I’ve been gone at Plein Air events for the last 3 1/2 weeks. We traveled and parked our camper at great people’s houses who were so hospitable to us. It made the events even more fun! Below are some shots of my work. Why am I not in any of them you wonder? Well because Tova wouldn’t take a photo of me, she was busy snoozing.
Tova is holding down that rock at Fisher Towers, UT
This is at the Escalante Canyons plein air event. It was 11 days long! Whew
Painting hay fields in Escalante Utah. Red rocks, too!
The ones below are at the Colorado National Monument Plein Air, near Grand Junction, Colorado. That Plein Air event lasted almost a week.
Coke Ovens in early morning light.
Painting in full sunlight is tough on the eyes! Independence Rock
The 3 below are from the Red Rocks Arts Festival in Moab, UT. That Plein Air event lasted over 8 days! Wow. I did a lot of painting in all types of weather from wind and snow to wind and sunshine.
Of course the famous Fisher Towers are behind me.
It was a cold and windy day but I kept on painting and the sun peaked out for a bit.
A smoky Dead Horse Point State Park!
I’ve cleaned out the sand and grit from my gear and have been resting the last day or two. It is good to be home but I’m ready to paint outside again. Just not so far from my bed and kitchen, ha ha ha!
“Mrs. Norris’ Root Cellar” Plein Air oil, 9″ x 12″
I’ve been painting up a storm lately. Tomorrow we head out to Meeker for the Plein Air Meeker competition. Its in conjunction with their “Range Call” which is Meeker’s way of celebrating July 4th.
“Rocks and Wyethia” Plein Air study, Oil 6″ x 9″
I’ve have lots of studies from places around Paonia so I’m looking forward to the change of scenery and alpine vistas in the White River National Forest and Flat Top Wilderness area.
“Pipe Organ” Oil, 8″ x 15″ en Plein Air
I did paint at the Colorado National Monument on Friday, so I had a change of scenery for a couple days. But this is yet another change. Stay tune for more posts about the week in Meeker! Although I don’t know how I’ll be able to compete with the Meeker Massacre Pageant, Meeker Bank Robbery Reenactment or Jon Wangnild Memorial Shoot. Painting versus shooting weapons and pretending to kill people? Hum? At any rate, I am leaving for Paonia before Range Call to join in my town’s own July 4th celebration, Cherry Days, which honors the first fruit of the season to be ripe. Yep, shooting people or eating cherry pie, eating lots of ripe sweet cherries and drinking hard cherry cider, my choice is for the cherries.
Back wall in the Village Smithy Restaurant
My work is in Carbondale, CO at the Village Smithy Restaurant, 3rd and Main, during the month of May. If you’re in Carbondale, grab a bite to eat from 7-2 and check out my paintings. Its a pretty setting and very vital and happening. And the baked goods are yummy!
This is the main wall in the Village Smithy Restaurant.
Q: When is a tattoo parlor an Art Gallery?
A: When its an empty retail space in Paonia.
The entire storefront from the street.
The former tattoo parlor at 237 Grand Ave has been unoccupied for a while as are several other retail locations in our town’s two block downtown. They look like missing teeth from an otherwise beautiful smile. I approached the property owner and requested permission to hang some of my paintings in the front window until he rents the space. He graciously said yes to my idea of an alternative exhibition space. I got this idea from my friend Charlie when he told me what the town of Helper, UT did to its vacant storefronts.
Right side of the storefront.
I didn’t want to overstep any boundaries so I decided not to use any electricity for lighting. The front windows are west facing and pretty bright. I measured and graphed out the window space to display my paintings. I framed lots of really good ones. Allen & I got the supplies we needed to hang them with minimal expense and work. Then we set to work putting up the exhibit.
Left side of the storefront.
I am glad to have my paintings up and able to be viewed by lots of people. Paonia is a busy little town and people were walking by as we were hanging the paintings. I also hope to sell some of the paintings as every artist wants to be able to pay for their supplies sooner than later. I am happy that people will be able to understand what I do all day when they walk by and see the products of my labor of love. And my paintings are a lot happier being in the light than wrapped up in the “Vault” (that is what we jokingly call the shelves in the garage where I store art).
Left side window.
So stop by when you are in Paonia to 237 Grand Avenue and take a look at some of my paintings. You can go across the street to the Blue Sage Center for the Arts after next week and see a couple more of my paintings. I also have 2 in Grand Junction at the Art Center there. I hope to be hearing from some of you soon!
Right side window.
Drawing is the bones of painting. Good placement and composition, correct value and beautiful images start, for me, with a good drawing foundation. I have been building up my foundation this winter. I just finished reading and going through the exercises in Juliette Aristides’ “Lessons in Classical Drawing: Essential Techniques from Inside the Atelier”. It was challenging yet so much fun. I really enjoyed it. I recommend this book to all artists who have been drawing a while. Its the next step after Betty Edwards’ “Drawing on the right side of the brain”, in my opinion. The following drawing is the last image I created in this DIY self-improvement workshop on drawing.
Graphic and white chalk
I was at the Georgia O’Keeffe museum in January and really enjoyed all the exhibits. I like the sculptures she did quite a bit as well as her 2D works.
Close-up I shot of her sculpture.
Georgia O’Keeffe’s beautiful sculpture
The museum was offering a challenge to people to abstract the abstract sculpture. All you had to do was take a picture and send it to their Instagram account. Not that easy as it assumes everyone has a smart phone with Data. I don’t as its an economic decision on my part.
But that didn’t stop me from being inspired and creating my own abstractions. I shot a cool photo of the shadow of the sculpture.
Shadow of the abstract sculpture
Then I decided to do a painting of the shadow. I used black and white paints only for this one.
My abstraction of the photo I took.
I then used Photoshop to adjust the colors of the photo. I made 3 copies using primary colors. I did 3 more paintings of the shadows using colors this time.
They turned out very interesting and beautiful. I enjoyed the process a lot. As I painted I was thinking that I was painting a realistic photo of an abstract sculpture using a realistic style of painting but it was turning out to be abstract art. Deep huh …!? I just like the depth and movement of the shadow photo.
Now to sell some paintings so I can afford to have a data plan on my phone!
“Elk Hay” at the Art Center in Grand Junction’s 2017 Member Show.
“Zion Sentinel” at the Art Center in Grand Junction’s 2017 Member Show.
These two paintings are on exhibit at the Western Colorado Center for the Arts or the Grand Junction Art Center as I like to think of it. There are over 240 works by 140 or so artists. There is everything from paintings to fiber to ceramics to some things that defy description.
I am honored to be included in this interesting and creative show.
Today I resolved to finish the exercises in this workshop. I skipped several because I felt they were too fundamental and I already had experience with the subjects selected for the exercises. I want to get back to painting subjects that I am passionate about. Be that wrong or right, I had 2 more subjects I wanted to tackle, painting clear glass holding water and painting colored glass.
This is the set up for the clear glass jar.
The clear glass was a mason jar without any embossing on it and the colored glass was a beer bottle my husband so helpfully emptied and cleaned the label off. I used the suggested colors for the clear glass on the sides of the set up box and found it was very intriguing to paint all the colors that were there. The glass was filled halfway with water as an added lesson – painting water. I noticed that the colors shifted depending on which eye I was looking out of. That made me commit to using one eye’s view and was a lot easier from then on. I used the bigger palette knife I’d been using throughout this workshop but switched to a worn out, tiny pointed one I found in my paint box. I think it turned out satisfactory. I read Stern’s text and was able to evaluate what I painted to see if it met the criteria set for success.
This is the set up for the clear glass painting.
I decided to use brushes instead of a palette knife in the last exercise of painting a colored bottle. The exercise was in the section of additional projects after you finish the exercises.
This is the set up for the clear colored glass painting.
I liked how the brown colored bottle was set on orange colored paper that coordinated well with the bottle’s colors. I used the complimentary color of orange, blue, for one of the walls. I used black for the other because I felt it would adsorb a lot of the reflected light from the floor and other wall, not reflect a lot of color and light back on the bottle or other surfaces and not be as distracting as another color. I enjoyed painting with a brush. I used 2 brushes, a big, #14, brush and a smaller, #6, brush plus the palette knife to do the mixing and a bit of the painting on the larger background areas. I am happy with my results.
This is the completed colored glass painting – an empty beer bottle.
In this workshop I learned a few things. I thought a list to be a good way to lay them out, so here goes.
- I have the fortitude to follow through on a project that became boring and tedious part of the way through.
- I learned to refine my eye to see color that is really there.
- I gained confidence with my color “seeing”
- I am more confident in being able to transfer the little lessons I learned to my Plein Air painting. One example: I can use the skills from painting glass to transfer to painting water.
- I know I don’t like painting with a palette knife as I had wondered if that was another way to express myself.
In this series my goal is to refine my eye and brain to get along to see color and not be taken by what my left side of my brain tells me. Recalling “Drawing from the Right Side of the Brain” by Edwards, I remember that my left side, the logical side, tells me that all eggs are white, all crows are black. But the right side, the artistic side, tells me that the egg is multi colored, dependent on the shadows, reflected light, etc. And the crow can be blue black or even have golden highlights in its eye. Reconciling these thought patterns is always a stumbling block that sometimes succumbs even the most seasoned artist. This DIY workshop of mine has really helped drive that notion home.
This is the set up for the metal pan.
Today I painted a little metal pan. Boring to be sure and not my idea of a stimulating morning in the studio. But I persevered and made myself sit down and get out the paints. I think my biggest annoyance is using a palette knife to paint with. Mine are old, worn out and large. I keep seeing small patches of color and have a hard time placing the paint properly. Stern states the reason for a palette knife is to place sections of color next to each other and not blend paint. That way you can really see the different colors and learn from their relationships to each other. I was surprised how easy the metal was to paint. I wasn’t really worried about having a problem painting that but it was a snap to get it to look “real”. I also have found that my realistic impressionism style is being challenged to get put away for a while during my workshop.
This is the completed metal pan painting.
This blog is a report of the continuation of my workshop “How to See Color and Paint it” by Arthur Stern.
Set up and painting
2 colored cube
The next exercise involved painting another cube, white, but this one had a rectangle of black in the center of each face. The walls and floor of the set-up box changed color. Again, its designed to get the artist’s eye to see all the colors there, not just the ones that you think are there, like “white” or “black”. It reminded me of Kevin Mcpherson’s book “Fill Your Oil Paintings With Light and Color” when he talks about finding the spots of color in the landscape.
After that exercise, I hung up a white cloth with different color sheets of construction paper in the set-up box. The light source also moves around for each exercise. This one was the most challenging so far. I am not having a hard time finding the colors but finding patience to do the exercises.
Set up for white cloth painting
I keep saying to myself that I could be doing something else, something that has real value. Such as painting a subject that I love and could also possibly sell. I’m thinking that I am wasting not only time but money on the cheap paints I bought when I could have bought a lovely tube of some color that I have been coveting. Our brains really like to sabotage us when we are inserting change! Its really interesting.