Friday, March 19, 2010

Critique and Demo and Oregon Society of Artists

Friday, March 19, 2010
Last night I attended a demo by Paul Missal at Oregon Society of Artists. He did a pencil drawing of a nude model using two graphite pencils in both hands. It was magical to see how the drawing came together as he rapidly orchestrated the pencils over the paper. That's what his movements reminded me of - a conductor waving his "wands" and creating a tone, a tempo, a balance of lines from which to choose as he refined the drawing. At one point, he put his pencils down and picked up a simple Pink Pearl eraser and skillfully (but with some abandon) scrubbed in all directions over the pencil lines. I had never seen anyone work this way and I felt his sense of confidence and freedom as he created a rather traditional image, with a rather non-traditional approach. It was a great demo.

Earlier in the evening, Steve Keiser critiqued members' paintings that had been brought to the meeting for that purpose. I submitted the two plein air images above, which I did last year at a Cannon Beach workshop with Mitch Baird. Steve liked the composition of the bottom image and my use of cool blue hues in the shadows of the large rock formation. He suggested the composition in the top image created a problem because there was nothing on the left side to balance the imagery on the right. What do you think of these two paintings?

Tomorrow is our third Saturday morning "Breakfast in the Gallery" event. Brenda Boylan will be sharing her mastery of pastel painting and I will demo basic watercolor techniques. Free coffee and pastries from Beaverton Bakery will be on hand for you to enjoy as you browse the gallery and observe the demonstrations. This event takes place each Saturday during March from 9-11 a.m. at Amato's Fine Art Gallery, 12320 1st Street, Beaverton (503.601.3300).

Amato's is open weekdays from 9 to 5, and Saturdays 9 to 4. It exhibits artwork by sixteen award-winning local artists. Hope you can stop by.

The sun is shining - hope you have a great day!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Making Old Into New

Spent part of this evening cutting up old paintings and class demo exercises to create some one-of-a-kind bookmarks. I enjoy doing this on occasion - therapeutic to make something useful out of artwork that has served a purpose but is now clutter.
They usually end up as small collages and can actually take quite a bit of time. I start by finding some shape or piece of color that is pleasing; that becomes the base on which to build. I tear and cut and glue and weave and crop and end up with little pieces of art. The finished bookmarks easily slide into plastic sleeves designed for such a purpose and I top each one off with a sprout of satin ribbon. It's fun, relaxing, and a good way to recycle. The photo shows several bookmarks displayed on the next unsuccessful painting to hit the cutting board.

Despite the cold, rainy weather, and my list of errands, I managed to make some time today to do something creative. I had a good day - hope you did too.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Watercolor Painting from the Subject to Interpretation Series

I've posted a new watercolor - finished about a month ago actually. The reference was a photo taken by another artist and shared with the Portland Plein Air & Studio Painters Group as part of its "Subject to Interpretation" series. The idea for the series was the brainchild of Katherine van Schoonhoven, who offered it to the group to keep us inspired during the winter months. My thanks to Katherine.

I like this painting, and feel I was successful in capturing the warmth of the early morning light.

Although I didn't paint today, I did manage to take a walk in the morning before the clouds set in. There were lots of other folks taking advantage of the sunshine as well. Later in the day, we headed out to Al's Garden Center - a favorite nursery to shop for plants or just get inspiration for our yard. Today was a purple, lavender, and white day for the garden.

I had a good day - hope you did too!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Today's "Breakfast in the Gallery" at Amato's, Beaverton

The March event at Amato's Gallery is a series of Saturday morning artist demos, complete with coffee and pastries from Beaverton Bakery. Today, visitors observed Gretha Lindwood work in pastels and Chris Helton in acrylics. Visitors had lots of questions for our artists and lots of interest in studying the work on the gallery walls. Comments included: "The art is great." - "I plan to come back." - "Food was a nice touch." I've posted a couple of photos.

Mark your calendars now for the remaining three Saturdays. The event takes place from 9 to 11, at Amato's Gallery, 12320 1st Street, Beaverton. Future demonstrations include jewelry design, oil painting, pastels, and clay. Plan to attend one or all three.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Another Workshop Painting

I finished the third painting I had started in Kitty's workshop last weekend. This was a value/temperature exercise with a specific palette - warm lights and cool darks. The reference was a black and white photo supplied by Kitty. I wasn't happy with it when I posted it on the workshop studio wall - something wasn't quite right. After several days of observation - and time spent painting on the Mendocino piece - I was ready to tackle this image again. I added closely related values to the large bluff on the left which softened the extreme contrast of what had been an extremely dark, solid mass. I'm happier with the new result. Had a good day today - hope you did too.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Nearly Finished Pastel

I worked this evening on a pastel that I started Saturday in Kitty Wallis' pastel workshop. My reference was a photograph I took years ago of a simple backroad in Mendocino, CA, a town of many charms and numerous photo opportunities. I've enjoyed working on this piece. Had a good day; hope you did too.

Change of Artwork at US Bank Lloyd Center Branch

I removed my paintings of Italian scenes from US Bank this morning. Just want to remind you to see Karen Lewis' oil landscape paintings during the month of March at this same site. The bank's staff commented on how much customers enjoy their rotating art display provided by members of Portland Plein Air and Studio Painters. And, we're happy to have the exposure.