Southwest Landscapes Fall Session

Here is a re-cap of the Southwest Landscape class I taught this fall.  The students created beautiful paintings and I am so excited to share it with you.

Acrylic Painting Demonstration

Southwest Landscape

Painting the southwest is enjoyable and at the same time an opportunity to discover the nuances of acrylic paints.  My demonstration painting (work in progress pictured above) is of Ghost Ranch, the place where Georgia O’Keeffe lived and painted her masterpieces.  Here, we are in the iconic painting studio of The Bemis Art School.  Full of natural light ( sometimes makes it hard to take good photos) and a rich history of instruction and creating within its walls…it is a special place.  Every time I enter this studio I am so inspired to carry on the legacy of teaching and creating art.

At the beginning of class we talk about choosing a subject and how the approach will be to develop an expressive style rather than a photo realistic painting.  Acrylic paints are versatile, and vibrant which makes them the perfect choice for colorful expression.  Take a look at the student palettes…

Just look at these yummy colors!!!

When I teach any painting class, I include the art journal as a tool to begin the design process, record color choices and use the blank pages for paint clean up.  Essentially, any paint left on your palette can be spread across a blank page as the initial layer of creating a journal page.  It serves as a springboard for letting your creativity flow and to begin the process of letting go.  Making art journal pages is not the focus of the painting classes I teach, but I love introducing the concept to students.  Here you can see an example of how a student uses the journal for reference.

Most of the students had some art experience yet considered themselves beginners.  From my perspective, they were a talented group!  As you look at their paintings in progress in this next group of photos you will see for yourself how their paintings reflect excellence.

As an instructor, one of my goals is to encourage students to develop their own style by  experimenting with color and brushstrokes, and to allow their creative intuition to lead the process.  This seems to resonate with creatives and it is evident by their beautiful paintings.  Each student approaches their subject with a personal idea and direction for their painting.  My style of instruction is to enhance their process by making suggestions and giving them clues for color and shape. It is rewarding for me to see their progress and how their confidence grows with each brushstroke.

During a six week class, it is nearly impossible to finish a painting.  Usually students are near completion and only have a few final touches to make.  I always ask them to send me a picture once they are finished.  Here is a completed painting for you to enjoy!

As The Bemis Art School undergoes a transition to a new space, I found myself a bit nostalgic when my class ended.  Perhaps it will be the last time I teach in the painting studio.  Sigh….it has been grand!  And no doubt the new classrooms will have a style and ambience all their own.  I am just thankful to be part of the team, the legacy, the arts, and the school.  Thanks for stopping by my blog and thank you students for the joy you bring to my life.

Soon we will see where the next chapter unfolds! 

My 2019 summer favorites

H E R O E S of  W W II were honored at the 75th Anniversary of D – Day and we were honored to be present at the ceremony.  It was a fabulous, fast paced trip through Europe with our friend who is a high school history teacher and several students who are history buffs.  We merely came along with some other adults, no chaperone duties involved, just soaking up the history and sights of Europe.  It was memorable and our hearts swelled with pride and emotion as the survivors of Normandy were honored and those who had died.  God bless them!

The Heroes of Normandy

Normandy France…we attended the 75th Anniversary of D Day and here is a vintage photo of the heroes from that day long ago.

Saw the Queen in London, she is beautiful!!!

A coach and a creative..seated on a bench in Covent Gardens on a cloudy day in London…

Saw this Van Gogh painting while at the National Gallery in London, yes it is amazing in real life.

Stopped by the Rijksmuseum in The Netherlands, snapped this photo in the outdoor garden.

My Aqua LOVE journal which I shared on my first ever FACEBOOK Live during Playful Experiments, an online forum where I was an instructor, part of 21 SECRETS studio.

C O L O R A D O  S K Y

The view from our tent while camping at Chatfield Reservoir

Our grandson camped with us..his first time sleeping in a tent!

Gifted And Talented Art

The Mountain That Loved A Bird

My Gifted and Talented Art students created the illustrations for this production at the Colorado College Summer Music Festival.  It was a very special opportunity and performance.

Gifted And Talented Art

The Mountain That Loved A Bird

I took a summer art workshop and created my first ever pastel painting.  Thank goodness the instructor lent me his pastels because my big box store brand paled in comparison to his Sommeliers.  It was a productive workshop and moved me out of my comfort zone!

Flowers in my garden

And as the end of August nears, the blossoms are fading.  Already the shadows are getting longer, sunsets are earlier and there is a slight chill in the evening air.  Time to start lighting our chiminea.

The view from our friend’s lovely mountain-home deck.  We spent a week-end here and also saw the B-52 band at the Dillon amphitheater.  It is one of my favorite places to visit during the summer.  We walked the streets of Breckenridge, rode our bikes along the Blue River, and enjoyed delicious eats at Sauce on The Blue restaurant.

And during the summer weeks I took care of this precious one, my granddaughter Ella Leigh.  We are grateful for her little life and the blessing she has received.  Ella has recovered wonderfully from being sick for many months and now at 7 months, she is thriving, happy, and strong.  

Big brother is a joy also and spending time with my son and his family warms my heart.  Landon’s cousins sent him face paints for his birthday.  Woohoo..and, grandma – a.k.a. Mimi, had a ball painting his cute little face.  Moments like this are ones I truly treasure.  

During the in-between time I found time to sketch.  This is in preparation for my upcoming Southwest Landscapes class that starts in September.  With Labor Day week-end coming up, schools already in session, the days of summer are behind us.  I hope you had some special moments creating art, spending time making memories with your families, looking up at the sky, and keeping your eyes open to see the wonderful gifts of our natural world. 

Art Over Lunch

“Creativity takes courage”   Georgia O’Keeffe

And if you have ever taken an art class, or dabbled in any of the creative arts, or ventured out during your lunch hour to explore art journaling, you know exactly what Ms. O’Keeffe meant.  Exploring something new and different,  being present…and letting your creative muse lead the way, that’s what happened when we made art…over lunch.  And it took courage!

Several employess from Colorado College came over to the art school and I had the privilege of facilitating an art journal experience.  Using black paper, gelli prints on deli paper and National Geographic pages altered with Citra- Solv, everyone made a landscape themed piece.

They came from a variety of departments; facilities, finance, global leadership, library services, athletics, and a host of others.

Each participant had their unique expression and they were comfortable letting their creative intuition lead the way.

Colorful and full of interesting themes, their creations were as varied as the departments from which they came.  It was a lunch hour chunk of time devoted to making art.  Isn’t it wonderful how Colorado College values the arts and makes this available to employees?

White gel pens were used for adding words.  Favorite quotes, music lyrics, or their own poetry were the suggestions I gave and each student easily found the perfect words for their art journal piece.  The feedback has been very positive and I am thankful there will be another opportunity to share something I love, art journaling, with the beautiful folks from Colorado College!  Kudos to all of you for moving out of your comfort zone, and letting a bit of magic happen.

I’m teaching online!!

Sometimes a beautiful opportunity shows up on your doorstep and you grab it with gusto.  That’s what happened when I was invited to be part of this amazing forum for learning art journaling techniques online.  This was a first for me so I was out of my comfort zone with regard to the technology requirements for this kind of undertaking.  But I listened to my own words…moving out of our comfort zone is when the magic happens… and indeed this is exactly what occurred.   Using an iphone to film my work, editing, re-filming parts, keeping my words succinct, thinking, creating within a time limit, consulting with the amazing Tonia Jenny who helped me out immensly every step of the way, and uploading the finished videos.  This process forced me learn new skills and I am glad that I did!  21 SECRETS has been a huge part of my creative journey and I have enjoyed learning online with some incredibly talented mixed media artists.  Now I am part of the team and bringing to you the opportunity for creating at your own leisure; whenever the muse strikes you, in your jammies or even while on vacation, no hassel with parking and toting all of your supplies to a classroom, oh no….just turn on your computer and voila…you can see it all in living color with ease!  I hope you will join me for AQUA LOVE, creating an art journal spread in a grid using the yummy color aqua, and the photo image transfer technique.  It is a combination spread, the photos provide representational images, and watery aqua hues create complementing layers.  It was a lot of playing and experimenting, which by the way is the intent of this summer studio session entitled –

…P L A Y F U L  E X P E R I M E N T S…  

I hope you will join me and let your creative juices flow!  Here is a link for more information and registering. https://bit.ly/2XEb8Ft    There will also be a Facebook group and a boatload of wonderful instruction from a variety of artists.  Try something new, just like I did, you will not be disappointed.    

Live sessions are closed but you can still purchase an e-book with both Playful Experiments, and Capturing Moments; $55 each or the bundle for $98.   These sessions provide so many different and unique approaches to art journaling from an amazing and talented group of instructors.  Please check it out with the link above.  It is always nice to have some on-line classes at your fingertips.  That way when you feel an urge to create yet are drawing a blank on where to start, open up the ebook for a jumpstart.  Lessons are only 35 minutes each, supplies are minimal and flexible, use what you have works in most cases, and voila.. your creative muse is on the move.

Southwest Landscapes Re-Cap

The beauty of a southwest landscape by embracing a sense of place and observing the colors of earth and sky, this was our world for 6 weeks.  A group of students from various backgrounds gathered together and shared the experience of making art in the historic art school we call BEMIS.  A few had painted before, others had not, but with some tools, instruction, and confidence each one set out on a painting journey.

The underpainting was a layer of orange which you can see pictured here.  The range of color in the underpaintings was like a rainbow full of a variety of hues. Such is the beauty of mixing color, any variation in combinations produces something different.  The underpainting produced a glow which worked well with the subject matter and also eliminates the stark white blank canvas.

Students used a variety of photographs and pictures of paintings for inspiration.   By developing soft edges, hard edges, texture, color, perspective, line, and shape the paintings began to reflect each individual’s style.  As an instructor, this is my favorite aspect of the process; encouraging the pursuit of style.  Each artist has an intuition with regard to brush strokes, imagery, color preference, and design.  Mastering skills is secondary to trusting the intuitive process… in my opinion.  Somewhere along our journey, this intuition can shut down because of a critical voice, giving it wings again takes courage, persistence, and experience.  I love encouraging this process in my classes.

Each student completed one painting during the duration of the class.  I also incorporate art journal exercises such as thumbnail sketches, an abstract charcoal line drawing, color wheel, simple landscape paintings and a collage landscape on a trifold black paper using my personal stash of gelatin printed papers and altered National Geographic papers.  Here are my samples of these exercises.

The charcoal line drawing with gesso and tint was inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe and southwest imagery.

And the tri-fold collage landscape exercise, front and back with a little Van Gogh inspired sky!

I suggested words to be added on the back side, maybe a quote, song lyrics, any thought or idea that came to mind…

C L E V E R …a little play on words…(Bemis is the school name)  so Jack came up with this..

get it?   beam us…up scotty   FUNNY!!! 

The best ingredient in any class is the people and this group was full of creativity, and a willingness to learn about acrylic painting.  When the session is over, there is a great sense of accomplishment, just look at their paintings!! And also a sigh…hard to see it come to an end.

That’s a wrap.. Southwest Landscapes..wonderful!   Kudos to all, you did an amazing job.  Until we meet again, keep creating, keep in touch, and enjoy what is NEXT.

Tyvek Beads

Tyvek Beads

EVE

Expressive portrait painting

Eve, mixed media acrylic painting

Women in History

 

Expressive portrait painting

E V E

A mixed media acrylic painting to honor the women who have shaped history by making art…our world is more beautiful because of you.  Some have passed away and others like myself are in the midst of our creative journey.  During this month of honoring women in history let’s remember the artists past and present who are devoted to expression by making art for the world to see.

Flowers

Ingenue

INGENUE

Bonjour France!!

GOURDES FRANCE

A beautiful village built on the side of a hill in Provence.  At every turn, this village delights with shops full of unique treasures, quaint restaurants, a cathedral, hotel, views from every vista, and winding streets full of surprises.

Shop windows in France display curiosities and are works of art themselves.  I find myself stopping to taking photographs, meandering inside the shop, and wishing I could take it all home with me.  Those who dress the windows make everything look lovely, and appealing, it is an art form unique to Europe.

PROVENCE

While walking to dinner in Provence, I glanced up and saw these beautiful shutters.  They were the most amazing color of lavender and the perfect adornment in this land where rows and rows of lavender grow.  The fields are full and the shops are too.  Little sachets are plentiful, full of lavender buds, fragrant, and tenderly wrapped in muslin.   The land in France is a living canvas, and the rows of lavender, cared for by gardeners, are like paintings.  When the sun is setting, the shadows, and hues take on a captivating luster.  It is no wonder many great masters painted the countryside in France. Monet, Van Gogh, Renoir, Cezanne, Pissarro, Morisot, their landscapes and images were influenced by the world around them.  It is a reminder to keep our eyes open and behold  the gifts of nature and also to….  look up!!!

 

ST. REMY

St. Remy has a Vincent Van Gogh walk through town and ends at the hospital where Vincent was treated.  Along the path are signposts with his paintings, a brief description of a painting and where Vincent painted it.  We walked this path in the late afternoon. The scenes and images were characteristic of his paintings and I could see how he responded to the landscapes with his unique creative language.  His colors were vibrant yes, but so is the landscape he painted.  How fortunate he was, to allow his creative intuition to guide the way, and use colors and shapes that came from within.  After all, as artists, this is what we seek.  Not to mimic another, but to find our own way of expression that responds to the world around us.   Vincent Van Gogh was a true master, under valued during his time on earth, yet timeless.  His body of work is a treasure and walking in his steps was special.  It gave me a deeper appreciation of this artist I admire. If you have not seen the film, LOVING VINCENT, you must!  It is a wonderful piece of art and tells a beautiful story about one of the world’s greatest artists.

 

 

 

Sonata