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. 

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.

Expressive Florals Re-Cap

Student work from my Expressive Florals class.  Close up of blossoms painted with bold brush strokes, and texture.

The first layer was clear tar gel, applied loosely across a blank white canvas.  You can see slight traces of it in this photograph of a student’s painting.

I taught the class in the painting studio of the historical Bemis Art School at the Fine Arts Center at Colorado College.  You can see the top of the FAC in the window.  Lots of space, individual easels and natural light made for the perfect setting.

Before we start painting, several weeks are spent warming up to the shapes of blossoms.  This exercise was done in an art journal; layers of text, paint glazing, patterned tissues and then completed by painting a flower as the finishing touch.

Each student has a personal style.  As an instructor I aim to encourage discovery and allow a student to develop their unique creative expression.  Each of us is wired with creative intuition, we just need to learn to trust it.  This only occurs by actively engaging our creative muscle.  My class, Expressive Florals is a safe place for students to discover their creative language.  It does take time, but just look at these amazing paintings, some students had never painted before!  When there is no pressure, or focus on perfection, we find our natural FLOW.  And when we move out of our comfort zone…that is when the magic happens.

Text can create a lovely layer in an expressive floral painting.  Take a look at what his student created.  She hand wrote meaningful words on a piece of thin drafting paper and added it as a layer.  It was a beautiful and bold addition to her painting.

To start with a blank canvas can be intimidating no matter how long you have been painting.  With the first layer of tar gel, then a light blue grey underpainting, the canvas is no longer blank.  We also add big blocks of neutral color, and then sketch the blossom image with charcoal on the canvas.  This helps break the ice and eases the pressure of beginning the painting.  Also several weeks of fun and useful warm up exercises in the art journal help set the stage for a successful painting.

 

Pushing and pulling color is part of the process.  In other words, darkening and lightening areas to create pops of color.  Expressive painting is a “loose” process, quite different than a botanical painting or the wonderful floral still life paintings of the Dutch Masters.  In my class we paint from photographs, and also I bring in fresh flowers for inspiration.  We are not trying to paint every nuance of the blossom in Expressive Florals.  It is more about expression, brush strokes that come natural and interpreting the blossom in a personal way.

Stencils….yes!  I love to encourage the use of stencils, a serendipitous layer that adds interest but does not detract from the florals.

My demo painting from a magazine photograph.

Please join me for Expressive Florals (A 41).  Next class starts 3/1/18 to 4/12/18, Thursdays, 10-12pm.  Register at Bemis Art School at Fine Arts Center at Colorado College.

coloradocollege.edu/fac

Bemis@coloradocollege.edu

Hope to see you in class!!!  And even if you have taken it already, come back again, there is always a new expression waiting to be discovered.

Art Journaling Classes

DSC_1107 (2)

DSC_1117 (2)

Autumn brings new beginnings.  School starts, the garden provides a harvest, days become shorter, blossoms fade, and football games abound.  It is an ideal time to pursue creative interests.  Virtual classes on the internet are abundant and I have gained helpful information visiting various websites.  Last week I was in Taos for a workshop on painting florals in acrylic.  Being together with other artists, and the learning that occurs in a group, the interplay, idea sharing, and just being together is valuable.  This only happens in a class venue.  So this fall, be brave, venture out and invest in your creativity…take a class!  Anywhere!  I hope it is with me because I would love to connect and Bemis has a rich tradition of art education.  Our new partnership with The 21c Library is a convenient location if you are local.   This is the time for all creatives to pursue their desires and honor that little voice prodding towards expression, the opportunities are endless.

 

 

 

 

 

Art journaling

DSC_1107 (2)