Tuesday, May 28, 2019

CVP: Creative Visionary Program

Many of you follow Nick Wilton's Art2Life on Facebook and Instagram or read his blog about painting playfully from the heart. I've learned so much from Nick's free instructional videos which are released every Sunday morning and have longed to study with him. But he's in San Francisco and I'm in Portland, with little hope of joining one of his workshops. 

Then he announced that he was offering a 3-month-long online workshop that promised to be exactly what I need at this stage of the game. So I signed up and am taking CVP.  

Creative Visionary Program is amazing and I'm being pushed to think deeper, write longer, experiment with abandon, get up earlier and paint as much as my heart wants to.  We began by making three Vision Boards. I figured they'd be a piece of cake but the Inspiration Board drew me into deeply consider why and what and how I want to make art. What inspires me? And why, when I stand at the top of a hill and look across the vast scenery spread out before me, why do I want to paint that?

Inspiration Board
Then I repeated the process in order to figure out what I want my future to look like, art-wise. At 80 my timeline is so much shorter than when I was a young woman with so many options from which to choose.  I still have those options but it's now necessary to narrow my focus while still dreaming big as I've always done. By no means am I giving up making art or even slowing down much; I'm just becoming more focused.   One of God's most appreciated gifts was making me a creative woman. My natural instinct is to bring beauty to my surroundings and to make beautiful, colorful works of art... for myself, if no one else, and to honor him in the way I do it.  

Design Board

I haven't made my Art Board. It will trace my art history, past, present, future, where I'll do more dreaming and planning.

Three years ago I revealed that I had lost a bunch of weight, 60 pounds, on a new program called Bright Line Eating. 

Now there's a NYTimes best selling book, and tens of thousands of Bright Line Eaters who have released their extra weight... and have kept it off through a strong maintenance program. I'm one of them.  If you or a loved one is ready to shed some unwanted pounds let me know and I'll see about getting you a nice discount on the price of the program. I'm amazed at my own results, and oh, so grateful and healthy.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Excited About Collage

I'm excited by the new series of classes I'm leading at The Village Gallery. Please join me for a day to PLAY with paper and glue.

On June 3 and July 8 we'll think about LANDSCAPE as we work and on June 17 the topic is using STENCILS in your paintings...

...and we'll talk about BEGINNING. Whether you're new to collage or an old hand, how to begin is always the first question. We'll tackle that head on.

Each class runs from 9 am until 1 pm. The fee is $75. The Supply List is detailed on the gallery website.

Register at the The Village Gallery by phone 503-644-8001 or through the gallery website here.

Post any questions or comments below in the comment box.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Short Notice: New Workshop at Village Gallery tomorrow, May 20

Working on Little Jo series

This is a quick reminder that it's not too late to register for my latest collage workshop, a one day, 4 hour playdate, at The Village Gallery in Cedar Mill. 

Short Notice:  Tomorrow, May 20, 2019     9am-1pm

Other playdates have been scheduled if you can't make this one.

 If you're local and want to have a fun morning on a rainy day in Portland, do hop over to the gallery and register... or just show up tomorrow and we'll make a place for you at the table.

Find the particulars at https://villagegalleryarts.org. Click on "May calendar". 

It's basically a work day with no formal instruction other than a couple of demonstrations about using stencils in your work. Bring whatever you're working on or start something new and I'll be there to hold your hand or help however you need my expertise.  

No materials will be supplied. There's a list of what to bring in the gallery newsletter at the address above.

As they say where I was raised, "Y'all come!"


Other playdates: June 3, June 17, July 8.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Collage around a drawing

Thursday was a bit bittersweet... after a month on the walls of the Village Gallery I took down the twelve pieces of the Color Wheel exhibition. Sales were sweet. Comments and visits from friends were welcome. The entire experience helped me grow as an artist and gave me much needed encouragement to forge onward.

So what was bitter about it? Putting the work away. Not being able to walk into the gallery and see the colorful display. There's something so special about seeing an entire body of work hanging on a gallery wall.  The People's Choice was Orange with Blue, seen on the upper left of the photo below.

My friend Roz Stendahl just posted a fun exercise on Facebook about building a collage around a drawing. See it here. Roz continually comes up with great ideas for drawing and for a collage artist this project is sure a keeper... and one I wanted to share immediately with you. If you try it please send me a jpg and I'll send it onward to Roz.

Now excuse me while I go play in the studio.

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

We All Love A Good Story.

Art usually has a story to tell. You know that, don’t you? The artist paints, the musician plays or sings, the actor plays a part.  The audience listens, watches, appreciates… and sometimes participates.  Communication.

An early morning conversation with some art buddies segued into the idea of using story-telling as a way of helping the viewer understand the work whether it’s realistic or non-representational. I’ve noticed during open studios how the conversation frequently leads to me telling the story behind a piece that interests a visitor. 

Here's a story for you....

This collage painting is called Homeward Bound and the story around it goes something like this: 

"The woman is my mother when she was about 18 and Dad was falling in love with her. 
255 was my phone number! Yes, I’m that old. 
The bridge is similar to one that my father forced me to drive across when I was learning that skill. It had wooden planks placed wheel width apart and I had to practice keeping the tires on the planks (or crash into the river below, so I thought). Yikes.
The two men in the rowboat represent my father and brother… and me. Dad loved for us to go fishing with him; he made us row while he fished.  
The handwriting is from a letter from my dear sister-in-law."

I think that because of this good story I could have sold this piece several times, but it’s not for sale for that same reason. It reminds me that my heart will ever be Homeward Bound.

Pull out some of your paintings and see if you can make up a story about it. The story could be about the content, the images. Or maybe it's about the process of painting it. Maybe the story is pure fiction but fits the painting. It could be the title, a short story.

Write the story, put it in an envelope and tape the envelope to the back of the painting for a buyer or your heirs to find someday. If it’s headed to a gallery you might make the story part of the label or contained in the artist statement.  We all love a good story.  

So....please tell me a story by leaving it in the comment section below. 

Monday, February 11, 2019

When Push Comes to Shove....

...... I can do whatever it takes…. 

….and does it ever feel good to finish the hard thing, which this time was making the artwork for a show at The Village Gallery in March. 

I did the serious planning and a bit of work in December and as soon as the holidays were behind me I geared up, and yesterday I was able to take the finished work to be photographed. Whew!  Twelve rather complex collages in 6 weeks is a personal record.

I’m proud of the work I’ve done and am excited to see it all hanging.  I hope you who live in the area will come see the show between March 3 and 30, 2019. Maybe you’ll find something that’s just right for a wall in your own home.
You know I love color and have had extensive training in using color. Having taught the standard color wheel I know that many people find it difficult to actually use the color wheel when making their art. So… I decided to make twelve 12” x 12” collage paintings with each one based on one of the colors in the color wheel to show you how it might be done. I made the primary-color pieces first, complemented with black and white. Then I made the secondary and tertiary versions, some accented with its complement (opposite color on the color wheel) or with its split complement. The results are an interesting grouping.

Here's a peek at my process for "Purple":

Let me tell you.... It took lots of head-scratching to decide what I think of as purple. Does it lean toward blue or toward red? Is it violet, periwinkle, blueberry.  Oh my. I pulled out my drawer of purple painted papers and chose a variety of papers to audition for this piece.  

More head-scratching let me to narrowing down the selection to these pieces to use as the first layers. This is what it looked like laid out and photographed as a 12" square-ish shape.

"PURPLE"   $375

More decisions, more auditioning, more papers, some marks and stenciling led me to this this finished work. 

You're welcome to copy the following list of my processes if it will help you in your own art making.

  • Build the background with paper and paint
  • Add images, photographs, marks, stencils and stamps
  • Seal with gloss medium
  • Add photo transfers, if desired.
  • Make more marks. Add glazes.
  • Seal again with gloss medium, or with matte medium if you prefer a matte surface.
  • Photograph.
  • Finish the edges of the cradle, if using.
  • Frame the work.
  • Sign on the front and on the back
  • Add to your inventory, with pricing.

Thursday, February 07, 2019

My 40 Day Challenge

 A couple of months ago I hatched the idea to do a 40 Day Challenge, on my own, inside an 8" square book I created from 2 sheets of a heavyweight drawing paper.

THE CHALLENGE: Every day for 40 days make marks on one page using black ink, crayon, graphite, thread, paper.  I began with a great deal of enthusiasm but withing a week I realized that my erratic schedule didn't give me time to do the work every single day... so I flexed and agreed with myself that doing a page for 5 of the 7 weekdays was enough.  I stuck to it and made 40 pages.

CONCLUSION: I won't limit myself this way again. Instead of being a motivation to visit the page I sometimes dreaded doing the work. It became a chore.


Nevertheless, I'm glad I did it. I have a lovely book chock full of markmaking ideas that I will carry forward in my paintings, drawings, and collage. For that I'm grateful.

The process I like best is what I call Extended Photographs.  I printed out one of my own photographs in grayscale, in about half the size of the book page, and glued it securely. Using ink or graphite I drew beyond the edge of the photo, creating an imaginary landscape which didn't appear in the photo.  In this first one I used a Q-tip dipped in ink as well as a dip pen.

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