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Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Little Artist's house

Here are Jenna's house drawings. I took quick pix after the birthday party yesterday and there was all kinds of reflected light coming from somewhere. They're on white paper. There's so much detail, but it doesn't show up in the small image. What tickled me was the rainbow lines around the house and all the creatures, wild and domestic: a dog, monkey on a tree, turtle, small tiger, skunk, elephant, giraffe, a bird on the fence. She included a bicycle, a car in a garage, and a wagon with a baby in it. Mommy is calling to the baby from the window in the roof at the back. Flowers next to the fence and along the driveway, which she says is gravel, like theirs, therefore gray. The sun is exactly on the reverse side of where the sun is in the front. I was out of the room for most of it, but I gave her a start with the schematic for the house, hill, and driveway on a separate sheet of paper. She made the rest of it up. Is that creative, or what?

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Dove & O'Keeffe not to be missed

This blog at ColourLovers on the Circles of Influence show in Williamstown, MA, at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute shows some of the great paintings from the show. My son gave me the the catalog to add to my collection. The show continues through September 7. The museum itself is worth a trip, but what a delight it would be to see this show.

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Little Artist still at it

I haven't written about the Little Artist for a while. She's still prolific, and has added writing stories to her portfolio. I will be happy when she has vowels in her written words. She's a good reader, but writes entirely phonetically, so "catsup" comes out "ctsp." I'm sure she'll pick it up soon--she starts first grade in a week or so. In the meantime, she was drawing the other day and I asked if she had ever drawn a house. She said she didn't know how--people are her favorite subject. I drew a square with a triangle on top, sitting on a hill with an s-shaped driveway. She was off and running. She drew her house in crayon with multiple-colored lines, a rainbow house. It included rainbow doors and windows, chimney, smoke, and a car in the garage. A tree with a monkey in it, a little boy with a pet skunk, a turtle, a baby tiger, and, of course, the sun. Then, she turned the paper over and drew the back of the house. This picture included an elephant, a giraffe in the backyard, and a host of other animals. There was a mom in the upstairs window calling out to the baby in the wagon to be careful. She put in the sun on the reverse side in the same spot, meaning it was on the left in front and on the right in back. Her inclusion of details fascinates me. She usually has a story to relate about each thing she puts into the pictures. I wish I had photographed her drawings before she took them home.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Misuk Goltz exhibit

One of my newer students, who has studied previously with several other teachers, is exhibiting her work from now until the end of August at One Dayton Center, 1 South Main Street, Dayton, Ohio. Misuk paints beautiful watercolors and pastels. A reception to meet the artist is scheduled for this Sunday, August 16, from 2-4 p.m. I hope I can make it. I hear she has some impressive work that I haven't seen yet.

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Colors of nature--waves

Colour Lovers blog intrigues me nearly every day, but today's link on waves blows me away. I suppose one could Photoshop colors like these, but I think most of them are authentic and spectacular.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Figurative quilt workshop

Here's a great opportunity to work with one of the most creative quilters in the arts: Cathy Jeffers. Her Contemporary Quilting workshop will be held at The Dairy Barn in Athens, Ohio. The tuition is reasonable and special rates are available at the Ohio University Inn. See the fantastic Quilt National show while you're there. Deadline for registration is fast approaching, so sign up soon. Check the link for details.

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Monday, August 10, 2009

Why Design?

We continued with design fundamentals in the Hithergreen class today. I teach the elements and principles of design set forth by Maitland Graves in The Art of Color and Design more than 50 years ago and taught by Edgar A. Whitney, with a couple of my own modifications. We're discussing two elements or principles each week. For homework, the students will bring in pictures--ads, photos, or artwork--that show the elements or principles at work. The students are taking this seriously. At critique they were more aware of today's topics: line and shape. These sketches illustrate the two elements of design. Next week we'll cover value and color. The New Creative Artist includes an chapter on design, including formats and more(pp. 78-101). (See column at right for a link to the book.)

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Sunday, August 09, 2009

Sunday in the Park with Art

Art on the Commons in Kettering is always a pleasure. The best part of the art fair is visiting with exhibiting artist friends and seeing their new work, hearing their adventures. One is ready to launch a children's book, another is excited about studying with a wonderful new teacher. Two are setting up an artist's tour of the Greek Isles for next year. Seemed like very few 2-dimensional arts this year--roughly, 24--and most listed as mixed media. Where did all the gorgeous watercolors go? The jewelry (30 booths) was spectacular and expensive. Lots of great pottery (17 booths), a few (6) fiber artists, but nothing blew me away. Some wonderful photography (8) in creative formats; also, glass (5), wood (5), metals (6), leather (2), and other (4). Very heavy on the fine crafts. In the past I have discovered a number of artists whose work I used in my books, but, except for those I already know, I didn't see anything to file away in my resources for books. Too bad. The show made me miss our Riverbend Art Center's Art in the Park, which has disappeared since the demise of the center. That show was once Ohio's biggest and oldest two-day outdoor art fair. Still, Art on the Commons was a beautiful show. There was a good crowd when it opened, and I could see that sales were being made, especially in the jewelry booths. I wonder about the painters.

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Saturday, August 08, 2009

Hugs in the afternoon

We had a surprise visit this afternoon from our little guy, on his way home from a haircut. It was a short one, but just long enough to stave off serious withdrawal. I'm so grateful our grands are near enough for such precious visits, even short ones.


Friday, August 07, 2009

Learned a lot

The workshop last night was well worth the time. Susan Pickering Rothamel is an engaging, knowledgeable teacher who packs a lot of information in her presentation. She moved quickly from one technique to another, tying everything together with applications to an acrylic collage/painting that she began by gluing a torn fancy paper napkin to canvas-cloth. By the end of the four-hour program, the napkin had disappeared and a colorful, textured, sparkly painting was in its place. What a great way for an artist to overcome the fear of the white surface--just slap that napkin on there and paint it away. The class was great fun, but even more, Sue knows her stuff. As president of USArtQuest, Inc., she has a complete line of acrylic products and mica pigments, including sparkling mica-pigmented watercolors. I didn't even know some of these things existed, but I'm thinking of how I can use them in my work and with my granddaughter's projects. Go to her Web site for video clips of her techniques and details of her books and products. Here are links to her books for additional information:
I'll try to review these books soon.

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Thursday, August 06, 2009

Old friends

I made a date for a quick lunch with a friend of more than thirty years. Five hours later, after much catching up, I got home. What fun. She and I shared treasured memories of the many intersections of our lives, exchanged stories about grandchildren (her greats are the same age as my grands), talked about art and the book we wrote together. It was a wonderful afternoon. I look forward to many more.

"A friend is someone who knows all about you and loves you anyway."--author unknown

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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Way cool

My son sent me these images from Denver International Airport just a few minutes ago. He took them on his iPhone. I'm psyched. I don't suppose the Mosaic shop will mind getting free publicity from this. Now I'm wondering where this book will turn up next. Where's Waldo? I'm over the moon.

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Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Writing proposals and articles for art magazines

Now and then someone emails me for information on this topic. Here's a link to Jennifer King's blog on "How to Get Published in a Magazine". Jennifer has been an editor for several top art magazines. This blog entry is a keeper for anyone interested in writing magazine articles of any kind.

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Monday, August 03, 2009

Viewfinder design

This beginning design exercise is what we did in my class today. Students learn to discern shapes, lines, and patterns in abstract images. They develop a sense of the type of design they like, so they can search for it in their source material.
Start with a 35mm slide mount, a stencil knife, and a magazine advertisement. Use almost any type of magazine. I prefer women's fashion magazines, because I like curving, organic shapes found in the folds of fabric. Some people like the hard edges of car or technical magazines. Move the slide mount over the page until you see an abstract design you like. (You're not looking for pictures!) Then, copy the design inside a small rectangle traced in your sketchbook. If you like, cut out the original and paste it next to your sketch. After you have collected a lot of these, you can see your design preferences: geometric, organic, pattern, etc. Use the designs as structure or background for a painting, quilt, scrapbook page, or other artwork.

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Sunday, August 02, 2009

Color Workshop Pix

Last week I received a CD in the mail with 70 photos from the workshop in Cazenovia, NY. It was hard to cut the number down to a dozen or so, but here they are, mostly of the critique on color scheme sketches. I didn't realize these were being taken at the time. This was such an industrious class--28 students worked hard all week. We weren't looking for finished paintings, but for understanding of the concepts I was teaching: contrasts, triads, and color schemes. They "got it." This photo is fun, showing my work space in the overhead mirror.

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Calendar Surfing

I decided to take my own advice and relax a bit this weekend. For some unknown reason that Webinar, along with a workshop, baby-sitting, and various appointments really wore me out. The baby-sitting was the best part, but still stressful, especially with deadlines looming just ahead. This month looks similar, but the Confident Color workshop in two weeks is just a few miles away, which makes it a lot easier. I'm looking forward to it. The class is small, so I can give a lot of personal attention to the students.

Had an email from my hostess in New Jersey for the Pine Shores Art Association color workshop in September. This will be my sixth workshop there. I stay on Long Beach Island, which is a Jersey-shore vacation paradise. In September, everything is serene and beautiful. PSAA artists are always fun to be with. On Monday night I give a talk at their monthly meeting, so I get to hear what they're up to. I'm astonished at the range of activities they offer, from shows and exhibition opportunities to bus trips to Philadelphia and New York museums for blockbuster art shows. It would be so great if all local art associations were so supportive of their artists--or should that be the other way around?

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Saturday, August 01, 2009

Airport Books

Today I had an email from a teacher who found The New Creative Artist in an airport bookstore. That is so amazing to me. I saw the original Creative Artist once in an airport, maybe 15 years ago, but I rarely see art-instruction books there, let alone oversize books like the new one. This made my day, which hasn't been all that exciting, with laundry as the main event.