Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Best Art Event of the Summer!

"Love, Peace, Owls" 18 x 24 mixed media on canvas
Happy June everyone! It’s finally here....June 13 & June 14 is Denver’s big annual Summer Art Market (SAM).

I'm happy (and proud) to say it's my 14th year as a SAM artist! While it's hard work (almost daily prep since April) it's still my favorite weekend of the year!

I know summer is a busy time for everyone but please be sure to stop by if you’re in town and say hi—SAM is free and a great family outing as well with music, food and kid’s activities.  Here’s the detailed info:

What: Summer Art Market—over 250 fine artists!
Where: 2nd and Grant (near Speer and Broadway in Denver)
When:  June 13 and June 14 (Saturday  10A to 6P and Sunday 10A to 5P)
Where to find me: Booth 146 (on 2nd just west of Grant)

I may be a little biased but I really do think variety and quality of original fine artwork is amazing from traditional oils to contemporary sculpture! And there are price points for everyone!
"Copper Canter" 18 x 24 mixed media on canvas

"Growing Strong" (detail) Mixed Media/Collage 20 x 30

Getting ready for SAM---paintings and more paintings!
Speaking of pricing better get back to framing, tagging, etc. (you can see my living room staging area above) with just days to go. Here are a few of the nature inspired acrylic mixed media paintings I’ve been working on.  Have a great summer week everyone--hope to see you this weekend!

P.S. Want to paint this summer? There are still some openings in my next group class (Painting Nature and Florals) which starts on Wednesday, June 24. Please visit my website for more info. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Top 10 List Just for Artists

I’m going to share that in college I had three big celebrity crushes: Han Solo (I mean Harrison Ford), Don Johnson (I mean Sonny Crockett) and David Letterman...
College Era Dav--Maybe he's reading my letter??
So I’m a little melancholy painting in the studio this morning after watching Dave’s last show last night. My crush on Letterman was so well known that my friends wrote a letter to him (on my behalf) proposing marriage to him. (Sadly, I did not get a reply.)

I have fond memories of gathering around my little color Sony TV with fellow students to watch Dave even if we had an early exam. So in honor of Mr. Letterman I’ve put together my own artist themed (of course) Top Ten List…Ladies and gentlemen here we go... 

Top 10 Best Things about Being an Artist
10. Wearing a teal beret (and maybe even a red cape) to the Costco seems perfectly reasonable.
9.  When someone says: My child is a wonderful artist--You really DO want to hear about it.
8. What happens at the art supply store…Stays at the art supply store.
7. Everyone wants to be your Pictionary partner.
6. You think something “sketchy” doesn’t sound well that bad.
5. Your somewhat “eccentric” collection of bones, rusty cups, and old string is perceived to be “charming” and “artistic” by friends and family.
4. You CAN draw a straight line.
3. You know there's way more than 50 shades of gray. (Thanks to my friend and fellow late night fan MR for that one.)
2.Your artistic license doesn’t require a photo.

And the number one best thing about being an artist...
1. Your “non traditional” schedule allows you to stay up late and enjoy the same crazy shows you watched in college!

Thanks for all the memories Dave—you'll be missed! P.S. My next upcoming group class starts Wed. June 24. For more info please visit my website. Cheers everyone!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Just a Walk in the Park

"Canada Violets" 9x12 oil on linen
Happy May everyone! May’s an extra special month for me. It marks the Kentucky Derby (my favorite sporting event), my birthday, my mother’s birthday, return of the farmer's market, and so many other colorful spring events in the city.

This morning I had a marvelous May morning teaching my first “Color Confidence” class where there were a great new group of students willing to explore color with me! Thank you again ladies for joining me--I look forward to painting with you! For more information on my Denver summer art classes click here.
Even though early May in Colorado can be a little rainy remains one of my favorite months to explore local parks. I'll always find some regulars like this handsome wading Canada Goose I painted this week. (FYI, I'll be taking this painting like most of my spring paintings to the Summer Art Market in June.) But I also enjoy the return of lilacs, quince, iris, robins, red wing blackbirds, red buds, singing warblers--and all things springy!
Gosling--still yellow and fluffy!

Here's a few pics of of spring around the Mile High city this past week. Enjoy and have a spectacular spring week in your creative space!
Tulips--pink and floppy like a Derby hat!

I love the color range in morning lilacs.

It must be spring if the warblers are back!

 P.S. If Spring is your favorite season you may enjoy my Spring Art Board on Pinterest.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Where Creativity is Contagious

"Enchanted Adobe" 8x10 oil on gesso panel

“Creativity is contagious, pass it on!” – Albert Einstein

Happy Friday everyone! Despite today's gloomy Rocky Mountain spring forecast, I think of Spring as the perfect time for renewal, growth, and creativity. An ideal time to learn something new just for yourself…

Speaking of creativity thanks to all my spring students! Some of you are new and some are “old” friends. To each of you, thanks again sharing your creative time with me through all the seasons. 

Since it's almost May I started to make some summer travel plans this week. Each year I try to visit to a place I've never been before (more on the place I've picked this year in an upcoming post.)

But it's also nice to return to places that you've grown fond. That welcome you back. For me (like many artists) that's always been New Mexico. Which is thankfully just a state away...

Santa Fe is a special place where I've always felt the creativity is highly contagious.  This cute adobe home is just off windy arty Canyon Road. (I'm told only low level traditional adobe structures are allowed in this area.) 

Better stop day dreaming and get back to painting. Wishing you a wonderful spring weekend! For more info about my painting classes or upcoming workshops please email me or visit the studio website

P.S. Love New Mexico? Check out my Land of Enchantment board on Pinterest.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Let's Paint--It's Blossom Week!

"Peaceful Paint" 8x10 oil on Gesso Panel (SOLD-Thank you!)
To me, horses and freedom are synonymous. 
Equine sculpture Veryl Goodnight

This is one of my favorite weeks in Denver.  It’s the week my four ancient crab apple trees come to life turning cotton candy pink. I always look forward to "blossom week" and this year it’s even about a week earlier than usual.
April apple blossoms in my yard

If you’ve been following my last few posts, you saw I was working my way around the color wheel with some fun mixed media work but today I woke up in an oil mood.
Pink blossoms are also tasty!
I have thousands of reference photos (I take photos at least a few times a week) so I look through them quickly to see what grabs my attention. What am I looking for? Typically 2 things: Intriguing shapes and bold value changes. Note that as much as I love color it’s not the main factor.  

I selected this photo because a bold dark/light design supports allows for more personal color interpretation—and for me that’s the best part of painting. 

For more information about my upcoming May color art class (for oil and acrylic painters) please email me or visit the Curtis Art Center website. Wishing you week full of creative blooming!

Monday, March 30, 2015

March Monday Magenta Madness

"Alphabet Rooster" 16x16 mixed media on canvas panel
I am seeking.
I am striving.
I am in it with all my heart.
Vincent van Gogh

Happy Monday (and van Gogh's birthday) everyone! My trip around the color wheel continues with red violet (or magenta) as my color inspiration this morning.

At first I thought the red-violet color (magenta was my favorite childhood Crayola crayon) would work well as a spring floral subject such as tulips but pretty quickly this colorful rooster emerged. 
They say if you like red-violet that you are balanced (it’s a cool and warm) and like to surround yourself with creative stimulation.

Every time I paint a rooster or chicken for an art show or festival they are good sellers too. So I always paint one for good luck. Painting the tail is my favorite part!

FYI, typically for my oil paintings I prefer linen canvas. But for mixed media paintings I recommend working on a harder flat panel especially if you don’t need a really large stretched canvas.  I think it’s much easier to “attack” with collage, layer, glaze, stamp, stencil, draw, scrape, spray, drip, splatter, etc.

If this process sounds hands on and physical—it is. It’s one of reasons I still enjoy working with mixed media from time to time —it’s a very energizing painting work out!  (P.S. I often stand for hours so an anti-fatigue mats really helps the feet, back, etc. You can find just about any size mat at Uline.)

On a supply note, I’ve been using flat canvas panels (such as a Fredrix) but a gesso panel (such as Ampersand) or heavy illustration board with a few coats of gesso would work great too. And thank you Vincent for your continued color inspiration!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Mixing it up in the Studio

"Love Nest" 16 x 16 acrylic mixed media (on hold for Summer Art Market)
There are colors which cause each other to shine brilliantly, which form a couple which complete each other like man and woman. Vincent van Gogh

Van Gogh's birthday is this upcoming Monday (March 30) so that was my quote choice today. (Did you know you can read (or search) all of Van Gogh's letters archived online in this wonderful resource?)

Given his love of color, I think Vincent would approve of my painting goal this week. Which is 12 paintings each with a dominant color working around the color wheel. My initial plan was to go in chroma order but as you know a painting often takes you by surprise and so I let the main color emerge as I worked on it.
"Dream Tree" 16x16 acrylic mixed media (on hold for Summer Art Market)
"Bloom to Grow" 16x16 acrylic mixed media (on hold for Summer Art Market)
 My previous post was Green and Blue Green. Today I'm posting Yellow Orange (one that I really ended up loving), Violet, and Red (a strong hue so that was a challenge.)

Mixed media/acrylic paintings are perfect for this “exercise” because they dry quickly and are easy to change on the fly. It’s probably my favorite aspect of working with acrylics. FYI, most of my paintings from now until June will be available at the Summer Art Market: June 13 & 14. I like to have lots of inventory for SAM collectors who are so loyal to this wonderful event.

For more info about my Denver art classes or upcoming painting workshops please visit the Scarlet Owl Studio website.   Thanks and have a colorful spring week!