Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thankful for you...

Friday, November 20, 2015

Annual Plein Air art exhibit

This evening, Friday, November 20, a plein air group I belong to PAPO (Plein Air Painters of the Ozark) is having artist reception at the Visit Bentonville which is in Downtown Bentonville, Arkansas.

Please click to play video ~

"En plein air (French pronunciation) or plein air painting, is a phrase borrowed from the French equivalent meaning "open (in full) air". " ~ Wikipedia

They tend to be smaller paintings.... 4"x6" - to whatever size the artist chooses.  Common sizes are 4x6, 6x8, 8x10, etc.  The tradition is the artists paint as much as they can while at the location and call it good.  Some use the paintings as studies for a bigger paintings they plan to produce in their studio with the help perhaps of some photos they took.  I often paint on location, take photos, and finish the piece in my studio.  I also occasionally embellish my final results by adding people, etc. A local artist I highly respect made a statement I can't forget. Fred Betz declared that "Every landscape needs something that poops!"  Since that time it's been very difficult for me to leave a landscape painting without adding something two-legged or 4-legged!

Some of the paintings at the PAPO show 2015
Plein air pieces I tackle are fairly manageable sizes so I usually go ahead and frame them myself, mostly to save on expenses.  It's not because I take joy in handling a whole different set of tools from my paint brushes to hammer and electrical things at all, since I am extremely bad with measuring and numbers and I am always in danger of damaging the painting because I am mostly working with one arm!  Those wires in the back don't ever satisfy me at all because they're never as tight as I'd like them to be.  Still I'm definitely grateful that I can do it at all and as I said, to cut back on expenses and keep the prices more reasonable.

So I thought I'd go ahead and create short video of what it takes to prepare for this art show.  I'm sure fellow artists would say it's still a very limited depiction of what we had to do.  For instance, it took a couple hours designing the installation; moving the paintings all over with people climbing up and down the ladder.  This was all before the title cards were organized with great precision and exhibit statement was written up.  I must say the group did a mighty fine job to get us ready for the curtain call!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

My Memorably Long Road

"Woman in Pink & Gold" 16x20 oil and gold leaf on canvas

I do give private art lessons.  But not the kind of lessons that say - "this is the process of creating art".  The students I have varying levels of  artists who need guidance in accomplishing their art according to their skills and comfort levels.
My long road to an experimental portrait
 I don't have one specific way to accomplishing a painting.  Sometimes I underpaint in blue, green, earth tones, even hot pink or purple etc lol!  I do create thumbnails first though.  And I either do a bunch of pencil studies or go directly to Photoshop.  But my studies are to determine composition and values and color arrangements.  Then I do fleshtone studies.  Then I go all over the place hahaha This particular commission, because client said, "Do whatever your artistic calling wants you to do."  So I took my time. This project took 3.5 years.  I wanted to express the energy the subject puts out.  For the longest time, the traditional way I paint portraits competed strongly with what my creative self wanted to do, it was quite a battle oye! My mood went all over the place.

After much denial and negotiating and finally reaching surrender and acceptance, I was worn out; ready to listen to my creative self.  I took the unexplored road to gold leaf and gold paints.  The subject likes bling and she looks loveliest among gold colors and she likes purples and pinks.  Very, very slowly, I proceeded this direction.  Things were finally "feeling" more comfortable.  I wasn't missing the defiance from where ever the heck that energy was coming from.  This was still a bit nerve wracking because I don't do commissions herky jerky.  I only allow myself more play when it's just "my art".

Detail shot it wasn't easy to photograph

By the way, I usually either have TV or audible on when I'm painting because I need to divide my attention or I overthink things and scare myself.  Well I kid you not, when I finally felt I had just applied the last touch on the portrait, the trailer from from "Woman in Gold"  played on my studio TV!  WHOAH cue Twilight Zone music!  YEAH I felt like it was a sign of validation from Creative Universe giving me thumbs up for winning my battle the correct way!
Anna with "Woman in Pink & Gold"
Then Anna received her painting and she was delighted!  And immediately had it framed!!!  I was so dang worried when we were having tornado warnings, I was gonna get sooooo mad if the 3.5 year old project got flown to the land of OZ!  I suggested she saw the movie too which she did :)  Weeks later Mom and I went to see it too and loved my idol Helen Mirren.

Though my current commission pieces on the easel are traditional, I really enjoyed this project so much after the fact hahaha  I am happier that I didn't settle for my usual traditional style because it wouldn't have done Anna justice.
"Yellow and Red Roses" 4x6 oil on canvas collection of Patrick and Adriane Carr
Today the buyer of a recent painting I published on Facebook posted a beautifully framed photo of the painting!  It really puts a big smile on my silly face when I see that my works live in good homes :)