Sunday, May 31, 2009

Beware the art scam!

I recently received two emails (below) directed to my website email address from "Joyce" who wanted to buy two paintings. I answered the first email with prices, but the 2nd email from "Joyce" sent up red flags. Misspelled words and "urgency" together with the fact that they will pay shipping, are all indicators that "Joyce" wanted to steal from me. Artists have to be very skeptical these days...sorry to say!
email #1:
Hope this message finds you well. I saw these creatives works on your web site and i will like you to get back with more details if they are still available for purchase.
Water's Edge and Clouds
I will appreciate an urgent reply.
Best Regards,

Hi Celeste,
Good to hear back from you. Yes,i will like to proceed with the purchase of both works. I think they are lovely work sthat will add alot of colours to our new wall and i hope to give them a good home.
I am presently away in London for my twin sister's wedding even though it comes at a time when i was preparing for a big move and also expecting a baby but it means so much to her. I should be back in few days.
 Meanwhile,i will like you to forward your mailing address and phone number so i can inform my husband still shutling between our home in New Jersey and Jo'burg, SA on where to forward the payment . He has just been transfer to head the IT section of their head Office in Jo'burg.
I can also forward your contact info to the local cartage company that will be moving all our house decors so they can get in touch with you to arrange shipping details. They can arrange pick up FedEx pick up of the artworks from your studio.
I will look forward to hearing from you so i can know how best to proceed. Cheers.
Best Regards,

"Joyce" is likely a fat greasy man in a boiler room in India (apologies to India). This has been a public service announcement. Don't do business with people who need your art urgently and can't spell.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Life painting session ...two oil sketches

Today I had a talk with my art discussion group at O'Connor's about how easy it is to put too much red into a portrait. Last time I painted this same redheaded model I struggled with the fleshtones and I made her doubly red. During the session today I made a concerted effort to calm down the red in the flesh. The hat made me think about Eliza Doolittle. This is the last life painting session for the season--but I might check out Hipbone Studio now and again during the summer. (Both oil on 9 x 12 canvas panel)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day, May 25 2009

I found myself yesterday in a cemetery with my paints..and so I painted this stone...just for practice. Here I spent a little time considering someone else's name and their dates and the fact that I was on one side of the grass...and they the other. Rather than a morbid thing..I have always enjoyed cemeteries. It was a challenge to paint the flag because of the wind. Rather than improve the flag when I got home--I decided to just leave it as it was. (Oil on 5 x 7 canvas panel)

Friday, May 22, 2009

FareWell, Kingstad (final reception, May 21, 2009)

The economic recession has claimed another casualty with the closing of the Kingstad Gallery. What a wonderful job Kingstad did... championing visual art (and theater arts) in a beautiful facility that everyone involved was very proud of.  There is still hope that owner Eric Kingstad and curator Lora Fisher will continue to participate in the arts in some capacity in the future. Certainly those of us who had the privilege of working with them would be honored to do so again. The best to Kingstad Gallery. I loved showing my work with you!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Sense of Place, PPASP Juried Group Show Reception, June 7

(Click image to enlarge)
(Image: Missing Andrew by Katherine van Schoonhoven)

Announcing a Juried Group Exhibit of paintings by members of  PPASP

“Plein Air” refers to painting outdoors on location. “Alla Prima”, similarly, describes a painting technique in which a canvas is completed in one sitting. Plein air and Alla Prima artists are considered direct painters and seldom work from photographs. In the Plein Air/Alla Prima tradition, brushstrokes and drawings will have a distinctive loose and flowing style.

The exhibit
A Sense of Place consists of paintings completed exclusively with either Plein Air or Alla Prima methods, employing “first hand observation”.
Juror: Karen Van Hoy
Exhibit Dates June 7-August 29, 2009
Artist Reception: Sunday, June 7, 2009 Noon-2pm
(You are invited!)
Doll Gardner Gallery‎, 8470 SW Oleson Rd, Portland, OR‎
(503) 246-3351‎

Today's life painting session

I hesitate to tell you that I struggled today, but it is what it is. My contact lenses bothered me, I ran out of white and had to resort to a tube of Permabla (that blue-ish white paint...some people just love that stuff..I find it odd--I don't even know why I had it with me). I painted her hand four times and rubbed it out four times. In the end I did a quick sketch of her because I so thoroughly enjoyed her look. I worried some that the scratch-y sound of my vine charcoal might annoy my painting compatriots. scratch-scratch-scratch. You know, after uploading painting #2 it almost appears like her hand is in shoved in a nearly works. Note to self: get the hand in correctly at the beginning.

Friday, May 15, 2009

A little sky, some trees and a bit of land--only practice

I've been thinking about both Eric Jacobsen's and Elio Camacho's advice to me (during their workshops) about how I have to pay attention to how objects meet. I painted an uncomplicated scene today expressly to work on this. So, maybe I'm one more painting closer to having better ed

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

2009 Oregon Arts Summit

I had the pleasure of attending the 2009 Oregon Arts Summit at Nike today. Among my favorite speakers were: Tinker Hatfield, Vice President, Nike Design, Bill Rauch, director of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Jazz Saxophone Artist, Mike Phillips, Dr. Brian Druker, scientist at OHSU, (a man who is cures cancer!) Frances Bronet, Dean, School of Architecture and Allied Arts U of O, and the brilliant Barry Lopez, Author, National Book Award winner. The Oregon Arts Summit was presented by the Oregon Arts Commission with support from Nike and the Portland Business Journal. Every speaker sought to encourage us to think in new ways, to throw in together and to never give up.
Seated in the audience not far from me was Oregon Art Beat host K.C. Cowan. She and I talked about tomorrow's new Art Beat show about art collecting. My artist friend Mike Orwick is going to be featured on the show..don't miss it! (OPS..Channel 10 for most .Thursday, May 14, 8pm. It re-airs Sunday May 17 at 6pm).
There were many great moments during the Summit...but possibly my favorite was when Michael Phillips played "It's a Wonderful World" on his saxophone. We do live in a wonderful world, specifically in Oregon-- where art and collaboration really have always seemed to be one and the same.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

These are the two paintings I did today in life painting. I was mostly satisfied with both efforts...however, I almost started laughing during the portrait. For a full 20 minutes the portrait looked just like ME. You know, the painter-paints-themselves-syndrome. The portrait went through several phases before I ended up with a painting that I suspect looks 75% like the model and 25% like me. I tried to minimize futzing with the figure painting and I like the gestural quality of it. The model wore some awesome candy apple red shiny high heel shoes that I was very tempted to concentrate upon. I was smart, however, and had a talk with myself...--it is not every day you get a really neat looking redhead to sit still for three hours. The wise decision for me was to paint the person....and forgo the shiny shoes. p.s. geez, in retrospect I really had red on the brain. She looks

The amount of stuff I lug around

After my Tuesday life painting session today it took me two trips to get all this stuff out of my car onto the porch. You would think after a couple of years of painting outdoors I'd have figured out a more compact paint kit! Do you haul your gear around? Do you do a much better job of it than I do? (wouldn't be hard!). I covet the Open M pochade box, but my EasyL has served me well. I wonder if I got a smaller pochade box if I would learn to fit everything into a backpack. Summer's coming! I need to make a concerted effort to organize and pack this stuff better than this! yathink?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

My Mom was born in 1919 and died in 2004. Despite the fact that she was 85, I was shocked when she passed away. I guess we tend to think our parents will always be on the planet with us. It doesn't occur to us that the day will come when they'll be gone. When my Mom died I brought some of her things back with me from Florida and over the weeks that followed, I painted her things every night in my basement studio. My Mom never had much and always wore cheap-o moccasins. I think she really liked those shoes and might have worn them even if she had other choices. Here is a painting of her shoes that I brought home with me and painted in July of 2004...likely with tears in my eyes. Happy Mothers Day in Heaven, Mom.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Workshop with Eric Jacobsen

Today I took a one-day workshop with Eric Jacobsen. We met at Rasmussen Farms in Hood River at 10 am. Eric painted a demonstration and then we were asked if there was anything specific that we wanted to work on. I determined that I wanted to concentrate on atmosphere and distance. Eric instructed us to do "starts" instead of finished paintings, putting an emphasis on simple shapes. What I like so much about Eric is how much time he gives each participant. He is generous! He finds out what you want to learn specifically and tailors the lesson to you. I did four starts to explore those far away hills. We had a good conversation about "suggestion" in painting. It was a perfect day for painting outside ..and best of all I believe I got what he told me about softening edges and using a variety of strokes.

I still love Nike...I can't help it.

"Personal Posters" by young artists at the Make Something! exhibit

The other day I went to Utrecht for paint and right around the corner was the Nike Make Something! exhibit. I stepped in and a young man told me that everything on display was created by young people who had been invited by Nike to take part in the workshop. I guess in some ways I am always going to be a graphic artist at heart..because images like these still make my heart sing. I know that some people think of advertising as tawdry and I will not be able to change their minds..but because I had the privilege to work with W+K/Nike at the beginning of my indoctrination into advertising.. I learned from them that good communication art.... is art.   

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Grays make color stand out

During our art meeting at O'Connor's today we discussed grays and how beautiful and necessary they are. All of us in attendance talked about artists we admire who are known for their expert use of gray. (William Wray and Jay Moore were two artists mentioned). I have always had a natural affinity for bright colors. There are a couple of reasons for that...I think some of it is because I spent my young adulthood in Florida and never quite got over my love of all things tropical. We all see color differently..and our color preferences are somehow woven into the fabric of who we are. However, shouldn't we know how to paint in palettes that aren't "ours"? I had all that in mind today when I painted this city scene from a photo reference. 
Oil on 8 x 10 canvas 

Are you in an art discussion group?

Nearly every week I meet with fellow artists in Multnomah Village for the express purpose of discussing art. In five years we have never once run out of things to discuss. Today Michael Fisher came and brought some color charts that he painted recently in order to work out some issues he has been having with underpaintings for his pastels. Carolyn Rondthaler brought in a Mr. Clean magic sponge that lifts watercolor pigment safely off a painting (that was interesting!). We talked for quite awhile about grays and neutrals and how important it is to know how to paint them. The art discussion sometimes sparks new ideas for me that I might not otherwise have had. On days that the weather is good...I definitely want to use my time wisely and go outside to paint...but on rainy days like today...the art discussion group is fabu.
Do you have a group? Do you see the value in "art discussion"...or are you solitary in your artistic pursuits?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Vista...oil on 6 x 6 masonite panel

Well, this didn't photograph well...but I will re-photograph it tomorrow. 

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Little house in the meadow

That trip yesterday to Hood River has me feeling all inspired over cute little houses.
oil on 6 x 8 canvas panel.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Visiting..The Gorge Artists Open Studios (SCROLL DOWN)

(click to enlarge photos)

My first stop of the Gorge Artists Open Studios was a fantastic place called Art Farm. Doug Byers, A photographer, had his photography displayed in the barn right alongside with some goats. Byers confided in me that it was a risky move, because goats are known to eat anything, you know, like tin cans. So it is not beyond reason that he could return to the barn later today to find his photo "gone".  Let's hope someone bought it in time!
In another section of Art Farm I found artist John Haugse in his studio. I glanced at the Curriculum Vitae posted on the wall and saw that he has taught at Harvard and was a student himself of Richard Diebenkorn. Well geezz..not too bad! He has the goods to go along with this pedigree too...  first rate! Haugse is an artist who regards graphite drawing as important as painting. Wow. Old School. I was totally impressed.
The next studio I visited was Cathleen Rehfeld's. I bought a plein air painting from now I am one of her collectors. (She was on the front page of the Hood River News today too..although I didn't get to read the article, I am betting it was about her commitment to painting from life on a daily basis).   
I went to White Salmon where Todd Smith is having a show of his plein air landscapes at leRoz Gallery. He wasn't on the Open Studios roster per this visit was a "bonus". Todd is a well known Hood River artist equally at home painting figures and landscape. Great work in a very nice gallery. Congratulations, Todd!
In Mosier I visited Peny Wallace..I remember seeing Peny on PBS/Oregon Art Beat and that whole life cast thing just intrigues me. I bought one of her pieces and felt so lucky to get it.  I understand there are in the area of 40 artists to be visited in the Gorge this weekend.  I only saw a handful of them, but the ones I chose to visit were well worth the trip....All in all a fantastic art-filled day!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Employing suggestions from John Salminen

Several of my art friends have been working with design suggestions from John Salminen. They attended his workshop and/or viewed his video. I have seen great results from Salmenin's ideas and I decided I would try to use ideas that he teaches in a simple oil painting (my results = the painting above).

Here is what Katherine van Schoonhoven gleaned from seeing his video:
1. Look for a good white shape in your design. It should be about 1/3 of the paper and touch 3 sides. It should be irregular, unpredictable, and oblique.

2. Establish dominance. Shape dominance -- geometric or curvilinear temperature dominance -- warm or cool. The 80/20 rule works well in establishing approximately how much of which. Dominance gives cohesion to a painting. Avoid 50/50 because it violates the idea of dominance.

3. Ideas for keeping painting interesting:
add texture -- use techniques without drawing undue attention to them ..salt, stamping, lifting, atomizer, ...(Salminen's work is watercolor..and I skipped this as salt and oil paint doesn't seem compatible. haha)
edges -- pay attention to the edges and use them to create intensity
linkage -- stepping values between dark shape and white/light shape
repetition -- design element that adds unity.
center of interest -- this area should have the strongest value contrast.

(Special thanks to John Salminen, Carolyn Rondthaler, Carrie Holst, Donna Sanson and Katherine van Schoonhoven for sharing these excellent design suggestions for a successful painting!) 

My painting based on Salminen's suggestions is oil on 6 x 6 masonite panel