Cheerful and Colorful Paintings

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

Monday, November 26, 2007

Night Before Christmas Coffee Cake ~ Junior League of Arlington ~ Holiday Magic

11 x 7 ½ unframed pen and ink and watercolor on 140 hot press Fabriano paper

I painted this small format watercolor today at the
Upstairs Gallery while painting with other members of Canvas by Canvas, the collaborative group I belong to. This weekend (November 30 – December 2, 2007) we will participate in the annual Holiday Magic Gift Market held by the Junior League of Arlington and special 25th-year celebration activities are planned. This group of women is committed to promoting voluntarism and developing the potential of women with educational opportunities. The October/Novermber 2007 issue of Living with Panache, an advertising supplement of the Star-Telegram, did a feature on the Holiday Magic Market and the publication of their first-ever cookbook. It will be sold only at this year’s event. Among the special goodies in the cookbook will be the recipe for this Night Before Christmas Coffee Cake. You mix it up the night before and when you wake Christmas morning, just place the pan in the oven and bake and enjoy with a cup of coffee while gift giving.
To read the rest of the post and see the recipe go to Artist Food Network.
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Friday, November 23, 2007

Bungalow Row ~ Watercolor Painting

15 x 22 Workshop Painting Watercolor on 140# Arches
This was done in a workshop last year with a large brush with no image to reference. I was disappointed that I hadn't produced a "passable painting" during the time and this was the best effort and I've given up with the instructor's suggestions. I decided to post it after painting in watercolor again. I'm like a fickle lover who loves the one they are with. When I've been taking a watercolor class I'm all about watercolor and so it goes for acrylic or a sketching/journaling class.
If you happen to be in a watercolor mode this week and would like some inspiration, I've discovered Jim Chapman's site, Watercolor Sketch.
He has a video under Art Instruction and I now want to set up my "cowboy" hat and a bottle of wine and try painting it. He has some good writing articles on his Art Columns. Maybe I'll add a wine glass to try my ellipses after Myrna's drawing challenge this week. I just copied my ellipses from Keys to Drawing by Dodson and didn't have or take the time to do a set up. (See Amazon link on the side).
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I got to spend some time with family and brushed up my rusty cooking skills with dressing, hot rolls, and pecan pies. The Texas weather has been varied with 80's one day and then our first cold front came in with sleet and snow flurries and it will probably hit 70 again before the weekend. I'm put painting on hold while I try to organize some files of painting ideas and paintings done. I just took a photo of the files littering my kitchen table and floor but I don't want to share that sad site until I get it straight. The painting hold won't be long now that watercolor is my new love for the week.

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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Arne Westerman Workshop ~ Day 5 ~ SWS

$125 Workshop Painting
Karen and CY 15 x 22 at Point Bolivar

Graduation Day

7 x 11 Color Sketch

7 x 11 Color Sketch Port Bolivar Girls
The notes were very brief on day 5 of the Arne Westerman Workshop by the Southwestern Watercolor Society and the day ended much too soon. Our graduation ended with Arne giving us our Artistic License and our group was definitely better Friday and on Monday.
In the morning, some developed more thumbnails and color sketches for a larger painting and some worked on paintings already started. I chose to develop 2 new ideas that are shown here. Arne suggested I use the same color of bathing suit on the Port Bolivar Girls and I may change or not. On my large painting of Karen and CY, I showed him the photo and said "I don't do teeth" and presented him a tracing of Karen with shortened face and no teeth. That was not going to be o.k. with him. Arne said "We do teeth"! So this is Nancy's painting with Arne teeth plus other touches and accents along the way.
The group ate lunch together at the Panda Express and continued with photos (some discretely of the customers) and art talk. We returned to class to paint and see a few more slides and get our license, make our goodbyes. This was a very good congenial class.
Some last Arne pointers:
1. Everything can't be interesting. Kill Something to save your painting.
2. Don't leave holes in your painting. (I tend to leave little spaces of white sparkles in the painting and I like them.)
3. Don't make a painting all headlines.
4. Remember to do thumbnails and color sketches before a painting.
Arne is very talented, witty and loves people and if you can take his watercolor workshop, run and sign up now. He's in his early 80's and has gained lots of "people wisdom" and painting knowledge along the way. He possesses great teaching and communication skills. He could "kill" the whistle he has hanging around his neck - his call for attention from too talkative students but then it was also a call, come look at this student's work and watch this.
If you're interested in people painting, watch people, listen to their conversations, take photos, and sketch them when you can.
He will have a gallery show in Rockport Texas soon and I will try and get more information and post the details.
Thanks, Arne, for a delightful, well-spent week. On the way home, I stopped at La Madelines for spinach salad and tomato basil soup to complete a perfect week. Today, Saturday, my art "stuff" is still not put away and I've really taken it easy with a good afternoon nap in my easy chair. Then it's back to reality with a week's mail and plans for a Thanksgiving dinner. But to all of my friends in the class, I loved painting with you and look forward to our next workshop together. Arne, you're welcome in Texas anytime and we'll be your Texas "groupies" working on our next degree.
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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Arne Westerman Workshop ~ Day 3 and 4 ~ SWS

Thursday’s report of the Arne Westerman SWS workshop – some thoughts and slide show. See the slide show below and mouse over for the names.
From Arne on Wednesday:
1. A “clean palette” is a sign of an empty mind. (You can view his palette in yesterday’s slide show.)
2. A few color mixtures we tried: English Red or Indian Red makes a good fleshy tone. Add a touch of Cerulean for variation and to mute the red. Cerulean Blue and Cad. Red light makes a great gray. Permanent Rose and Cad. Yellow light or New Gamboge makes a good flesh tone. He loves lilac. Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine Blue makes a cool gray. Cad. Red light and Thalo Blue makes a good black. He does not use a tube black but mixes other colors for black. Manganese Blue and Permanent Rose makes a nice mixture or near each other to mix some. Indian Red and Thalo Blue makes a dark. Cad. Red light and any blue will give a brown.
His color choices are made during the color sketch. Leave enough room on the border edges to make some color trials.
3. Always use the largest brush.
4. He showed us how to increase the size of the color sketch by drawing diagonal lines on the sketch and one-half sheet of watercolor paper. One of the slides showed the process. This resulted in pencil drawings on the color sketch and these were small paintings in themselves and I would use tracing paper instead or use a copy machine to blow up the image or digitize the photo.
5. In the afternoon, the class drew and painted from a live model with beautiful red hair. Some of the slides show some paintings and studies done from this model.
6. Wednesday evening, Arne gave the SWS program by showing and discussing his work with a slide presentation with a few jokes thrown in.
Some thoughts from Thursday:
1. We should be better on Friday than we were on Monday. (Let’s hope so.)
2. A painting is a work in progress. We saw more slides on what makes a good painting and we did quick thumbnail sketches of the painting structure such as was the painting made of rectangles, pyramid, etc. He stressed again about not having two things equal but let one dominate and be the center of interest.
3. He talked and showed us how to take the model from the room where we are and put her at home by adding interesting vertical and horizontal elements and accents.
4. When adding some touches to final facial features on an under painting, he might moisten the paper before adding the eyes or other features.
5. In the afternoon, the participants painted on their big project and Arne walked around to each one to assist with any problems. This is a rare teacher that gives the students as much private consultation as he does and with a very good attitude. At the end of the day, there was a group critique using the overhead mirror so we learned from each other’s mistakes and successes. He thinks we’re doing great and I hope you like our slide show. Not all the class members have work included.
6. The assignment for Friday: Bring in another photo and be prepared to start on a new thumbnail and color sketch in preparation for a new painting.
7. I’m already thinking about what all I have to do this weekend and asking myself if I can squeeze in any time to paint more figurative watercolors so I won’t forget some of the wonderful points made this week. Let’s see mail, bills, Thanksgiving cooking – I’ll have to make some time.


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Arne Westerman Workshop ~ Slide Show Wed-Thurs ~ SWS

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Arne Westerman Workshop ~ Day 2 ~ SWS

Tuesday at the Arne Westerman Figurative Workshop Slide Show Below

1. Tuesday morning we were treated to slides of various paintings with detailed discussions on what makes a painting work, with emphasis on balance, center of interest, separation of elements, color , shapes, texture, light and movement. It is all about placement and it’s up to the artist to make the best use of the placement of the figure or center of interest, and to look at paintings with a discerning eye about structure and if the painting works or not. One point he made that needs to be repeated “Just because the artist doesn’t like the painting, the collector may want that particular work because of style or subject matter.” After this day, we should all know HOW to make a good painting.

2.We can’t be Norman Rockwell because he died. You paint with your own feelings and emotion and that makes it you. No one can paint like you.

3. Plain is good for backgrounds.

4. He uses masking tape to secure the edges on 140 Hot Press Fabriano paper to give us a demo color sketch study and a painting. He likes Fabriano because it was easy to lift and change a section. For his painting demo, he used a figure ironing a piece of clothing drawn from a model. He liked the model because of she was “zoftig” and no one knew what he was talking about. He asks “Are there no Jews in her?” It seems it’s a good Jewish term for a healthy, plump woman. Some of the participants were more concerned about what the ironing board and iron were?

5. When asked about using fresh paint, his response “You don’t have to worry about anything” and in other words, just paint, get something down. And he kept reminding us, we can do anything we want. The artist is in control and can move and change anything they want.

6. Watch out for mid tones against mid tones as it doesn’t say much.

7. There was much discussion on “killing this figure” and that referred to making one figure less dominant and let one be the center of interest. “Kill one to make one live” was frequently heard during our critique.

It has been good day learning about what makes a good painting. He was very gracious to visit each table while we were working on our color sketch, often sitting down with a brush and showing us what he’d do. He’d asked previously if anyone minded if he paints on any of our work. There was a lot of good natured repartee during this time of color sketches and the following critique. Arne is a treasure, full of information and knows how to fix our mess ups. His book was one of the first painting books I purchased and I can recommend it for its useful information. You can read about it from the Amazon widget on the side of my blog or Arne has the books for sale on his web site. The slide show will be short as we were rushed after the critique to clear the room for a meeting. More slides on Thursday. Wednesday morning we’ll learn how to transfer our thumbnails or color sketch and in the afternoon we’ll have a model to draw and paint from. Wednesday evening Arne will give the program for SWS showing the slides of his work.

Mouse over to see slide captions.

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(All of the captions where I used Name..Thumbnail...most should have been Name..Color Sketch will change later)

Arne Westerman Workshop ~ Day 2 ~ SWS ~ Slideshow

Monday, November 12, 2007

Arne Westerman Workshop ~ Day 1 ~ SWS


His famous "L's"
Our five day Southwestern Watercolor Society workshop with instructor Arne Westerman began today. I will post a few highlights minus some of the funny jokes. He began painting after a successful career in advertising at about age 50.
1. He asked us to do things "his way" this week and that included careful planning of our design before painting.
2. We brought our own reference material and took that photo and did a 4 x 5 value and composition thumbnail. Each student's work is critiqued in a group situation so all benefited from the instruction.
3. He used the "L" shapes, cut up mats, to crop and edit these thumbnails and photos still looking for the best design.
4. He was not happy that so many of us brought small 4 x 6 photos to work from.
He loved it when someone had an 8 x 10 to work from. He had large photos to share for any that didn't bring a project to paint on.
5. There is no such thing as equality in a painting. Something has to be dominant and the center of interest.
6. Forget accuracy and go for the artistic statement.
7. Try to be original in thinking and working and do not copy the photograph but make it your own. Move things around. Don't reproduce what you see but use what you need.
8. He promises to show us "how not to worry about our backgrounds".
9. Tuesday we will work on our 7 x 11 color study from our thumbnail.
10. First thing in the morning we'll see his slides and more discussion about what makes a good painting.
We are painting in Irving in a large room at the Jaycee Park, Center for the Arts, one of the BEST places to take a workshop. We have a table to ourselves, kitchen facilities, with large sliding glass doors to the outside where there is a park and a small pond with ducks. The weather was sunny and warm. It was a great day. At many workshops, participants have stayed up late the night before getting ready, nervous about the instructor, and start out wondering if will they get a "good" spot or know anyone, travel long distances and in sometimes horrible, slow moving traffic but despite all of these obstacles you have a great time trying out new techniques and we'll be ready for Arne's instructions on how to complete our color studies for our masterpiece.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Drawing Challenge ~ Journal Entry ~ Art Blog

6 x 8 Aquabee Sketchbook using black and brown ElegantWriter pens

O.K. I give. I had to stop what I was doing yesterday (packing my art supplies for the Arne Westerman workshop) and try out Myrna's Friday challenge. Now I see she has a "shape" painting posted and I want to do that. I don't have any Tygerag and don't even know what it is. Is it like Yupo? She states she has to let it dry flat so the paint doesn't run all over...sounds a little like Yupo. I want to try more drawings like this using the water pen to dissolve the ink. I did have to come in with some White-out (it was handy) along the mouth area when I developed a distinct whisker look. I kept wanting to paint instead of draw so I need to work on that.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Ochre Tint Floral ~ Plum Vase ~ Myrna ~ Da Vinci ~ Sovek

9 x 12
Acrylic on Canvas Board

I found this painting that I had started some time ago and thought I'd change a few marks in the foreground and now after several hours it doesn't look anything like the original.

I received my reward from Myrna for sending her 5 blog subscribers – a 5 x 7 drawing beautifully matted to an 11 x 14 size. Thanks, Myrna. I love my drawing.

While looking through some art magazines, I found an October, 2005, Artist Sketchbook with an article, The Key to the City about an artist I really liked – Charles Sovek. I went to his web site, and sadly discovered he had passed away in June. I ordered three of his used books from Amazon and have written his family about the purchase of others on his site. I got a response from Peggy Sovek saying the web site would be running again November 8, 2007. There are lots of his paintings on his site to enjoy.

Myrna posted about a new artist she found, Sarkis Antikajian, and while reading about him and his work, I found that Charles Sovek is a contemporary artist that had inspired him with his small format paintings so guess it’s a small world. I’ll have to write Sarkis and ask if he’s ever taken a workshop with him. That was my intention when I went to Mr. Sovek’s web page is to find out if, when and where about his workshops. I looked at his paintings and then tried to paint a small format painting, Vail Mud Season but I feel I failed miserably. I wanted to ask him a question about acrylics and illustration board. In the article it stated he painted acrylics on illustration board and then the next question I’d have would be about the weight and did he prepare the surface with gesso or begin painting directly. I would recommend you visit Mr. Sovek’s site to view hundreds of paintings and see the dozens of painting lessons there. He made it so convenient to have posted all of his magazine articles on his site and you can download the articles and painting lessons. Thank you, Mr. Sovek. I would have liked to watch you paint and take a workshop from you.

Today I received an email telling me about Da Vinci's Last Supper going online and high tech with a high resolution image of 16-billion-pixels. Start here with the Kim Komando show and go here

Technorati has posted blogs that are discussing this.

And read more on Wikipedia about Da Vinci.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Vail Mud Season ~ 9 x 12 Works on Paper Show ~ FWCAC

8 x 10 Acrylic on Illustration Board
On an April trip to Breckenridge, Co. with a side trip to Vail found little activity. It seems that April 23 was the first day of mud season when for a few weeks things close down for a face lift with store repair and carpets cleaned. The melting snow and higher rivers signals it's time to put away the skis and convert the inventory to bikes. The streets were easy to navigate and some street maintenance was in progress with a few stray visitors enjoying the cool, cloudy day. Most of the retail stores and restaurants were closed. I took this photo of this sparse scene and painted this popcorn stand without people to depict this time of year.
Vail Mud Season will be entered into the Fort Worth Community Arts Center's 9 x 12 Works on Paper Show and pieces will be due November 15. The work can be any size must it must fit into a 9" x 12" size envelope, unmatted and unframed and be priced at $100. Each artist is limited to 5 entries at $5.00 an entry. I plan to work on 4 more. The Reception and opening is December 8 and the show runs until December 29.

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Friday, November 2, 2007

Yellow Flower, Yellow Vase ~ Acrylic on Canvas ~ Nancy Standlee Art Blogs ~ N

16" x 20" acrylic, unframed on stretched 5/8" deep canvas, secured at the sides with staples
This was painted last winter during a class with Vern Johnson at the Upstairs Gallery and tonight he is having an opening reception of his Midland works at the Gallery. Vern teaches drawing and painting classes there. I see the Gallery has started a blog.
I found my Vern flower painting and decided to post it as I haven't painted anything new this week. On Monday I painted at the Gallery in gouache and those two paintings need some more attention. My week has been spent getting a little corner of my house organized. I've attended so many workshops the past 6 weeks and had so much fun this house stuff can really be boring. I still like to paint in my kitchen to be near the music and the snacks because the one room upstairs does not have a water supply. Basically I'm moved a bunch of kitchen stuff to the living room and now need to straighten the living room. My children have been warned about the need of a big dumpster when it's time to have the estate sale but in the mean time, my daughter mentioned a "fire hazard". I discourage all visitors and prefer meeting them in the front yard until I get some of this under control. You know what I really want to be doing today? I'm scheduled for an Arne Westerman workshop in a few weeks and I want to sit down with his book and do his color exercises. I've taken from him in Fort Worth several years ago and I think I'm ready to absorb some more from this wonderful painter.

SWS Workshops

Arne Westerman Workshop, November 12 - 16, 9:30-3:30
Jaycee Park, Irving
Demo: Wednesday, November 14, 7 - 9 PM
Fretz Recreation Center, Dallas

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