I believe that art enriches and informs our lives everyday in many postive ways. Sharing those experiences, whether as an artist or as an appreciator, is part of the pleaure. I welcome your comments and hope you find something of value: a laugh, an insight, a new idea or just a happy moment. Enjoy art!

Friday, November 21, 2014

How to Paint BIG in 1/8th Less Time

(If you are in eastern central Florida come see me Saturday and Sunday at ArtWorks in the Eau Gallie Arts District on Highland Avenue.  Booth #114 I will have all new work to share with you.)

Now, to save time on a large piece the big secret is....COLLABORATE!!
Yep, several years ago the Pieces began a study of selected "old masters," researching their lives, studying their techniques and copying selected pieces.

When we decided to do a show based on these works we knew we had to include Gustav Klimt .  Klimt was known for his fantasy paintings of figures using deco design and gold embellishment. We fell in love with his piece "The Kiss" and knew that many other folks loved it as well.

Time was short but 8 minds had a plan: if we each painted a section of the larger piece we could get it all done in 1/8th the time!  Right? Right! And thus the game was on.  Herding cats might have been easier.

Naturally we had to abandon personal styles and closely replicate the Klimt-technique, naturally we had to all finish on deadline and naturally someone (thank you Denette with her eye for fine detail) had to "marry" the edges once they were assembled and glued down.

But here is the result:

Isn't it beautiful? A gorgeous 30" x 24" oil painting exquisitely framed!  The piece sold at auction for $1000 ( to benefit a local charity working with women) and was dearly loved by its owner.

Alas, times change and the owner is downsizing/moving/divesting and needs to sell the piece to a new appreciator.  She says she is willing to part with it for just $300.00. Time to scoop up a bargain.  Contact Ralph at Ralph's Art Supplies, 321- 255-3331, if you are interested or wish to see the piece.  It is truly one of a kind.
Six of the Pieces of 8 gather around the Klimt painting they helped create:
Denette Schweikert, Mary Warnick, Carmen Beecher, Carol Schiff, Donna Vines and Cindy Michaud.

Friday, November 14, 2014

ArtWorks of Eau Gallie

When a young committee years ago decided to christian their street showing of art "ArtWorks" they knew they had encapsulated many meanings into their name.  But this week I am experiencing one meaning I hadn't thought of, namely "Art Works the artist..." oh my, this is the only street show I do and I now know why!  The stamina, physical and mental, it takes is enormous, and that is after the art is painted.

But first an invite to join us: November 22 and 23 on Highland Avenue in the heart of EGAD (the Eau Gallie Arts District).  From 10 until 5 both Saturday and Sunday, with a preview party on Friday, over 100 artists of all types will be sharing their work for pleasure and for sale.  It is always fun for the visitor because participants are required to be demonstrating their craft throughout the show...yikes, another expense of energy for the Art to Work.  Click on the dates here to read more.

So I have been doing a lot of this above: framing.  Sometimes I have the perfect frame in my home inventory and I can make it come together.  This show however has entailed numerous trips back and forth to the framers so he and I can get it all done in time.  And, no, I don't want to sell this piece for any less money without the frame (just one of the crazy questions people often ask).

The next several nights will be spent in choosing what to (very carefully) pack to carry and hang in the tent and in making the tags that need to legibly state title, size, media and price.  Then guessing what the weather will be so proper clothes, food etc is on hand for a long night and two days of being very pleasant to folks strolling the streets.  Will somebody please remind me why I do this?

So you fully understand the challenge let me also add that the painter showed up (we were in a three month queue) yesterday to begin painting every room in our house!  And with no time to start second guessing the bold color choices I had made many moons ago he transformed our kitchen into the loveliest of colors:turquoise!  WOW.  Go big or go home I always say.  Lest you think me totally crazy I fell in love, and was inspired by, the painting of the rooster on the right above.  Painted by the wonderful Frits van Eeden, I purchased Sir Rooster quite a while back when Frits was closing his gallery to return to Holland.  It just called to me and I never got around to hanging it up until we decided the house needed some new paint.

So get ready.  See the little hint of orange/coral in the upper right side of the piece?  That, my friend is the bold new color of the dining room which will also sport a turquoise glass chandelier.  And yes, you see yellow test patches in the living room?  No white walls in this place.  Cant wait to really dig in and clear out the domino of clutter caused by shifting one room into another during this process.  And yes, we hired a painter....I am known for kicking over buckets, dragging wet drop cloths over furniture and sticking screw drivers into outlets....we actually save money by hiring a pro!

So come see me at the festival...color can inspire exciting changes.

Color Fully Yours,

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Having Too Much Fun!

A huge hug to those of you who asked if my blog was MIA this Friday...thanks for noticing!  Truth is I was having way too much fun to even remember what time it was let alone know the day of the week.
I got a surprise last-minute invite to fill in for a travel buddy that was missing her companion for a cruise.  Did I want to come and see the Maya Ruins of Tulum, Mexico?  I was packed in a NY minute.

As a past student of Diana H. Gessler, I took the opportunity to keep a visual journal of our voyage. Check out the link for a far better example of how to do a travel journal, but Fay and I had a ball working on ours during down time while at sea.

Here is another sample: a Key West dive called B.O's where we had delightful fish sandwiches and a page about the Hemingway House which I had never visited before.  I was so glad to have my little paints and journal with me...it made it fun to share the trip with others, and the notes brought back a lot of laughs we shared.  Thanks Diana for your patience in teaching this (I took the class twice!!)

Also on the fun list was an afternoon creating "office art."  My darling in-town daughter-in-law was promoted to her own office and decided it needed some sprucing up.  She loved an abstract piece she saw of wild colors and I convinced her that with a little paint and time she could produce an original.  When she appealed for help I jumped at the chance.  She brought over the colors and canvas and we got to work.

Thank goodness they were not your typical office hues of brown and gold with a touch of navy blue: blah!  We were painting to match a smart rug she had purchased and a pencil holder she loved.  Did I also mention her requirement was cheery and lively??  Oops, I may have gone overboard...

Here's a sneak peek at the unfinished pieces...The one on the right will be titled "Joy" and the left one (still a ways to go) will be titled "Serenity."  And yes, they will hang in the same room...That way she can look up and balance her day by choosing whether she needs a dose of joy or a moment of serenity.  The power of art!!  And the fun of collaboration....she definitely had her hands in the yellow piece....it is so full of texture and movement that it may take days to dry fully.  I may even have turquoise in my hair today.  Worth it however, I loved the time with her.

So despite a couple of looming deadlines (art festival and holiday sale: more soon) I don't hesitate to smell the roses along the way...there are so many ways to enjoy art and art creation that rarely a day goes by that I cant find a way to further my interest and hone my abilities.

Wishing you a passion,

Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween Remorse

I really wish I had carved a knock-out jack o'lantern for you for today.  I just haven't really had time to even think goblins and ghosts.  And ever since our darling neighbors grew up we haven't had many kids brave enough to walk through the dark dead end street and up a long driveway to trick or treat at our house.  Kinda takes the "oomph" out of the holiday!  Sorry, no pumpkin, no witches, no nothing orange and black!  sigh...

But...progress.  A short share of a large piece that is one critique away from being done.

Everglades Sentinel, 30 x 24, oil on canvas

I say "one critique away" as I do like to spend a bit of time away from the piece before declaring it final.  That way, with fresh eyes, I can give a last critique and make corrections if needed.   I captured this fellow on a camping trip in the Everglades last spring on a crisp and sunny day.

There is a lot of texture in this piece when you come in close.  Layers of light and shadow dancing off the mangroves that framed this regal bird.  He barely moved but you could see that his eyes were taking in everything.

Here is a detail of part of the heron.  Not too much farther along we found another heron looking just as stoic and poised as an alligator swam right past him.  I was thinking either the gator didn't fancy to heron meat or the heron knew it was not meal time?!

Meanwhile I am back to another piece trying to get the tree to grow into the ground, not on top of it.
Hope your Halloween is filled with costumed gremlins at your door....this year I'm not falling for my husband's trick of insisting we load up on candy bars "just in case."

Enjoy your weekend of blue skies,
Color Fully Yours,

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Gentle Shove of a Deadline

Nothing like flipping over the calendar only to discover one is less than 4 weeks away from a deadline!  Usually I love having specific points of reference for project finishes, it helps to focus on keeping the main thing the main thing!  But yikes....so here we go with a need for speed and a critical look at several unfinished pieces.  Photographing them really helps to see them better for corrections.

Duneside, 11 x 14, underpainting

This little scene is from an area in Ponte Vedra, FL, a cozy little spot tucked in the sand dunes of the ocean...a lovely place to sit and dream.  Of course this is the first of many layers of paint and colors but I do want to stick to a predominately purple-ish tone and feel.  It was the gentle time of day when the sun was sinking and the gold light made everything so soft.  Lots more work to do.

UnNamed, 24 x 18, oil
work in progress

This piece is crying out for a name...suggestions?  There is more work to be done on the tree and its nest of roots as well as raising the sandbar in front of the water.  Roots like this are always so fascinating to me...and always so difficult to paint.  But I am anxious to get back to this one...I feel I have visited this scene many, many times.....

Heron, 30 x 24, oil
work in progress

I found this scene in the Everglades, FL.  There is still much to do on this very large piece but I like the vagueness of it in its present state.  It will be interesting to see where it goes....all this green calls for a little bit of pink dont you think?  and more blue?  hmmmm.  It could use a fancy name as well.

All of these pieces need to be finished and framed before the ArtWorks of Eau Gallie show on November 22.  The festival has added a patrons night before the opening which means that instead of working until the very last minute, putting up your tent and heading home to crash, we will be on site, gracious and smiling at 6 pm to greet the fine folks who make the show possible.

More on the show and my progress over the next week or two.  Meanwhile, if you are near Brevard County, FL mark the dates and come see us.  And cross your fingers I can get these done and dried before I hit the framers!

Colorfully yours,

Friday, October 17, 2014

It May Not Be FOR Your Wall

When people find out I am an artist they assume I have all the answers to the "really big questions." I don't.  But opinionated I am.  And as someone who gets bored easily producing the same thing over and over again I have, inadvertently, created some really ugly things, some total disasters and not a few failures.  But I considered them all "art." Not art for your wall necessarily, but art nonetheless.

Some of us, artists and viewers, have difficulty with "statement pieces." The horror of looking at depictions of war makes us want to turn away and not examine the message which might lie within. But today, 77 years after it was painted,  Picasso's famous "Guernica"  has become a much discussed icon.  At its unveiling it was hardly noticed.  But it was, and is, art -- although not for the living room.

Consider that abstract art also gets short shift.  "My grandkid could do that," is something I hear a lot.  (So maybe she is an artist?!) And the viewer moves on.  But.....abstract art is not a "new" invention.

Artists have long struggled using only the language of shape, color and size to convey something to the world.  Some are successful in communicating, some not so much.  Unfortunately too many people walk by without trying to hear a message. And whether I'd hang it or not, I think I owe the producer at least a try.

So where is this diatribe taking us?  to the Phillips Collection, the museum of modern art in Washington, DC. where an upcoming program will explore the affect/effect that viewing art can have on our bodies.  I'm excited.  

Whether or not you have been as intrigued as I by the "slow movement" crossing our nation lately (admittedly slowly), I think you will be interested in the Phillips program titled "Slow Moving and Mindful Viewing."  Its goal is to teach visitors to view art via mindful meditation.  Breathing emphasis, imagination, curiosity...a new way to "see" what lies within the paint and canvas.  Click on the link and learn more than I could possibly explain.  You may accuse me of being crazy but I applaud anyone willing to teach or try a new method of exploring art appreciation.

From now on you do not need to feel apologetic if  I produce something you'd never hang...but if it makes you think...or feel...or smell....well, that's the ultimate compliment.  And if you run into me at an art festival and I am holding a piece of pottery and chanting....well, give me credit for trying!!

Here's to finding new ways to appreciate art...without having to live with it on our wall!

Experimentally yours,

p.s.    I had difficulty finding the exact dates of the exhibit but this is fair warning to all my relations and friends in DC area: I may be coming!