The ribbon was an interesting area to paint in this little piece. The red was opaque in parts and transparent in others with the green background reading through. The little glitter lines on the red ornament were fun to paint and translate how they were raised above the ornament. I accomplished that by the subtle shadows and highlights on those lines. And speaking of red...
A group of us artists went in to the MFA to see the Degas and the Nude
Exhibit the other day. We were guided through the show by Lili, from the MFA, who was a wealth of knowledge and fascinating tidbits. (And also a wealth of patience herding 16 exuberant artists throughout the show.) Along with our questions regarding process and history, one item that was noticed was the fact that so many women in the paintings had bright red hair. Well, we learned from Lili, a lot of the ladies of the evening back then, which we all know that Degas used as models, all dyed their hair red. There was some question as to whether they were forced by authorities or whether it was by choice. I am tempted to google search the answer, but I am afraid what will pop up. Plus, I don't want that in my search history…I can just imagine the headlines now if I am ever arrested for anything, (which I can assure my kids I won't be…) and the authorities find "red haired prostitutes and their history", in my search engine files on my computer. What was this lady doing in her spare time. Jeesh. ANYHOW…as a tribute to these redheaded women of the evening who posed for so many impressionist artists, I photo-shopped our groups hair. (Hope you don't mind, ladies, Tis the season for red anyway.)
I thought it would be fun to be festive and paint some holiday ornaments and ribbons. And during this busy time of year why not paint something not overly complex. Our lives are involved enough right now. So in my next few blogs will be the results. They were good, back to basics pieces that reviewed values, hard and soft edges and color. And were just plain fun to do. I loved this disco ball type ornament. It was complicated, yet simple. I do admit I started getting a little cross-eyed trying to keep my place as I was painting. I reminded myself not to draw every square, but to simplify. The paintings themselves are at Expressions, along with a holiday tray using the same images.
I was cleaning my studio last week and found this piece laying with some others. I painted it this summer when I had met Cecilia and Joan, wonderful artist friends, over at Mary's Landing and we had perfect painting weather. I kind of picked a bad spot, though, because as I progressed the sun was dropping down lower and lower and I was getting blinded. But I couldn't resist the way the sun was dappled on the water. I finally had to quit at one point, cause I kept seeing spots just like when someone shoots a flash camera. Lesson learned, but still had fun.
This painting was much more of a challenge than I expected. The hardest part was creating the effect of the smoke graying down the background areas, but still seeing the background through that smoke. I actually used no gray to create the effect, but varying colors which enabled me to "mute" the tones without dulling down the picture. I purposefully kept the foreground loose so your eye is drawn to the tightly rendered tractor and, of course, it's red color brings you right to it as a center of attention. So you don't get stuck in the center, the bright yellow flowers purposefully keep you moving around the picture. I wish I could have made it a scratch and sniff picture, though. The tractor kept breaking down as the farmer was plowing down the field right next to the house. Cough, cough. So he was there for quite sometime. Good subject!
I was lucky enough to receive an award at the Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod's recent FPO juried show. And it sold, also. Don't ya just love when that happens!
The Arts Walk last weekend in Scituate was real fun. Expressions was packed on Friday night with lots of visitors and then Saturday afternoon I did a demo at the shop. I worked on a man made paper. This paper has always been one of my favorites and this scene really allowed me to let the paper read through to keep an overall tone, but use heavier coverage in some areas, too.
We, at North River Arts Society, are watching the Firehouse Building near completion. It has been a long road of conceptualizing, fundraising, planning, tweaking and it is all coming to fruition. So exciting. We, of course, have to have a Ribbon cutting ceremony, party and dancing to celebrate this exciting accomplishment and what better time of year than right around Halloween.
This is the piece I entered into the "Pastels By Invitation" Show for all of you who cannot get down to the Cape. I cannot believe how fast this summer is going. These lazy hot days of building dribble castles will soon give way to shorter days, cool nights and changing autumn colors. Go grab some beach time while it's still here!
I was invited this year to be a part of the Pastels by Invitation 2011 at the Creative Arts Center in Chatham, Ma. It runs August 4 through September 2nd with the opening reception on August 6th, 6-8. Hours at the gallery are Monday - Friday 9am-4pm and Saturday 10am-4pm. I personally cannot wait to take in the show as I am honored to be included with a wonderful grouping of incredible artists and I know their work will be amazing. Hope to see you there!
A good friend of mine, Ellen, sent me a link to this blog posting that was so funny to me that tears were rolling down my face. She so gets my sense of humor. I am now in search of a giant chicken sculpture to lighten up my life. Have fun reading! The Bloggess
(pls ignore the f-bombs, although they do add to the story)
I have been following the Daily Paintworks Challenge for sometime and been meaning to submit a piece. So here is my first entry into their challenge. I love seeing all the different interpretations. What fun!
I was recently thrilled to be chosen as a featured artist for Judsons Art Outfitters. I love their products and they are always on my wish list. I bought one of their traveling rolling backpacks and am very pleased with how sturdy it is and the great pocket on the side for my tripod. It fits perfectly along with enough space and pockets for my painting or pastel box, extra paints, brushes and medium. What I really love about it is how lightweight it is.
I had an older "travel" easel from another company that was so cumbersome and heavy that by the time I trekked to my painting spot, I would be exhausted. I had been considering putting that one on ebay, but I would feel too guilty thinking about the poor person who ended up with it.
For Christmas, I was also given the Guerrilla Painter Wet Painting Tote from Judsons. It is so lightweight. Why didn't someone think of that one sooner. Rave! Can't wait for Mother's Day. (hint, hint, I want the smaller Painting Tote)
I just entered the BoldBrush Painting Competition. Never tried it before, so why not. The piece is a painting I did of Union Square in NYC. I used to live in the city, but I still get to go and enjoy the fun and excitement of it as my daughter lives there now. This painting was from one of my long visits with her. You know, I think I owe her another visit real soon. Feeling the pull.
(If you click the name of the painting above, you can see the painting and if you like, click the facebook like button. Thanks in advance!)
I recently delivered this piece to a friend. It is a very horizontal composition, but there are very subtle ways I was trying to bring the eye back toward the center. And although the light is dramatic, I was trying to keep the mood calm at the same time. That end of the day quiet that we experience often on this coast.
The local middle school has an artist in residence program. Each year I am lucky enough to be asked to be one of those artists. This year I decided to do something a little different. I bought this wonderful paper years ago. It is a hand made paper that has darker threads and also iridescent sparkles running through it. It has just enough tooth to be able to work with pastel. I thought this scene would appeal to the both the boys and the girls and sure enough they were extremely intrigued and asked more questions than usual.
The artist actually sets up in the main hallway. The art teachers bring their class down, but also when the bell rings and the kids are going from one class to another they pass by and stop and chat. I think the appeal to them was not only the subject matter, but the brightness of the work and also how the paper is still a big part of the painting. It was a good lesson in perspective which coincidentally they just finished studying in their art class. (I honestly did not know that ahead of time.) Quite a few must have been paying attention in class and when I asked different groups which type of perspective this illustrated, they would shout out "one point perspective". Yeah! I worked from a photo that I had taken on a trip to Pennsylvania. And I made sure to let them know that I was the passenger, not the driver, when I took the picture. The kids gave me the best compliment by telling me that the painting was very different from the photo and so much better than the photo itself. If I have to work from photos only, this is what I like to hear.
The only hard part of the day was, for some reason, there was also a giant heart shaped balloon near by that actually had a button on it that when pushed would play a tiny rendition of some song. (I have luckily forgotten the song) Of course the kids could not resist pushing it, so by the end of the day I was wishing I had a giant pin to pop it. But otherwise a fun day.
The Opening of the Member's Show for the North River Arts Society is tonight. With all the snow we have had piled up high on the side walks, we weren't sure what was going to happen. For the last two days we have had unusually warm weather which is melting away a good amount of the snow. Being a skier and Feb vacation just around the corner, I usually don't like a warming trend right now. But this time I am glad for some melting as this will make it a little easier to attend the event.
I am forgetting the exact number, but we have around 250 entries to the show. Joseph McGurl was our awards juror and with this many entries I know it was an extremely hard task. He was very sensitive to his job and viewed each piece in the show with great care. If you haven't seen Mr. McGurl's work, please take a look by clicking on his name and it will take you directly to his site. The light and quality he captures within his pieces is remarkable. Just stunning.
So...hope to see you at the opening and if not, the show runs through February 27th so there is still time to take it in. Just call the North River Arts Society for hours.
I am offering a new listing of classes for the New Year. See them right here on my blog under...guess where...class offerings-on the right. There are both Adult and Children's classes listed. This great little collage is from a young student in my last Children's class. The class incorporated collage in with the pastels as they all wanted to use glitter and have Christmas themed pieces. Tis the season for glitter. The children always amaze me at how creative and uninhibited they are at experimenting and thinking "out of the box". We all need to take lessons from them.