Friday, December 16, 2011

Painting Classes....and an end of the week wrap-up

Well it's been an interesting week here. My art show at May Memorial was selected as the Monday "pick of the day" on They used the Poinsettia image from the show and it looked great!

Christmas is approaching; I just taught my last class for the session yesterday. Kids were giddy with excitement already and spontaneously burst into song (Jingle Bells) while playing one of my crazy art games. Crazy last minute art games are what I invent when I know our lesson will not take up the entire length of the class. Of course I hardly ever need to do that with my adult classes, haha.

I am looking forward to the 2 week break from teaching to develop an idea for a theme for my next body of artwork: The Indian River Lakes Suite. That is an area close to my heart; we own a camp on Grass Lake. I have a few paintings ready, but need to paint a few more and find a venue.

Painting classes at the Y Arts Studio will resume after the first of the year. No exaggeration there....The Acrylic Painting class starts on Monday January 2!!! Advanced/ Intermediate Watercolor will be on Tuesday nights, 7:00 - 9:00 starting January 3, and Intro to Watercolors begins on January 4 at 9:30 in the morning, ends at 11:30. All classes run for 6 weeks. As always, all art supplies are included in the reasonable class fee. $68 for YMCA members; $83 for Non-members.
You can register at the East Area Family YMCA in Fayetteville.

Attached is an image from the upcoming Indian River Lakes Suite. It's also the image for our family holiday card this year. It is titled "Winter Twilight".

Monday, December 5, 2011

Set a Spell, Set a Mood

In the grassy, or should I say weedy area behind our camp I plopped our old Adirondack chair. The original intent was to hide the cover for our well, which is bright blue and stands about 2 1/2' high, and doesn't exactly go with the "lake in the woods" rustic setting. We don't do a whole lot of mowing up there so after a few weeks the weeds overtook the area, growing up and around the chair. I took a few photos of the scene and based this painting on the photos.
When working from photos it's important to know when to put away the photo and just let the painting take on a life of its own. Photos are great for reference, helping with placement of objects in the picture, and keeping things in proportion. But photos also give us too much information and it's important to know what we need to keep in our painting and what we need to let go of.
First decide on your focal point. This is where you want viewers to concentrate most of their attention. The focal point can be one object or a group of objects. Everything else in your painting is subordinate to the focal point. But even though areas/objects can be subordinate, they are not unimportant. These areas/objects should enhance the focal point, either by placement, color or lighting.
In the painting pictured here, "Set a Spell", the chair is the focal point. It is painted in a more detailed manner than the vegetation in the background and the other objects around the chair. The photograph that I based the painting on, pictured more details in the background; I chose to leave those out because they distracted the viewer from the focal point. Leaving the background less detailed and more impressionistic lends a somewhat dreamy quality to the painting and invites to viewer to "Set a Spell" and enjoy the moment.