Taking the Long Way
...with the eyes, nose, tail; captured and on display at the Winthrop Gallery this weekend.
Animal House gallery show is in additon to the annual tribute of pet love - The Dog & Cat Photo Show. (There's still time to enter your fav photo!)
Opening reception starts Sunday February 19, 11am to 3 pm, right after the Methow Nordic Doggie Dash; our valley's costume sporting skier and dog race teams. Treats for all. Make it a Dog Day!Comment on or Share this Article →
Another snowstorm gifted Winthrop with a generous blanket of white last night. Guesstimating from the fence top at dawn, I'm looking at about 6 or 7 inches new accumulation. It's absolutely beautiful.
This watercolor painter loves the snow landscape. With all that white, the painting is half done as I start.
January Shoreline is my latest; created in the warm studio this weekend. It uses a wet into wet technique (soaked paper) that captures the softness of winter. With patience, timing and a dry brush, you get the rough textures and details.Comment on or Share this Article →
It's Sunday and I've finished my homework. True, the Confluence show is not until June, but I've mapped out the new works series. (Not bad for someone who was a childhood procrastinator.) I can work under pressure, but really prefer not to. My desk has lists going all the time and a big At-A-Glance yearly planner, hung on the office wall.
By eyeball calculation of the allowed gallery wall space, it's going to take 8 to 12 large paintings. Now these new works should relate to the other 2 exhibitors artwork themes. My first series draft was scribbled on a torn half envelope destined for recycle. An hour later, the overrun landed on the 27 x 33 inch "note pad". Everyone should have these for their really big ideas!Comment on or Share this Article →
Lake Escape was inspired by Wenner Lakes, a series of 3 lakes, a protected Methow Conservancy easement. The Conservancy and the Confluence Gallery in Twisp, partnered in orchestrating an exhibit where artists were assigned to create a work based on their interpretation of the conservancy easement lands they were paired with.
Much to my surprise, even as a resident of this area for over 35 years, I had never heard of these lakes! They are on private property and even had I discovered them, I'm not one to hop over gates, ignoring no tresspassing signs. What a treat, rounding a corner on a single lane dirt road, to find this little gem of paradise. One of the owners was there to show me around on a blue sky day with the last of autumn colors reflecting on the water. (I'm hoping for a return invitation.)
Rather than paint on site, I walked the area, took lots of photos and soaked in the feel of the place. Back in the studio, I studied the pics, choosing the ones that recalled the day's vibes and begin to pencil out some rough ideas for compositions. Once I settled on the fishing angle, time to do a value sketch and then transfer it to the paper.
Here's the value sketch and the full size drawing on watercolor paper:
value sketch for Lake Escape
Lake Escape drawing on watercolor paper (yellow is blockout)
The "Inspired by the Methow" show is at the Confluence Gallery in Twisp. Hours are Wednesday - Saturday 10 am to 3 pm.
Curators Laura Karcher and Michael Caldwell did an amazing job of bringing it all together. Stop by Jan. 7 - Feb 18 for a wonderful show.Comment on or Share this Article →
The accumulation phase of my life seems to have passed. There is little "stuff" I feel the burning desire to own, reserving the exception of art supplies or art books. With those, the question of how much do you need, can easily be answered by "just one more than I have now".
What I seek is knowledge, understanding and new skills. Yep, I LOVE learning; painting techniques, marketing insights and getting a toe hold on using the connecting power of the ever changing world of technology.
Someone who has helped me along the way is Alyson Stanfield, Art Biz Coach. I first followed her art blog, then took some of the online classes she offered. Impressed with what I was learning about the business of art, I brought her to Winthrop to put on a workshop for the artists here. That was a productive day - over 40 artists soaking in what could easily have been a week long seminar about promoting your art. My copy of her book "I'd rather be in the studio!" currently has 16 post-it markers in it, so I can get to those always used passages easily.
If you have an artist on your gift list, or as an artist, would like to give your business a boost for 2012, I can recommend her classes and/or her book. The links are provided below. And with full disclosure, yes, I'm an affiliate of Alyson and will make a small amount if you purchase using the links, but I know firsthand the value of what she has to offer. I use it daily. How many holiday gifts can do that?
I'd rather be in the studio! book:
Our volunteer firemen will torch off a large training fire this Saturday. With the fall leaves gone from the cottonwoods, my living room window will offer a first rate view of the heated destruction of Emy Hallowell's former home. During my 35 years living here, it has been a landmark, cherished for it's interesting history, but mostly for it former owner, Emy. Caring and kindness should be her middle name.
A couple of years ago, Emy sold and the new owners have looked at every way possible to use the home with remodel. From first hand experience, I know that sometimes the only way to make a project work is to start from scratch or ground up. Not an easy decision when there is small town attachment to a building. Following the ashes of Saturday's fire, construction of a new B & B will grace the river view site, welcoming people as they come into Winthrop. The owners will have a room dedicated as Emy's suite with reminders of the structure's past lives.
Our local methownet.com internet provider has a terrific link Methow Grist, for the really good local stories. They have featured a wonderful one, by local author Karen West, interviewing Emy, telling the home's history, including a watercolor painting I did several years ago. Interestly I painted it as "Emmy's B & B". So glad I didn't put off the creating of that work and I'm looking forward to capturing the new hospitality site once it's built.Comment on or Share this Article →
Tony Couch demo
Blissfully unaware of whatever financial market dramas that played out last week, I was investing in a small company - Paula Christen Watercolors. The excitement wasn't on Wall Street, but focused just off Poly Avenue, on the campus of Montana State University in Billings. Tony Couch, one of the top watercolor painters in the US, was teaching a 5 day workshop.
Early in my painting days, Tony's book " WATERCOLOR, You Can Do It!" was one of the first ones I purchased. Constant use of it is evident; dog-eared and paint splattered pages show examples of how watercolor says fresh and light as no other medium. Past schedules, finances or life never seemed to jive with his workshop dates. And they didn't this time either, but the opportunity to just absorb maybe 10% of what this man knows will make me a better painter, paying dividends for the rest of my life. Can't say that I've ever felt this good about any other shareholder investment!
Here are 2 of his workshop paintings:
Art buyers sketch
Remember those late summer days - 90 degrees, heat waves rising off the pavement and not a breeze to be found? It never failed that before leaving the house for an adventure, Mom would ask if you had a jacket. Awwww, Mom! No one else will be dragging around some ol' dumb jacket.
Fast forward to yesterday. Car's packed with art, gear, lunch, biz materials and I'm leaving on schedule. As I'm pulling away from the studio on my way to Tsillian Winery/Guild B art show, there's that voice nagging me to throw in a coat. Calm, still morning is only showing a slight overcast. The promise of strolling wine tasters enjoying a golden fall afternoon amid the arts, was my vision. Still, I did a U turn to snag the fleece hanging by the front door. It's official; I've now become my mother.
Two hours later, with the show set up, I'm shivering in low 60 degree temps and 20 mile an hour down lake winds. That extra layer saved my frozen bacon! From 11 am to 5 pm, only the hearty wine tasters trotted by in shorts, tank tops and sandals. They didn't stop long; staying warm by keeping those flip flops on the move. (Guess they didn't get the jacket lecture from their Mom.) My fleece never came off all day. Sketching kept my fingers from freezing, with the occassional hop up to catch flying business cards.
Big thanks to the Guild B Lake Chelan Community Hospital host volunteers who helped the artists unload, had hot coffee ready and gave us breaks. They stuck it out there with the rest of us for the duration of the show.Comment on or Share this Article →
Sage Hens Studio - Winthrop, WA
Like ice cream cones on a summer's day, galleries are disappearing from the business landscape in today's economic climate. Even with that dire outlook, 2 fellow artists have done just the opposite; opened a new art space"Sage Hens" on the main street of Winthrop.
Now I use "art space" rather than gallery because the two women, Becky Lavergne and Kathy Meyers went at this with a different order of priorities.
Acrylic artist, Kathy and oil painter, Becky decided that their strategic plan was to:
1. Establish a working studio away from home to increase painting time
2. Create the opportunity for more public interaction
3. Receive more of the financial rewards (interesting - this is last on their list)
Catching Kathy at studio break
Let me admit that I have a small case of location envy; quaint building, riverside deck, big shade tree and walls bathed in natural light, covered with their fantastic originals. When I dropped in to visit Saturday morning, Kathy was in the studio. She's painted over 50 canvases since moving in this spring!
There is no regular schedule of hours. Kathy likes to paint early in the day and Becky prefers the afternoons. The studio is open if someone is there. Sales have been beyond their expectations and commissions have also been contracted. Seems like they are meeting all 3 goals.
Sage Hens was a perfect name choice - they are 2 smart chicks who took a chance doing the contrary thing. I encourage you to stop by.Comment on or Share this Article →
(L to R) Roxie, Sally, Ardis & Chris
Look out - girls in the studio!
Creating art, is pretty much a solo experience; just you, the materials, an idea and hope. (Lots of hope.)
However this Friday the studio lights were on bright with the space full of laughs and the questions of "what next?" or "how big a puddle?". Four of my friends/neighbors, Roxie, Chris, Ardis and Sally came to take part in a "Make a Splash" watercolor lesson.
Their experience in painting varied, but each one's enthusiasm was 100 percent. After four hours of demos and practice, all paintings were complete.
Time to mat our work and kick back with a wine and appetizer fueled "critique". Of course, it was all good but the gals did inform me that I had the order of the lesson wrong... I needed to provide the wine first, then painting techniques.
Ladies, thank you for such a fun afternoon and for setting me straight. Encore anyone?Comment on or Share this Article →