Cheerful and Colorful Paintings

Cheerful and Colorful Paintings in Oil, Acrylic, Mixed Media and Collage

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Mamma Mia! ~ Arte Y Pico Award ~ IHOP ~ Journal

"Mamma Mia!"
7 1/2" x 5 1/2" Acrylic on paper

I had to name this Cloudcroft workshop painting, Mamma Mia! after attending the opening day movie with several Canvas by Canvas members.
Betty, Karen, Cindy
Maryann, Nancy, Cindy C
Yes, we were in the movie when Karen saw a friend to take our photo. I felt decadent after meeting for an early morning breakfast at IHOP and getting into a movie before noon. We were brought back to reality after a trip to Sam's in Texas heat to purchase food for our opening reception tonight at the Upstairs Gallery from 5-8. See previous post. GREAT movie and day.
At the IHOP and I haven't been there in years but I'm going back - good food and good service in Arlington.

Myrna Wacknov has awarded my blog the Arte y Pico award. Arte y Pico is a blog from Uruguay, whose blogger has come up with this award. The rules are to pass the award on to five other artists' blogs that are awesome. The award was created to be given to bloggers who inspire others with their creative energy and their talents. Thank you, Myrna, for giving me the award and you inspire me.
Here are the rules in more detail:
First, the rules:
Pick FIVE blogs that you consider deserve this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and also for contributing to the blogging community, no matter what language.

Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.

Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award itself.
Award-winner and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of “Arte y Pico” blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award which is here.
My 5 picks:
1. Nicholas Simmons Blog - A great painter, friend and blogger.
2. Suzanne McDermott - She built her own studio and interesting reading.
3. Sharilyn Miller - A very talented jewelry designer and author.
4. Doudy Sketche - Who shares a challenge of tree painting in watercolor.
5. Canvas by Canvas Art Blog - Just a little nepotism on this one. I belong to this collaborative group of artists.
I have been trying to draw/sketch/paint in my journal each day (maybe just highlight one incident) and I will post these entries when I have a 9x12 page full in my Canson All-media book. I found some old journals with this method and I loved reading them so maybe I'll do it for a month and quit again, but I am trying.
Here I was packing for the Robert Burridge workshop in Cloudcroft and will always have to include what I've been eating or cooking!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Canvas by Canvas TUG Show ~ Salsa Abstract

"Salsa" Acrylic Abstract on Gallery Wrapped Canvas by Nancy
24" x 24"
The Upstairs Gallery Show
Canvas by Canvas is having a show opening with a wine and cheese reception on Saturday July 19th and you are invited. Several works by some of the individual members will also be on display.

Canvas by Canvas works:


Nancy's Personal Work for the Upstairs Gallery Show:

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Robert Burridge Workshop ~ Cloudcroft NM ~ Thursday, Friday, Saturday

This is one of my paintings from the Robert Burridge workshop and I agree, it doesn't look like a tree or a meadow or clouds. Several of us decided to do some figures without the landscape element.
This is going to be a good day – no rain and no plein air. Today we painted on our starts and tried to finish several and watched Bob demo his “Fix Up Day” with some starts but he knows they will be abstracts. We learned about varnishing our paintings and began putting them on the wall as The Cloudcroft Art Workshops had invited other members of the Chamber of Commerce to an art opening from 6-8. Classes all summer provide instruction in every medium and what a great place this has been for energizing our art spirit and being able to paint with new friends in a beautiful setting. Bob says to be creative, you have to be incredibly positive and believe that anything is possible. I know that his class today posted some incredibly lovely paintings for the reception. I’ve posted a slide show of some of the work below. For the evening meal, we enjoyed a great Big Daddy’s special tostada and blackberry cobbler with ice cream and home to a big fire.

Friday was devoted to marketing tips and more in depth demo of negative painting. Saturday was the opening of the July Jamboree in Zenith Park with 60 artists showing their work and the sun was shining in the morning while the artists were setting up and getting ready for the day's sales. We headed home about noon and I can't attest to the rest of the weekend's weather.

The slide show below shows a sample of some of the work done in the workshop.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Robert Burridge Workshop ~ Cloudcroft, NM ~ Wednesday

No, I didn't break both legs. Read on.

This is the day destined to be our Plein Air Experience. “You paid for it. You’re going to suffer” Bob teased us while explaining the how and why for the day. He wanted it to be a pleasant experience with a simple setup and told us to try and not capture everything. He was going to demo on quarter sheets using watercolor and wanted us to consider this as a “paint sketch”. The morning got off to a great start, trudging up the highest hill in Cloudcroft already at 9,000’ and with a backpack and a folding stool; I stopped about every 5 steps and gasped for air. After our ascent to Everest, Bob decides the old stables wouldn’t do as it began a gentle mist so we headed to the boardwalk in town, scoped out the public restrooms and Bob settled down in an empty parking place surrounded by about 20 students. I’ve placed some photos in a slide show from this day below because I just found them to be so humorous. He completed one demo and the rain became more serious so we got under the boardwalk and we looked like “Make Way for Ducklings”, a Robert McCloskey children's classic, waddling along behind him with all of our rain and art gear dangling from arms, necks, and limbs. Another demo and now it was our turn. My triangle seated folding chair needed a couple more triangles but I found a table to set up some of my painting gear and began painting and nearly finished one of my better plein air paintings…not that I’ve done that many. It REALLY got serious in the rain department (later we learned it rained 3” that day). John, my table mate, and I decided to wait it out with Quiche and a latte at the Jamocha Bean . Lunch was fantastic and it only rained harder so we decided to strap on our backpacks and rain gear and head to the workshop before we missed out and looking back this was a very bad decision after rushing water engulfed both feet and lower edges of my jeans through the only route available. I squished for awhile back in class and decided to follow John’s example and go barefoot which lasted about 10 minutes until I found two plastic grocery bags in the kitchen, bagged my feet and tied the handles around my ankles and held on while I walked. I felt like an Indian with their buckskin moccasins except the plastic was a little on the thin side. Later we saw a great slide show of Bob’s work and a beautiful pear demo. I feel like I got my money’s worth plus a foot washing for the plein air experience. For the evening meal, we sat at a window table, warm and watched it rain in an elegant restaurant, Rebecca’s at the Lodge and enjoyed the fireplace back at the cabin and decorated it with wet tennis shoes and sopping wet socks. The Cloudcroft natives do call this the monsoon season.

Later I'll post some of the work done at the workshop but today it's some of the plein air photos.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Robert Burridge Workshop ~ Cloudcroft, NM ~ Tuesday

Nancy's Tree started on Tues.

People were in the acrylic class painting when I arrived at 8:30 a.m. and class begins at 9:00. Bob discussed the plans for the day, passed out his handouts and we learned more about the color wheel he has designed. It’s one thing to own a color wheel and look at it but who really studies it. Bob took the time and carefully explained his wheel and how he interprets it in painting. His tree paintings on display are fantastic and we all want to paint one and we are so ready to paint hot colorful trees using lots of oranges, reds, and yellows. He had several paintings that he had begun to demo and he will continue painting on today while teaching us his method of trees – drip trees with negative shape painting and the dab method of trees. Our first layer was done before lunch with the advice of “make a mess”. Most of us our whole life have been told “Don’t make a mess” and now we’re all grown up and Bob gives us permission to make a mess. How cool is that. I love the look of these trees and after I’ve painted about a hundred maybe I won’t have to look at my notes. It’s been interesting trying to post to my blog. The library has wifi connections but we’re next door busy painting and I never found the time to post today with so much paint and information flying in all directions. The Chamber of Commerce has free wifi and if you drive up in their parking lot you can connect but then it was time to get ready for our party tonight. I stopped at the Cabins at Cloudcroft to get help as I’d been told that some cabins could get wifi but you might have to sit on the cabin porch to connect. I got the key to log on and got on fine at the office and kept my computer on to the drive to our cabin but when I walked into the cabin I lost the signal and the owner said something about the tin roofs may prevent the signal. Anyway a few minutes ago the signal appeared on my computer that I’m connected but with a low signal. This is just all too weird as it is always a challenge to travel and try to connect to blog. I decided against sitting out in the car in the cold to post the blog. You may read it several days down the road. Seems like I can get on to write the post but it is just too slow to upload any photos so it's back to the library or the Chamber of Commerce parking lot.

One of the partners of the Cloudcroft Art Workshops owns the Burro Street Boarding House on the hill overlooking the Art Workshop and she and the rest of the partners invited the class for a pot luck dinner at 6:00. We spent the evening discussing art and getting to know our fellow students. The food was delicious. No big downpours today but a gentle sprinkle during our meal. What a beautiful privilege to paint with fellow artists during the day and share a meal in the evening. Thanks to all who made that possible.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Robert Burridge Workshop ~ Cloudcroft, NM ~ Monday

Bob's Tree Example

Bob ready to paint large and loose.

Cloudcroft Art Workshops

Robert Burridge 5 Day Workshop “The Burridge Plein Aire Experience”,
June 7 - 11, 2008, Cloudcroft, New Mexico

Here we are acrylic painting in a charming mountain village and it is 9000 feet above stress level. There are about 20 students in the Cloudcroft Art Workshops, the number one workshop in New Mexico. We meet in a large room (the old study hall) of the Old Red Brick Schoolhouse that also houses the library. It rained Sunday and Monday so our outdoor plein air experience may be limited but the class is prepared to paint looser, bolder, and freer in the studio. We began that process today with Bob telling us “We all want to be better and the only way to be better is to paint a lot of bad paintings”. We discussed plans for the week, materials, warm-ups in black and white, with demos and then we were pumped and infused with confidence after being assured this was a “safe place” to be where we could paint for ourselves and our own approval. During the week we will be painting in a series, a series of “what ifs”. Bob is known for sharing information with his students and being accessible for questions. He cautioned that in a workshop setting a painter wouldn’t be doing his best work but can expect to have a couple of great paintings and lots of good starts. He assured us that this was our time as we’ve made the sacrifice to attend and he was present to help with any questions. At the end of the afternoon Bob discussed color and we began some color warm-ups. Students are escaping summer heat and enjoying Cloudcroft hospitality and the cool weather and rain. My Texas friends will find it hard to believe but we enjoyed a fire in the fireplace in our log cabin tonight. The Cloudcroft Art Workshops run classes from June to August, and each Sunday before workshops begin there is an opening reception and setup time from 6-7 p.m which removes lots of Monday morning stress of set up. Tuesday night they host a potluck social. Nice friendly folks here in Cloudcroft and several of the students are previous Burridge students, a high compliment to any instructor. This is my fourth Burridge workshop and I have 2 more planned. Kate Burridge, we miss you.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Square "D" ~ Kinky 2 ~ Sketchbook/Journaling ~ In Bruges

Square "D"
"Save a seat for Kinky 2" for Canvas by Canvas
This is a commission for a larger version of our "Kinky" painting and you can see it On the Easel in progress.
Our easel paintings will be moved out to our paintings when finished so you might need to just check the Paintings menu if the link doesn't work. It depends on the time factor when you read this post. I finished this yesterday at TUG and we are starting another painting of an old Mercury. (We will have a show there in July and more to come.)
The CBC painters ate Mexican food at El Gabacho and for the second time (yeah, for us) we tucked our sketch books in our bags and sketched something in the restaurant while we waited for our food. The owner loves John Wayne and now I wish I'd tried to sketch something about "The Duke" but just stayed with a pepper shaker (last week it was the salt) and the menu holder and a torn Sweet and Low packet. No, I'm not posting it yet. El Gabacho means Gringo and it's located at The Shoppes at Brownstone Village in Arlington. Good service and good food.
My wish is that we'd started this routine of "lunch sketching" years ago but we always have a lot to discuss and it's a challenge to quieten down and just draw for a few minutes. This whole process has inspired me to get out some of my sketch books and start making entries again. I love sketchbook journaling and blogging has taken up journaling time but there's great joy to me to look through old journals and remember the activities and on some entries I actually quoted short conversations and that is a hoot.
This entry was made in October, 2003, after I purchased Dory Kanter's Art Escapes and there is no telling how many people she has inspired with this book. I wanted some of my painting friends to join me going through this book and thought the best way was to entice them with food. I prepared a lunch with candles!! (probably haven't used them since), found some red backpacks on sale and bought each guest one, invited them over and said no talking, we're having journal school before lunch, and asked them to join me in going through the book, taking turns hosting with a sack lunch, and teaching some of the exercises. The group eventually came to be know as "The Red Bag Ladies", the school exercises idea flailed around for awhile as others didn't like playing "school" like I did, but it evolved into another level of commitment. Thanks, Dory, for a great book and I'm joining you for a Mexico trip one of these days.

The Red Bag Lady Journal Entry 9 x 12 Canson All-Media Journal

The photo below is a favorite way of journal keeping from January 2006 and it is not an original idea and it uses the comic book page look. A quick sketch about the day or week's activity, and color can be added later. You can mention the weather, music, a DVD watched or a New Year's Eve resolution or I see here I glued in information about a medical procedure. Yuk! And I made it through about February before tackling another project. I see I mentioned Robert Burridge "batons", sticks I'd gathered up at a painting retreat in east Texas in preparation for my first Burridge workshop. Since then I'm preparing for my 4th workshop with him in Cloudcroft, NM.

And speaking of DVD's, I watched "In Bruges" this week and would suggest you read about it in the Internet Movie Database in the trivia section if four letter words are a problem and it's rated R. It is a different kind of movie and they're calling it a dark comedy, a morality play filled with symbolism, churches and a religious painting, "The Last Judgment" by Hieronymus Bosch figures prominently.
The Bruges tourist office ( has produced a movie map and an “In Bruges” package at several hotels in the city.
After viewing the painting "The Last Judgment" my little sketchbook/journaling pages looks pretty benign. But I did learn a little more about Belgium and Bruges and Bosch.