Thursday, May 18, 2017

"Study of Jazz Musician Stormy" 2017

In January of 2017, I had a great gift of being able to take a 3 day workshop with master portrait artist, Mary Whyte, in NOLA. We had a family of three musicians. Each day she would do a demo of one of them and then we were given 2 hours to paint our own study of one chosen for us. This is the better of my three sketches. It was very challenging but I learned a great deal.

In April, my husband Marty and I traveled to Hendersonville, NC, to participate for our second year in a row at the Kanuga Watermedia Workshop. I took from master figure watercolor instructor Don Andrews. We had a live model for 5 days to work from. It was very challenging; and, again, I learned a great deal.

Marty took from Sandy Maudlin. He learned so much about painting on Yupo paper. When he is ready for me to post photos of his paintings in my blog, I will gladly do that. You will be amazed at how accomplished a painter he is! He has been painting seriously on Yupo with acrylic and watercolor for only a few months!

"Grand's Love"

Here is a painting of two very special people in my life, Hailey and my mother Shirley. Hailey was two at the time of the photo taken. She is now turning 17 next month. My mother is now 92. This photo showed up recently and tempted me to do a painting of the two of them. 

"The Court Runner" 

It has been about 3 years since I updated this blog. So much has happened and I am pleased to be back. I had two right elbow surgeries and a fire that jumped to our home from a lightning strike that destroyed the house next door. Thank God, no one was home next door. This was May 19th, a year ago tomorrow. Our home was damaged but not seriously. But we did have to live for the entire summer outside of it while it was restored. We are truly blessed to have escaped just in time and to have had the firemen arrive in time to save it! We have a neighbor's son, Tyler Dillon, to thank for being up late that night and seeing the fire and calling 911 right away! 

There have only been a few major paintings that I have completed since my last post in 2014. This one of "The Court Runner" is presently hanging in the 47th LWS International Exhibit, In the Fall Member LWS Exhibit in 2015, it was awarded Best of Show. 

The story of the subject of this painting is very interesting, I think. I met Maxwell Smart, yes, the same name as the famous character portrayed by Don Adams in the show, "Get Smart" (1965-1970).  Max was sitting just as you see him in the painting outside of St. John's Coffee Shop in Covington, LA. He is a court runner for the St. Tammany Court System. He runs papers for lawyers to and from the Courthouse in Covington. 

It was a cold day and He was reading a novel and waiting for his call. He told me that he usually had his dog with him but did not have him this day. I would have loved to capture that picture with his dog. He is a character and I met him again at the Fall Member show in 2015. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Why Am I Writing This Blog?

"Time Passing" 
Monotype with Collage

Time is valuable to all of us, right?!! Then I ask myself why spend time with this blog? And, it does take time. So, today, I have to seriously question what is motivating me to do this. 

I entitled my blog, "Enjoying the Gift". But, I have made the decision today to change it to "Sharing the Gift". Because that is exactly what I want to do! 

Why? Because I was raised to believe that it is better to give than to receive. And, I have come to realize that that statement is absolutely true! 

I believe we each see the world in a unique way and we can express that way we see it with our gift of artistic expression! Your means of artistic expression may be in fine art, music, interior design, dance, writing, gardening and so much more. You may communicate what you see, feel and experience in not just one but many of these. 

Teaching and producing art gives me joy! I feel passionate about both! I see this blog as a way to share my gift with you and EXCITE you to discover yours. If you already see yourself as an artist, then I ask you to share your discoveries with me and others through this blog. If you have doubts about expressing yourself as an artist, I ask you to send me your questions and I will try my best, and with the help of fellow artists, to discern your unique artistic gift of expression. 

It is NEVER TOO LATE in your life to take this challenge. My husband Marty accepted this offer from me almost 4 years ago. I plan to interview him in an upcoming post to see what he has experienced. From what I am observing, he is really seeing more and enjoying his semi-retirement more than he had imagined he would! AND, by sharing my gift with him, he is making me a better artist and teacher! 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Starting Sketch on Location and Completing in Studio

These two sketches were done in Stowe, VT. on our 2011 trip. 

It was midday and we were exploring the town. I started this sketch from the inside of our rental car. I was able to come close to completing it but stopped when I took a break and saw this wonderful store front across the street. 

It was too complex for me to finish in the limited time we had to see the town together. So I took many photos of it. 

When we returned home, I worked some more on it. I love the fact that I did not overwork it even though it is a complex subject. 

Using the Sketch to Develop Painting in Studio

In the first image here is a watercolor sketch executed in a little over an hour on our 2011 trip. This place we discovered near Gorham, Maine. 

It was the most beautiful place we were able to take in the fall foliage on the trip! I was so happy to have time to try to get the image on paper as it affected me! 
As you can see, the COLORS of the trees and their reflections motivated me to paint the scene.

This next scene was painted just a few months ago. It was inspired by the sketch I just talked about. The image size is only about 6" x 9"...with mat...10" x 14".   

I decided to do it as a demo for Marty in our art studio one day. It was really easy to do. I was amazed! I used the sketch and my photographs of the scene to help me. You can see that I zoomed in on the subject of my sketch. I wanted to focus on the section where the edge of the trees were contrasted with the trees behind them and also the beauty of the stream in the middle of all this color. By doing this, I was transported off of the distant bank, where I sketched; and' I was placed closer to where I saw and experienced the true beauty of the scene! Ah, the power of art! Thank you, God!

TIP: What I learned from this is to be sure to take many photos of the sites where you do sketches. Be sure to vary the focal lengths...zooming in and zooming out. And, it is never too late to paint from the sketches you make. Sketches along with the photographs capture and record the feeling of the scene and preserve them for the artist!                                                                                 

Challenges of Painting on Location

This painting in my sketchbook was painted on Oct. 8, 2011 at Blackberry Crossing in the White Mt. Forest in NH. This is accessed by traveling along The Kancamagus Hwy. Beautiful! 

But, when I look at this painting or sketch as I call it, I recall how difficult it was to find a place to set up and capture it. With Marty's help, I was able to carefully balance a small folding chair on the of those beach chairs that sit close to the ground. I was surrounded by ones and a whole lot of weeds...maybe even snakes...but I chose not to think that was possible. I was determined to paint there! I was the adventurer that day. 

After helping me set up, Marty returned to our rental car to listen to the Saints game on the car radio while I painted! At that time, he was still a neophyte to the art world.  I wonder after almost 4 years of painting with me, he would be strongly tempted to choose my course of action over his at that time...Probably not! LOL!