Monday, September 28, 2009

Round of Applause!

AS I am traveling abroad getting to my ultimate destination, words are short...

I had a GREAT night in New York attending the 150th Anniversary of The Artists' Fellowship at The National Arts Club, honoring Everett Raymond Kinstler, N.A.. I was thrilled to be among 150 small painting panels up for auction to raise money for The AF. Some GREAT artistic company to be in!

I even got to stay at The National Arts Club for the first time ever. A treat to really be able to look at the artwork on the walls there late at night in my pyjamas. Sshhhh...

But most of all in my brief post, I have to say don't miss this link. The day before the above event, a special event happened in the portrait world ...see coverage of Everett Raymond Kinstler's incredible portrait of baseball legend Tommy Lasorda being unveiled into the Smithsonian Institute!!! I had a tear in my eye.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Less green

This was probably my favorite study from the trip. I did it right after the previous posted image turning my Guerilla pochade box, and my heels, 180 degrees away from the water view to look back in to the forrest.

I know I need to get more air in my darks, and this quick study is living proof of that, but I still like it. I really wanted to catch that dappled light falling on the ground. But I did the best I could before my need for caffeine became stronger. It was an early start afterall.

The fun of quick studies...they capture a moment and teach you a lot.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

More green...

Another study...this one done at water's edge, early morning, a balancing act, interrupted by a police officer who had climbed down a steep hill through quite dense forrest to check we had our painting permit. About one hour...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Going green?

I have been painting quite a bit of green recently. Over the next couple of days I will post a few landscape 'quick study' sketches from my recent trip back east to do nothing but paint green in the most delightful landscpe spots. Most were done in an hour or so, sometimes four a day just to catch the feel of the scene.

I had a blast even though I don't really like to paint green and often joke "I don't do green!"

Here are some  random things I think about green:

. I don't like tubed greens preferring  to mix from UM Blue and Cad Yellow. White cools it nicely.  I also admire artists who do green well from bright to muted. Everett Raymond Kinstler,, Dawn  Whitelaw,,  Ovanes Berberian and Jeremy Lipking,,  come to mind. 

. I don't like to wear green. I have a red undertone to my skin and it doesn't act like a compliment at all. It makes me feel Sappy Green all day if I do. Only red-heads look good in green it seems to me. And even that can be touch and glow.

. I hate it when my highlights go a funny shade of green in swimming pools from chlorine.

. I need more green $$$ always. Chromium Oxide Green must be the one they used on banknotes?

. I like green food  particularly seaweed wrapped around fish. Terre vert? But I also like yellow too (french fries). If I was famous, I would hire a green food chef. This I am totally serious about.

. I like green tea a lot but nothing beats english brand PG TIPS. If you are a tea fan and haven't tried it you should.

.  I have just gone more green...just did the car "clunker' deal buying a more fuel efficient car. It was hard saying goodbye to my gas guzzling Mercedes. We were old friends. We had guzzled a lot together.  I took a little piece of the car and will now have it made into a necklace from the $$$ I save on gas.
I also now worry about too many plastic bags in the world (long before Oprah talked about it), Subway chain restaurants that don't recycle a darn thing make me crazy as much as I love their sarnies. I also now carry my own plastic fork to re-use at lunch. I am learning a lot from my environmentalist daughter. 

. I like a dried green ground to work on for my portrait sketches, mid-toned, as it sets off the pinks in the skin nicely. As hard as I try to move away from it,,,I find myself returning. It makes a lot of sense why the old guys used that Verdacchio technique in portraiture with the green and white under painting. However, in landscapes I prefer a warm ground of burnt sienna.

. I like it when portrait deliveries get a fast green (teary-eyed) light...that is one of the best feelings. I also like it when I get green lights on the freeway entrances.

. Green leaves seem to be very hard for students to paint. And me. As hard as the actual flower itself. Someone once said your still life  painitng will be judged by the quality of your leaves and I agree. I look for that now in my own work and others. Trying to take more time on them.

. I don't like it when I get 'green eyes' toward others work or see it in others eyes/words toward mine.  I think the art world is competitive and it is easy to get green sometimes. I have to watch myself on this front and think more red,,,as in painting from the heart.

So this brings me back to my quick little studies. They are far from perfect but they were painted from the heart with my painting pal. And we had the best time! Red all the way painting that green.

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Big Yawn?

Now this is a must watch around the previous two timely I was it seems.

See how far-reaching the world of social media is...

IS SOCIAL MEDIA A FAD? Soon to be a big yawn. This is pretty amazing to watch.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

FACEBOOKERS must read this...

I was lucky enough to be given a link to this article in The Wall Street Journal by someone kind and willing enough to post thoughts resulting from my previous blog asking has Facebook/Twitter replaced blogshere?

It is a must read around all the inane chit chat stuff that goes on around FB  Twitter world. I loved the fact that some of the stuff that was driving me crazy is talked about here.


Post on FB but not about your lunch out! Your carpool with the kids, or your new tight spandex top.

Thank God I don't have to bore you in France with pix of my Steak Frites or Croque Monsieur. You just know I am eating it anyways. And probably not wearing that tight spandex top.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Blogsphere versus Facebook/Twitter?

Anyone out there reading this blog? 

Class demo yesterday at LAAFA...

 Has Facebook/Twitter replaced the blog forum?  The quickie  FB/ Twitter t snippet better than the rambling blog post?...I am beginning to think so. 

I have been blogging for a while now. My blog has not hit the stratosphere of blog hemisphere. I know that.  I am pondering this...

One of the problems with blogs is that they are self-promoting in the extreme...Facebook and Twitter you self promote in exactly the same way FOR SURE but have a word limit. This could is a good thing.  It is less obvious (still the same promoting however). It is a fast-food snippet WORLD.  Unlike blogs that have to be found. You have to get people to them, writing witty stuff,  posting great pics, and this takes time. FB is somewhat easier it seems to me and a helluva lot less writing and effort.

FB/Twitter...aka... a chicken McNugget. Tasty morsel. Fast down the hatch. Not much left to show for it.  Burp...And definitely wanting more...nothing substantial. 

A good blog should be  educational and fun. The best are. I knew when I started blogging that I had to make it readable and hopefully offer something personal of my world sharing around the arts. And, yes, of course self-promoting.... 

But I think blogging could be done for me. Few post. I am not hot. Sad but true..

I am beginning to feel for me blogging might now be narcissistic in the extreme. I ramble on to a few devoted. I don't quite see who reads because few post...which raises my question. 

Compare to FB/Twitter... if you are super-fab you will get at least 15 responses to a  mindless listing. Fun to watch who the super-fab are.  

Watch how the successful male artists, especially on FB, seem to get a huge response.  I have yet to see a female artist I know of on  FB get quite the same response to the men. Shoot me men ok

Male or female, everyone seems to want a slice of the successful life/art/desire pie on FB. Posture. posture, posture...

Hey, if you are really successful, just tell them on FB what you had for dinner, and you will get a post or five. Don't need to share any color theory at all. But you are keeping your profile way high. Sometimes people share in such a careless way (I am having a hot bubble bath right now folks, FB'd by a female artist) that it is not sharing at all. That is just too much personal laundry on the global washing line.

I get some responses on FB,  more than on my blog. SAD for me as  my blog is super personal and takes me way more time. And I enjoy it way more than FB. By the way, I had pasta for dinner. And I didn't take a picture on my I Phone. Sorry.

 So as I head to France, thinking I should take the time to find that remote Internet cafe in this tiny  15th C medieval town, take time to write my thoughts, share, which I enjoy doing,  but time away from painting nevertheless,  I wonder is it really appealing to people? Am I wasting my time? Should I just load up an image on my phone, twitter a line or two, and FB a post?

Or, snakes alive,  just write personal thoughts in a lovely journal that a dear student/friend gave me at the end of this semester to take to France. Hey, what a concept. Keeping our thoughts and daily rumblings private like they did in the old days! 

You let me or!

Mellow Yellow...

Yesterday was my last teaching day at LAAFA for a while although I plan on being back for the semester beginning January 4, 2010 unless I decide to live in France.
Very unlikely since I JUST bought a house here it seems. On the water. Very excited at the painting possibilities there.

This was a recent teaching demo from my class. I have been experimenting with different whites in my life painting particularly as it was the end of the semester and I could have a little fun.  If I had a bomb it didn't matter. There is not much to prove toward the end of a teaching semester. You are either a crowd-pleaser or not at this point. Those who don't care for you have long left the room.

My usual white is Permalba but I have had fun playing with zinc white which is way more transparent but also quite stiff until you add some medium.

Not sure I would use zinc on a commission. Permalba is a good sturdy all round white it seems to me. But I do like the glazing qualities that zinc white has. Seems like a real 'cool' shade of white too. I wonder if it cracks more? Probably unless one is careful observing fat over lean principle.

I had fun building the paint up in on the light side but it took a while. At first it felt like I was making a milky soup kind of mess.

I also like painting yellow...I had asked the model to bring a yellow ballerina gown my class had painted her in before.  Vermeer painted yellow so well using lead tin yellow a lot which is close to our lemon yellow today.

I found a company called Natural Pigments is really worth checking out. They are replicating much of what the old masters used for their paints from natural pigments, hence the title, including lead tin yellow and the blue azurite that Vermeer apparently used. Yellow and blue were a color combo he often used. These two paints aren't cheap however. But for those of you painting on trust matter. Vermeer had no such luck. He was broke most of the time and traded bread for his paintings and paintings for his supplies from his benefactor. 


Monday, September 7, 2009

My Studio in France...Oui, Oui, Oui!!!

It is finally sinking in that I am going to France in a few short days to stay in this beautiful studio cottage, hosted by the city of Dinan, chosen as Artist in Residence by the Musee Yvonee Jean-Haffer and Les Amis De La Grande Vigne. I will get to paint anything I want the whole month of October with the townspeople choosing a painting of mine for the museum's permanent collection at the end in a reception.

My recent house sale and rush escrow 'move' left me with little time to think about the huge adventure ahead. But now the dust has settled on that area of my life, I am getting excited.

I have dusted off my "Behind The Wheel Learning French" CD's, practising my "oooh-la-la's" as I drive around LA looking somewhat mad to the casual observer.

I have ordered my favorite paints from Robert Doak in New York , just taking three colors, extra large tubes, making things as compact as I can.

Tomorrow I will order more lightweight gatorfoam linen panels from Tim at New Tradition Art Panels.  I find the landscape C15 texture works great for both portrait and landscape.

Then I need to buy some long-johns and a thick waterproof coat as I am told it rains there a lot. I also need a painting umbrella, not for sunshine!

Someone also told me to take a mini-printer in case rain stops play for the whole month in terms of not being able to sit out for hours in the pouring rain. 

I have worked out what I want to paint during my month although this could change when I get there. I rather fancy painting the townspeople. "Butcher, Baker Candlestick-maker" kind of thing as my research tells me the town is full of these types of craftspeople along with the newer age gift shops. And it comes as no surprise as a portrait painter that people fascinate me.

 I have had a paragraph translated for me so I can approach people to sit for me in the studio and explain my project and not look too daft. Well, we will see about that.

I have worked out where the Internet access is so I can blog about my travels and email the my girls. 

I have worked out where the laundromat is.

I have located a corkscrew.

All in all, it is sinking in....I am going!!!

Oh yes, and I forgot to mention buying a new house in the process! Suffice to say, doing some marine paintings on my return if all goes ahead. 

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Veiled Threat.

I just got back from a weekend in Arizona and 112 degree heat. Most people paint cactus, mountains, and pink sunsets in this incredible land but I was on a deadline to  get a small painting done, 6"x9", for a 150th Anniversary Celebration of the Artists' Fellowship in New York, shipping deadline tomorrow. Yikes. I was up against the clock issuing veiled threats to the Art Spirit to help me out.

I am delighted to be among some 150 artists, including some of the country's very best like Richard Schmid and Everett Raymond Kinstler, who have each donated a panel painting which will be displayed at The National Arts Club  in New York for  auction to raise money for The Artists Fellowship which helps artists in times of real need.

Indeed the celebration evening is also a tribute to Will Barnet, Everett Raymond Kinstler and Pamela Singleton in recognition of their dedication to the artist community. It will be the start of my five week trip to take up my grant in France so I am especially excited for the evening. And to see all the panels showing together. How cool will that be?

 I wanted my panel to be good. I tortured myself what to paint for weeks. A hectic house move delayed the start of it. So I took a deep breath once I got to AZ allowing things to happen. The panels were provided by Jack Richeson, the mega art manufacturer, for consistency of look. You only had one panel. You couldn't make too much of a mistake. 

I decided to take my time setting aside three consecutive mornings of my weekend trip using the ice bucket tray for my palette as in the rush to move out of my house, it had not made it with me on the trip. That's a first. I also made sure I didn't have too many sunset Cactus Pear Infused (aka headache) Cosmos so I was fresh in the morning.

I like to work in layers, deciding the veil should go on last over a dried painted face. Limited palette. Beautiful model.  A student of mine in fact. 

The only problem I really had, apart from a few swear words painting the veil,  was the paint that got on my bare legs  which looked odd when I hit the pool later. I hadn't noticed those green cactus colored streaks.