Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Rusty Crane

Looking for a new place to eat?  Try the Rusty Crane in the Brady Arts District of Tulsa.  Check out seven of my works of art along with other artist while you are there enjoying a meal.  

The Rusty Crane109 N Detroit Ave, Tulsa, Ok 
In the heart of the Brady Arts District

Monday, October 28, 2013

More of RosMar Farms and our Plein Air Day of Painting.

More beautiful photos taken this weekend on RosMar Farms.  

Some of the most breathtaking views that I am anxious to try my hand at painting.

Incredible Oklahoma countryside.

One of the prettiest fall gardens I have ever seen.

This is either Wild Bill or Cody, I never learned the difference.

My buddy Robin, discussing things with the goats.

More of Yoda's garden.  Love the potting shed with the old dresser.

Such a fun day had by a huge crowd.  

Sunday, October 27, 2013

A Day at RosMar Farms

A beautiful day at Yoda's farm for his students.  Some of the most spectacular views are on that hill looking down on the farm and we had the pleasure and privilege to paint there.

Our leader, Margee Aycock.  An amazing impressionist artist.

My painting is the one on the left.  I loved that red sumac growing across the road and decided to add it to the view I choose to paint.

I took a photo of the old I house I painted.

And, here is the painting in the nearly done stage.  I need to glaze the building to make it look older and not so white, but it has to be completely dry to do that and I could not wait to share.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Remembering Composition...

Remember all the drama over this set up for a painting?  I loved it when I set it up, took the photo, and even when I ate the fruit.  I was feeling pretty puffed up about it actually.  

Then I took it to Yoda's class and he ripped it apart, not literally but it felt like he put a hot pin in my balloon.  He pointed out the fact that the spout pointed to the edge of the canvas and that canvas is meant to be read left to right.  The eye is directed away instead of into the canvas.  Then the peel is distracting and takes the eye in the polar opposite direction.  OH GOOD GRIEF!

I realized he was completely right, but I sure wished I had known it before blocking in almost the whole painting.  Yoda also said I had too many pieces of fruit or too many objects in the setting.  By now I was getting frustrated and decided to just redo the blue milk pitcher to face the way Yoda wanted it, and let the rest fall where it lay.  But he was right and I could see that the peel was distracting, so I moved over the orange with its peel and it looked a little better.

I just did not like it much at all and like most of my compositions, it was better in my head than on my canvas.  Sigh.  Yoda suggested I retake my photo, but too bad, I had already eaten the fruit and I was OVER it!  So, on to the shelf it went.  I needed a break.

Weeks later, I decided to make another attempt at taking a new photo so I could finish this painting.  This painting just would not die.  Better composition and now a better painting.  

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Sinbadd, A Beloved Dog...

Recently I was contacted by someone who had a much loved dog that was not in good health, but they wanted to have him memorialized on canvas.  The sweetest husband wanted nothing more than to surprise his pregnant wife with a painting of her companion.  In order to surprise her, he did not have access to a bunch of photos, and took a snapshot of the photo posted on their refrigerator.   That is not the best way to start a painting, but I really wanted to make it happen for him.

Soon into the painting process I was when Sinbadd took a turn for the worse and had to be put down.  Anyone who has been pregnant, had a pregnant wife, or known a pregnant person, knows how emotions are escalated by hormones and this husband wanted to make things better for his wife.


You can rush some paintings, but a beloved pet requires some hours to capture their expressions and their color.  It can be tricky to paint a pet that you never met and has unique character.

Sinbadd went with me to any place I might have a chance to add to his painting.  He was critiqued and loved by lots of other artist.  Finally he was finished and ready to deliver to his master's.  Even though the dog Sinbadd is no longer with them.  I hope Lane and Charity will always love the painted image I created of him.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Pick Myself UP and BRUSH Myself Off...

Brushes!  Wish I had learned how to make them and mix paints from powdered pigments.  As this inexperienced artist, trying to learn fast in my slightly over middle aged crisis years, it is becoming more and more apparent that either you have "got it," or you have got better equipment.  

Let's face it, there are those who can create a masterpiece out of dregs left in the family barbecue pit and a Big Chief Tablet.  Pure natural talent, and they have it from up above.  Maybe I like to think I have some of that, but the truth is I don't.  So I need all the crutches I can muster up.  

That in mind, I am reading and watching art videos which over and over press the point of good brushes.  Now it did not take me long to figure out that there are better more controllable ways to paint than the typical Hobby Lobby brushes I have been buying when they go half price.  The true problem is that they just don't hold up to the abuse from the canvas, the paint, turpentine and mediums.  I have been on a quest to learn more about brushes and the local art stores in Tulsa are not that great of a resource.

About six months ago I first heard of Rosemary Brush Co. in the UK and really became interested in searching them out.  A good number of the real greats here in the US tout these brushes and their quality and control.  Today, I spoke to my new friend, Sylvia at Rosemary Brush Co. via the internet.  The world is a wonderfully small place now where you can chat live with someone in another continent  about the product they make without even paying a dime.  

She helped me select a grouping of brushes from their Ivory line as well as some from their Red Sable and Masters Choice group.  I will be ordering these handmade wonderful brushes soon and we shall see just what it does to help me improve.  

Richard Schmid
"Rosemary's brushes are my choice as the perfect interments for painting.  No other brushes in the world quite compare to them for performance, superb, quality, and variety."

David Leffel
"A painting is the pictorial representation of an artist intelligence and sensitivity.  To portray these qualities one needs a brush that's responsive to every nuanced emotion.  Caressing the paint with a handmade Rosemary brush is a privilege every artist should enjoy."

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Vasari Paints...Like Butter, Only Priced Like Gold!

If you are dressing up for Halloween as a bank robber, can I borrow your costume?  I am going to need it!!  Today I received the supply list for my workshop coming up in January and I completely am aghast!  Just the paints alone and I do mean alone, added up to over $400!  I will blog later about the remainder of the 5 PAGE list of supplies that are required.  Tonight all I can handle are the paints.

Now, I get it, these paints are FINE examples of quality.  However, until 24 hours ago, I was an innocent, free from worry and ignorant that I was painting with poor quality and pigment insufficient paints.  Before this the word insufficient for me only was associated with the lack of funds in bank!  If am able to collect these supplies, that is what my bank will be saying to me very soon!  Now a new word has entered my vocabulary....VASARI

The website touts that they make their own paints in small batches from carefully selected pigments.  They even fill each tube by hand.  (Sounds like it is something that should say, "Carefully done by artist virgins with pure hands." I'm just saying.)

Expect the paint that glows from across the room, fiery, gemlike color emitting its own lights as it sets your work apart from all the other, each and every time.  Experience the effortless magic of Vasari Classic Artist' Oil Colors in your brush or on your pallet...and let your best painting, and your masterworks, begin.  

Okay, here is where I would add, let starvation begin as well because you are going to have to charge hundreds of dollars for every painting. 

Sorry for my rant dear readers.  What have I got myself in to?  We are expected to buy the supplies like the Old Masters used.  Where is my art patron??  Aye, Aye, Aye.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Ron Howard Project Imagin8ion

Tonight I attended a lecture thru my Civic Art Group, Alpha Rho Tau about photography and the mind-blowing imagery that you can create with bracketed photos.  All this time my angst at my own photographic abilities or lack there of, turns out to not really completely be my fault.

Chris Wehner was the guest speaker and his topic was, "The Photographic Inspiration of Art."  A few years ago, I saw Ron Howard, formerly known as Opie of The Andy Griffith Show to my generation, as a guest on The Today show introducing a new project that was near and dear to his heart, The Project Imagin8ion.  People were asked to submit their candid photos into a Canon Photography sponsored contest and over 100,000 entries came in!  From those 10 were selected to put together and create a movie based on the actual images.  One of those 10 photos was taken by a art photographer from Broken Arrow, OK, Chris Wehner.  An amazing guy! Chris as the Grand Prize Winner shared his unique experience of winning this award and traveling with Ron Howard to walk the "red carpet" at the film premier in New York and in Hollywood.

The film that was created by writing a story soulfully focusing on the winning photos was directed by Ron Howard's daughter, actress and director, Bryce Howard.

It is an amazing tear jerker titled, "When You Find Me," that tells a short story of the lives and losses by two young sisters.  The photo that won this for Chris was taken of the gates at Tulsa Memorial Cemetery on Memorial at 51st St.

What a breathtakingly beautiful shot of those gates!  Spectacular to see it in photos.  Chris was so helpful to me personally as I chatted with him the trouble I am having producing painting worthy photos.  He gave my husband and I several pointers we plan to implement ASAP!

It was especially exciting to find sitting in the audience with us, another Broken Arrow resident, Richard Waters, THIS YEAR"S WINNER!  How crazy is that?  Two winners from the same small town in Oklahoma.  Richard took his winning photo at Lake Bixohma on a foggy morning, and he was kind of enough to share it with James and me.  He leaves very soon to meet with Ron Howard and see the film his image inspired at Project Imagina10n.  This time 10 films were made, 5 by amateurs and 5 by celebrities.  The celebrities include Eva Longoria and Jamie Foxx.  You can view Richard's award winning work at his website, http://www.richardwatersphotography.com/specail-page.html

Here is his winning photo:

You can watch the film that was inspired by Chris Wehner's photo and others at http://canon.thismoment.com and it is well worth seeing.  Also visit Chris' page www.cwimaging.com

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Art of the Plein Air EaSeL

If you are an artist, or if you know an artist, you may want to learn about easels from someone who has to reluctantly admit she has been thru a lot of them.  My studio and garage are littered with easels of the past or easels I use on a limited basis.  If you paint, you will need an easel for painting at some point.  If you paint in different situations, you may need different easels to accommodate those situations.  Then there is painting Plein Air.  (An Artzy Fartzy French Term.)  Yoda says if you add a French word to any of your paintings or processes they will sell, because people think anything French in art is somehow better.  Thinking of changing my name to the French version of it.  Then I looked it up and the French version is the same as the English one.  Drat!

ˌplān ˈe(ə)r/
  1. 1.
    denoting or in the manner of a 19th-century style of painting outdoors, or with a strong sense of the open air, that became a central feature of French Impressionism.

Easels are like fashion styles, they are personal and designed to fit different taste and styles.  You have to figure out which one works for you.  There are minimalist who believe that simplicity is the best route especially when it comes to plein air painting.   I have to agree they are probably on to something from experience, but then I am a gadget person and tend to want the latest new thing that improves the set up to paint.  There, I admitted it.

Table Top Style

I have one of these and do use it from time to time, but usually just to display things or to dry a current work I need to move off my regular easel.  Not so practical for Plein Air, but believe me I have seen people try to use them.  

Telescoping Easels are lightweight and I have one I travel with and have used in hotel rooms when my husband is busy in meetings all week and I need to entertain myself.  Frankly they are best for displaying a placard outside a meeting in the hotel than using to create art, but some people love them.

If you travel to most tourist locations you will see an artist or two out painting.  Sometimes they are by the side of a road painting bluebonnets in Texas, or on a street corner in Paris painting a building.  There are as many different choices for those artist to use in easels as there are in choosing art stores.  The French Easel is the most common choice you see.  They come in all price ranges from the Hobby Lobby $69 type to the Italian ones that are hundreds of dollars.

These can be interesting and annoying to set up.  After watching people try to set them up, it seemed like giving birth to a giraffe might be easier.  Adjusting the legs, which can go all kinds of directions is a chore in itself and not as much fun as you might think.  Okay, so I will admit I was attracted to all the devises they make for these contraptions. 

That umbrella is pretty sweet, but my fear is Oklahoma wind.  It is strong enough to carry away the whole set up!

Finally, I settled on a Pochade Box.  The photo below is the set up I have for Plein Air painting.  It is by Wind River Arts in Texas and uses a camera tripod for the base.  Not as easy to use as I had hoped, but I am too invested in it to replace it at this time. 

Web definitions
  1. A pochade (from French poche, pocket) is a type of sketch used in painting. As opposed to a croquis, which is line art, a pochade captures the colors and atmosphere of a scene.

It fills the need for my gadgets, but definitely has some issues.  Too bad you cannot choose easels like finding a prince.  You need to kiss a few toads before finding the right one!  However, most artist I know don't have that luxury and have to dance with the one they came with!