Thursday, August 30, 2012

The final pass on my second collage


"Edgy Wine"
Final Collaged Stilllife completed in Derek Gores Workshop

Ha! I thought I was done. Derek got us together and talked about making our edges more interesting, breaking the edges, and using lots of variation. Notice the broken line of the table formed by a row of women, the interesting yellow shapes, the addition of lots of people. Derek says the variations are little surprises for our viewer. Completing this piece, including finishing the sides with collaged greens, took until after 1! You can view yesterday's version. Definitely this one is much more fun. I like the yellow person in the wine glass. This type of collage can really engage the viewer.
We had a lovely show/critique to finish up the workshop. Several people from our society dropped in to see the art and bemoan the fact they did not take the workshop. Our volunteeer takedown crew got to enjoy the final showing before breaking down the room .  Here is Derek talking about my work.
Derek Gores critiquing my work

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The second collage painting -- a still life in Derek Gores Workshop

"Edgy Wine"
18" x 18"
Collage on Gallery-Wrapped Canvas
Derek Gores demos his approach to painting shoes.
Today many people continued to work on their portraits. I had chosen to do mine in black, grey, and white, an easier task than using color. Those of us who had finished got to start our still life. I selected a wine bottle and glass and a color palette that (hopefully) will look good with my new color scheme, earth tones and greyed aqua (looks like sage to me). I have a spot that I would like to hang it in the new kitchen.
Adding color to the mix always adds a bit of challenge, especially when I was attempting to find edges within the magazine pages. Finding an edge with two correct colors and values is not easy. I scoured my fashion magazines and Sunset magazine. I now have two questions: Am I done (should I add shadows of the bottle and glass)? and will the blues and greens I chose match my decor. Of course, all artists shun people who buy art based on color palette, but it does matter to me.
What a ride -- I will never look at a magazine the same way again. One more day of workshop to go. We are in the groove. Come in, organize our palette of papers and dive in. Derek goes around and helps us along. His goal is that we all succeed. On this one, Derek made some suggestions about variation (use different textures, colors and  for the highlights and edges on the bottle and wine glass). About 12 to 12:30 we take a lunch break. I always go to the gardens of the Rosicrucian Museum. I invite people to join me. Often the instructor will come with us and we have a nice casual lunch together. An hour later we are back at it at until 4.
Today Derek took some time to demo his favorite still life, a woman's high heel shoe, and how to draw and apply collage to an eye, a very complex structure. Tomorrow will be a bit shorter day as our take down crew arrives early. Four people will not be with us due to prior commitments, The Georgia artists are headed home tomorrow. Those of us who remain will have critique before we leave. We have had some interim critiques, and this is the grand finale.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My First All Paper Painting

"City Girl"
36" x 36" Collage on Gallery-Wrapped Canvas
A messy process - stand by with a shop vac
Instructor Derek Gores works with a fellow artist

 The group is hard at work on some amazing art
Derek Gores is a wonderful young artist from Melbourne, FL. A very accomplished graphic designer, he has done work for many well-known companies and people. He is teaching us his wonderful all-paper collage process, which he does on gallery-wrapped canvas. All you need is canvas, lots of glossy magazines (fashion are especially nice), glossy mat medium, a flat brush or your hands, gloss varnish, and a good image with strong values.
This is a very demanding process and Derek warned us we would be tired. We drew our image on the canvas with a Sharpie, set up our color paper palette, and began from large to small working all over the canvas. The first sheets that went down were full sheets. We tear the paper and do not use scissors. Derek prefers to find his edges using paper rather than having the torn edge of the paper at the edge. For example, the lip is black, but it's made up of small pieces of paper that extend above or below the lip and has both the black of the the lip and the off-white of the skin next to it. The edge is on the torn paper. That is what makes this type of art so demanding. You are looking at the magazines and saying where can I use this or searching for the perfect piece.

The picture is made up of surprising elements. Text and pictures are all integrated into the image. Can you see people and a leg in this art? Derek says he depends upon randomness to create the picture. Pages with text and patterns are especially helpful for values and transitions.

By the end of Monday, we all had half-complete work and it was difficult to see how we were going to "get there." Derek says it's a leap of faith and he has self-doubts, too. When I arrived home, my brain was so tired, I was almost comatose! Today, though, the process was  beginning to gel for me, and Derek is great about coming around and giving individual attention. He tore some pieces and suggested where to use them a couple different times and got me over the hump when it came to shadows and the eyes. By the end of today, I had finished my piece and most folks were close to done. I have to say, we could have a fabulous show.

I chose to use black and white as my color palette because it is the easiest. I didn't want to have color in the mix to confuse me during the learning process. I will tackle color tomorrow when we do an 18" x 18" stillife.

Bob and I hosted Derek for dinner this evening, in spite of our remodel mess. He thoroughly enjoyed seeing our neighborhood and home. We enjoyed getting to know Derek.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Room with a View: Late Day in Napa Valley

"Late Day in Napa Valley"
Silverado Resort grounds from the Mansion Lounge
In May, Bob and I attended a lovely wine tasting and dinner honoring patrons of the School Health Clinics of San Jose. There was a silent auction and I was the lucky winner of two days at a condo at the Silverado Resort . What better time to get out of Dodge for a brief respite than while under remodel construction. We loaded the tandem and vowed to park the car for our stay. The condo is beautiful with a master suite, living area and kitchen right near the main pool and jacuzzi.
On the first evening we shared a light meal at the Mansion Lounge. This was our view.
The real deal
I was intrigued by the play of light and shadows as the sun dropped low in the sky over one of the golf courses at the resort in wine country (pardon the reflections on the glass door). I played up the shapes and light in my small sketch done in my Moleskine watercolor journal using Koi pan paints and a water brush.
The next day we rode the tandem up that mountain you see and were very happy we did not have a huge touring load on board.
Bob and bike at the Silverado Resort
We spent time at the pool where I captured a view I want to paint. I was prone on a lounge chair when I saw the play on shadows on the umbrella and had to get my camera. I plan to fill the picture plane with the umbrella.
At the main pool

Tomorrow I will attend a demo by Derek Gores and then a 4-day workshop to learn his approach to collage. We will be painting with paper. Because of my love of the shape element, this workshop is calling me.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Attending workshops

Mike Bailey talks with one of the workshop attendees

I recently attended a three-day color workshop by Mike Bailey. If my art room was not all packed up for work on the upstairs remodel, I would show you one of the color exercises we did. The workshop was jam-packed with information and we worked really hard. I learned a lot and look forward to trying some new color approaches. I am also looking forward to the Derek Gores workshop next week -- all collage, no painting.

I delivered the commissioned painting I described here.  

"Hello, Goodby"
15" x 15" Watercolor

The  buyer asked that I mat and frame it, so I used and the results were very nice. When Nancy came to pick up the piece, she was delighted and had Bob take a couple pictures of us with the painting. I hope to have her send me the files.

Monday, August 6, 2012

If It's Monday, It's Time to Draw

" Pears in Glass"
12" x 14" Pastel

"Broken Beauty"
12" x 14" Pastel

Here is work from the last three Monday drawing sessions. The lovely glass bowl was a challenge and came together when I pushed the highlights in the last few minutes. I also find pears to be a lovely subject. The broken pottery pitcher just doesn't quite capture the glow I wanted, but after two sessions, I am ready to surrender. As always, Bob Semans taught us a lot about modelling form. 

To see the work of each artist is so interesting. I wish I had photos of all the work. Each piece is unique to the artist, even though we have the same subject. Not only are we seated with different perspectives, but the personal approach to the art is so individual. If the art was placed in front of me without names and not having seen them being produced, I could match the art to the artist.

Bob has spent a lot of time personally studying color, so next week he will focus on that topic. This will be a nice followon to Mike Bailey's Color Workshop that I am taking over the weekend. We are also going to draw from life by taking turns as model.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

SCVWS Ice Cream Social

Some of the group at the Social

Hospitality Chair, Laurie Barna, chats with Mike Collins on our  Workshop Setup Committee

Our 400+ member Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society welcomed new members at an Ice Cream Social at Rengstorff Park in Mountain View. You can see we had a perfect day (in fact, it's been a lovely, comfortable summer here). Laurie had the affair catered with homemade ice cream and toppings. I sampled almost all of the goodies and they were special. As they say, I took a pound for the team.

As Leader of the society, I like to attend all our events to get to know the members. It was fun to talk with people new to the society. Our organization is very welcoming to all levels of artists, from the beginning watermedia artist to the advanced, award-winning professionals.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Another show complete -- On to the next

Pickup day at the gallery

Our Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society exhibit, "Think Large -- Paint Small," with pieces no larger than 14 inches on any one side, ended July 30. Bob and I picked up my painting. Though mine did not sell, 9 of the 40 pieces did, a real success. I felt honored to have my painting in the show. There were over 100 entries. Charlotte Huntley, the juror, is a wonderful artist and author. At the reception, Charlotte told me she was so impressed with the quality of the entries. The show was as good as any national show she's seen. She even bought one piece that she did not give an award, but had great personal appeal for her. I found that very interesting and realized I have no idea how judges decide on entries and awards!

Our next show has many cash and product awards and is really worth entering. If you are not a member of SCVWS, go here and join for a mere $30. You can then enter a piece in the show (for an additional fee).

With an extensive remodel underway, I am lucky to find a few brushes and paints. I am taking two great workshops in August, so painting is on my agenda. Check out the Derek Gores workshop on the SCVWS website. All collage, no painting, and I think this will be exciting. We have some terrific artists signed up for it. We still have some slots left if you want to attend.