Sunday, March 22, 2015

Vocabulary of Elements

I thought I would try creating a sort of vocabulary of visual elements, and use almost arbitrary combinations of them as starting points for a series of work.  This was inspired by images I saw on Pinterest by Olivier Umbecker.  I'm not saying that he approaches his pieces this way, just that his work gave me this idea.  It is something I'm going to try out at Big Fat Art Weekend next week, see how it goes over with the group.

Here are the pieces, some tentatively finished, others in process:
painted shapes, paint scribble, graphite scribble, pattern, collage, loose line

painted shapes and scribbles, and paint outline shapes, pattern, graphite scribble, loose line

This one might be done.

I added the green cellular thing at the bottom as an element.  This one is definitely in process, or else I will keep it as a "demo" piece.  I like the new marks.

I used that sort of cellular shape thing again in this one, but in fine pen.

The second one on the video.  Still in process.

The shape in the upper left is done with plastic wrap through a stencil.  Give THAT a try!

Work in Progress

This might be finished.  I like the spare quality, all that space around the elements.

Agony and Confusion

This is the first one I did on the  video.  It's still in progress.
As I look at these all together I see some aspects I'd like to investigate further: maybe leaving more space around the elements, maybe trying to use fewer elements in each piece.  I would also like to see how this approach works on a larger scale.  These are all 12"x12".

If you are inclined to try this, I would love to hear how it goes, and if you find it a productive way to work or get jump started.
You could tack these up to your wall as a reminder.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Pictures From 100 Drawings

They are paintings, really; I just like the sound of "100 Drawings on Cheap Paper", the online class that started in January and is wrapping up soon.  It is offered again beginning in September.

The focus of this class is working in quantity, working in series, which helps break through the places that make you get stuck. I'm offering a live four-day workshop on Series as Process at Pacific Northwest Art School on beautiful Whidbey Island, May 31 - June 3.  There are a few spots left in this workshop.

These pieces are all student work from various lessons in the class.  Please don't re-post them, as I offer them here anonymously.

Enjoy the eye candy.  Thanks for visiting!

Friday, February 20, 2015

WARM COLORS for a Cold Winter

Oh dear!  It has been cold cold cold here for weeks, and probably many of us in the Northeast are ready for a change.   So I thought I'd try a little color therapy, making a piece using warm cozy colors.  The other inspiration is that I've always wanted to use this song, "Oh Dear", by Anne Janelle, in one of my videos.  It's on her CD "So Long at the Fair".

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Celadon Winner!

Our winner, of the celadon paint package is Trish from Duluth.  Congratulations, Trish!  e-mail me with your mailing address, and I'll ship it out.  But the rest of you now know how to mix this color, so you should not lack for gorgeous neutral variations on Celadon.  If you order it from Blick, please ask them to make it available in 8 oz bottles.  AND tell them that the small bottles are hard to squeeze.  The more people who tell them these things, the more likely they are to offer what we want.  In fact, you can CONTACT BLICK and make these suggestions, without placing an order.

The Blick Matte Acrylics are better than cheap craft paint, but not nearly as heavily pigmented as professional grade paints.  However, what I like about them is their consistent opacity.  I generally use the white, black, celadon, and a few other neutrals:  sage blue, warm gray, Nimbus gray, and some of the pale oranges, turquoises, etc.  They are great for good coverage in muted colors.

One of you pointed out that Liquitex makes a similar color called Baltic Green.  I've used that as well; it's gorgeous, but a bit darker and over twice the price as Blick Matte Celadon.

In the above 9"x12" pieces you can see how the celadon makes the red really pop.  This is one of the issues we explore in Balancing Opposites: using muted colors to enhance bright colors.  We also look at busy areas vs. quite areas; soft edges vs. hard edges, and working with complimentary color pairs.  It is a fun way to look at the whole issue of composition.

Thanks for all your comments and participation in this giveaway.  Enjoy all your color mixing adventures!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Mixing Celedon and a GIVEAWAY

[It has been pointed out to me that I have misspelled CELADON.  Whoops!  Very bad manners.  I won't change it in the post or video; just humor me and my misspelling.  (Thanks, Lucie).]

I get asked about this color pretty frequently.  Celedon.  It's a color from Blick Matte Acrylics, and it is only available in 2 oz bottles.  I typically put four to six bottles of it in each Blick order.  I recommend you do the same, so that they might consider offering it in the 8 oz size.  However, you can mix your own, and get some variation and nuance to your taste:

This is the "piece" I made with the leftovers.
This piece obviously relies heavily on this celedon range of color.  This is an example in my Balancing Opposites composition course: balancing large areas with small elements.
This is the GIVEAWAY!!!
I am offering a giveaway that includes:
  • 8 oz bottle of Black
  • 8 oz bottle of White
  • 2 oz bottle of Celedon
  • 1 oz (I think) of Golden Open Hansa Yellow.  (The Open acrylics take longer to dry, but mixed with other colors they just extend the working time a bit).
To enter the drawing, just comment on this post, and identify yourself.  I will post a winner on Wedneesday, February 18, and it is the winner's responsibility to contact me with a mailing address.  Good luck!  And have fun mixing your own celedon and other beautiful neutrals.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Studio Notes

Here are a few more of the all-over "atmosphere" piece I've been working on, others of which I posted last week. I really like the all-over subtle, low-contrast pieces, but it's definitely out of my comfort zone.  I allowed myself to wander back into familiar territory with the shapes.

Red on Red, 9"x12"
Burnt Orange and Brown, 9"x12"

Aqua and Rust, 9"x12"

Red Rocks, 9"x12"

Blue Stone, 9"x12"

Another Cliff Face, 9"x12"
 The pieces below are a few of a series I've been working on this winter.  They are 20"x20" on paper.

This is not finished.

This one needs to sit for a while.
Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

We Have A Winner

Thank you ALL so much for your kind comments on my guest blog post!  The response was overwhelming, and I wish I had a set of Golden paints for each and every one of you.  But I can give you a couple of downloadable "handouts":
THE WINNER IS... Christine Jermyn in Toronto.  Congratulations, Christine!  E-mail me with a shipping address and I'll get the paints out to you.

Meanwhile, since I can't do a blog post without some kind of image, I'll show you what I'm working on in the studio: a series of "pieces" (really, they are just experiments) exploring all-over atmosphere, color, texture, without strong contrast of any kind.
Well, this one has a bit of contrast, but really soft edges.

I like the really monochrome aspect of this one.

I like these last two, but they stray from my initial intention of being mostly monochrome.  Will keep experimenting. We may do a series like this (with all technique demos) in the Abstract Painting workshop.  But you could try it on your own.

Thanks again for all your terrific comments on my guest post.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Paint Giveaway and Guest Blog Post

As promised, I'm offering another giveaway of a set of Golden Fluid Acrylics.  Just go to my guest post on the Pacific Northwest Art School blog, where you'll see a new video.  Leave a comment on that blog to enter into the drawing, and then check this blog on Thursday, where I will announce the winner.  Meanwhile, here is a little archived video that features Golden Fluid Acrylics.
Note that commenting on THIS blog post will NOT enter you into the drawing.  Go to the Pacific Northwest Art School blog, and comment on my post there.  Good luck!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Student Work in 100 Drawings Class

I just wanted to share with you a sampling of the fabulous work being done by participants in my 100 Drawings on Cheap Paper class.  This is all student work, posted anonymously, so please don't post on Pinterest or elsewhere.  Just enjoy!

These are all on 9"x12" drawing paper.  This is a lesson in which we are using black and white only:

The following are for a lesson on Shapes:

 I am having a LOT of fun with this class seeing all the fabulous work.  I'm offering it again in September, and then again sometime in 2016. Meanwhile several of my workshops involve working in series, particularly Balancing Opposites in Gloucester, MA, in April; and Abstract Painting: Series as Process on Whidbey island starting May 31.

Coming up on Sunday night: another giveaway.