Thursday, October 16, 2014

Workshop, Way Down South!

 "Demo at Shreveport no. 1"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

Wow, what a weekend! And, yes, I do know it's Thursday and already almost another weekend. I'm talking about last weekend, which I spent in Louisiana teaching! It's taken me this long to get this blog post together - I had loads of great photos to go through, and yes, a wee bit of flying trouble which delayed me a day getting home.
But I'm here now, and ready to take you back in time...

Shreveport is beautiful, just look at this!

The workshop was hosted by one of the students, whose lakefront property and amazing studio were perfect for the class - and more than luxurious for me. I'm so grateful to have gotten to spend time painting there!

Here's how we set up the space before everyone arrived:


 Here are my artists, getting busy:

 They were a talented - and motivated - group, who came well-prepared to do some serious painting.
As you can see, I'm not kidding about the talent:

In fact, I got so jealous watching them paint that I had to do a little painting of my own after class on Saturday night - the teacher's homework!
 "Demo at Shreveport no. 2"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

For our final day of class, I broke some eggs. They make a good change of pace after two days of fruit.

Here's my demo, which I painted after lunch, you know, just in case anyone was tired. Were they tired? I couldn't tell! They were the most enthusiastic cheerleaders ever.

I don't know how many times I used the phrase, 'Can I just take you all home with me?!'

"Demo at Shreveport no. 3"
10 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

Thanks so much, ladies, for a great workshop! 

Five Exciting Lemons

"Five Lemons"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

Hey all! I'm blogging to you from (the vastly inferior method of) my phone on the shore of a gorgeous lake outside of Shreveprt, Louisiana! Tomorrow I begin a still life workshop with a group of enthusiastic ladies and I don't know how I'll ever sleep tonight. Excited! More soon!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Plein Afterthoughts

"Purple Morning Shadows"
10 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

This one snuck home with me from Hillsboro, a little warmup from around 7 in the morning, near downtown. The storefront is a barbershop, and the owner was kind enough to let me charge my phone inside while I painted outside!

Friday, October 3, 2014

From Palette to Painting

 "Blue Shadow"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

I've been doing a LOT of limited palette lately, so it felt good to wallow around in my normal array again. My palette got more complex, but my subject is nice and simple: a contiguous color scheme (yellow-green-blue), and an old standby, lemons!

Here's my palette:

And here's how the painting came together:

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A Figurative Sketch, a One Dollar Auction, and a Calendar!

 "The Red Wrap"
16 x 12 inches, oil on paper
$1 auction!

Well, folks, there are still some places where one can work from the nude here in Eugene (Go here to read all about our recent local arts-scandal), and I am proud to be a part of one! This was painted last night at Maude Kerns Art Center's weekly open studio session. All media are welcome, though Tuesday nights' attendees are mostly oil painters.

This was completed in three 45 minute sittings, using (what else?) a Zorn palette.
In other news, my 2015 Calendar is out! All still life, no nudes - so totally suitable for offices, cubicles, kitchens, your mother-in-law's Christmas stocking, etc......Check it out!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Teaching the Zorn Palette Portrait

Demo no. 1, 8 x 10", oil on canvas

Whew! What a weekend. I just spent an exhilarating three days working with a fantastic group of artists, exploring the Zorn palette and honing our portrait skills. We were hosted by one of the gems of Eugene, Oregon Art Supply. As my students remarked over and over: taking a painting class in an art supply store is like being a kid on Christmas!

Above is my demo from the first day of class. Nothing breaks the ice like a little performance painting! 

In the afternoon, we did some one-hour sketches - and lots and lots of mixing with our limited palettes of Cadmium Red, Yellow Ocher, Ivory Black, and Titanium White.

Student work, 1 hour sketches

I've said it before on this blog - I love to wield the timer while teaching. True to form, the next morning, I had them do 30 minute sketches! To prove it could be done, simply but effectively, I turned in my homework:

 30 minute Zorn palette sketches, oil on paper, approx. 6x8 inches. From photo reference. Painted by me.

And here is my demo from the day - A 30 minute start on the left, and a few more details added later on:

Students hard at work, painting our lovely (and statue-still) model Jennifer:


After surviving the timed-painting torture/warmup, they dove into some larger paintings for the rest of the day:

 On the third day, we rested. Just kidding!

Demo no. 3, 12 x 16", oil on canvas, sold

 On the third day, with yet another lovely and patient model, we painted up a storm. Here's my demo, approximately 2 hours. I can't believe I didn't get a shot of the students' paintings. They were phenomenal. 

It was three days of hard work, every minute was fun, and I can't wait for the next time! Lucky for me, another session of Painting the Zorn Palette Portrait is happening November 8-10th. Call Oregon Art Supply to reserve your spot. Tuition is $200, plus a $30 model fee. Only 6 spots available, so don't wait if you'd like to join us in November!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Zorn Gets Glamorous

14 x 11 inches, oil on canvas

One of the best ways to get to know somebody better is to have them sit for you! I've been admiring Sadie's unique look since I met her last year, and finally got up the nerve to ask her to model! I enjoyed chatting with her while I painted, even if it did make her mouth difficult to capture. :)
I used a Zorn palette - that's Cadmium red, YellowOcher, Ivory Black and white only. It's amazing what you can do with so little.

I'll be taking my Zorn palette show on the road this weekend, with a three-day portrait workshop at Oregon Art Supply. It starts tomorrow, so stay tuned for updates!
(Spoiler alert: Sadie will be modeling for the class on Sunday!)

And yes, I'll be teaching this workshop again before the end of the year, if there's demand - so call Oregon Art Supply and let them know you're interested (if you are)!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Skulls Fall Into My Lap

"Horse Skull no. 1"
11 x 14 inches, oil on canvas

I'm calling this 'no.1' because I plan on painting this dead guy many more times (since I'm hosting him for a year, while my friend and model Tahni is in Sweden studying Swedish) She found him in a field near her family's farm south of Eugene years ago, and has kindly entrusted him to me while she's abroad. This isn't the first time art people have leant me skulls. Isn't life beautiful, artists?

The vase is full of Lamb's ear leaves, which Ellie picked from our yard - we're not in short supply - it's the only thing we seem to be able to grow! I kind of thought they worked, color-wise. Then, as I was painting, it dawned on me: Horse skull and lamb's ears. Hm.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Reporting from Hillsboro: Warning: LONG and picture-heavy post!

"Water Lilies"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas
$250, framed

Last weekend, I set out on yet another plein air painting adventure. I'd been told that Hillsboro had an absolutely amazing plein air event, and I wasn't misinformed. It's a little town about 15 miles North of Portland, Oregon, and I rolled in early, ready to explore and paint! Here's what I saw downtown:

Promising painting spots everywhere I looked.

After getting my canvases officially stamped, I set out for a local park, designated as the day's painting spot, complete with models! (The above painting of water lilies was sketched as a warmup, just getting a feel for the park.)

A huge reason I wanted to attend Hillsboro's paintout was that they provide "Tableaux Vivants," or "Living Pictures," in case you don't speak French (which I certainly don't). Last summer, I taught a workshop on painting the figure en plein air, but it didn't end up being outside because of weather. The light outside is so much more colorful and random than anything the studio can provide.

Here I am happily - and nervously - starting my first "tableau vivant." A work-in-progress:

And here's the finished product! I was happy - and hot. The Hillsboro paintout folks were very attentive to both artists and models, providing chilled water and lots of sympathy, but secretly all of us Oregonians were enjoying the unseasonal September heat.

That evening, a Nocturne-paintout was hosted by a downtown eatery. Never having painted at night, I was once again nervous, but ready to try:

I could see my subject well enough by the ambient light from the shop windows, and my headlamp alternately illuminated my palette and my canvas (as I looked up and down), but I still wasn't entirely sure what I'd done until the next morning! Hey, that happens at home in the studio, too, with being exhausted.

It turned out OK!


Bright and early the next morning, there was another Tableau Vivant, this time with models in historical costumes. Being a huge Anne of Green Gables fan since childhood, I was captivated!

The whole thing began at 9:30 am, and I was out warming up even earlier - wandering the local farmer's market and painting some early light. My flip-flops were off and my toes were in the grass by 10 am, and it was sweltering! What a great late summer paintout.

 And here's the finished product from that session, which lasted two hours! How those ladies made it in their costumes, I don't know. But I hope they enjoyed some of the good farmers market food that I did after it was all over.

 All of these pieces are for sale, although they will be on view in Hillsboro at the Walters Cultural Arts Center until November. So contact me if one captures your fancy!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

One More From the Coast

 "Yaquina Bay Boats"
12 x 16 inches, oil on canvas

I saved the best for last, location-wise, on this trip to the coast. I love the fishing boats in Newport harbor, but the best light (and fewest tourists) are in the early morning. Which I've had to discover by trial and error. Lots of walking around thinking about painting and not doing it. Picking a perfect painting spot seems to be more a matter of serendipity than science. Why can't someone just come along and tell me exactly where to stand?

When I showed up to paint these boats, serendipity was on my side. I parked my car, wandered directly out onto the boardwalk, and saw my painting in front of me. Sometimes you find yourself in the right place at the right time.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Seal Rock: Getting Over My Issues.

 "Seal Rock"
12 x 16 inches, oil on canvas

I've had issues with Seal Rock in the past. Fog, Food poisoning....bad paintings....but Seal Rock is my husband's favorite beach on the Oregon coast, because the enormous yellow rock protects the beach from wind, keeping it warm enough to frolic on (in bathing suits, which no one would dare wear on the OR coast, except Jesse and Ellie, because they are extremely warm-blooded, and also crazy). To keep out of the wind, you have to climb down a nicely paved path just south of the rock itself, but for this painting, I set up a quarter mile down 101, at a viewpoint off the highway. I climbed over the guard rail and planted my easel and umbrella in the clifftop dirt. It was a great spot, and a not-too-windy day - considering - luckily I stayed upright long enough to sketch this in. I also enjoyed talking to the many photography enthusiasts who seemed to know the spot well.

Ah, Seal Rock. I may finally have figured out what my husband sees in you!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Early early.

 "Yaquina Head Lighthouse from Agate Beach"
11 x 14 inches, oil on canvas

One of my favorite things to do at the coast is run on the beach. Early. The light is so spectacular at sunrise. Instead of running this morning, I dragged my gear out onto the beach (not a short hike), optimistically planted my umbrella in the sand, and began to paint. Well, the light - and the umbrella - didn't last long. But I got this down on canvas before I was forced to flee by the advancing sun.

After wading back through the rapidly drying sand, I retreated to town for coffee and breakfast!

 Painting with subject, taken well after I'd gotten the intial light/shadow realtionships down.

...And in case I haven't made you Oregon-coast-jealous enough: my lonely easel on the sunrise-washed beachscape: 


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Street Art

"Above Toledo"
12 x 9 inches, oil on canvas

Toledo, Oregon is a sunny little town about ten miles inland from Newport. It has a vibrant arts community, and I was lucky to be there during their annual art walk. After exploring the town, I decided to stay and paint a while. I didn't even need to search out a parking garage to get this view- it's a seriously hilly place! (and there aren't any, anyway - parking garages)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Ocean Rocks, Yes It Does

 "Ocean Rocks"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

On my second day at the coast, I returned to Yaquina Head - site of this lovely lighthouse - to capture a scene I'd scoped out on my previous painting trip.

If you stand next to the lighthouse and look to your left, you see this:

 ...And if you stand there long enough without a jacket on, you get VERY COLD, like I am in this picture!