Monday, March 30, 2015

California Gold Museum Weekend

Opening Night

Dear friends:

Just wanted to share some personal pix from this weekend's opening festivities as finalist in  the California Art Club's 104th Gold Medal Juried Exhibition. 

I have been lucky enough to be in this prestigious show in the past so was really looking forward to what I knew would be a great weekend.

I was so happy that my palette knife portrait of my daughter, "The Homecoming",  was hung so beautifully,  two over from the Gold Medal Painting Prize winner Jim McVicker, pictured, with that stunning self portrait of his. Great guy too.  It's a super show and on for another month at the USC Fisher Museum, so catch it and see over 200 terrific pieces or view it all online here:

I also love the CAC show statement in the entrance way, which is why I included it here in the pix, not just to show off my Artists'  Sunday brunch outfit.

Thanks to the California Art Club for all they do for us artists. Really!

I feel inspired and honored to be part of this great group and historical show. 

Thanks to all who came, especially to lovely artist/friend Theresa Walker Harris, pictured with me,  who flew in especially to the show - and  took these pix. 
"The Homecoming"
Oil on linen via palette knife
By Johanna Spinks

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Going Golden, California Art Club Gold Medal Show

The Homecoming
By Johanna Spinks
Going golden - the prestigious California Art Club Annual Gold Medal Juried Show opens tonight and I am honored to have this palette knife portrait of mine of my daughter in some very dazzling art company.

View the entire show here:

Friday, March 27, 2015

Gutsy Painting?

Demo for The Malibu Art Associatin
Purchase here

Thanks to the Malibu Art Association for hosting me to do a still life demo last night. I chose to forgo the traditional apple and pears set up. I must have been out of my mind setting this up for a 90 minute demo. Pearls, satin, roses, tulle, wire mesh, and ribbons! What was I thinking? Sometimes you just have to go for it. VERVE. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Corset Painting

Everything you paint is a portrait - including a corset!

Tonight the set-up will be something like this from my vintage corset collection for my still life demo, with some roses thrown in, for The Malibu Art Association. Come join us. Scroll down to yesterday's post for timing and location.

"True Blue" By Johanna Spinks
30 x 50, SOLD

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

How To Paint Roses

Spode alert...I'll be doing a still life demo tomorrow night for The Malibu Art Association. Join us? Yes, there will be roses for sure. Come back to see what I painted and how I did it.
"Birthday Roses" by Johanna Spinks
Oil on linen, 12'x16"

Monday, March 23, 2015

Southern Charm - Portrait Commission Just Off My Easel.

 A Lovely Southern Charmer
30" x 40"
Just Off My Easel
By Johanna Spinks

The Eyes Have It!
By Johanna Spinks

The Start, A One Hour Life Study.
My portrait clients are always requested to do a one hour life sitting for me and this is always a great time for us to get to know each other in a most unique way, heading to a great portrait. Priceless!

Friday, March 20, 2015

The ABC's of Painting Eyes.

Close-ups By Johanna Spinks. Eyes in progress.

Going cross-eyed? I painted four sets of eyes on my studio easels this week, three of them from life.  Come back to see them finished. 

My ABC's of Painting Eyes
A: AVOID hard outlines: hard whites of the eyes, hard highlights within the eye and hard socket edge shapes. There is never pure white paint within the eye and there are lots of soft halftones around the exterior eye socket.
Think of putting a mist between your 'painted' eyes and the viewer. Lavender helps to push it all back. 

B: BE rigorous in your own art training. Draw eyes often. Paint studies. Study these old Superstars, my own personal heroes of portraiture:
Also look to modern day Masters:
Everett Raymond Kinstler, N.A.
Jeremy Lipking
Morgan Weistling

C: COURT your sitter. Paint from life as often as you can. All the greats did - and do.
Chat to your sitter while you are painting them. Their eyes will light up revealing a spark of their personality, their bodies will go into a natural pose. If you have your ABC's down, you will catch it.

Good luck. I will be doing my ABC's too. Always.

A demo of an eye I did in my teaching class this week for students showing the light source moving through  socket.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Art On Caffeine...

Caffeine rush?... or maybe the cranberry scone combo.

I did two "block-in's" today in my teaching class, life model portrait/figure and a still life set-up.

This was the first week of my new semester,  a four hour teaching class at my studio, the very best models in town. Packed house. I love my students and they are very honored to share their art journey.

Next week no coffee or cranberry scones. Sorry. But do come back to see how these block-ins progressed.

A GOOD START... 18 x 24

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Portrait Flattery? To Be or Not To Be?

Beautiful Fiona
One life sitting
18x 24"

The Starts
A Sample of This Month's Sitters at My Studio
All painted from life
18 x 24 on Board

I am often asked how much do you flatter a sitter? How far will you go? I have been painted a few times myself from life by other wonderful artists which was a great lesson  to me in all of this.

Let go of the ego?

But I also don't want to hang jowls on my own personal wall space and look at them if you know what I mean. Unless it's a Rembrandt.

I say I want to paint my sitter to look how they feel on their best day, when their hair and features are in tidy place, they have had a good night's rest without a salty dinner, and then sit them under the best lighting and competent brush.

I often joke I'll go as far as 10 pounds and 10 years off. But that is really in jest. 

Fiona is a good example. A former dancer from the U.K., she came to sit for my teaching class recently. There was such an elegance in her carriage and her amazing white hair  that I had to get that down with my brush and it was ever so interesting to me.

One or two of the students 'over-aged' the middle age factor in their sketches. The competent brush is important. Hanging on hard to drawing lines by using the lines you see on the face for a guide is not a good idea.

We all age. It's a fact of each life but I can always find something in a face that's interesting to paint, young or old. 

One of the students asked:"Are you going to leave it there?", meaning I had perhaps over-flattered. I answered most certainly yes.  And then went into a little side-talk about elegance. The BIG E.

 I strive for elegance through the ages, young or old, male or female. Whether that face is lined or not. And that is what I saw in the lovely Fiona. A lady in her mid years aging very gracefully with a visage as interesting, if not more so,  than anyone in their 20's.

I have learned so  much from past  master portraitist Philip de Laszlo about this elegance thing. Thank you Mr. L. Check his work out.