was exacerbated by wind which took the umbrella for a tumble and meant I had to chalk with one hand while quickly rubbing the chalk into the now-scorching blacktop with the other. I finished in 2 hours, and apparently was the only one who completely finished, though other chalkers, intending to take until 4pm created larger compositions.
I had a limited amount of blue, so did the surrounding ‘atmosphere’ in red, rather than follow the original, and created far less clouds than on the mixed media painting this was based on. For this it’s more about the message than the accuracy of the map.
I only had two students in my Paint the Night class last night at the Vanguard Gallery in Moreno Valley, but they both had fun. One of the questions were, what kinds of birds are they? Jenibirds? Blue fronted swifts? This is a very popular image, and sometimes students use their own imaginations and create red-fronted Jenibirds, or once, blackbirds.
Who knew that Vincent van Gogh was a mixed media artist? Turns out that he incorporated some unusual components in his work. It is know that he liked very much to paint en plein aire, so it’s actually not that much of a surprise that he incorporated wildlife into his paintings, along with dust and sand.
About 15 months ago, ‘Jo’ took my absolute beginner’s class. Earlier in the month, she took the class again, not having painted very much in between. One of the things that I ask at the beginning of the class is what the student hopes to get out of it. It can help me tailor the class a little to hopefully cover any specific items. In this class Jo was lucky in that she was the only one, so we got to discuss her progress a little more.
She had indeed painted the day before, using watercolor crayons. The papers were tiny piece of printer or drawing paper – not the best surface. Jo expressed that she had had difficulty making out what she had painted afterwards and had ended up using ink to define the items painted. Towards the end of the afternoon, after the standard Shadows exercise, we looked at Jo’s paintings and I thought we could tackle one of them as a larger watercolor and make a more realistic painting.
Working a little larger does help. This time we used watercolor paper (Canson 140lb cold press) – about 12×9″. I drew a quick value sketch first on a scrap to outline some of the changes that we would make to make the little barrel cacti look more round, and the rocks “rocky”. The main adjustments were addition of shadows/shading to bring out the shapes of the cacti and rocks. I suggested a simple blue sky/purple hills/sandy mid-ground behind the cacti in order to make them stand out from it, rather than a green one of a similar tone. The cacti flowers didn’t come out as well as hoped – I’m not by nature a floral painter and they were a little on the small side to do much more with than a bit of impressionism.
Jo said her husband thought everything she painted was wonderful, but when he came to pick her up after the class and we showed him the before and after, there was no faking those eyebrows shooting skyward. Here’s the before (on the right! 🙂 ) and the after.
Yesterday I set up my side of the 2-person show at the Glass Outhouse Gallery in 29 Palms. I was glad to meet my fellow artist Christine Lamb and her husband Ray (who is also a painter), who turned up to hang her half of the show just as Frank (one of the gallery owners) and I had finished. I’m kicking myself that I didn’t take a few shots of her work as it was going up (Ray and I got to talking about single-pigment oil paints), but I’ll do so after the reception on Saturday. If you’re in the area – please, we’d love you to attend, it’s 1-5pm January 6th (and I’m going to be making olive and cream cheese penguins!). If not – please reblog this if you have friends/followers who are. The show will be up until January 28th.