I had an open window several weeks ago to look back through some of my old sketch books. Some of those early sketch books are now in the landfill. However, several sketch books brought back a lot of early memories when I didn’t know transparent verses opaque. Cold pencil notes from early workshops stared me in the face waiting to be read. One particular reference was luminosity, paintings that have that warm fuzzy feeling called ‘glow.’ Surely I attended the class because the notes were definitely mine, when my handwriting was more legible. At first it was like reading something for the first time….then memories began to come back like an old movie. You know that feeling when the title is foreign and halfway through the movie you remember the ending and title. Those few pages had me on my feet looking for a photo reference, grabbing a canvas, making a quick sketch, squeezing out fresh paint and trying my hand at a new experience from an old page. Below is a painting created from a look back….hope you enjoy the view from inside an antique store….JoBeth
What a fun time judging Coleman’s Fine Arts League membership show. Artist residing in small or large communities have the same goals….enjoying every stolen moment to create as if it were a first time experience. Bill Shields, the Leagues President, drove me to their newest venture or venue, a combination of old and new. The First Presbyterian Church now houses the Coleman Museum and the Leagues Art Gallery. Members of the League have a great facility to conduct workshops/exhibits and a great meeting place. Hard work and elbow grease showed the minute I walked in the gallery. If you go to or through Coleman make sure you stop to see the beautiful art and browse the Heritage Hall Coleman Museum….thank all of you for making me feel at home and sharing your talents.
Recently reading a publication online, one article caught my eye. The winners of a recent competition were posted….1st place winner was one of those ‘really’ moments. My first thought, was a question, is that my painting? A closer look revealed an identical copy from my web site with an unfamiliar signature. Surprise! Surprise! Surprise! as Gomer would say…those of you to young to know who Gomer was….check out Mayberry, U.S.A. Some of you reading this can relate… a deer in the headlights moment. It’s a flash back to the reference photo and the last brush stroke that finished the painting. The time of completion is mentally documented with your signature. The time is a prerequisite for painters because the most frequent ask questions from the viewing public ‘how long did it take you to paint that?’ Composing an acceptable piece of work doesn’t always come easy for most of us. Drawing, adjusting shapes, choosing colors, right technique are just a few major decisions in producing a work you would be proud to show your worst critic. Unfortunately, this is not my first rodeo or experience with this issue. How about recognizing your work on a wall knowing you didn’t enter this show, because you’er the judge. I was tempted at this particular event to give myself, Best of Show. Browsing through a gallery was another headlight experience. A class work copy framed hanging with a familiar signature priced to sell. Thoughts go through my head ….contact the artist for a commission ‘ I want one just like this one in a different color…like red to match my sofa.’ Funny isn’t it how our labored efforts jump off those walls…kind of like recognizing your kid on the playground. Or another time as a judge, awarding ribbons and prize money to find out latter the winner or winners paintings were not original. Whoops!!! Are those choices to copy made from ignorance, lack of ability or just plain lazy??? There isn’t enough time or resources to keep check of every piece of art work out in cyberspace but integrity and accountability of the artist is monumental.
In defense of copy work, picking up a brush for the first time can be overwhelming. Do I have the right paint, paper, am I the only beginner in this class and what is a scraper…do I have one? Just choosing the right brush for some can be a month long endeavor. I’m not opposed for beginners to copy work if the intention is learning techniques, color, value or finding their style. But hey! Keep those copies under the bed with those dogs we all accumulate because they come from the sweat of someone else. Let’s put this scenario in the literary field….copy your favorite book word for word, change the names and location add a few scribbles of your own…..sign your name and send it to a publisher. I am certain it would not make it to the best sellers list. Changing a few colors or lines doesn’t make it your painting……
When painters pass from beginner to the next level….it is time to draw from their own imagination/sketches/photographs whatever references you choose for composition. If composition is difficult, study others works, books, search for workshops or classes that focus on composition. Save yourself the embarrassment of plagiarism when confronted by the original artist, judge, organization or gallery. Bottom line….if you have painted long enough to know what a scrapper is and what it’s used for it’s time you produce from your own material.
Quote from C.S. Lewis
Yep! Fairly certain my flu shot didn’t have all the ingredients most had. Thinking mine must have been the last vile on the last shipment because my cart was in the ditch for about 3 days. Some of you reading have experienced one of Pharaoh’s plagues and if you haven’t please, celebrate life. How can you be that sick, hurt that bad and not need at least one band-aid? You know how it starts….nagy sore throat you say to yourself must be allergies. Few aches and pains, must have done to much..like that’s going to happen. A little chill that requires a sweater, turn up the heat when no one is looking. Would really like to go bed-d-bye at 2 in the afternoon but you have company. As you carry on some kind of conversation you thoughts are wondering to the tune of ‘if I were at your house I would go home’. Time comes when the house becomes yours again and you ditch that getting ready for bed routine and go straight for the Tylenol, socks, flannel gown, and an extra blanket on your side of the bed not wanting to draw attention to the fact you might not make it until morning. That kinda of conversation takes way to much energy and at that moment someone with a gun threatening to shot wouldn’ budge you. As the night progresses you feel your body lying nude on an iceberg with not enough blankets in the free world to change the situation. If I could have recorded my dreams no doubt they would be a million dollar box office smash. Everything hurts, hair, fingernails, parts of the body you no longer have and some parts medical science has not identified. Okay Lord, all bases are covered …have enough paintings to pave heaven, family is great, nothing more for me to do. Morning comes and toughing it out is no longer in the picture a call to the doctor requesting Cyndie had priority. About mid afternoon my Prince, ‘the wind beneath my wings’ that apparently stepped aside when I fell to this disease, appears with meds. My only request was a tuna salad and a boiled egg because I had drank enough chicken broth to fill my great grandsons wading pool…Seeming like hours since I had made my menu order. From the bed, I see a figure in the kitchen trying to make out this thing called a egg poacher/boiler and could be a bowl of something. Getting up with that Tim Conway shuffle made it to the area where food use to be stored. My Prince was trying to put together a tuna salad while getting eggs in the steamer. If my request had been something from the grill and a baked potato my wait would have been shorter. Watching the process….. I ask…’will that tuna be ready today?…forget the egg’….
Now the next morning meds had kicked in and opening my eyes thought I had a bad dream. Standing in the kitchen drinking my second gallon of water I spied my prescription on the counter……knowing then…no dream and I need to stay around to make tuna salad…….
Pros: Good cotton canvas
Cons: Good value
Best Uses: Watercolor
Describe Yourself: Artist
Primary use: Business
Was this a gift?: No
Watercolor works well on Yes Canvas. For best results use a cotton canvas it behaves much like 100% rag paper. Painting the right value, darks and lights, are important from the beginning. Unlike paper, glazing is a problem. When glazing over an area the previous color is lifed and will neutralize or mix a color unknown to man..
Arches a good choice
Pros: Dependable, Stores Easily, Long Lasting, Easy To Use
Cons: Good value
Best Uses: Art, Long Term Use
Describe Yourself: Quality Oriented
Primary use: Business
Was this a gift?: No
I have used almost every watercolor paper on the market but return to Arches. I recommend Arches to beginning students and professionals. I like the natural or the bright depending on the subject and the techique used. Knowing what to expect when applying color is important to me and arches passes the test.
Tags: Made with Product, Darks hold from beginning
Tags: Made with Product, Clarity of color
These are warm up studies I often do…to motivate myself to paint. These are painted with a 2 inch flat brush….no pencil drawing…just shapes. This helps to loosen up and use my imagination, I see you laughing that is if you know me. Great for exploring new colors or color schemes…most are painted on the back of those paintings you don’t want anyone to see after your gone….