Friday, June 29, 2018

Art Student League Work and Life in NYC

So it really happened, bought the proverbial "one way ticket" to the big apple...

Now living in a tiny little walk up above tourist haven...

See?  Here is the bus to prove it!

Here is my tiny studio (aka coffee table) at my home for the month...

it's about 6 inches from my bed, 50 inches from my office and a whooping 90 inches from the dining room. (I think you get the point...it is tiny)

 Doing all this so I can take classes here...

Saturday, June 16, 2018

On the Easel and Heading to NYC

Hello it’s been a long time!  This teaching parenting thing is always such a time sucker...but in a good way!

Here is what has been on the easel these last few days...

Over My Head
Watercolor on Arches

Shimmering River
Watercolor on Arches

Oh and of course the latest color chart...(as part of my 2018 studio challenge goal to clarify my palette)

But now the next big adventure this summer is my extended field trip to ...

 the big apple to take classes at...
 the Art Student League!  

This is how excited I am! (And how I looked several decades ago....)

will not wait 6 months to post about this!!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

The Corporate Life

Hello!  Long time since I posted.  But now with my final grades for the university turned in, I have a chance to catch up, breathe and enjoy art making again.  (That is in between all the holiday festivities).

Was asked to step in last minute to come up with a team building art activity for a corporate retreat.  So after running all over town to find cheap big canvases (thank you Michael's!)

This is what I came up with!

I gridded two 36x48" canvases and color matched acrylic paint to their office decor and logo palette...

Got them going with some different application techniques (see the straw in the top half)

Then things really starting rocking as they loosened up 

The turkey baster in the bottom was used quite a bit!

Many hands working together and having fun

Not shy about the paint at all by this point!

At this point, my fellow artists in nearby studios thought I had set up a bar for these guys, they were having so much fun!  

Really, my colleagues in the building thought this was a holiday office party not a corporate retreat, 
these executive leaders were having such a great time!

And now they have a great memento to hang in their office!

Once again, loving my connections that art makes!

Happy Holidays from my studio to yours!


Monday, September 4, 2017

Teaching In A Great New Place...

So thrilled I have been asked to teach at such a great place!  

The Art League School in Alexandria Virginia!

Called the “best place to take art classes in the DC area"

Friday, August 25, 2017

2017 Goal Met!

If you look at my little bio blurb (and don’t worry if you didn’t-I am just thrilled you are here!), you will see I give myself a challenge every year dealing with some technical/aesthetic issue.

A couple of years ago with was compete vs. nuture for an artist.

This year it is tone vs. color, which is more important?

file image-not me ;)


(I know, I need to stop with the confrontational stuff, don’t I?)  Anyway I think I found the answer to this year’s question is about the same as that other one from a few years back....

not me either, just another ...file image


Neither is more important!
can’t (or perhaps in my case) don’t want to, have one without the other.  
They both need each other!

Even if I only work in color or only black and white. I have to 

1. consider the value scale and its ability to create illusionary space

2.  then and only then consider the emotional impact color (or lack thereof) will have on both the artist and the viewer.

Put another way (because I love my analogies)...

file image
It’s a dead man’s party
 (with apologizes to Oingo Bingo)

Tone (value, great scale-however you call it) is like the skeleton of the work, color is the muscle and skin, then the artist’s concept is the clothing and jewelry.

Atlas Exposed  file image

 In conversation, most of us do not think of the skeleton of the person when we meet and chat with them. Usually we notice the way they are dressed and what they have to say (aka concept).  But and here is the important part, if there skeleton, muscles and skin were not in place functioning properly, the clothing and the jewelry would not matter.  The dysfunction may overshadow the clothing or jewelry. 

In other words I think it should go-
1. tone
2. color


So that is why this post is just in time!  I am filling in for a friend this semester.  I am teaching some of her classes at Longwood University.  One class is close to my heart, Integrating Art into the General Curriculum, something I have been doing since before my students have been born!  The other is a studio class where you can bet I will be thrilling them with the above new revelation of mine.

See you in 2018!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Nimrod Hall Instructor and Pochade Success!

These are photos show my very favorite way of enjoying art!!!!

With fellow traveler artists.  

My workshop participants at Nimrod Hall.  So once I got over the intimidation of teaching other professional artists, it was amazing...
what a blast to just paint, teach, watch and talk about art!!

By myself with my mini studio/plein air set up!

Got my pochade setup rocking now...it held up great for my first painting session.  

The best thing of all?  Is I get to do it again before the summer is out!

Yes it is okay to be jealous....;)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Homemade Pochade Box Update!

Well it took a bit a finagling (a very fancy art word there ;) But I was able to make three very functional pochade boxes at the fraction of cost of buying one new!  (FYI a pochade is a very small box that carries all necessary painting supplies and is used for on side observational work.  It can be on a table, the artist's lap or even on a tripod)

Pochade #1 on its very first trial run while attached to a tripod

Outside storms made inside study necessary.  I was able to switch very easily between watercolor and acrylic with this set up.

Last week's art supplies.  
Gave my brushes and paints a little break.

Sentimental Pochade

The best thing about this Pochade?  It was originally an art project done by my son a looooong time ago.  

It even has a little inspirational not he wrote in it too! You other mommies, aunts, daddies, teachers etc...know how much this means to me!!!

Thanks to alot of other clear descriptions and photographs, I was able to make mine to the specs that I wanted.

Note the rare earth magnets on the shelf above and lid below... would not have bought them just for this, I had them from a former exhibit.  But they have come in handy many times over. Since these magnets are very strong and easily moved around, I use them to hold the paper in place and even the water container and small palettes from sliding off the work shelf.

Ugly Yet Functional Lid Stop

One of the hardest parts was coming up with the lid stop.  I used a fortner bit and made my drill act like a coping saw (probably not the best for long term wear and tear BTW) to make this one adjustable.  While it is not the prettiest it is functional and that is what I was going for (which also explains the duct tape hinges...)

Watercolor Pochade

Here is another pochade that fits my watercolor palette and paper.  

Cuter lid stop that shows clearly shows its function

Clunky Yet Functional Feet

Used scraps to make the feet (again function over aesthetics here) for table top use. 

With the tripod quick latch ...

... and without.

If time allows I am hoping to make a flat large surface to clip to the tripod for larger pieces.  No matter what I am looking very forward to test driving these babies at Nimrod Hall Art Colony where I will be teaching this weekend!

A rough place to teach and paint, but someone has to do it! ;)