Friday, May 28, 2010

Travel Sketches

"McReynold's Road"
Watercolor sketch
6" x 8"

"A Room with a View"
New York City
Watercolor sketch
6" x 8"

Very little time to do any painting the past few weeks as we traveled to Vermont, Maine, and New York City. McReynold's Road is one of 5 dirt roads radiating out from the main road through North Danville, Vermont where my son Jeff's family lives. Every morning I choose from one of the five to take a very early morning walk in place of my daily workout at the gym. Ala Stephen Quiller, I did a landscape using one note of pure color (yellow) against it's complement blue and the various mixtures in between. The quality isn't great -- I did this one using my Japanese water brush and the tiny Koi pan paint set I take on trips with little time for art. North Danville is perched in the hills rising above the Connecticut River. I could look across that unseen meandering state line to the President Range in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Early morning mists added quiet drama. I did this piece from memory after my walk the very first day while sitting on the tiny patio in the rare sunshine we experienced that first week.

"A Room with a View" was done our final morning in New York City after Bob's daughter graduated from Fordham Law School in a ceremony held at Madison Square Garden. We usually find reasonable rates (well, reasonable for New York City) at the Radisson Lexington and it's well situated to walk to the subways, Grand Central Station, and Broadway shows. I was fascinated by the structures on the rooftops that you get to see from the 22nd floor. The dark blob in the lower right is a water tower, required on all buildings over 6 stories. Water is pumped up to the water tower and held until needed. The small structure with the blue-green roof was a very pretty Asian patio. There were a couple other Asian patios on the building .

I am off to my monthly critique group. I promise all my blog friends that I will visit your blog very soon.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Another Monday Drawing Class Pastel

"White Pitcher and Lemons"
15" x 13"

Last week I had to allow myself some free time after many busy weeks attending a workshop and preparing and hosting Silicon Valley Open Studios. The only time I did any art was with my Thursday evening group. This morning, though, I went off to my wonderful drawing class and had fun doing this pastel. Of course, it's really half done, but it will likely end up in the stack with the other half-done pieces. I learn a great deal from these exercises, especially about modeling form. Bob helped me select the pastel paper. The drapes were greys, but there was no grey paper in my price range, so he suggested a lovely soft lavender. I rather like the effect.

I will be away from the computer for a bit. Hope my blog friends have a wonderful time sharing art.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Second Day of Open Studios

Diane Martarano with her lovely artwork

Another view of Diane's space

Alison Turner with her art in the garden display

A partial view of my display area

Here you have some views of our studio, part of Silicon Valley Open Studios. There will be two additional weeks of SVOS, but we are not showing in the areas north of us. Diane Martarano does beautiful impressionistic work, many of them florals. Her small framed originals for Mother's Day and hostess gifts were popular again this year. Alison Turner enjoyed her post in the back gardens where her guests could take advantage of the back patio seating. Alison's work features animals in their natural habitat and wonderful scenes from the desert and mountain areas. She is an ambitious adventure traveler, which inspires her work. Alison and Diane are members of our elite South Side Art Club, along with Don, Arleta, and Penny. The Club grew from a class we took together and we we meet paint every Thursday evening. Penny and Arleta acted as greeters for the show, and Don came on Sunday to provide moral support and comraderie.

Sunday proved to be a slightly slower day than Saturday, the reverse of two Open Studios in the past. There was much going on, including a Sharks game, and the streets were quiet. I sold the ever popular cards and two additional paintings :
Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture of the small iris painting. I found a lovely small frame that can sit on a shelf or table. It is square, black, and had a shadowbox triple mat. I specifically painted this small piece from the irises that bloom in my garden every year at this time. You can see them blooming now and our show patrons enjoyed them very much. The new owner has a special display in mind for a guest area in her home.

"Holly's Irises" on my side patio

These Irises are very special to me, started from bulbs gifted by a friend.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Silicon Valley Open Studios and the Quiller Workshop

"Sunset over Tuscany"
11" x 14"
Acrylic on paper

On Day 4 Stephen switched to acrylics. We could stay with watercolor and gouache or use acrylics and I wanted to learn the medium from the master. In the morning we used the paint transparently with watercolor without adding any white to it. I will show that painting when I finish it. In the afternoon he showed using a full range of transparent, translucent (with white added), and opaque paints. He began with a transparent under painting. In my case the transparent under painting is yellow orange and a touch of red at the top. I used white mixed with cerulean blue for the sky, white mixed with Ultramarine for the mountains; thus, they are translucent. The remainder of the painting is done opaquely. I see lots that needs improving, and that's all part of the learning experience.

This year's signature painting

"Me and Matisse" is featured in the catalogue and on the website. I was delighted when one enthusiast said he came specifically to see this painting. He has collected a number of works from Open Studios and favors figures. He was very impressed, but he did not buy the work, though he came back to it several times, perhaps put off by the price. I chose to raise my prices slightly this year. The good news is I sold three paintings:
One collector had missed out on a bid at a charitable auction for a piece I donated , so she bought two paintings. The other person won the bid at the auction for the piece that showed a scene in Italy with the wash hanging from the second story window of an ancient building in Florence. Her husband told her to buy another piece depicting Europe. I also sold a lot of greeting cards, which are always a fun item for folks to take home. The other two artists made sales as well. We were blessed with a perfect California day and had the doors open for people to circulate. Because we don't have flying bugs here, no need to close a screen door. Another sunny day has dawned as we look forward to the second and final day of the Open Studios.

Alison Turner is set up in the back garden and she also has a children's art area out there. One set of nine-year-old twin boys had a blast doing art and we admired their work. I am always amazed at what wonderful color choices they make. They are great at analogous and complementary colors.