Personal Art Blog

Sharing the lessons I teach at the Artist Guild and the personal discoveries in my art.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Give-a-Way and Year Wrap-up.

Nest and Feather Series

6x6in oil on canvas panel. Give-a-way

I decided to offer a painting which is dear to my heart.
I have not offered my nest/feather series on my blog
before but I am genuinely grateful for the friendships
and support the followers of my blog have shown and
thought someone would care for a painting like this.
If you are interested in having your name
in the hat, please let me know in a comment why you 
would like to have it.
As he did last time, my hubby will select
the winner.

Looking back on the year I think the single
most important area of my art career was
the response to my Fracturing video.
All the frustration became worthwhile
as the complementary comments came in
and even more importantly - the sales continued
to climb. As I am not even computer literate
and had never worked a video camera before
I have been humbled by the forgiveness shown
for the unprofessional teaching remarks like whoops
and off with its head! Plus noises in the background etc.
It was difficult for me to do as I was on my own, but
I have been asked many times to do another one
and am thinking it over.

Another really neat thing was having a painting
chosen by a New York City collector  Ken Ratner
His collection has some of the old great masters,
 but he selected quite a few blogging
artists and I was honored to be one of them.
After saying that, I realize I value each 
and every person who buys 
a painting, admires a painting and takes the time to 
leave a comment. I feel very blessed.
I wish you all a successful year of painting or collecting
with good health and much personal happiness.
I look forward to visiting your blogs and being inspired by
the amazing work and genuine sharing.

Oh, almost forgot - I will not be participating in the
30 day painting Challenge this time. Too much going on.
 I wish those of you who do, a very enjoyable experience.

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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Cloudy Day

Cloudy Day

8x6in  oil on canvas panel $125. SOLD

This was painted plein air last week.
We actually had some welcome rain

Artist Note.

The front area was painted very abstractly.
just shapes of color and values to suggest
growth. As the painting is "site specific" I
tried to make it recognizable as the
Organ Mountains, but fudged on proportions
to fit my emotional response to light and shadow.
Fast - all done with palette knife.

Following my last post on the hurtful
critique where a peer said he would puke
if he saw one more mountain painting - a
wonderful and hilarious suggestion by send a postcard of my painting
and write
... here...just for you...have a puke!
Love it, love it, love it! Thanks Celeste.
Brilliant. Wish I had the nerve to do it,
but just  the thought has been fun.
celeste bergin paints FABULOUS landscapes.
Check her out.

I received many excellent comments putting
into perspective the critique issue.
Very helpful and thank YOU all.

I am going to give away a painting in my
next post which will wrap up the year.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Squirrel, Mountains and Thoughts on Critiques

Still relaxing over the holidays.
Hope you are all doing the same.

We have a ground squirrel who loves
to relax and view the grandeur from
our deck. Below you can see him
stretched out in the sun.

These are the Organ Mountains in
Las Cruces, New Mexico. They are
different every day. Here are some
of the many different moods I see
from my window every day.

cold front
moving in

clouds cast
the start of
a sunset
early snow

I love to paint my view and I remember being
crushed when a more Avant-garde type artist
said in a group critique - he would puke if he 
saw one more mountain painting. Cruel and
arrogant. If painting is from the heart then
who has the right to condemn it?

Unfortunately, his comment in front of a group
of my peers set me back on my heels and my
confidence suffered.
A year later I visited a gallery
where I saw this soulless exhibition of cartoon,
straight-edged, non representational hangings
which did not feed my art soul one bit, and
discovered the work was by the same man
who condemned my vision.  I realized I had just
silently done the same thing about his work
as he vocally had done with mine.
The perfect example of taste being subjective.

I feel blessed to belong to a group of supportive
bloggers who need not say anything if they do not
like a piece, but speak up with praise and
encouragement when they do.
I am grateful to you all.

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

My Favorite Gift

My Fav Gift

6x7in watercolor on Yupo  NFS

Below is a photo of a gift from a blogging friend.
Plus a bit of seasonal holly!

The true spirit of Christmas giving is in
this gift. Can you imagine how my heart
jumped with pleasure when I opened this up.
This gift is from someone I have never met but
when she saw this beautiful glass ball filled with
feathers she thought of me and my feather series
Her thoughtfulness left me speechless.
It arrived just as we were leaving on a 6 hour
drive. I hung it from the car visor so I could
try and paint it while we traveled.

First I explored with some sketches.

and then I went into my first ever Yupo
experience...and what an experience THAT was!
Can you imagine every bump in the road...
The journey flew by.

I sincerely wish everyone's Christmas will be 
full of love for those with us as well as those 
who have departed, but live on in our hearts.

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Calla Lily Trio

Calla Lily Trio

6x8in oil on canvas panel  $125.  SOLD

These three callas were the last to bloom on the plant.
Drooping, I tried to extend their life putting them in water
I am always amazed at the different sizes callas come in.
These are the smaller ones you find on the house plant.

Artist Note.
First let me thank you for the beautiful messages of sympathy
for the loss of our much loved dog. They were gratefully received
and treasured. My husband was in awe of how many emails as
well as comments we received. So many of you understanding
because you, too, had lost a beloved pet.

I miss her when I arrive home from work so I asked my hubby
to meet me at the door with his butt wagging and panting how
pleased he was to see me!
It worked last night and it made me laugh.

When I look at the difference between the previous red teapot
and the painting above, I can see how mood enters into my art.

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Monday, December 16, 2013

In Memory of a Devoted Companion

Our wonderful and amazing dog, Kat,
had to be put to sleep on Saturday morning.
She had cancer - lymphoma.
She was a Blue Heeler, remarkable in her tenacity
to carry on and only when her breathing became
very difficult did we see the joy go out of her.
The joy has gone out of our lives too,
but we will do what Debbie Nolan suggested in her
sensitive comment yesterday and only
remember the love and fun she brought into our lives
for 14 years, and for those we are deeply grateful.

Below is a large painting featuring Kat. It was
painted about 12 years ago when she was only young.
It records how in the studio she used to wait for
about two hours of my painting time
then sit and look at her leash - look at me then
back at the leash...on and on until  I could
feel her vibes. So I painted her doing just that -
staring at her leash. Titled  Time For A Walk,
This painting of her was
included in The New Creative Artist by
Nita Leland...happily
Kat will live on in this book.

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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Tea for the Holidays /Workshop Wrap-up

Tea for the Holidays

6x8in oil on canvas panel  $125. SOLD

I love my red teapot, and for this holiday season
it seems appropriate to paint it with the 
pine cones and berries.

Artist Note.
I didn't manage to finish this demo until the workshop
was over, but they did get to see the main steps involved.

It was an exciting workshop with accomplished artists.
I think the main change I saw in their work from before
to after - was a stronger use of color and not over-stroking
the paint. That came about as they learned the different 
ways to use the knife and brush. 
Over-stroking the paint can lead to 
a frown from Julie!
As well as regular canvas I also provided sheets of the 
Fredrick black primed canvas sheets to try. 
They really seemed to enjoy working on that particular surface.
The landscapes were worked out first with value thumbnails
They did fracture more than you can tell, but
"tidied up" to their own personal interpretation. It was the
second fracturing workshop for three of them.

Here are some of their workshop paintings. Unfortunately
some of the photos I took had showed too much glare and 
I apologize to the artists for missing some out.
(Click to enlarge)

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Garlic Trio

Garlic Trio

8x6in oil on canvas panel  SOLD

One garlic painted in three different positions.

Artist Note.
This was a demo. First day.
(Wait till you see what they did today)

Workshop is going great with some laughs between
the groans.

Here are some of the other garlic paintings. They had
complete freedom to paint a single one
or do what I did and move the garlic around.

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Monday, December 9, 2013

Window Study

Window Study

8x6in oil on canvas panel  SOLD

This is the first window oil painting study done
using the watercolor painting as reference.
It has a really unfinished look to it, but
a lady saw it and liked it just the way it was.

Artist Note.
I start another 3 day workshop on Wednesday
and am looking forward to it.
One of the artists from the previous one
emailed me these images below of  a demo
I did.

The one above had a transparent
underpainting before the opaque colors
were added. Here the light/dark patterns
can be seen with some fracturing marks.

When I do a straight line I prefer to
use a credit card or knife. It prevents it
from appearing too perfect. I have added
the light on the window, the flowers started
and it looks like I had also done the window
frame. By the way - that is not MY
Chico card!

Shutters added - remembering to paint
the area in shadow a cooler blue.
and here I am using the
knife on the foliage. Sometimes I use the
flat part underneath and MUSH for softness,
but here I am adding some texture by
placing paint on with a slight downward
Sorry I do not have a finished photo.
I thought some of you may be interested
in seeing some of the process.

This is a really busy time for me and sorry
I am not answering all your interesting
and encouraging comments. I do appreciate
each and every one of of you and thank you.

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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Workshop Demo - Chili

Green Chii

8x12"  oil on canvas  SOLD

The workshop finished today. Lots of exciting paintings
were accomplished. Old and safe habits had to be discarded
at the door so an open mind could walk through it.
All the artists were accomplished with established styles,
but looking to "loosen up". Oh boy - did they ever do that!
My goal was to not only teach them how to fracture, but
to change their usual color habits along with a different
paint quality. What they will keep from what they learned
is what interests me. Usually it is an awareness
of the important vibration created by using warm and
cool colors -  plus a new appreciation of edges.
I encourage retaining individuality. You will see that below.
I forgot to take photos of everything before they took some
home but here are some of the many paintings completed.

I only teach six artists at a time because I feel
the need to be able to help them with what their
personal goals are.
I have tried teaching larger workshop classes
and it does not work for me. I once had 12 and it
darn near killed me not to give each one individual
attention. The six artists in this workshop
all worked amazingly well and it was a great
experience. They were still painting
right up to the last minute. A very good sign!

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