Friday, November 20, 2015

Winter. Spring. Summer. Pumpkin....

Looking forward to painting these colorful farmer's market pumpkins...
Oh how we love pumpkin season. Winter, Spring, Summer, Pumpkin.... 
We anxiously anticipate it every year. Trader Joe’s Fearless Flyer

Happy Fall Friday! I too love the pumpkin season. Am often stocking up at TJ’s so I can enjoy gluten free pumpkin pancakes and muffins year round. Am also eagerly anticipating making my own favorite pie recipe next week: "Santa Fe" Pumpkin Chiffon: Chocolate crust, spicy pecan sprinkle and tequila cinnamon whipped cream...I know. Yum...

Now back to art. Thanks to all the talented artists who joined me for an adventurous mixed media workshop last Saturday! Also special thanks to everyone who supported local artists at the Park Hill Art Club Fall Show last weekend. I sold several recent posted paintings such as my sunlit horse and VW bug--Thank you very much buyers!

A busy art season continues tomorrow where I’m back at Curtis Art Center teaching a one day Artfully Autumn Painting workshop.  Am excited to help students with some of my favorite colorful subjects like owls, ravens, autumn leaves, pumpkins, gourds, vines, etc.

Last Friday I visited the fascinating Wyeth show at the DAM which featured the families' love of pumpkins, Halloween and other spooky subject matter.  
"Pumpkinhead" Self Portrait by Jamie Wyeth
Loved this giant looming raven painting by Jamie Wyeth.
As I look out the studio window today I can see winter looming. But that's OK. Colder weather means I can really get cozy and focus on studio or class painting and build my inventory for the warmer months. If you're looking to stay creatively active this winter come join me and my awesome students in one of my Denver painting group classes I offer on Tues, Wed, or Thurs mornings. We'd love to meet you! For more info please write to me or visit my classes page on my website. Thanks everyone!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Art with Altitude: Celebrating Arts Week!

"Silver Bow" 8x10 oil on panel at Framed Image
November is a wonderful month for both artists and collectors in Denver. It marks our annual Arts Week and there are tons of varied art activities all around our mile high city.

Tomorrow I’m heading down to the DAM to see the new Wyeth exhibit which I’ve been looking forward to for ages. Can't wait to see some of these paintings that I've only seen in print in person. 
The Wyeth Show runs through February 7, 2016 at the DAM
Also this weekend, going to a Daniel Sprick/Quang Ho opening night/talk at the Curtis Art Center (where I’m teaching a workshop earlier that day) and also (I told you there was a lot) participating in the Annual Fall Park Hill Art Club sale this weekend.

If that weren’t enough, I see that that legendary realist painter David Leffel is demoing at Gallery 1261 this Saturday and if I wasn’t teaching I wouldn't want to miss this. 

If you're looking for more art inspiration in November and December I have one painting workshop left this year on Saturday, November 21 at Curtis Arts Center and I also have openings in my open studio class on Tuesday mornings. Also my new 2016 class info will be available soon!

For more info about these write to me or please visit the Classes/Workshops page on my website. Thanks everyone for supporting the arts and especially to all my fellow Denverites for help to make our home such a thriving creative village for artist and art lovers!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Look for the Learning: For My Mom, Carol

Mom enjoyed my watercolors and gardening so this is for her.
Painful as it may be, a significant emotional event can be the catalyst for choosing a direction that serves us - and those around us - more effectively. Look for the learning. Louisa May Alcott

Taking some time today for a more personal post today....Reflecting, rejoicing, remembering...

My Mom passed away peacefully on a picture perfect fall day last week. Mom was an avid baker (her car’s plate is GR8COOK) so autumn was her favorite season. This "homey" time of year often included making treats, cider and apples, hot tea, reading a good mystery, watching a classic Hitchcock movie...All things I enjoy too.
Mom with our longtime childhood dog Ginger
In a sad week I'm finding considerable comfort considering how much my Mom influenced my everyday life as well as my art. And of course will continue to do so...
My Mom was our family's very own Julia Child. 

Because of my Mom I love color (particularly blue greens), dark chocolate, making soups, nature, the library, black licorice, baklava, scarves, farmer’s markets, tote bags, Macintosh apples, swimming, tarragon, making lists (like this one!), a great bargain (is this every Midwestern Mom??), jewelry, PBS "how to" shows (especially Julia Child) and of course helping other artists learn and master a craft that that they too can enjoy.
 Mom's handiwork on display---Apologies to my brother.
While not a painter per se, Mom was a skilled craftsperson—Knitting, sewing, quilting, hooking (rugs just to be clear). Many of my students in the studio wear her colorful aprons. Speaking of sewing here’s a fun “throwback” photo of my brother and and I resplendent in 1970’s era Mom crafted Halloween costumes.
One of the many fun knitted gifts from Mom.
Interestingly, Mom named me after the Amy (the artist) in Alcott’s Little Women. She also told me once she took a drawing class at an art museum while she was pregnant so who knows? I was likely set on this path from the very beginning...
My namesakes: Amy & Beth
I'll miss you Mom but will you think of you often in the studio as I continue to teach and learn. My heartfelt thanks to students, friends, everyone who has sent me kind notes and warm thoughts this past week. Wishing you all too a happy and peaceful season of learning!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Painting in the Heart of Autumn

"Sunny Bug" 8x10 oil on linen pane--SOLD---Thank you!
I love when other artists take the time to review a painting workshop they've taken or demo they've attended so I promise I will post my review of  Peggi Kroll Roberts' workshop soon. Spoiler alert (and probably no surprise to many of you): It was phenomenal from start to finish!

Since I took two "light and shadow" workshops (see Tim Horn in previous post) back to back I've been considering at a wider variety of subjects such as this cute but rusty VW bug parked outside one of my classrooms. (My first car was a burgundy VW Rabbit that barely survived the 1,269 mile road trip to Denver long, long ago so also I have a soft spot for vintage VWs.)

October is flying by so I quickly wanted to share a few November events coming soon! 

2 Fall Weekend Workshops @ Curtis Arts Center in Greenwood Village, CO
I rarely teach on the weekends but I’m offering 2 fun Saturday workshops—Fall Colors (any painting media) and Mixed Media. Please visit my website class page or email me for more info.

Silent Art Auction & Reception: Nov. 7
Curtis Arts Center is also hosting their annual Silent Fine Art Auction on SAT. Nov. 7 from 6P to 8P where collectors can bid on affordable fine art from instructors, students and other artists in the area. 

Park Hill Art Club Fall Art Show and Sale: Nov. 13-15
This popular 3 day art sale features a huge variety of art (bin and framed) from hundreds of members and instructors (include myself). Please visit the PHAC site for more info. Original art makes a unique and personal holiday gift!

November "Daily Painting" Class: Tuesday AM from 9A to Noon 
This is casual open studio where I work with each student at their own level in oil or acrylic painting. At Blackridge Artists School. Be sure to also check their upcoming workshops!

Many thanks to my all my hard working fall students and wishing you all a colorful and creative autumn week!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Painting the Light: Tim Horn Workshop Review

"Light Gray Steps" horse painting 8x10 oil on gesso board--SOLD--Thank you!

Happy October! In the past 2 months, I "invested in me" and took 3 wonderful painting workshops here in Denver at Blackridge Artists School (where I currently offer a Tues. morning open studio class).

Quick shout out to all the artists I met at the workshops who took time to offer support, kind comments and much inspiration! Hope to cross painting paths with you in the future.

But with nine intensive days of learning and painting as well as teaching my own classes (thanks fall students!) I’m running a little behind posting. In no way does this reflect my enthusiasm for the workshops and my eagerness to share them with you.

Known for his rosy golden California landscapes Tim Horn’s fantastic 3 day workshop focused on seeing and painting light and shadow. I loved Tim’s straightforward exercises such as black/white notan sketches which helped to simplify and organize busy landscapes (buildings, cars, boats, telephone poles, etc.). 
Tim demonstrates an example of a light and shadow notan from his photo reference.
Exercise: Small light and shadow studies--super helpful!
Close up of Tim's light and shadow thumbnail example (note the warm peachy tone)
Tim also had the class study and paint the effects of sunlight using colored blocks which you can see here. An excellent exercise to try if you're new to outdoor painting! Notice how much these blocks resemble the planes of a building...
Colored blocks on sunlit table to help study light shadow planes
Tim blocking in shadow shapes of blocks (note his colors are on side panel away from mixing area)
 find one of the benefits of a decisive "yes/no" light/shadow approach is the painting often falls into place after you block in your cooler dark shadow shapes. Then the warmer thicker light passages act as the icing on the cake or canvas if you will.

Tim shares his sketch book (he likes Moleskine and a Monolith 4B pencil)
You can see (hopefully) my application of this exciting approach in my horse painting today. (Thanks Miss Jenny for letting me take pics of your lovely horse.) Before we ventured outdoors Tim had us work on simple limited palette mini landscapes (above) as well as a larger light and shadow practice painting which you can see here. 
My 9x12 light and shadow exercise from Tim's photo of a Maine harbor.
Tim painting a bungalow across the street late PM Day 1

Here are some more workshop pics including Tim's informative and enjoyable demos--even when the light didn't quite cooperate or someone drove off in the car Tim was painting!

Tim starts another demo on Day 2 with simple big shapes
The workshop class enjoying Tim's demo--even though it was a little overcast.
Who knew a garage and an an alley could make such a nice painting?
Thanks again Tim for visiting Denver and for such an informative and enjoyable workshop. I'm already reaping rewards back in the studio. Next up: Painting with Peggi! In the meantime happy fall painting!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Seeking Autumn Colors

"Rainbow Rooster" 8x10 oil on gessoboard--SOLD--Thank you!

Delicious autumn!

My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. George Eliot

Happy weekend everyone! Gorgeous early fall weather in Denver and having a wonderful time teaching two new painting classes in Denver at Blackridge ArtistsSchool (check out their fantastic "big names" workshop schedule) and Park Hill Art Club.

I also attended several art events this week which means I’ve had the pleasure of meeting at least 30 new artists! (Denver is an amazingly creative area!) Thank you again new and continuing students for your support and interest this fall!

Speaking of being "out and about" next Tues. morning on Sept. 22 I’ll be doing a demo at Blackridge of one of my favorite “layered” oil painting techniques which I employed in this colorful rooster daily painting today. That’s the “wet in wet” opaque pigments over the transparent block in. For more info about this demo please feel free to email me. I think I'll paint something with feathers...but we'll see!

This painting process may not sound that interesting on paper but it’s what creates the glowing color and often pleasant surprises.  It's a great match for florals and feathers! As many of you may know this is the approach used by artists such as Dreama Tolle Perry, Nancy Medina, Hedi  Moran, and Mary Maxam just to name a few. 

Thanks--Enjoy the rest of your weekend and all the deliciousness that is early autumn!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

All These Lovely Tokens

"Appeeling Orange" 6x8 oil on canvas panel--SOLD--Thank you!
By all these lovely tokens September days are here, 
With summer's best of weather And autumn's best of cheer. 
Helen Hunt Jackson

Happy September everyone! Little late in posting today for the “30 in 30” debut because I was at jury duty this AM (pretty good excuse right?) and then treated myself on a Tuesday to a delightful taco patio lunch with friends (it’s a gorgeous day!) but I’m back in the studio now. 

I love the back to school season! This month, I’m honored to be teaching 3 classes and taking at least 2 interesting workshops. I still have room in my Tuesday afternoon Colorful & Quick (Successful Daily Painting) class. Click here for more info. I’m also taking both an abstract workshop as well an oil painting workshop with artist Tim Horn

Tim Horn Landscape Painting
I’ve always been drawn to Californian paintings. That distinct glowing light always gives a strong but comforting déjà vu. So Tim’s work caught my eye right away. I feel very lucky Tim’s offering a workshop not far from my studio at the Blackridge Artist School.

As if September wasn’t busy enough (and again I couldn’t be more grateful for this) it also marks the beginning of Leslie Saeta's "30 in 30” painting challenge as many of you know. I’m sticking with color as my theme and posting an oil painting study of oranges (the color as well as the subject.)

As part of the challenge I'm also going to try to read an art book a day (OK maybe every few days). Today's book is LoriMcNee’s new book: Fine Art Tips. It features many contemporary painting masters (such as Denver’s own renowned Dan Sprick). If you like "step by step" painting approaches as well as some helpful business tips from Lori I’ll think you’ll enjoy this as well. Thanks everyone and to my fellow "30 in 30" artists have a great month of painting!