Thoughts on how to paint in watercolor: Link to the article in the September Houston Watercolor Society Newsletter: https://watercolorhouston.org/resources/Newsletters/2019%20Washrags/September%202019%20Washrag.pdf
We went to the "The Judge" this weekend. There haven't been a lot of movies that we both really enjoy or wouldn't say "wait for the video", but this one is worth going to see on the big screen. Go see it before it's gone! Everything about the movie is elegant and beautifully done: thoughtful acting, gorgeous cinematography, interesting storyline.
Becoming an artist has an interesting side effect - while I've always been interested in all forms of art - dance, music, writing/books, theatre, visual arts - since learning to paint, I am now more "in awe" of people who have the talent and skill to create other types of art (especially the ability to write music - how do they see the notes in their head - put them on the paper - and make it music?).
There are many times in an artist's career when you ask yourself why you bother to do what you do. For most of us, those who work alone in studio, it's a lonely profession, and often a very frustrating and expensive endeavor. Worse, sometimes It seems like it has "All been done" already - what could you possibly do that is new and interesting?
And then I come across someone's work, not particularly new, not a strange or unusual storyline, no special effects. Just a story about a family, in a small town, doing what they do, in all of their human-ness. But it is absolutely perfectly elegant - crisply, beautifully, thoughtfully done. We lose ourselves in the art and enjoy it for a few hours; it stays with us afterwards. This is art, and this is why I suppose, we keep trying.
Well. Deep breath in, let out slow. It is the day after my very first solo exhibit opening reception. We had a turnout of nearly 100 art lovers, family and friends, and we sold quite a few paintings. (still always a thrill for me.)
First of all, let me thank the wonderful people who really put the night together and made it such a great party: Valerie Schindler, owner of "Save the Date" weddings, who created the incredible centerpiece and ran the entire event - we were literally able to "just show up" because of her expertise ( www.savethedatewithvalerie.com), her Chef, Soren Pederson (www.chefpedersen.com), who prepared all the fabulous food and provided his lovely staff of servers, our musician, Sam Perez - http://www.linkedin.com/pub/sam-perez/35/ba8/946, who entertained us all night with classical Spanish guitar. Also thank you to Donnette Riel, who created the invitations. If you would like more information on any of them, just me know.
A gigantic thanks to Christ Church Cloister Gallery for asking me to do this exhibit (and giving me a year to getting the art ready), for the wonderful space you provide with free parking for our guests, and the guidance your staff provided in getting the show to go. Special thanks to John Runnels and Caroline of MotherDog Studios in Houston for their handling and hanging expertise, Dr Ellen Harrison for her patient answers to all of my questions and to Tricia and all the staff at the church, who are invaluable the night of the opening.
Wow, what a fun night! It went so fast. It took over a year to put the show together - painting, deciding, culling, framing, unframing, reframing, arranging, marketing, delivering, hanging. About 40 paintings, and it's all over in 2 hours. Yikes. (Well, not really, the exhibit is actually up all month, and Treebeards serves lunch at the Gallery from 11-2 weekdays. There is still time!)
We had so much fun seeing so many of our friends. Thank you for joining us and for all the kind comments on the work. Thank you especially to my family who came from as far as Tampa, Pensacola, Denver, and Dallas. It was fantastic to see all of you again!!! Hugs and kisses to everyone.
I think I am going to take a nap now.
Summer is here, and it is art festival season! Right now there are so many places to buy original, one of a kind art in casual, easy ways - it's summer, and festivals are everywhere, studios are open! Be sure to check out a few this summer, and be on the lookout for things that speak to you.
Never be afraid to buy art because you don't know if it is "good" or not. Buy it because it speaks to you and it works in your space. The neat thing about art that you picked out yourself is that you will remember pretty much everything about the transaction and the story you know about it once you own it. I often hesitate to tell buyers the whole story behind a piece because so often art will speak to different people in different ways, and perhaps what I think about when I paint is not at all the reason someone else stopped to take a look. Currently I have a piece on view that about 50% of the viewers say is a bird and 50% say is a person. I am good with either, and next time I am painting it the other way! The point is, we see what we think of, and that is all that really matters once it is in your home. That said, i still love to hear the artists' stories because i take my personal reaction, plus their motivation to paint, and come up with a sort of "whole" to each piece I buy. (yes, I buy other artists work - the great thing about being in art school is catching new works before anyone else see them.)
Bottom line: Every time you walk by that piece of art you chose and hung, you will smile - if you buy works you truly love and not works that someone else told you to buy. (Buying works someone else chose for you is an investment, and that is also a fun/good thing to do, but it is different than buying pieces you love and you want to live with.)
Art is a highly personal choice; if you chose art you enjoy looking at, it becomes a part of your soul. Happy hunting!
The first week of February just blew by. Not really sure what happened to January either. I am at that point where a month of the New Year is gone, and I've suddenly noticed all the pink shirts in my gym class. So if find myself somewhat overwhelmed, sitting here wondering what to do first, before another month gets away.
My son keeps bugging me to update my website (so, honey, DONE, please "share"), there is marketing to do, planning to be done, frames and mats to be purchased (and darn it, where is the burnt sienna?), emails to be answered, accounting that seems to always be there, sales tax to file, classes to sign up for, contests to enter, fairs to try to get into, receptions to attend, paintings that are always in the back of my mind begging to be started (and a few started already that in, Mary Ann Beckwith's words are "barking at ya") annnnnd, the Olympics are on (the winter games are my favorite! If you've seen my paintings you can figure out why). We are rooting for all the Steamboat kids, especially Taylor and Arielle Gold!
So, what now? Well, it is February. My father put in my mother's phone a reminder each day to "Kiss your husband". I think i will wrap this up and go hug my (borrowed) dog, and when my husband gets home, give him a kiss.
Have a great day everyone. Find someone special and kiss them too.
Deskwork DONE. Time to paint!
Got to run today! After 2 months of living with a seriously sprained ankle, this is a small milestone, and today i suddenly understood why. I always thought it was just because human beings need to burn energy everyday to stay mentally healthy, which is probably still true. But, it turns out, that is not the "best reason" to run. (I also love to dance several times a week in a class, which burns lots of energy, but it's not the same as running. I actually don't really love to run, whereas dancing is fun.)
So, why run? Because not only does it burn calories in a hurry, but also because it's boring, methodical, one-foot-in-front-of-the-other mind-numbing repetition that gives you 30 minutes to do nothing but listen to music (or nature), think, dream, and plan. And that, it turns out, is as good for art as it used to be for business when i ran every morning and planned out my day. Today i painted at least 3 paintings - in my head - while running. And one thing that i know about art - about 80% of is it mental. What will be painted, where it will be placed on the canvas, what colors are chosen, how thick the paint will be, what the message is, how the strokes will flow on the canvas. The best paintings I've ever painted were in my head for years before i even started painting or knew how to use a paintbrush.
Who knew that running was good for the Creative? Want to be more organized? Want your creative thoughts to coalesce? Try Running. or walking. Anything that is methodical, moves your bod, and gives you time and freedom to just let thoughts flow. You could become an artist. Or better at whatever you do. :) xxoo kl
"It's purple." What? No, it's mainly white! I have learned, finally, that when my husband doesn't like a new painting, instead of saying he does not like the work, and risk hurting my feelings, he says, "it' purple." It could be all green, and he will find the one purple shadow and pronounce the whole painting "purple." I have no idea what he has against purple; i quite like the color violet. But he apparently, does not.
Close critics who are not artists are your often best friends, and your worst enemies. I wish he would just say WHAT he doesn't like about the painting, which would be helpful (and not hurt my feelings) instead of commenting on one color. But he's usually right when a painting is off, even if there is no purple in it at all.
Anyway, the painting. This morning I am up again, looking at it, evaluating. It's not purple. It's just not right. The colors are not interesting from far away, there's not enough white space to suit me, but mainly i think, the design is not good. This is an experimental painting - a new size, a new technique, a new subject; so I'm ok with that, i just want to learn from it. Too bad i did it on large scale!
Purple? This morning finds me scraping off paint. The painting is not purple, but it's not good, and I am pretty sure it's the composition. That is not going to improve on it's own; so I've decided a redo is in order. Better to just get all that paint off now, before it dries or worse, I try to work on it more and "rescue it".
A tube of titanium white, done. Back to the store. A some more thinking time. Better composition. Less purple.
Someone asked me yesterday what "Series" means under some of the picture descriptions. Many artists will paint a "series" of work during a period of creativity, usually on a theme, color, ground, subject - whatever it was that inspired them to paint that, then, now and connects those paintings as a whole body of work. (Or perhaps because their gallery needed a series that looked good together for a show!) It's a method an artist uses to explore a subject - you can follow the painter's journey, discovery and development if you study the whole series. Often once the artist gets tired of that idea (runs out of energy, ideas, ran out of time, or just feels he or she has exhausted the subject creatively), they move on to a new subject. Some artists never return to that type of work. Perhaps they "grew" during that period, learned a little more about their craft, changed the direction they want to go....Which means, if you fall in love with a piece of work by a local artist, and you know they tend to paint in series, you may want to try to own it then, because they may never paint that way again.