Sunday, January 29, 2012

Painting Little Treasures in Paradise

"Sunshine in a Jar" 8x8 oil on linen
Florida--I miss you!! Back home today in my studio after a truly wonderful week of painting, beach combing, key lime tarts, and dolphin watching (sounds terrible doesn't it??) in beautiful Marco Island Florida. Can't begin to express what a great time I had in Dreama Tolle Perry's "Petite Treasures" oil painting workshop at the Marco Island Art Center for the Arts-- An ideal painting location--bright, open, modern with palm trees swaying outside the window. I could paint there every week!
Marco Island Center for the Arts
Painting in an all day workshop (especially one you've traveled a ways to get to) is exhilarating but can it also be exhausting as some of you may know so a big added bonus was getting to chill out after class just blocks away (thanks Jimmy!) in a lovely high rise condo overlooking Crescent Beach on the Gulf of Mexico.   
Crescent Beach (Marco Florida) from the balcony
It was truly one of the best painting workshops I've ever attended. My sincere thanks to Dreama and all the fantastic group of talented, friendly, and generous painting ladies for making my trip so enjoyable and memorable. I miss all your warm and sunny Southern accents already! It was a pleasure meeting all of you. I wish you all a very happy and colorful year of painting!
Marco Island Shells from AM jog (OK stroll)
I've admired Dream'as gorgeous oil paintings for a long time so getting to meet her in person and watch her demo several beautiful paintings just a few feet away (which you can see on her blog this week) was amazing. She makes you feel immediately at ease and her advice really does make a difference. I also want to thank Dreama for encouraging us to try lots of new colors that I wouldn't normally use like Cad Orange,  Sap Green (yes I used green from a tube!), Diox Purple, and Caribbean Blue--All in today's painting and I love them!   
Marco Workshop Painters--Working hard but having fun!
This was also one of the few workshops I've ever left with paintings I was honestly happy with. My painting today (photo courtesy of Dreama) was painted on the third and last day after the "musical easel" exercise. I can see why so many artists return to her workshops. If you have a Dreama workshop in your future you will learn lots and have a blast! 

I returned with a ton of photos and notes to sift through and I'll be posting more about the workshop this week. Quick thanks too to my students for letting me take a week break from the studio. I missed you all and look forward to seeing you all back in the studio in the upcoming weeks. Finally, my favorite advice from Dreama: Paint what you love. Now that's a souvenir. Happy painting y'all.  

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tangerine Dreams 48x48 Oil on Gallery Canvas
Each year, as some of you may know, the color industry leaders over at Pantone select a color that they think is making it's move in fashion, design, art, etc.  This large square oil abstract was inspired by the "2012 Pantone Color of the Year"--Tangerine Tango. Over at Daily Paintworks they are celebrating Tangerine Tango with this week's painting challenge!  FYI, for this painting, I mixed an approximation of the Tangerine Tango using Cadmium Red Light and Cadmium Yellow Light.

I was thrilled to see this "sophisticated but at the same time dramatic and seductive" hue selected because I often include red orange in my paintings. Personally (and what's more personal in art than color?) I was less enamored the 2011 color of the year--Honeysuckle. Kind of a cool midtone pink. 

I just finished up packing up all my art supplies in preparation for my Marco Island (yes it's a bit warmer there) painting workshop with Dreama Tolle Perry. I've been looking forward to this workshop for ages. I look forward to telling you all about it when I return.

For those of you thinking about workshop travel this year, I decided to mail myself in advance an insured large "flat rate" no weight limit box (less than $20) that I crammed full of supplies such as expensive paint, walnut oil, painting knives, linen panels, etc. to avoid any airport hassle--plus if you've packed up art supplies you know they how heavy they can be.
Finally, I want to give a warm winter welcome and high fives to all my many new 2012 students. Thanks so much for starting out your art year with me in the studio. It's been a pleasure meeting all of you. If you are interested in painting classes in February/March I have a few spots left (not many) but feel free to email me for more info.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Sky's the Limit in 2012!

December Sunset (can you see the jumping dolphin?)
Happy New Year! I'm not crazy about cold weather but I do think January is an amazing month to be an artist. There’s so much fresh creative energy and endless possibilities for art projects on the horizon.

Winter days also provide an ideal excuse for concentrating on a more time intensive painting, finally reading (or re-reading) that text-heavy academic tome lurking on your shelf (Itten’s The Art of Color anyone??), or organizing your workspace. Want more ideas for creative success in 2012? Check out this artist resolution list from art biz coach Alyson Stanfield. Or listen to the Blogtalk radio shows on Artists Helping Artists. 

Today’s post was inspired by a this wonderful violet sunset (actual colors) photo I took last week in my own backyard. In planning my own sky painting, I’d thought I’d share a few considerations and sky painting tips: 
  • Where's the sky cooler? Where is it warmer? In general, you’ll find that the sky is often cooler and dark at the highest point and lighter/warmer at the horizon line.
  • To “warm up” a cool blue sky, I sometimes tone my canvas first with warmer colors such as permanent rose, Indian yellow, etc. Won't this impact the sky color? Yep, that's the plan.
  • Want a more unique sky? Skip the blue altogether. I’m always drawn to paintings with yellow, green, and other “non blue” skies. 
  • Take a few minutes to study your sky value range. As you can see in this “value study” black and white version my sky some of the “white” clouds are relatively quite dark. 
Sky Value Study
  • Pay special attention to your edges and shapes in a sky.  There may be only a few really sharply defined edges and rarely any sharply defined shapes.  
Want more sky painting tips? Check out this Free Webinar: Essentials of Painting Skies Saturday, January 14. (Note: I find these have been filling quickly so be sure to "take your seat" before the class starts.)
Save the Date: Heart Art Auction, February 9
I’m also enjoying working on my heart themed painting for the 2012 Denver Heart Art fundraiser on February 9. You get more info about donating art or attending the event at Denver Heart Art