Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Always Be Yourself!

"Yacht Club"
original acrylic on paper
Image:  14 x 21"
Do you catch yourself saying something negative about your artwork over and over?  The same statement?  I used to say that I didn't like making so many itty bitty shapes.  Virginia Cobb straightened me out in a workshop when I told her that.  She asked me if I liked making little tiny shapes, and I said that I must, because they keep showing up.  She said to honor that unique quality of my work and then just unify them with a glaze to make fewer "grouped" shapes when I was done. I LOVE that advice.  So, now when I teach a workshop, I tell everyone that the very thing that they think might be their worst thing about their artwork, actually is the very thing that they should keep!  We all need to be ourselves!
This painting, "Yacht Club" is part of a local show called Bonnie and Friends.  Bonnie Featherstone asked about 30 artists, from the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, to bring 2 paintings each.  It's at the Ames Center in Burnsville, MN for the month of December, if you get the chance to see it.  I'm so honored to be a part of such a grand show.  You won't believe all the different styles.  I was talking with one of the artists and he said that he wishes he could be a little looser.  His paintings are so good, that they are almost photographic!  I told him my story about excelling at what you consider your worst feature.  He agreed with me, and we both appreciate our differences.
By the way, one of my favorite painters is Gustav Klimt.  Check out how many tiny shapes he has in his paintings!!!! www.klimt.com But they are beautifully combined into big shapes and so well designed.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Try Something New!

Wire Drawing, "Three's a Crowd"
I just realized that I had been ignoring my blog, and I'm sure you all wonder what has happened to me.  It's hard to keep all the balls up in the air sometimes!  I apologize for my absence and will try to be better at keeping in touch in the New Year ahead.
This is one of my wire drawings.  It is called that due to the fact that it looks like a wire sculpture when completed.  They are done using permanent markers.  I absolutely LOVE doing them!  I learned the beginning steps of this process from my friend, Mary Beth Downs, a Duluth, MN artist.  I will always be thankful to her for sharing how to do this!  It has changed my life!  Always fun to see what appears out of the contour abstract start!  I'm teaching this process in Clearwater, FL on January 21 - 23rd, 2019.  Contact workshops@arttrysts.com if you are interested in information on that!  We will learn how to make a wire drawing and then progressively learn how to turn them into semi-abstract or completely abstract.  It's called, Painting with Wild Abandon, mainly an acrylic workshop with the emphasis on wire drawing and how it will make your imagination go wild!
My challenge to all of you is to do something artistically that is out of your comfort zone.  I'm doing Life Drawing every Wednesday, and I'm pretty inexperienced, to say the least, but I'm loving it!  I'm finding that it's stirring up my imagination in all of my other paintings too.  It's great to try something new!

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Color Studies- great warm-ups!

Pick ONLY 3 colors and write them on the back of your 5" x 7" watercolor paper.  This Color Study started by making 3 shapes and painting each shape a different color.

Draw 3 shapes that don’t overlap.  You should have 4 areas now.  Choose 3 colors.  Leave one of the shapes white and color each of the others a separate color. Leave a tiny border between the colors so they won’t bleed into each other.  Repeat this process until you get lots of different layers and colors created by overlapping colors.  I add black at the very end to "lace" the viewer's eye through the painting.  I do these instead of color graphs.  So much more fun!  

Sunday, March 11, 2018

30 Paintings in 30 Days Collage

30 Paintings in 30 Days!  Images:  7" x 10"

Well I made it!   But I have to say this was my hardest 30 in 30 that I've ever done!  So many things on my calendar during February and my pride got in the way, so I really tried my best.  No 5 minute paintings here!  Most of these took 4 - 6 hours to complete. This was supposed to be abstract collage, but I diverted from that style as the 30 days progressed.   Below are the only ones that are not sold.  If you are interested, be sure to contact me BEFORE March 15th,  when the 30 Day Sale will be over.  Right now, these are available for $75 each, but after March 15th, they will go back to regular prices. 

Friday, March 2, 2018

Day 30! 30 Paintings in 30 Days!

"Life of the Party"     Sold
Acrylic          7" x 10"  

“Life of the Party” is my exclamation on the end of this 30 Day Challenge. I just wanted to do something wild and free. The under-painting had pink, yellow, and orange. I really liked the pop of pink, so I tried to save that color vibration. See below:
Step One
As the painting progressed, I decided to outline some of the details within the sunflower, kind of like Gustav Klimt. This 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge has been the hardest one that I’ve done. This was my 5th time that I’ve done this challenge. I’m always amazed how many new ideas come to me because of painting every day. I thank Leslie Saeta for offering this challenge. It always pushes me to new levels and it gives me a chance to offer my paintings at this discount sale for my longtime supporters.   Thanks to you all for reading my blog and liking my work!  

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Day 29 or 30 Days in 30 Days!

"Love is in the Air"     $75
Acrylic         7" x 10"
Second day of Karlyn's Paint-in and when I looked at what I had started yesterday, I just wasn't ready to tackle that large painting.  So I grabbed a small 7" x 10" that I had the first layer already on.  It was so fun to paint with pinks, greens and oranges.  A fun color scheme!   Below is the first layer, done by dropping acrylic on the surface and scraping it with a credit card.
I used a wire drawing that was in my sketch book and drew the figures on the under-painting. I'm having so much fun reconnecting with other artists and truly basking in the fact that I'm sitting next to Karlyn Holman for 5 full days.  We have so many laughs together and share lots of tricks with one another.  So, this is all I accomplished in one full day, but I'm not sorry.  Enjoying the moment!  And enjoying the process! 

Wire Drawing that I used for a value study

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Day 28 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days!

"Sunflower Power"          $75
Watercolor        7" x 10"
I did this painting at Karlyn Holman's Paint-in, and showed everyone how to start with the toilet paper roll to get the curved lines.  I'm so enjoying painting sunflowers, and although they are pretty fast paintings, the timing has to be perfect, so it takes a few tries to get it right.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Day 27 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days!

"Dragonfly in Gold"     $75
Acrylic, permanent markers, gold foil        7" x 10"
I have to admit that I grabbed this from my stash of finished paintings  Confession: I didn't do this within the 30 Days.  But I'm attending a Paint-in and I want to paint large paintings and try new things.  That's what I love about Paint-ins.  We exchange ideas, and have critiques at the end of each day.  For many of us, its a reunion, only seeing the other artists once per year. There are usually 40 of us attending.  So much fun!!!!  This painting was originally $155, so this price is a steal, specially for this 30 Day Challenge.  I use gold foil paper instead of gold leaf.  It's so much easier.  This process will be shown at my workshop in Bradenton, FL on March 8 and 9th.  It's called, "Painting like Gustav Klimt".  Here's the link:  http://keetonsonline.com/GImages/180308KK.PDF

Monday, February 26, 2018

Day 26 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days!

"Overhead View"      $75
Watercolor and permanent marker         7" x 10"
I began this painting thinking it was going to be an abstract.  Then as it developed, I knew that it needed something recognizable in it, so I added the dragonfly.  I used a design study for the initial abstract design. (see below) It was a square format, so I stretched it lengthwise to fit my 7" x 10" size.  I'm so excited to be going to Karlyn Holman's Paint-in tomorrow, so I'm going to keep this short today.  This is an example of part of my workshop for Dillman's Resort.  Use this link to find out more!  http://www.dillmans.com/dcaf/2018/karen-knutson.html
Design study for "Overhead View"

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Day 25 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days!

"Clara, the Chicken"    $75
Watercolor and permanent marker        7"x 10"
I have been drawing chickens for the past year.  The wire drawing technique works so well for this subject.  Every time I teach this workshop, the students are amazed how much fun it is, AND how it leads to them to develop better drawing skills.  I'm teaching Wire Drawing at 2 future workshops.  The first one is in Bradenton, FL on April 10th.  It is a one day workshop.  Click on this link to sign up. http://keetonsonline.com/theartistscorner.html  I'm also teaching this process at Dillman's Resort in northern WI, at a beautiful location, nestled in the pine trees and a gorgeous view of a lake.  This workshop starts with the process of the wire drawing and then each day, teaches the students how to develop their own designs into an abstract painting by the end of the 4 days!
Click on this link:  http://www.dillmans.com/dcaf/2018/karen-knutson.html
Students can choose to use mixed media or stick with watercolor or acrylic.  It's a great workshop that I'm really proud of!


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