Sunday, April 2, 2017

Playing with Orange and Blue

Here is a short series of demo pieces I did in Green Valley, AZ, the other week.  We were using paint, collage, and mark-making to explore complementary colors.  These are all 10"x10".

Green Valley Demo #1:  In this piece I have almost equal percentages of blue and orange. I find that the most challenging ratio. 

Green Valley Demo #2:  Here I was playing around more with a range of value and saturation in the orange.  I love the pinks, corals, and salmon colors you can get in this range.

Green Valley Demo #3:  This is probably about 75 - 80% orange.  I am tempted to cover over the whole bottom left section with orange....

Green Valley Demo #3 Alternate:  OK, I just did that in Photoshop to see what it would look like. What do you think? 

Green Valley Demo #4:  Here I let the orange get really washed out.  More desert-like.  I love the contrast of the very light neutralized orange with the brighter colors in the center, and just teeny bits of blue. 
DO try this at home.  Choose one pair of complementary colors:  blue and orange, red and green, or purple and yellow.  Use as many versions of each color as you like, mixing them to vary the hue slightly (orange, red-orange, yellow-orange, but not red and not yellow), and mixing with white and very light gray to vary the values.  Paint, collage, use crayons, scratch into the surface with a razor.  The techniques are up to you.  The key is to do a SERIES of them exploring various proportions of the two colors.  Have fun!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Deborah Moss's Blog Post

Deborah Moss featured me in a recent blog post in which she discusses coming up with titles for your work.  She was one of the people who responded to my Titles post, asking for ideas.  I sent her a small piece of art, all the way to New Zealand!

This piece is titled "Paving the Way", thanks to Debora's suggestion:

18"x24", acrylic and collage on canvas, $800
E-mail me if you are interested in purchasing the original.  Prints are available on Fine Art America.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Workshop Openings

I am offering 100 Drawings on Cheap Paper again this fall, beginning on October 4.  This is a ten-week online workshop that focuses on working in quantity.  It is not about working quickly, but about investigating an idea over the course of ten small paintings or studies each week.  I am limiting the enrollment to a smaller class size than previously.

100 Drawings on Cheap Paper Online
One feature of this class is that you are asked to make observations about the work that you post, to really look at it as it stands on its own.  This is surprisingly challenging, because when viewing our own work, our default seems to be to describe how we made it.  You will develop a vocabulary for identifying visual content, apart from technical process.

My workshop at Hudson River Valley Art Workshops this spring has a few openings available.  "Visual Improvisation" is about taking a more inventive and playful approach to composition.  The web site describes the dates as May 7 - 13; that is is if you arrive on the Sunday prior to the workshop and depart the Saturday afterwards.  The workshop days are May 8 - 12, a Monday through Friday, full days.
Visual Improvisation in the Hudson Valley
For other 2017 workshop see my full Workshops Schedule here.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Pink Slip Postcards

This is something that I found on Facebook this morning:  a project that entails sending a "pink slip" to President (for now) Trump.  If you are a Trump supporter, please just enjoy the video for my demonstration on making monochromatic postcards.  For those of you would would like to fire Trump, send him a Pink Slip Postcard on March 15.

See the description of the project here.

I created two 'postcard sheets', each 8"x12", each of which I then cut into four 4"x6" postcards.  I encourage you to make your own if you are so inclined, but if you don't have time, use mine!  Here is a link where you can download all eight of the postcards.  Just glue them to card stock, and send to:

President (for now) Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Wonky Grids Workshop

My Wonky Grids workshop at AVA Gallery is now open for registration.  It's a light hearted, playful approach to abstract composition with paint and collage.  Register here.

Supply List
  • 90 lb or 140 lb watercolor paper 22”x30”, hot press, or smooth printmaking paper of comparable weight: 4 sheets, 22”x30”.  I use Stonehenge paper.  Cut your paper to 8.25”x8.25” BEFORE class.  You should get six pieces from each sheet.
  • Acrylic Matte Medium or Soft Gel: one pint. (I use Utrecht Matte Medium)
  • Acrylic glazing medium/liquid: one small bottle
  • Acrylic paint: artist-quality paints such as Golden, Holbein, Utrecht, Tri-Art, Windsor-Newton, Blick Artist Arcylics, etc. You may supplement these with student-grade paints. 
  • Disposable palette: pad of paper style, 9”x12”
  • Drawing materials: pencils, various pens and markers, graphite sticks, watercolor pencils and crayons, charcoal, (any of these that you care to use)
  • Brushes: bring a variety, some watercolor brushes, smaller flat ones, glue brushes
  • Brayer: soft rubber, 2” or 3”
  • Spray bottle for water
  • Big roll of absorbent paper towels
  • Stamps and stencils of your choice (optional)
  • Stash of collage papers : think pattern and color, not image or texture.

$5 Materials fee includes:
  • Loads of cheap drawing paper for making collage papers
  • Drawing materials to share
  • Pearls of wisdom
  • Chocolate, if you're good.

I highly recommend that you order your supplies online well before the workshop.  The local art supply store does not carry many of the items on this list.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Series of Texture Studies

I've been looking at visual texture, which is to say "implied" texture, or very shallow physical texture that is enhanced by paint.  Here is a series of studies that explore texture against flat color and line work.  The translucent paints, like the Quinacridone Gold I've used here, are great for getting texture.  Opaque colors like the white an bits of turquoise (not sure how I mixed that) are good for flat areas.  These are all 10"x10" (20x20cm), acrylic on paper.

Texture Study #1

Texture Study #2

Texture Study #4

Texture Study #6

Texture Study #7
Detail of Texture Study #7 above.  You can see that just the brush strokes of the previous layer offer a great opportunity for texture.  This is simply black paint applied to the surface, then wiped away.
Working in series like this is a great way to explore different options within a focused area.  I am teaching Series As Process, in which we take this approach, at Madeline Island School of the Arts in July.  Take a look here, and register soon, as there are only a few spaces available.

Friday, February 24, 2017

New Work At Edgewater Gallery

Thanks for all your suggestions on titles.  I am still waiting to hear from Kandis Horton, who supplied the title for this first piece.  These pieces are now available at Edgewater Gallery in Middlebury, VT. Works in the gallery are also available online.

Now Is The Time, 19"x25", acrylic on paper

Alternative Facts,
19"x25", acrylic on paper

Going Around in Circles,
19"x25", acrylic on paper

It Could Be Anywhere,
19"x25", acrylic on paper
Here are a couple of photos taken at Edgewater Gallery:
Art With Kayak

More Art With Kayak, Alligators, and Ceramic Vases

Art in the Corner
Thanks for visiting!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Downloadable Coloring Page

I put this piece on my Facebook page, but it appears that people are having trouble getting the link to work.  I converted this image to a kind of line-work, but with some of the texture.  Download the coloring page here, print it out, and play with the colors using colored pencils or paint.

This is "Random Act #1", which is 19x25 on paper.

"Random Act #1" as a coloring page
On a scale of entertainment value, this might not be in your top ten, but a few people expressed interest, so here it is.  It is interesting to take a look at your own work using different Photoshop filters (I know, nobody used Photoshop anymore), just to get a different perspective.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017


 This was really FUN, to hear (or read) all your fabulous ideas.  It's kind of a window into what YOU see in my work.  I also appreciated those of you who suggested ways of coming up with titles - the free writing, and web sites and poems.  Great suggestions, and I will do that as well.  I chose titles for the four works on paper, as I am bringing them to Edgewater Gallery later this week, framed (took me all afternoon, but they look great). 

Here are the titles I chose. 
Alternative Facts

"Going Around in Circles" (from Cynthia Mc)

"It Could Be Anywhere" (I can't find the source, but I think SOMEONE suggested it)

"Now's The Time" (from Kandis Horton)
So... could Cynthia Mc and Kandis Horton please e-mail me with your shipping address so I can send you a small piece of art work?  Thanks again for all of your participation!!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Titles: a Small Giveaway

Assigning titles to my work is always an adventure.  Occasionally titles just show up, and for these pieces I have some ideas, but I would be interested to hear your suggestions.  These are each 19.5"x25.5" acrylic on paper.  Please comment!  I will assign them numbers for reference:




Here is one more that could use a title.  It is 18"x24" on canvas:
Thanks for any suggestions you might have.  If I end up using your title suggestion, I will send you a small piece of original art!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Edgewater Gallery in Middlebury, Vermont

Edgewater Gallery is now carrying my work.  I am PSYCHED!  As I have had this gallery in mind as a potential venue for offering my work for sale.  They represent some awesome artists, in quite a range of styles. 
Recognize the work?  This is a section of "Stripes and Drips #2".
My work is at their Mill Street location; they have another location on Merchant's Row in Middlebury, and another in Bozeman, Montana. 

A few larger works on paper will be added to the collection; they are at the photographer's now.  Stay tuned, as I will be doing demonstrations, and possible short workshops here. If you are in Middlebury, drop by.  If not, check out the web site!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Helen Day Art Center

I just discovered that Helen Day Art Center has an image of my work on their website home page!  THANK YOU Helen Day.

Here is the piece, in its entirety.  Train Wreck #3, 25.5"x19.5", acrylic and collage on paper.

I am teaching two workshops at Helen Day in 2017.  The first is coming up soon:

April 18 -21, Abstract Painting and Composition for Textile Artists. 

The next one will be held in the fall:

October 20 - 22, Big Fat Art

Scroll down on the Adult Education page to see full descriptions and to sign up.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Series As Process

I am teaching my Series As Process workshop at Madeline Island School of the Arts in July.  Focusing on a group of paintings, rather than one painting at a time, is very freeing in many ways.  If "creating a series" sounds intimidating at all - as it does to me: it conjures pressure to finish a number of paintings so that they all hang together - consider "working in series" as a process.  It is the process of keeping multiple paintings in the works at once, so you don't get stuck on just one.  It gives you a way to move forward and gain momentum, and get OUT of the habit of becoming stuck.

I've talked about a recent series here and here

Here is part of a recent series of Big Fat Art pieces.  They are each 19.5"x25.5"
What makes them a series?  It's an attitude I brought to the work as I worked on these and others over the same period of time.  More finished pieces came out of this, but many many more of them are still in the works.  I like having a lot of works in process so I have room to play!
Three more  in the same size as above, that emerged from a process of working on multiples.  These are brand new (and photographed in bad lighting with my iPad, not professionally done) and I am excited to continue in this direction.
Below are some of my 4"x4" pieces from 2013 - 2015.  I've grouped them in "sub-series", as I generally worked on them in groups of six to eight at a time, but I consider the whole project as one series.  It is based solely on the size, so I was free to explore any content within that format.

See details and register for my Series As Process workshop here.
Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Buying Original Art

I found this article on Houzz, and it looked pretty compelling.  I buy original art, and over the years have accumulated a gorgeous collection, each piece unique and special, conjuring specific memories and emotions.  Open Studios is a great way to acquire original art at an affordable price, but buying from a show, especially at an art center, is exciting too. You support the artist and the art center at the same time.

9 Reasons to Buy a Painting

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Mentoring Workshop

This past week I was in Stowe, Vermont at the Helen Day Art Center with my mentoring workshop.  We all worked in one big studio, individually, and then came together for group discussions, lunch, and occasional silliness.  I offered one-on-one feedback and coaching to each participant, as needed, but also got inspiration and ideas from the group.  It was a fabulously synergistic experience!  I wish I had gotten more photos,  but I was busy painting.  Here are a few, though:
Part of my work space.  We each got a 6' table and a 4'x8' wall.

This is a bad view of the space itself.  The 4'x8' walls are moveable.

A piece from Leslie, after she discovered the technique of flinging house paint.

A sampling of Debbie's work

A sampling of Ree's work

After the flinging of house paint

"Green Acreage", one of my pieces I consider finished; 19.5"x25.5"

Another of my finished pieces, untitled, same size as above.

One more of my almost finished pieces.  I can see that the bit in the upper left needs to be painted over.
I will be doing more mentoring workshops; this one was the first, kind of experimental. What makes a mentoring workshop different from a regular one is that each participant works independently.  There is no instruction or assignments or demos, but I do give individual coaching and feedback.  I work alongside the participants.  The group has to be small - this one had eight participants, and that was about right.  It was made up of people I had worked with before in workshops, and I knew to be capable of independent work.

I have two workshops scheduled at Helen Day this year : 
  • Abstract Painting and Composition for Textile Artists; April 18 - 21, 2017
  • Big Fat Art, October 20 - 22, 2017
See them (and all of the spring workshops at Helen Day) here.  Scroll down for specific workshops.