Friday, August 21, 2015

Artists' Support Group

I just spent 2 wonderful days with 2 other friends who are artists.  Kim Grant and I spent the night with our friend, Kate Halverson, who lives in Lake City.  Thank you Kate, for an incredible time with good friends!   Our plan was to spend 2 days together- painting, gallery hopping, and shopping.  They requested that I teach them "wire drawing", so we worked on those the first afternoon, which was perfect, since it was raining.  The second day, we drove along the Mississippi River on the Wisconsin side.  My favorite 2 towns were Alma and Stockholm.  Kate challenged us to "etch a sketch" at every stopping place.  So, we did 15 minute sketches at breakfast (Pier 4 Café), overlooking the big lock with a spectacular panoramic view, and lastly at a darling little restaurant in Stockholm, (Bogus Creek Café), that had a beautiful garden setting.  It wasn't till I got home from this trip that I realized that everyone needs a support group every now and then- to just relax, laugh, talk about goals, talk about anything...., and eat pie and ice cream with!  Kim and I talked so much in the car, that we almost made it to Rochester, before realizing that we had missed our road, leading to Lake City.  So, we took back roads, but in the process, went through Zumbrota, where another artist friend lives.  So....we called Wendy Westlake up and went to see her studio!  Happy accident, cuz we had a spectacular time trading art secrets with each other.  My life has been so busy with teaching that I loved this break in my routine so much.  I'm recharged now, and ready to teach more workshops that are actually coming up next week, in Watertown, SD.  I'm doing what I love! What a life! 

Kate Halverson, me, and Kim Grant with our half done "Wire Drawings"
Me, Kim, and Kate eating the best potato pancakes in the world!
Kim Grant, Wendy Westlake and myself at Wendy's home studio.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

"Coming in for a Landing"

"Coming in for a Landing",  11" x 14", $145, watercolor painting
I have to admit that I was a little nervous when I began this painting.  Working in pure watercolor can be intimidating, to say the least.  Especially since I've been working in acrylics for the past month.  I use 3 simple rules: 
1. Pick only 3 colors, so that your painting will be unified and the glazes will all go together. (I used Antwerp Blue, New Gamboge, and Permanent Rose.)
2.  Establish a light pathway, value study before I start the painting.
3. Use very light glazes, and build up to the darks.  Don't get dark too fast.
I will be teaching the illusionary process to 21 eager students in Cormorant, MN next week.  This is a very complicated process, but I have simplified the lesson so that students won't get too frustrated.  I can't show the process on my blog because it's too complicated.  I remember back when I wanted to learn how to paint as if you can see through things.  This took many years to perfect, so if you want to learn, sign up for one of my workshops!  :)

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Painting like Gustav Klimt

"Tribute to Gustav Klimt-2"  Acrylic on paper, $295, 11" x 14"

Gustav Klimt has been one of my favorite artists for many years.  I just completed teaching a 3 day workshop in my home studio.  There were 12 eager students who really did fantastic jobs with their paintings, which are pictured below.  We start these paintings by dropping acrylic paint on the surface and then spreading it with a credit card.  They liked that part the best!  This abstract beginning is perfect for us to use as an underpainting for the busy patterns in the outfits. I love teaching in my home studio, because I'm able to give lots more individual attention than in other workshops.  We all get to be such good friends by the end of the 3 days!


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