Cheerful and Colorful Paintings

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

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Small Watercolor ~ Art Journal Pages

7 1/2" x 5 1/2" Watercolor
On pages 50 and 51, "Taking Risks with Watercolour", by Shirley Trevena, she gives a painting exercise to loosen up just before painting. It's a method I tried here by flowing in color, making marks, dots, squiggles, drag and tap the brush, encouraging blooms, using water soluble pencils on sandpaper, and Stabilo Tone with the black. I exploited and ran with the results by adding a woman figure. The Stabilo Tone set was purchased for some studies from the book. They are a combination of colored pencil, aquarelle color and wax crayon in one and I think their names have changed according
to this site.

Art Journal Pages: P. 47
A trip to the Kimbell Art Museum, Halloween with me turning off the lights and hiding in the kitchen, Bills, Babysitting job with art work, always it's "Can we do art?", Canvas by Canvas took down the Petroleum Club exhibit and hung the exhibit at Artists Showplace, then dinner celebration at a Japanese restaurant, Sushi Axiom, for the sold paintings before the play.

Art Journal Page 48
The play we attended was "Menopause, the Musical" and funny, funny. I saved our invitation to the Petroleum Club.

Art Journal Page 49:
Refrigerator clean and Quiller pack, and had a great 5 day workshop with Stephen Quiller so I condensed 5 days into the Quiller colorwheel.

Art Journal Page 50:
So I'm halfway through the Montval All Media Sketchbook. A small Shirley Trevena study, our brave Grace having her tonsils out and Grannie cooking her chicken noodle soup and pumpkin pies (which she didn't eat or like) but she got a new Hannah Montana robe and pj's. She quipped before the surgery after donning the cap, "I look like the lunchroom ladies".
The next few days were spend cooking, cooking, cooking... sweet potato and pecan pies, and biscuits and cornbread for the dressing, and fruit salad with the occasional sorting of paper in boxes in the living room. I found my car title at the bottom of one large stack and refiled it in the Important Paper tub. (So wonderful because I wasn't even looking for it and my goal is to have nothing lost in my house.)

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and can find where you put the leftovers.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Stephen Quiller Workshop ~ Day 5 ~ Artists' Showplace

This is a close up of a Stephen Quiller painting demo done at the Stephen Quiller Workshop on Friday.

Another close up.

A crooked view of the whole painting. He was always saying, build your values, values will make a painting, and watch your space between the trees (not equal) and paint what you know. On Friday, he showed the class some ways to make an acrylic wash under lay and then paint watercolors on top. He also used some qouache in the trees.
This is my Friday effort and I grabbed a piece of gessoed watercolor paper to use and think I was channeling Bob Burridge.
Some have asked for me to post Stephen's 12 color basic palette and if you'd go to his site Quiller Gallery you will find the list. It is listed with pigment numbers in his new book, WaterMedia Painting.
Canvas by Canvas has become an associate with Artists' Showplace and Friday evening they invited us to a wonderful party and reception - a welcome break after a busy week of painting at the workshop. Enjoy the slide show below. Stephen, we're glad we got to know you and we like your painting style. Paint what you know and you sure know trees and mountains.

Here is a great new site to listen to while you surf:
I looked for the greatest country song ever written and they've got it - George Jones and "He Stopped Loving Her Today". Check out Willie "Always on My Mind" and my ring tone "Fix You" by Cold Play, Or Elvis Presley "Are You Lonesome Tonight" - Oh, what great songs.

Look what I've found for my Christmas Stocking by Vivienne Tam - a HP Mini 1000.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Stephen Quiller Workshop ~ Day 3 and 4

This large sheet watercolor was painted by Stephen Quiller for the SWS meeting Wednesday night. There was standing room only to meet him and see his slides of paintings from all over the world but a lot of them were painted in his beloved Colorado. You find out very soon about his love of nature and painting the outdoors. When the snow is on the ground, then it's time for him to pick up his sketch pad and cross country ski. These works were painted flat so the students could view them in the overhead mirror but en plein air he paints vertically.

Above is a closeup of a small watercolor study of Stephen's done yesterday.One of my favorites. There is so much texture and interest with the splattering and negative painting.

Today we got into the use of acrylics and glazing. Above the first small study demo that Stephen did. Then it's our turn and I don't care to share my attempt. It's only a few steps back to your working area from the demo area and he makes it look super easy and you just know you can go back and do likewise. Well, forget that. No one paints landscapes like Stephen and I don't have the desire to paint landscapes but I wanted to study them with him. What a great opportunity with him in the area and I do breathe easier here than in his high mountain Colorado. He has made us all more color conscious and aware of landscapes many possibilities.
He began this lovely poppy study right before lunch by laying in all the orange shapes first and all I could see was candy corn and thinking when can we eat. Luscious acrylic painting. He has his own set of marks and distinctive brushwork and we practice in the air hoping to paint an aspen or poppy that looks even a little like his.
This is a watercolor of mine from yesterday. Four days of class with a late night meeting is beginning to show and I wasn't very happy with today's results.
A friend that follows my blog has asked if I'd post the 12 colors he uses for his travel palette and I will in a later post.
He's written 5 books, has his own line of watercolor and acrylics, color wheels, palettes, paper and instructional dvd's and he is a student of art history, of paints and their properties. The man knows a lot about landscape painting. He states that his 12 color palette can be taken anywhere and any color can be mixed from it and the theory of this placement goes back to the 1830's. A catalogue of his products can be ordered from his web site.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Stephen Quiller Workshop ~ Watercolor-Acrylic Workshop ~ Day 2

This is Stephen's Quiller's afternoon demo and I didn't realize I didn't have a better photo but will take one tomorrow. When we have a short break, there is always a line waiting to take a photo of the progress of the painting and I can do better on this one.
Today we discussed color temperature change, color families, and working with neutrals. He said that 75% of paintings we see will be in neutrals and there is very little pure hue in his paintings. He had 2 morning demos and one in the afternoon. In the afternoon demo he didn't use a photo reference but painted from a black and white sketch he'd drawn from his memory. He thinks he gets too photographic in his painting style if he uses a photo and he likes to paint what he feels. For the landscape and tree painting today, he painted negative shapes which is always beautiful but hard to grasp at times. I will need more practice to work like this.
During one of the demo's today his cell phone rang (his wife bought it for him) and he had an important call and had to take it because he doesn't know how to retrieve his voice mail yet and yes, we gave him a hard time about that.
Wednesday evening we will leave class, get a quick dinner, and head for the SWS meeting where he will provide the program and another demo. He did say it will be something new that he has not covered in class. I will keep you posted on the progam.
Below is a slide show from the last 2 days:

Monday, November 10, 2008

Stephen Quiller Workshop ~ Jaycee Park Center for the Arts

Stephen Quiller is a Colorado boy, full time painter, and he has views to paint outside his studio window in Creede that Texans spend their vacation dollars just to visit. Today was the first day of a 5 day workshop in Irving, Texas sponsored by The Southwestern Watercolor Society. The workshop is being held in a great facility at the Jaycee Park Center for the Arts. To see the books Stephen has written, go to Amazon and search his name. His latest, WaterMedia Painting with Stephen Quiller was released in September and it has so much information it's nearly scary - watermedia, watercolor, gouache, acrylic, casein, supplies, techniques, en plein air, composition and he is a color guru. One thing I really like about the book is he gives the color pigment numbers so if you don't have the exact brand, it is easy to check to see if you might have it under another name or company. I learned about pigment numbers when I took a Hilary Page workshop several years ago in Lubbock. Yes, that's his palette above. I couldn't resist taking a photo.
He gave us ideas on color mixing and handling paint that we can take and use in our own studios. I've felt some of his information was so technical in the books but after I heard his talk about it today with demos and explanations of intensity and value and how to set up your palette, I found it very enlightening. Today he was preparing a foundation for the rest of the week with short demos. He prefers to paint on 300 pound rough paper.

The two paintings above are Stephen's that he used today to show us how to use complements and the colors in these were red orange and phthalo blue. He didn't draw anything on the paper but began with a flat brush, water and the 2 colors. Amazing, isn't it.
Now below, what is even more amazing is my painting trying to do what Stephen did and I didn't even use carbon paper and trace. This was a huge step for me with just a 1 1/2" flat brush. However, this is the only study I did and most of the class did 2 or 3 while I was still figuring out filling my Quiller travel palette.
Our class is full with a waiting list and it is a testament to Stephen's reputation as a fine contemporary painter. The first 3 days will be devoted to watercolor and the last 2 days for acrylics. He says this about acrylics, "Acrylic is the most versatile medium we have today." He feels it's exciting to explore it as watermedia and try out experimental techniques. Sounds great to me.
Painting by Nancy, approximately 11"x15", watercolor landscape

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Wine Bottles Acrylic Painting ~ Celebration Times 5 ~ Fort Worth Community Arts Center

Celebration #1

Celebration #2

Celebration #3

Celebration #4

Celebration #5

These are 5 paintings I've completed for the Fort Worth Community Arts Show. On the right bottom is the prospectus but if you have Vista, Adobe pdf files will freeze up your computer when you try to open them. Entries are due November 15. The show is their annual 9" x 12" works on paper show and entries are not framed but sent in an envelope and are priced at $100 each. Original entries can be any size just so they will fit in a 9 x 12 envelope. The reception will be December 15 from 6-9 and the exhibition will be open December 12-27, 2008. The entry fee is $5.00 for each work and artists are allowed 5 entries. I have yet to sell anything when I've entered but a fellow Canvas by Canvas member, Barbara, has so I'll keep entering.
These 9x12 paintings are on gesso watercolor paper with some collage, stamping, and with a few touches of gold acrylic to give a little holiday bling. I decided to work on a series after the Robert Burridge workshop and I had a few rubber stamps with me and was inspired with what he had done with wine bottles. The collage is from some of the paper towels that had been stained with the acrylics in use. I began 3 of the pieces while in Corpus in October and this week I have added some extra touches and completed the last 2 paintings.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

My Brother Bill: Cigars and Hershey Bars ~ Watercolor

Bill Watercolor 11" x 15" NFS
This is my brother's birthday month and I thought I'd surprise him with a painting from his youth. It may be hard to believe the following story and that is why I've included the above photograph.

My brother Bill is BIG. He has big, thick legs. I have large thighs. It’s in our genes. Our mother had sturdy legs and I’ve deducted that all on her family tree may have been blessed with this trait because of a genetic mutation after years of working cotton in the Mississippi fields. She came to Texas at age 5 with her younger sister when their mother died and left 6 other siblings.

Well, my brother lives in Midland and plays golf, eats Hershey bars, and walks on those speed type exercise walkers and he’s still has those great sturdy legs and a healthy countenance. There was time though that he wasn’t so healthy. In fact, a lot of people in De Leon and Duster didn’t think he’d make it past 5 years old. De Leon is a small Texas town with about 2200 population and Duster is about 10 miles west with one little community rock store that they owned in the 1940’s. De Leon is about half way between Fort Worth and Abilene if that would help in narrowing down the Texas location. Now De Leon has one traffic light but not during these war years. The Duster rock store (groceries and gas) had one little detached insulated shed known as The Ice House where our Daddy would make late night trips to De Leon to buy huge blocks on ice and load onto the back of his pickup and cover with a tarp. On hot summer evenings Bill and I would be allowed ride on top of the tarp for the trip home arriving with very cool derrieres.

It was a given that with a name like Duster, there is not going to be found a very shady spot, just maybe a few mesquite trees. Our neighbor across the road had a large lilac bush and Daddy would plant the poisonous castor bean plant, a quick grower and it would give a lush look during the hot summers with little watering. This annual especially liked the ice house with the cool drips of water. Think a Clint Eastwood movie – deserted dusty town but instead of grizzled villains just dusty farm folk. The action would center on a domino table outside under the service roof in the summer or in the winter around a pot bellied wood stove with buckets of sand for spitting or putting out cigar butts. A convenient stop to catch up on the latest gossip, buy feed, dip, chew, smoke or spit in peace and maybe a domino game on the side before heading back to their sandy peanut fields. The farmers could yell, slap their legs, laugh and make noise, or “carry on” as my Mom would refer to it. My little brother learned to walk and talk in this environment and his love of Hershey bars began to be nourished. He is five years younger and it fell to my lot in life to “watch Billy” when Mother was helping run the store. It was always a mystery to me just why all the watching and how much trouble could a boy get in packing a silver gun in a leather holster. Mother devised a workable plan to deal with her two whiny kids surrounded with glass cases of candy and an ice box of cold drinks. We were allowed to spend 10 cents each day giving us one cold drink and one candy bar of our choice of kind, when and where. We could have it any time during the day but once spent we could not ask for another that day and we understood that come morning this process would repeat. One look at her square jawed countenance and you dare not whine for more. (Because she did not add that we had to brush after these treats we both have mouths full of silver fillings and/or some bad teeth genes.)

Like mother goslings imprinting their babies, these farmers began to imprint Bill and he threw down the Hershey bar and picked up their old cigar butts from the ash tub or one from the concrete floor. Bill couldn’t grasp the mental game of dominoes but chose to follow their habit of the smokes. To keep him from picking up old smelly, used stogies, Daddy decided he’d give him a fresh cigar, make him sick enough and then forever after, Bill would be free of the desire. Since Bill was too young to play with matches, Daddy would get the cigar ready for smoking but it seems cigars and my brother just made a good match. My Daddy said you couldn’t break a suck-egg dog but felt like this would work for a preschool habit and get him back on his chocolate bars. Bill didn’t get sick and loved the tobacco flavor over chocolate and preferred a good cigar to a Mr. Goodbar and a Coke. I don’t remember my Mother being against this decision. Daddy left most of his children’s discipline up to her but in this instance this was “his boy” and she was glad for a little break. Out there in the country no one cared that Boss and Marie were giving their baby boy cigars because they’d heard enough radio commercials from Lucky Strike, Chesterfields, and Wings to accept tobacco in all forms as a way of life. A family doctor delivered you and you were pretty much on your own afterwards unless something catastrophic happened. Even for ear aches my Mother would heat up some salt and fill an old sock with it and put it on our aching ear. For chest complains, she used a foul green salve she applied and heated with a small electric heater, covering our faces with a washrag when we yelled it was hot, then put the said washrag to cover the warmed salve. Some vanilla on a piece of cotton worked for a hurting tooth. So did no one in Duster know any better to let a scuffed cowboy boot wearing little boy smoke cigars? Did they have time to care? Did you interfere in your neighbors business? My father discovered by accident that not all people felt this way and would keep their silence. Daddy would have to “run to town” on business and always enjoyed taking his boy and “showing him off” and found once Bill had a good cigar he was no trouble, but preferred to sit and enjoy his morning smoke. On one trip he sat Bill on a curb all equipped with a cigar and left to do his errands. Bill would draw a crowd of overall wearing farmers, probably a larger crowd than a street preacher and Bill had no plans on running off. He wasn’t concerned about being left or abandoned just on keeping his cigar lit. A street preacher might have counseled this young country father but there wasn’t one in sight, but a good Baptist lady was waiting with Bill when my Daddy returned from his morning business. She was more enlightened than most in Duster and decided to share those insights, telling my Dad what was going to happen to his soul and to Bill’s health if this nasty habit continued. My Dad was respectful of elderly church ladies and would do anything for his boy so they retreated back to Duster, chastised and with a new resolve to restrict the cigars and introduce the Hershey bars. I don’t know if it was a gradual process or cold turkey. Later Bill went on to Lucky Strikes in high school and as we all became more educated about the tobacco leaf gave up smoking but he’s never given up Hershey bars, chocolate pies, fudge, or his wife, Nelda’s good chocolate cakes.

(These photographs are precious to us as that old rock store burned a short time later and about the time of its being rebuilt, our old unpainted wooden house next door had some electrical problems and burned all of our belongings except the ironing board and iron my mother had in the store. Included in the loss were our photographs and fortunately, some relatives have produced these. Our daddy partitioned off about 8 or 10 feet all along the back of the store and we lived there until we moved to town.)

Happy Birthday, Bill.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Floral Acrylic ~ Menopause - The Musical

6" x 8" Acrylic Floral
This is another of the Robert Burridge Workshop warm ups I did while in Corpus Christi. See previous posts in my blog about the workshop. With this painting you get an extra painting as on the backside is a very bad watercolor tree. The beauty of working on paper is the ability to gesso the turkey side and start over with acrylics. I still haven't learned "trees". Bob showed us how to paint "drip" trees and I predict a "drip" tree in my future.

Well, here we are "dressy casual" as one of the Canvas by Canvas members wrote in an email. We stopped our day early and all raced to meet at the Target at Eastchase at 4:45 PM for car pooling and an early dinner before the theater. (Our Barbara was the only one absent but was having a short Shreveport vacation.) We sent out emails to choose the restaurant and this time it was a new one for us - Sushi Axiom in Fort Worth.
No, no, this old country girl didn't go for the sushi but was looking for an enchilada and some refried beans to go with her rice but went with the Shrimp Tempura and green tea below.
We were placed in an adjoining room which was perfect for a group of boisterous women but it was only a prelude to joining lots and lots of women at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center for the play, Menopause the Musical.
MAS, our CBC travel guide, had seen it with a bridge buddy in the past week and said we had to go and now thanks, Maryann, for the recommendation. More laughs as 4 actresses took us through a lyrical celebration of women and the change. It is a stage, a passage into middle age that all women will face and this production is staged with fun parodies of 25 songs from the '60s, '70s, and '80s. Before the show one very brave man brought his companion on stage for an impromptu dance that brought cheers from the audience. One of my favorite songs was the 1964 hit, "My Guy" with the lyrics all about "My Thighs". It's been said that Jeanie Linders wrote the musical "after a bottle of wine and a hot flash." Thanks, Jeanie for a chance to laugh with our fellow sisters about our humanness and our passages and triumphs. If you can't attend, you'll get an idea about the show reading the reviews on their link page.
In the previous post, I mentioned that Canvas by Canvas will be joining Artists' Showplace as an associate. You are invited to a reception "The Associates", Friday, November 14th, 6PM to 9PM. Stop by and say hello and enjoy the paintings and live music. Nineteen individual artists form the ownership of the gallery and it provides an elite environment for local artists to show their work and take workshops from internationally known instructors. That is where I took from Nicholas Simmons and I've signed up for several more in 2009.
Now to pack for one other workshop in 2008, the Steven Quiller next week. Watch for the updates.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

More Floral Warm Ups - Artists' Showplace ~ Art Journal Pages

Floral Warm Up Corpus #4

Floral Warm Up Corpus #5
Floral Warm Up Corpus #6

These are 9.5" x 6.5" acrylic on gesso watercolor paper and were completed in the Robert Burridge Workshop in Corpus Christi. See previous posts about the workshop.
I paint with a collaborative group of Texas artists, Canvas by Canvas, and we have become associates with Artists' Showplace Art Gallery. On Tuesday some of us hung our wall space, went to lunch (absolutely) and then trekked to Sam Moon's for some quick shopping. I had to buy a bag that has studs and sequins and hope my friends will still let me hang out with them. We will have a reception at Artists' Showplace November 14 and more info will follow.
NS, CY, BGH, MAS at Artists' Showplace after the hanging.
In Vino Veritas I painted the top and second center row squares, C and H and after looking at my Robert Burridge painting, I think more wine bottles will be in store for me. I love these colors. Stop by Artists' Showplace and see this one in person. You won't be sorry.

Art Journal Pages:

Here I was practicing on my rock painting. Watch for a future post about rocks and cigars. I first learned how to paint rocks in a Lynn McLain workshop several years ago in New Mexico so this was a practice.
Oh, what fun to go to college reunions. I attended Tarleton State, Stephenville, TX, when it was a 2 year college in 1954-1956 and now they are a University and no longer Plowboys but Texans. There are plans for a larger facility for the alumni meetings but for this weekend we had our Golden Reunion dinner under a large tent, rented from Aquila and Priscilla.
The weather corporated beautifully. The Gates Are Always Open is above the door at the nearby Alumni Relations House and trust me, the staff and director, Paul Koonsman, make us all feel at home. The house has recently been renovated and it was built in 1915 by then Tarleton president, James F. Cox at a cost of $2,800. Notes were found written on the walls during the restoration. This fall the enrollment at Tarleton hit 9,642 but when I was there that was not the case but the ratio of boys to girls was extreme and great percentages for having a date. Tarleton was such a perfect place for kids from the surrounding little towns to study and have the privilege of meeting great friends and sharing the Tarleton experience. Dr. Stuart Chilton was the faculty advisor for the newspaper, J-Tac and the purple annual, The Grassburr, and he was instrumental in getting the staff from those publications during 1953-1958 home for a reunion. I was the editor of the Grassburr in 1955-1956 and it was fun riding on the flat bed truck in the parade on Saturday and remembering old, carefree times and hugging a lot of grey haired seniors.

In the middle of all the Tarleton festivities, I had to leave for Corpus for the "Loose and Juicy Floral" Robert Burridge workshop. I usually work in the Canson all media book with watercolor but decided to do a floral in acrylic on page 44 and I like the effect of using different media in my journal. Corpus has some great seafood restaurants and I like to cut and paste when I don't have a lot of time to record where and what I ate.
At Tarleton over the weekend someone asked me how I remembered we had Cheese Whiz and Ginger Ale in the dorm for a party and the reason is I took a photo and then wrote below it in my scrapbook.
I don't need a reminder to recall how we couldn't wear pants or jeans on campus and rolling up the pants legs under a long coat to get out of the dorm and the watchful eye of our dorm mother. But after these nostalgic weekends, my wish is that I'd recorded more as memory dulls and that is why we always welcome back old alumni, maybe they'll bring some fresh stories we haven't repeated several times.