Thursday, October 30, 2014

My Third Day at the Gwen Fox Workshop

"At Peace"
10" x 12" Acrylic
This piece was actually inspired by a photo of grasses at the University of Vermont with the iconic Camel's Hump mountain in the background. However, it looks totally Southwest to me as I was so influenced by my surroundings in Taos. I like the way I can get some watercolor effects while having the flexibility of adding a different color over the original color. I first painted the mountain in magenta and then went over it with a mixture of magenta and blue, leaving some of the original layer showing through. I also added the greens and gold. The grasses were done with a palette knife, which was very fun and new to me.

Gwen suggested I extend a few grasses above the blue mountain, which I will do when I get at painting again.

Monday, October 27, 2014

My Second Day at the Gwen Fox Workshop

"Taos in Living Color"

Gwen said she would be working in acrylic, so I decided to use the medium. I want to get more proficient with them because I want to combine them with collage and do abstracts.
Gwen suggested that I paint with acrylic on 300 lb. cold press paper that I first gessoed. I use the three fluid acrylics that Gwen had on the supply list that are quite transparent and make a wide range of colors. I included one tube of Titanium Buff. They were perfect to suggest the typography and colors of Taos.
I created a semi-abstract painting depicting  the deep slashing canyon carved by the Rio Grande, the eroded sandstone mountains, the plateaus, and manmade adobe structures.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Gwen Fox Workshop in Taos, NM

"Fall at Smith College"
8" x 10" acrylic and watercolor
I just returned from both a college reunion at the University of Vermont and a wonderful art workshop by Gwen Fox in Taos, NM, with art friend Joan. We do an art related vacation every year, so that two East and West Coasters can get together. This was a Master Class with an emphasis on Marketing and refining our art.

I want to work more with acrylic, which I first learned in a couple private lessons from friend/professional artist/teacher, Joyce Barron Leopard. The first day I made several small paintings of the colorful leaves at Smith College in Massachusetts where we met up with granddaughter Jamie. This piece was my favorite of the bunch, combining an underpainting in acrylic leaving some whites, and doing the image in watercolor over the wash.

One of my favorite design elements is shape, and a slide show of our art that Gwen arranged showed two of my collages, one at the beginning and one at the end of my presentation. That was intentional -- Gwen loves my collages which express a strong sense of design. I will apply my expanding knowledge of acrylic in my collage work. Meanwhile, I developed the common theme of shape in the workshop paintings.

Tomorrow I will show you my painting on the following day in which I expressed the characteristics of the Southwest in a semi-abstract acrylic painting.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Plein Air Painting in Pioneer Park

                                                                "Mommy, it's raining."
i am a bit behind. About three weeks ago, the Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society Paintsites folks brought us together at the Mountain View Library, which is in Pioneer Park. I had to drive about 35 minutes to get there and enroute I actually had to figure out where my windshield wiper controls are located on my car. It hadn't rained more than a few drops for months. The rain had stopped by the time I arrived at the park.

I decided to paint a stately old oak tree and was painting away when a vision appeared on the wet green grass -- three small children playing with their two brightly colored umbrellas. I could just imagine them telling mommy that they needed to use their new umbrellas, even though the rain stopped. I snapped a few photos from very far away and included the little tikes in my painting.
 That means, of course, that they are not ideally positioned and have become the center of interest.  I so wanted them in the painting that I gave myself permission to include them.

I am not happy with the way Blogger works from my IPad. Hope you can view the entire image.