Friday, May 30, 2008

A good way to transport framed paintings

Today I am delivering some of my work to a gallery. A while back I learned from Michael Fisher how he transports his paintings in old disposable towels held closed with strapping tape. Michael told me that he acquires the towels at thrift stores for a modest fee. He prefers this method to bubble wrapping his paintings for local deliveries. A friend of a friend gave me some of her old towels (thanks, Debra!) and I am trying this method today. Last year, because I did not take proper precautions, one of my frames got dinged. I learned my lesson. This seems an adequate and economical way to handle painting delivery.

Sketching at the Iris Garden

Yesterday painters from the Eugene-Springfield plein air group joined our group at the Schreiner's Iris Garden. It was very pleasant to see so many painters among the flowers, finding and painting their scenes. I really couldn't settle on what I wanted to paint, so I did a sketch in my moleskin journal of a watercolorist (whose name is Humberto). It turns out that Humberto is from Portland and he might join us one of these days at O'Connors. I look forward to it!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Painting over an old painting..again

I've been reading in Virgil Elliot's book about the 10 color-color wheel that places blue-green across from red. I had that in mind today as I painted over an old canvas with a still life. I am about 3/4's of the way done with it. The reflection in the table is too red. Covering up the pre-existing painting was more of a challenge this time than last time I tried this. I'll work on it again tomorrow.

The book I am currently reading

Here is a really good book that I picked up recently at Utrecht. This book seems at first glance to be mostly about studio oil painting. However, as I paged through it I was very impressed with how comprehensive it is, covering subjects like perspective and color theory thoroughly. I've been reading it for a couple of days and the author is quite stern with the reader, admonishing us for plunging in and "contributing to too much bad art" without knowing the basics. We should have have a good foothold on all the basics before we go off on our tangents. We have to know what we are deviating from before we deviate. Author = Virgil Elliot

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Today at the Iris Garden

I hauled my tote bag full of oil painting supplies into Schreiner's Iris garden only to discover that I left my brushes in Portland. Kimberly had quite a few brushes with her (how organized!). She loaned me one. Yes, painters generally need some sort of implements to apply the paint. Eric Jacobsen told me that he often completes an entire painting with one brush, so that knowledge held me in good stead.
I sat on a stool close to a "typical" bunch of purple Iris during our paint out. This is a 10x10 canvas. It seems a good design and I'll have a hard look at it to see if I want to do something like it next time I go to Schreiner's (next week). I am working on our "expressionist" project and this is an effort to say more ....with less.

Today, Schreiner's

Date: Thursday May 22, 2008
Time: 8:00 am meet at O'Connor's 7850 SW Capitol
regular meeting then carpool OR go directly there and meet us there
Location: Schriener's Iris Garden 3625 Quinaby Road N.E. Salem, OR 97303

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Today was a great day...but I forgot my camera. I got to have lunch with Michael Fisher and catch up with him. He has just returned from Buenos Ares where he has been for four months, painting and studying tango! Michael is the king of the urban landscape. He told me he is planning on hosting a paint out for our plein air group that will be in the city. Many of the people in our painting group are landscape painters who might not have considered making a corner cafe their subject....but I'll be signed up.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Deb Bouchette at the Arbor in Salem

This afternoon I attended Deb Bouchette's reception at the Arbor in Salem. She is exhibiting her "minimalist" black and white large equine drawings. I had a great visit with her. How many artists do we know who create in Black and White? Not many! I loved how her work looked on that brown wall.

Represent!...on the News!

I was asked to talk about our plein air paintings on display at the Pittock Mansion this morning during a live news segment on KGW. It was a three minute spot. I got to say a few things about outdoor/alla prima paintings and specifically got to point out work by Michael Fisher and Barbara Masterson. The spot was in conjunction with the Mansion's fundraising plant sale today.

From The Pittock website:
Saturday, May 17th, 2008 10:30am-3:30pm

Master Gardeners will staff a table for questions and sell roses selected by the Washington Park Rose Garden Curator of Roses. Irises and local favorites from members’ gardens will also be available for purchase.

The mansion’s current exhibit Shadow and Light, features remarkable original paintings of the mansion and its gardens by local artists.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Windswept day

The outdoor painter loves Sauvie Island! Several painters from my group have gone there recently and I am hoping to see their results soon. The funny thing about being in a painting group is that we love to be in a group...but we also love to be alone. What happens is that we'll assemble somewhere (as a group) just to split up to paint individually and never see one another again until next time. That's how it goes much of the time.

I finished my ocean painting

I did this painting as a color study from a Santa Cruz reference. I put some finishing touches on it today and I'm calling it done. Sometimes when I "revisit" a painting that I started a while back I muck it up and the original freshness is irretrievably lost! This time I wasn't too overzealous with corrections so I will count it as a success. It is 8 x 8 on canvas panel.

Julie Andrews reclines

I have been preparing to submit to a show at the Kingstad entitled "Icons and Iconoclasts". (Now you have an explanation for why I was sketching Lincoln below). I decided about a week ago to submit.. so I have spent a fair amount of time since then thinking about modern icons. All the typical ones come to mind... Elvis, Marilyn, etc., but I wanted to consider some other notable figures that aren't quite so obvious. I worked on this today and I've decided to abandon it. Abe is on the cutting room floor too. I have plenty of other paintings to submit and this one just didn't come out the way I had it in my mind. Julie
Andrews just might be a little too obscure. Well, It isn't a failure, but it doesn't seem to fit with the other work I am going to submit. What I have remembered by getting ready to answer this Call to that I enjoy painting figures.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


A preliminary rough sketch for an idea. It is thinned oil on paper. You may wonder why I jump from landscape to something like this..well, I have my reasons! I'll share them with you later. :)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

View from Maryhill

During the workshop Eric said .."try not to do a good painting..just respond to what you see". Darn..I think I tried to do a good painting. I came close, but those far away hills are too dark. My simple shapes are good, but I didn't do the best job with temperature either. I have learned that when workshop paintings aren't pleasing (which is often the case)... that it is a good thing! He/she tells/shows us how to do something and we sometimes just don't quite manage it. We keep looking at it and thinking about where we went wrong and later (sometimes much later) things sink in. It's the displeasure that is a good thing forces us to work on our weak areas! Hooray for displeasure.
As I write this it is Mother's Day. My Mother and I went to Maryhill Museum together many years ago. I don't remember the peacocks then. Were they there then? I do remember she loved the place. Happy Mother's Day in Heaven, Mom.

Eric Jacobsen Workshop at Maryhill Museum

I took some Saturday workshops from Eric Jacobsen last year during the summer. When I heard he would do it again this year I gladly signed up. This time we meet at Maryhill Museum. A bit of a drive, but worth it! He begins next to his car in the parking lot by showing us his favorite instruction books and supports (masonite, raymar and gatorboard).
Then he tosses a few of his gorgeous paintings out onto the parking lot to illustrate the look we are after. We are to shoot for big shapes, color and temperature... and not a lot of detail. Yes! that is what he said last year!
He does a demonstration for us.. complaining mildly that the day is a challenge to paint. It is kind of gray.
Male peacocks are milling around not 2 feet away from to us trying desperately to get the attention of the female peacocks ...the peahens don't notice at all .....but we do....... Sort of hard to miss.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Our Annual Group Show will be at Kingstad Gallery!

Michael Orwick and I made an exhibit proposal presentation to Kingstad Gallery. The meeting went GREAT and now we have a "home" for our 4th annual group show! This is exactly what we hoped for.. The Kingstad is spacious, well lit and "sharp."

Here is what has been established thus far:

1. This show will be our 4th annual group show (exclusive to the Portland Plein Air Painters)
2. The show dates will be from Sept 1 to November 29. Three months!
3. Plein air AND studio from plein air will be allowed
4. Large paintings will be welcomed
5. Paintings can be from anywhere (not just regional/Oregon)
6. Working title is: " Expressions, en Plein Air*"
7. There will be three receptions!
8. There will be an entry fee (but it will be reasonable)
9. There will be a full color promotional card
10. One of the show jurors is Lora Fisher and there may be other
jurors invited.

Lots more information to come as it all develops!

Sauvie Island

Color sketch. Very sketchy! 8 x 10 on canvas panel.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Here was my view at Mayer State Park. I took plenty of photos here so I may use this color study to work on another painting of this path. It was really quiet here in this place. The only noise I heard the whole time was the rustle of the wind through the trees.

Rowena Crest/Mayer Park with The Hood River Painters

I met up with the Hood River Painters at Rowena Crest today at 9 am. It was cold and blowing a gale, so we moved to the Mayer State Park. What a beautiful day! There were batches of lupine all around. I will definitely go back to this spot. Maybe I can convince The Portland Plein Air Painters to take this little trip with me during the upcoming summer. The drive was worth it. Preeminent Gorge Watercolorist Bonnie White organizes the Hood River Painters and I got to meet Donna Van Tuyl (whose pastel art I have admired at the Columbia Art Gallery). Donna and I talked about surfaces and later in the day she emailed me a link about Wallis Belgium Mist.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Artist2Artist at the Columbia Art Gallery

On Sunday I went to the Artist2Artist, a Professional Development fair at the Columbia Art Gallery. The keynote speaker was Dr. Robert Maurer. He spoke to us about "Kaizen" (the principles of which are found in Tao Te Ching's "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step"). Dr. Maurer, is a psychologist on the staff at the UCLA medical school and has written this book. I am thinking about getting it..What great points he made! After Dr. Maurer's speech I went to my breakout session with Melinda Hannigan. She offered a lot of practical advise for becoming focused on a career in the arts. I was impressed with both presentations and glad I made the trip to Hood River to take them in. I intend to put much of what I learned into action. As a great bonus I also got to see the Columbia Art Gallery show featuring Cathleen Rehfeld, Eric Jacobsen and Judith Cunningham.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

"Commuter" painting

About two years ago I met Michael Fisher during Portland Open Studios. Luckily for me and the rest of the Portland Plein Air Painters, Michael joined our group last year and has infused many meetings since with his trademark positive energy. Inspired by his downtown night scenes, I started this painting (in acrylic) about two months ago. It's also inspired by the work of Desmond O'Hagen.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

"NFS" paintings at O'Connor's

Group of Nine (Carolyn Rondthaler, Kitty Wallis, Celeste Bergin, Katherine van Schoonhoven, Carrie Holst, Patricia McMahan, Mary Luzinski, Eileen Nelson, Kimberly Kent) exhibit "Not for Sale" paintings at O'Connor's during May. 7850 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland.