Cheerful and Colorful Paintings

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

Friday, October 31, 2008

Floral Warm-Up Series ~ Petroleum Club ~ Kimbell

#2 Sold

9"x6" Floral Warm-ups Acrylic on Gesso Paper, created in the Robert Burridge Workshop in Corpus Christi

Bob is a favorite workshop instructor and he has the students do loose, painterly warm-ups each day before painting in a small format (5x7, 6x9). See the two previous blog posts about this floral workshop. You can read on his October 08 Newsletter, ArtsyFartsy News how he prepares his watercolor paper.
How to know when a painting is finished or when to stop? Bob says "Keep painting until it looks good." (But it usually takes several painting sessions - maybe 6 to reach that place.) He recommends you begin abstract and very loose with lots of water and work on all of them at the same time.
On Wednesday night, October 29th, Canvas by Canvas had a reception at the Petroleum Club in Fort Worth. It was a great time to dress up and socialize on the 40th floor and it was my 73rd birthday and fortunately no one had a cake with that many candles.
The Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth has presented The Impressionists, June 29 - Nov. 2 and yesterday it was the most crowded I've ever seen, from baby strollers to seniors on oxygen in wheelchairs. There was an excitement and electricity in the air on this beautiful fall day and it was great to see young mothers bending over to explain a painting to their young children. A great follow up would be to view the 2 disc dvd BBC miniseries, "The Impressionists", that dramatizes the lives of the French Impressionists who boldly created a new style of painting. I ordered it from Netflix and it told the stories of Monet, Renoir, Degas, Cezanne, and Manet. We owe these visionaries for reinventing painting from browns to color, from smooth looking canvases to canvases with visible brushstrokes, from historical and myth themes to painting en plein air showing life as it was being lived. They could not separate their life from their art.
When I viewed the 5 paintings about "Stacks of Wheat", by Monet (1890-1891) I was reminded about Bob's charge to us to paint in a series. Monet did many paintings of one subject. Bob says "The more I practice the luckier I get." Now paint your series of "stacks of wheat", or pears, or florals. Paint small warmups in a series. This is one of the many lessons I've learned from the Burridge workshops.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Floral Workshop ~ Burridge ~ Corpus Christi

Floral Acrylic on 20" x 16" gallery wrapped canvas by Nancy
painted in the Robert Burridge Floral Workshop in Corpus Christi (with some collage elements)

I've been in "Bob Land" for the past 5 days in an acrylic painting workshop in Corpus. This was my fifth 5 day workshop with Bob and I'm signed up for my sixth in Dallas in 2009. He is booked for the next 3 years and lucky you if you're signed up and if you aren't, get on the waiting list today. His workshops are all about loosening up and having fun. On the first day he reassures each student it will be a safe place to paint like you've always wanted to paint and take risks. He is BIG on risk taking. He tells us it's all been done before but not by you. It's your life and experiences and paint from that. Bob likes to paint flat and use lots of water on 140 lb. paper covered with gesso. He also paints on canvas but with his workshop travels the paper is easier to transport. Bob's experience in the design field has led to redesigning his brushes with wider, longer handles and we'll hear more about this later.
Warm-ups on smaller sizes (5" x 7" or 6" x 9") start each morning and helps with the loosening up process. Light, color, composition, and varnish are all discussed in details and handouts. Lots of demos (short and long) help us to learn by watching him paint. He's invented his own color wheel using the Holbein Acryla colors he enjoys using. He stresses his way is not the only way but one way. He is a high energy person and his workshops reflect that and one student voiced our opinion when she said "We're slow but we're willing" and that's the necessary ingredient for the students - be willing to show up and take risks and have a good attitude. He'll teach you all you can absorb and this is the reason for my fifth as I can't absorb and process all the information at once, even with lots of note taking and photos. It's not about him but about him teaching and helping us. Take your value scale and put grumpy on one end and hyper happy on the other and he's at the H H end. In Corpus the students produced some great work because we were constantly reminded to take risks, stop and breathe, and have fun and we were constantly inspired by his love of painting and enthusiasm. When he's not teaching workshops he paints in his country barn studio along the beaches of San Luis Obispo County. If you can't get to a workshop his web site offers a lot of information with pdf files to open and he has a monthly newsletter you would enjoy. Go to and click on the purple ArtsyFartsy logo and register.

Below is a slide show of some of the images from the workshop.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Robert Burridge Workshop ~ Corpus Christi

This lovely 18" x 14" acrylic still life was painted by Robert Burridge and it came home with me from the Robert Burridge Floral workshop in Corpus Christi with many thanks to my patron of the arts. On the next blog post I'll include more details and slides from the 5 day workshop at the Art Center. It was a beautiful site for a workshop on the 2nd floor (with an elevator) and a spectacular view of the Corpus Christi marina. Lunch was delicious and convenient on the first floor at Jezebelle's. Artists had rented studio space in the area of the first floor so we were surrounded with art, great views, and new friends. I am a true Burridge fan as this was my 5th workshop with him and I have the 6th scheduled in Dallas in 2009.
I was so excited about getting to leave with this painting on Friday I failed to ask the title so here is Bob and Nancy and the "painting". The floral examples will be posted later this week.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Farm Fresh ~ Lake House ~ Art Journal Pages

At CBC's Lake House retreat we made a short side trip to take photos at a wonderful farm and we had all cameras snapping. I plan to paint roosters and chickens soon, maybe a few goats. I'll leave the rabbits to other members. We saw horses, pigs, puppies, and one day old baby chickens. The mother hen was trying to teach them to scratch for food but they were not very good listeners, running around and glad to be alive. Each member contributed a sketch for the journal. I don't think my rooster below could actually walk as I placed his legs a little off center.

I don't really ride bikes (used to) but this is a crazy card Karen gave me and on the other page we all had to take a photograph of the beautiful tulip gift bag. Karen and CC provided a delightful skit we dubbed "Beauty Shop Gossip" at the Lake House Theatre. They expounded on each member with a little truth and lots of exhaggeration - for one they said I was 72 going on 12 and my heavy backpacks have caused all the hangers to fall off in the bathroom stalls!

We started a wine bottle painting and I finished "C" and "H" and failed to take a photo, guess I was thinking about farm animals and gift bags but below you'll get an idea of what the painting might look like. It's not on our web site yet. Other entertainment included watching painting DVD's by Janet Rogers, Shirley Trevena, and Charles Reid. Great news by telephone....we've sold a!! Wonderful news to add to a perfect painting retreat.

Art Journal Materials:
I mentioned in a previous post about giving a short art journaling class to the CBC members at our Lake House retreat last weekend. A Google search will turn up lots of information on keeping a journal but I subscribe to Illustrated Watercolor Journaling and they have an
updated link page on materials and supplies. They have a good dvd on art journaling as well.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Birthday Paintings ~ Lake House ~ Art Journal Pages

In my previous post, I mentioned that CBC members had a paint out near Gun Barrel City and while there we celebrated fall birthdays. This is one of my paintings I received from Maryann and she did a great job on my portrait. The painting is an acrylic 8"x10" and will be hung with all of the other birthday paintings I've received.

Karen is known for her "Poms" and you are allowed to put a "bug" in someone's ear is they've painted something you really like and I really like Karen's Poms. This is my birthday gift from her and since we are finishing up this round of exchanges some of us lucky ones received two paintings. The painting is an acrylic 8" x 10". We tried to be consistent in the sizes.

More about the remembrance gifts - these were not given to all at one time. In no particular order someone would call out, I have a before dinner gift or I have a gift to go with your coffee and the surprises would be passed out, sometimes wrapped, sometimes not. I added my CBC NS charm alphabet to my cell phone today. Thanks Margie. It's big and bold hanging from my cell and I'll be interested to know where others have found a place to hang it besides around their neck. CC gave us a group photo in a very tiny frame to put in a secret place. I quickly sketched in the notebook that I've collaged some images on. It's not to scale but it's just a reminder that this morning I gave the group a lesson on journaling. The notebook contains some journaling notes and at Connie's request I gave a short lesson on art journaling on Friday. All members attended (with 2 sitting in an adjoining room and listening) and I told them I wasn't telling them anything they didn't already know but I would "jump start" and inspire their creativity to get them started. Originally I thought I'd be finished in about 10 min. but we were still talking journaling an hour later and several had great journal entries before we left on Sunday.

This journal page gives the lunch and dinner menu items. The artichoke was on the package of a Hot Parmesan and Artichoke Dip that was delicious. We'd talked about "appropriated" images in the journaling lessons and I appropriated this artichoke for a journal entry. We always eat well at these gatherings and I prepared Friday's lunch: Chicken Salad, Fruit Salad on Spinach Leaves with Poppy Seed Dressing, Hot Cinnamon Rolls, and Hot Apple Dumplings. I made the cinnamon rolls at home and just heated them up that morning and we had enough for Saturday breakfast. You are on your own for breakfast and each member brings their own fare. I'm the one in charge of the coffee pot the night before to fill it up and get ready so the first one up, turns it on. We're thinking about having 2 meals the next time - a heavy brunch and a dinner meal, and maybe some appetizers and wine in there somewhere and always some chocolate. We paint a lot, eat, tell stories, laugh and paint. One member who shall remain nameless suggested "Why don't we live here and go home on weekends?" Good question.. Later I'll make a slide show of the house and some of the photos and you'll understand why we like being there.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Birthday Parties ~ Lake House Art Retreat ~ Art Journal Pages

8 x 10 Acrylic Painting for CC's Birthday at the Lake House What a great painting retreat at the Lake House we rented on Cedar Creek Lake in Gun Barrel City Thursday to Sunday and all 9 members were present and agreed this one was the best yet - perfect days and perfect weather. (We have discovered it's not really in Gun Barrel City but Payne Springs). We painted on personal and CBC projects and did a lot of celebrating as we had 5 fall birthdays. It took awhile to unload and get set up on Thursday but after lunch on the patio, we were busy painting with questions such as "When does the birthday party start?". About three years ago we began a painting rotation so that by the end of the rotation each member would have one painting from each member and we'd celebrate twice a year - in the spring and fall. The above painting is the one I painted for member Cindy C. Then we began to bring smaller little gifts for each member when we went on a Lake House trip. The art journal pages are filled with a record of these gifts that range from rice krispie treats, pens, pencils, wash pens, brushes, brush holders, soap, chocolate and more chocolate, jewelry bags, cross necklaces, mini highlighters, Sharpies, key holders, bookmarks, Micron pens, mini framed photo, covered boxes, cell phone charms, tote bags, acrylic note pads, photo book, mini tool sets, nutmeg and mini grater - and some of these gifts were handmade. My personal gifts were paintings from MAS and KSF, painting smock, and a leather diary. It was like Christmas Eve and Christmas morning.

CY and I went to Little Rock for an opening of two of our CBC paintings, we hung the Petroleum Club Show, then time for a movie. You will have to be the judge on the movie.
Family birthdays and then days and days of packing and cooking for the Lake House.

Some Lake House Gifts...

Monday, October 6, 2008

Janet Rogers Workshop ~ Flowers Watercolor ~ Art Journal Pages

This 21" x 13" watercolor floral was done in the Janet Rogers workshop and I tried out some of her colors and techniques. See the previous post for more information about the workshop. She has 2 excellent dvd's available from Cheap Joe's and you can see a YouTube preview for the portrait here, and for the floral here. This floral dvd is "so Janet" when you hear her say "That's boring. No, I don't like that" and it gives us new courage to quickly change our minds. Janet and her husband Steve are planning a painting trip to Italy and everyone in the class was interested in hearing about this fabulous trip. In my Art Journal this week (really September 22-24) you will see the "ABC project" designed by Karen Foster and Cindy Campbell, and still so new we don't have a sneak peek yet on the Canvas by Canvas web site. But note that we have about 14 new paintings at the Petroleum Club in Fort Worth. Click on the Paintings tab to read about each one. I've ordered books on Vista and I've enrolled in some of HP's free classes online. These are great classes, usually about 4 lessons long and if you don't have time to complete all of them, save the lessons on your hard drive, and review them later. There is a teacher and message board for students to meet and ask questions.
There is always some food involved in my journal and after eating again at
Fish City Grill Arlington and trying a side dish of Cajun Red Beans and Rice I found a package of the small red beans at Albertsons, got out the crock pot and found my directions and experimented. The chef at Fish City had given me a few of the dried beans to carry in my pocket while I searched the grocery stores. My beans were not as tasty but I will cook on top of the stove next time and try some of their suggestions. I substituted some smoked Polish Kielbasa sausage for the Andouille sausage and the purists may cringe. I usually just stick with pinto beans (our Texas red beans) but these small red beans looked like a smaller cousin. Even Wikipedia has an entry for this Louisiana dish and it makes so much it is a great dish to share.