Friday, June 23, 2017

Goin' for the Gold-Finch!

"Goldfinch Blossoms" SOLD--thank you!
Happy Summer everyone! First a giant thank you to everyone who helped and supported me during my busiest event of the year--the Denver Summer Art Market a few weeks ago.

Any outdoor event in Colorado is always a bit of surprise but it was gorgeous dry sunny weekend. Almost 100 on Saturday but thankfully my tent partner had a portable bucket misting fan (from Home Depot) which was very popular! I also tried a "gel cool pad" for my chair which I threw in the freezer the night before. Highly recommend for any warm weather event for a quick cool down!

And of course thanks to Denver's best art shoppers for stopping by and collecting my art for yikes almost 20 years! (Started very, very young..;). Sold many of my favorite recent paintings like this cheerful goldfinch painting posted today.

It's a lot of work getting ready for an art event like this but it's so rewarding. You get some time out of your studio, you meet and connect with many new people, you get a ton of painting practice and build your inventory--I painted over 50 new paintings.

With the Market behind me though I'm getting ready for some exciting new art events including...
My NEW 2 Day Glowing Colors Oil Painting Workshop: August 23& 24
Location: Foothills Art Center in Golden, Colorado
Click here for more info or to register.
Foothills Art Center Golden, CO
In the workshop I'll be sharing my tips for using transparent colors to create an exciting under painting which the method I use for many of my animals, including the goldfinch here. I don't often offer a 2 day intensive workshop so this is a good opportunity if you've been looking for an in person painting experience to learn this very popular method.

And finally thanks to all my current summer students for taking time out of their busy summers to paint with me! See you at the easel soon!

Friday, June 2, 2017

June Bugs and Art Markets

"Beach Bug" 8x10 oil painting on Gessoboard (on hold for SAM)
And what is so rare as a day in June? Then, if ever, come perfect days. James Russell Lowell

Happy June Everyone! Welcome to one of the most beautiful months in Colorado. I know I haven't been posting much this year. But only for good reasons--such as lots of teaching, painting, some travel (had a wonderful time as I always do recently in Santa Fe), and well thankfully that keeps my calendar pretty full. I hope this post finds you all well and enjoying the beginning a summer.

Summer Art Market: June 10 & June 11
For me, as many of you know, for 15+ years (give or take) that means getting ready for Denver's annual Summer Art Market--Weekend June 10 and June 11. Today's painting is a sneak peak of one of my paintings for the Market.

If you haven't been this is a fantastic art event with tons of original art by over 250 local artists. This year I'm looking forward to sharing a tent with a very nice Boulder artist (Ms. Lori Mattina). So come visit us on Grant Street (Booth 75--between 2nd and 3rd streets).  Yes outdoor art festivals can be a lot of work but I always look forward to shopping the festival myself as well as selling my own art.

New Summer Oil Painting Class: Starts June 14
For anyone looking to learn that very popular oil painting technique with a transparent underpainting that I love so much I'm teaching one group painting class this summer at the Goodson Rec Center. It's a really fun group of students and very affordable--so come join us if you'd like to learn this colorful fun method. Click here for more info and to register. Class starts WED June 14.

P.S. Many, many thanks to all my amazing and always hard working spring students at Park Hill Art Club and Curtis Art Center--I look forward to seeing you in the fall if we don't paint together this summer!

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Start of Something Colorful

"Purple Paint" 8x10 oil on archival gesso panel
This pinto horse painting is available at Framed Image Gallery in Denver

Beginning with audacity is a very great part of the art of painting. -Winston Churchill

Happy Monday everyone! As a painting teacher many new or "rusty" artists often ask (and rightly so) about the process of painting. More specifically, I'm asked: How do you start a painting? or What exactly do I do first?The truth is a variety of "starts" get the job done. That being said, here are four "sound beginnings" (for wet in wet oils) I find most helpful:  

1.Time for Toning?
I don't always "tone" or color wash my white canvas first but if you're the kind of artist who likes to leap and "just get going" this can be a good first warmup step. I say "wash" meaning a thin layer of acrylic (needs to dry) or "watery" oil paint (using Gamsol or other non toxic thinner.) 
I like warmer toning but you could tone in any color including black. You could also mix color into some white gesso and use that to tone--especially if you desire more tooth/texture on your surface.
2. Thin Darks to Thick Lights
Tried and true for most most occasions. Block in your darkest darks (thinly), then medium values and finally your lightest values (and thicker paint) at the end. I find the "darks first" reveal a light/dark design (i.e. notan) you can easily see from the get go. I find this is a safe, organized approach--also keeps me from using too much white too soon.   
3.Bright Color to Dull
Do you have a lot of "islands" or "spots" of bright color in your painting? If you've read Carol Marine's Daily Painting then you know she suggests starting with intense colors--imagine a bright pink bloom in a sea of dull green leaves. This approach helps keep your color notes cleaner as you work quickly with wet in wet oil paint--some might say a more "painterly" style.  
4. Colorful Under Painting
One of my favorites--But more time consuming because it can take some planning. Imagine a light blue sky painted over a peachy or magenta underpainting. Note this can be done wet in wet or over dry paint on a white (not toned) surface. Great if you like color surprises and "vibrating broken" color you seen in pastels.

In today's horse oil painting I combined darks first with bold color under painting. I hope that overview of "good starts" was helpful. How do you like to start your painting?

P.S. Speaking of new starts, I FINALLY created a studio page on Facebook so please feel free to follow me/friend me there as well. Thanks for your support!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Fresh Year, Fresh Paint!

"Sagey Sorrel" 8x10 1oil on canvas 
Available at Framed Image Gallery in Denver.

A very Happy New Year everyone!  While I don't love the cold, I do relish the fresh start and clean slate we get every January. Before jumping into 2017 though I wanted to take just a quick minute to review what I realized in retrospect was a really exceptional art year...

My thanks to everyone for your support--especially all my students and fellow artists! Let's take a quick look back at some highlights as they say. 
  • Won an award at the Colorado Horse Expo which I plan to enter again this year. 
  • Attended PACE in sunny Tucson where I met hundreds of artists and saw many fantastic demos. Still thinking about San Diego PACE this year...We'll see..
  • Participated in my 15th Denver Summer Art Market--Always my fav art event of the year.
  • Enjoyed a really informative Derek Penix painting workshop
  • Met the painting legend Richard Schmid who also signed his books for me. Mr. Schmid was fortuitously here in Denver for a lovely retrospective show of his work at Gallery 1261. 
  • Met 100+ local artists teaching workshops and classes 
  • Refreshed my Scarlet Owl Studio website (where you can find info about my classes/ workshops)
Not bad for one year right? As I look forward now though I know I need to continue to balance all this exciting art activity with easel time. Got to put in the work for the reward as I tell my students.
Of course it's highly enjoyable "work" when it's a subject you love like my horse painting I did for my gallery's western/cowboy themed show this month. 

Until my next post, best wishes for a successful and rewarding year of creativity and color!