Monday, November 30, 2009

Attending a Carol Marine workshop in Sedona

Today was another experience with the F word (frustration, in case you didn't read my last post). But it was good frustration as I know I will learn from it. Trying to paint a lime that looks round should be is really nothing but a green egg! But I couldn't do a round lime or an oval lemon. Normally I would have turped the panel out, but I decided to keep it as I will compare Friday's painting with it and see the progress I hope I have made. I am sure I will get better. That is why there is no photo attached to this post. Perhaps there will be one later in the week.

Part of the issue may be that I am reversing how I paint. Normally I get my darks in first and then move to lights. Carol does the reverse, painting what she calls the "vulnerable" areas (the ones more likely to be contaminated and become muddy) first. It will take some practice for me to get that down, but painting for 5 days, all day, will give me lots of practice! I spent this evening studying round forms like apples and oranges on her website. They are all done with straight lines. No curves at all.

A quote from the class handout that I liked " There are no rules in painting, only consequences". That is a good one for this person who likes to know the rules.

Carol did a fabulous demo of four apples (not 3 or rules). Simple, but wonderful. Hopefully she will post it on her blog in a day or so.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The F-word I really dislike


I don't use the other f-word at all because I think it is an ugly word, but this one is almost worse! I find the frustration that comes from painting difficult to handle as there is more emotion involved when I paint. In my business career, it is easy to say "next" and move on when something doesn't work out. I can let the lost sale or listing go and move on to the next one, but there is more of "me" involved in my artwork and the frustration is harder to handle. It is also easier for me to let it spread into other things and affect them too. In my business career I have always been able to put the frustration into a box and keep it there. I will have to learn to do the same thing here.

So what was the frustration this time? I entered two paintings in a show, and discovered after entering them that they were too big for the size restrictions. My own fault for not reading the entrance requirements more carefully. I knew the paintings were small enough, but didn't think about what the frames added to them in square inches. A lesson learned the hard way.

(Another frustration now that I have uploaded the photo....not a good image! I had to lift it from my website as the original is on my computer at home and I am in Arizona at the moment, about to attend a weeklong painting workshop. )

I will use the lesson to my benefit from now on, but was disappointed that these two paintings, painted expressly for the show, were not able to hang. The same art center has a juried show in the spring and once they put the prospectus online and I know the requirements, I will see about entering them then.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Entering a poster competition

About three weeks ago I found out that the 24th annual Bach Beethoven and Breckenridge poster competition had a deadline of November 15th. I had never really considered entering the contest as I have always painted fairly small. For me, 16x20 was big, and I knew the Breckenridge Music Festival liked a larger image.

I took a class through the local junior college in September and October and one of our assignments was to paint a large painting. I did a 24x30 landscape and found that I really like painting larger! I liked the way my painting turned out and it started me thinking about trying for this poster. What you see here is one of two paintings I entered. I know that as of Friday there were seven other entries, at least two of which are by a past winner, and there will probably be more before tomorrow's deadline.

Tuesday the 17th there is an event at Ski Hill framing where I think all the entries will be on display, and I don't know when the winner will be announced. As new an artist as I am, I doubt I have much of a chance, but you never know! You will certainly hear about it if one of my paintings is chosen!

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Conversation with my Artist Sister

I just spent about 45 minutes on the phone with my sister, both of us on our computers, looking at all the paintings in the Gilcrease museum's annual miniature show. For me, it is all about learning. Dell has always told me that I have a good eye, which I think means that I can tell good work from not so good work (unless it is on my easel!) However, I don't always know what makes it good, so these long conversations are, for me, a way to recognize why I like something, rather than just know that I like it. It helps me know what good composition looks like, why color combinations work, and how different styles and paint applications create the artist's own look. Spending time with other artists is the best way to improve your own work! Just don't wake up with a headache the next morning....

The Gilcrease show is a prestigious show, and has the likes of Matt Smith, Kevin McPherson and a lot of other well known wildlife and western artists. Yesterday was the last day for the show at the gallery, but they will continue online sales until November 15th. The above painting is the one that my sister, Adele Earnshaw, did for it. It was a true miniature, only 4x4, and has sold. She has a great way with cows!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Remodeling the gallery

Most of my time this week will be spent at the gallery. I am part of the Arts Alive co-op gallery in Breckenridge. It is run by volunteers who are the artists in the gallery. We decided it was time to add interior walls rather than the temporary pipe and mesh walls on loan by one of our members. Today we brought in and attached the walls made of metal studs that my husband put together in our garage ahead of time. We added sheetrock to one side of them, and after the building inspector takes a look at it tomorrow we can put sheetrock on the other side.

We will be closed for about a week and a half while we do the walls, replace the tile in the entry and do some general painting and sprucing up. All this for $1,000 and lots of volunteer labor! When you are a non profit corporation, as the gallery is, we do everything very inexpensively if we can.

I am currently working on an 18x24 painting that will be my submission for the Bach, Beethoven and Breckenridge poster for next year. It is due by November 15th, and if all goes well I will have at least two to submit. I still have some tweaking to do to this, the first one, but I will post it here later in the week. I will have trouble finding the time to paint this week!