Search This Blog

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Alley Critique

I took this painting in this morning for critique as I believed I had made the red bud too light in value. Before going back in and working on it I wanted Kevin's opinion, and he did agree. BUT he said maybe I should use the purple/pink color of the redbud, mixed with the green from the trees behind it with the sky color, which he said is too blue, make the overall value of the sky lighter, and then the red bud would be okay. He said the sky is just a bit too blue for the overcast day it was. Otherwise, he said it is a fine painting and I did a good job on the local tone feel of it. (ie no light and shadow, and three value groups: light, medium and dark). I also took in the "truck" alley painting, and it is not near being complete so there was a lot to say about that one. I will give that in a second post as I want to put the before and after in one blog post. and it is thundering and lightening out right now and I want to get off the computer!

14th Annual PAAC Opening

Here I am last night at the PAAC Opening held at Saks Gallery in Cherry Creek, Denver. These are the four paintings I got in to the show this year. The show looks great, so if you have the time to make it in to see it, I would recommend going. Today there will be a painting demo by Jeff Legg, on painting at traditional still life. Funny to have that at a plein air show. You would think the demo would be outside painting the streets and shops of Cherry Creek North, or even the facade/alley of Saks!

I was delighted to see someone I met at the Summer Art Market, who had bought one of my little plein air pieces,  had come and brought a friend. Her friend really liked my alley piece, which I overheard. This photo was taken by a new friend that I met last night, Christine LaPierre. Thank you, Christine. It was Charlie Bogusz who reminded me that I needed to have a photo for my blog with me and my art. You wouldn't think I would need the reminder!

Monday, June 21, 2010

14th Annual Plein Air Artists of Colorado Juried Exhibit

This year, PAAC’s annual juried show is being held at Saks Gallery in Cherry Creek, 3019 East 2nd Avenue. The opening will be held this Friday, June 25th, from 5-9 p.m. the show runs for two weeks, through July 10. There should be lots of good art from all over the southwest. This year I have been fortunate to have four paintings juried in.
One of these paintings, “Urban Serenity” above, won a 2nd place award at the 2009 Denver Plein Air Show held in December, and another,
“Quiet Sunday at the Bail Bonds” an honorable mention the year before.
“Greenland Ranch Buildings” I just painted this past February,
 and ”Alley in Fall” was the start of my fascination with alleys, when I painted it from my alley across the street last October.

The thing I find interesting about this is a year ago I thought myself a landscape painter. The only painting I submitted that did not get in to this show was a landscape. I did not think I was very good at painting cityscapes in particular, and buildings in general. In fact, I only submitted two paintings I did at a garden center (flowers are “safe”) to the 2009 Denver Plein Air Juried show, not thinking the cityscapes I did were very good at all.

the Weekend Ends

Saturday I did work on the "Alley in Spring" painting as I thought I would. I added the little Westie, worked on the two trees in bloom as well as a few other things, like refining the truck, redid the sky completely and then added color and interest to the tree in the upper left hand corner, tying the color into the rest of the painting. The clump of fresh budding green trees got a little work as well and while I had green out, I tidied up the green wheelbarrow. I knew when I put this in my show at Bell Gallery that it really wasn't finished, so it was good to take this piece a bit further. I won't say it is completed, as I want to sit on it awhile longer. Back to work it goes tomorrow. I may take it in on Saturday for critique if I decide to go to Kevin's Saturday class. Kevin can always find ways to push me which is a good thing. I am a very lazy painter, if the truth be known.

close up of Sassy Boots, better known as "Pearl."

The "Emerson Street Alley" I put on my easel this afternoon. I had a "dream" from Mark Daily after yesterday's post about how can you get the shadow shape value correct if you don't have the light to relate it to? I started putting in the light. He is right. Relationships are so important; value, color, size, shape etc. I do get it, just old habits die hard. I lightened the sky in this painting as well. I worked on the small details of the car in the very rear of the alley, the recycle bins, the trees got a bit of attention but are far from finished. The telephone poles also need work. I

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Emerson Street Alley taking shape

Here is where the latest alley painting stands as of this morning. I haven't had a chance to work on it for the past two weeks with the art market happening last weekend. It does look very different from the blockin. I have cooled down the shadow shape. I have not punched the light yet, wanting to be sure I have the shadow reading correctly first and keep it unified since it is the largest area. I worked on defining the truck in the foreground and the trailer as well as giving more shape to the dumpsters going down the alley. The recycle bins have not been touched and I still need to give shape to the clump of trees not yet in bloom that is still a kind of beige blob dead center. I am not inclined to work on this piece this morning.

I am going to work on the Alley in Spring first. I have decided it needs some work. I plan on putting the little westie in it like I did for the plein air study. (I actually did some touch up on the study since I posted it, darkening the road to make him pop more). I also have decided the studio painting needs more color in the blooming trees. Both trees (red bud and crab apple) are too one dimensional. It really helped taking it to work this week after looking at it at the art market. It sure does help "to see" when I hang a painting at work as the light is different and I am out of my milieu. Just "hanging out" there in other words.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Critique on the Alley

I know we are all getting tired of seeing the same old painting, but bear with me. The comments Eddie made last Sunday at the Summer Art Market on this painting that I mentioned in my last post were: One, don't call it a recycle bin. It is not a recycle bin, or a dumpster as you can't physically put anything in it. It is paint; the painting may be representing an alley with bins or dumpsters or snow. I am not sure why he was making that point, but so be it. The second thing he said was that what makes this a painting vs just a representational piece is the purple in the water; he said he knows the purple wasn't there (true) but I put it there because it worked, and that is what makes this painting so good, among other things. The bar has been raised by this painting and now to find out if I am up to repeating it consistently...

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sunday June 13, 2010 Summer Art Market

Sunday was much quieter at the ASLD Summer Art Market (SAM). The weather cooperated in that it stopped raining while we unloaded in the morning, AND we found convenient parking relatively easily. It then proceeded to rain steadily with some efforts towards downpour all morning. The traffic did pick up about lunch time and the sun came out for a short while; enough to get the ground to dry up and the river running through the back of our tent went down to a trickle. It did cloud back up, but the rain did not start back up until we had everything loaded into the car at the end of the day. So all in all, the weather did cooperate to the degree that I did not suffer any damage. I did have a bit better day financially on Sunday, although I only brought in a quarter of what I have brought in in the past. There were some people who did not even garner a sale, and those that did very well.. My friend, Pat, who had the tent directly across for us, did very well. 

Above is my side of the tent in the deep dark corner. The pumpkin sold yesterday.
This is Drew's wall. I cut off the last row of paintings hanging at the entrance.

I had more positive feedback from people in the Denver art world, so again, that was worth so much to me. An old friend, Eddie, not only complimented me but gave me excellent, concrete feedback as to why the alley was so much better than anything else I had up which is exactly what I needed to hear. I will have to write what he said in another blog post with the photo of the alley (again) so that it makes sense.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Saturday, June 12 - Summer ART Market

It rained off and on all day; Light showers mixed with heavy downpours with a patch or two of dry. BUT I enjoyed it more than I would have expected. It got chilly, but amazingly, the weather did not diminish the attendance by as much as I would have expected. LOTS of traffic to our tent. I changed my modus operandi this year, putting my best work on the walls and better work in the bins, which raised some prices overall. Probably not the wisest thing to do in this economy, but I could not afford to give my work away. I don't produce just for the market like some of the artists do. I did not sell very much, in fact, nothing bigger than a 6x9,  but the positive response, and amount of people who stopped to look was worth it. PLUS, I got the best thing an artist in this area could hope for, and that is a master artist came in, said my alley painting was the first painting to draw him into a booth; that he always wanted to paint alleys, but just never has, and what a great painting my alley was; then he looked at Smokin" and said, wonderful expression with little detail; then he asked what gallery I showed in. And I had to say I was not in a gallery. Anyway, that was worth all the rain.
More rain is forecast for all day today, with thunderstorms thrown in for good measure. I am adding a layer or two, taking towels for the condensation that comes into the tent and hangs over the art work. I did hear a few tents went down on Friday night, but I did not hang until yesterday morning. I took all my hanging work down and brought it home last night as well. My bin work is in covered plastic bins, so they should be good. Drew, whom I am sharing the booth with, had a few paintings on boards warp, but the watercolorists are the ones who took the biggest hit. Even without direct contact, they were warping just from all the moisture.
I did not take any photos! So I will do better about that today.

Friday, June 11, 2010

2010 Summer Art Market

I am due to unload my art and other things necessary to a successful art market in one hour and there is a tornado warning along the I-25 corridor through 9 pm tonight! Rain is forecast the whole weekend along with tornados and thunderstorms. Should be a very interesting event. Flood warnings are in effect as well, through Sunday. Does anyone remember the Cherry Creek Arts Festival flood? I can't remember the year, but what a disaster.  Currently it is sunny, with a wind picking up and a dark forboding sky! And why am I doing this again??

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Orchids Revisited

Here we have a "before and after" that really was transformed. I recently found the photo I took of this amazing orchid at the Fall Denver Orchid Society Orchid Show, where this terrestrial orchid, Phaius Tankeville, won the blue ribbon. The grower kindly let me bring this huge plant home to paint after the show, which is on the left. This was painted in 2003. That was when I didn't think a background was necessary, for a myriad of reasons. I have since changed my mind. I didn't add all that was in the background of the photo but I do think the background adds so much to the painting. At any rate, I had fun reworking this piece.

Here is a painting I probably should not be posting. I did the original during my orchid days, when I called them portraits and this plant is called Winterwonderland. I really liked this painting at the time - just goes to show how much we can grow - I was aiming for some abstraction and playing with colors, rather unsuccessfully I should add, and doing a painting in a short amount of time. Forcing myself out of all my comfort zones. Without having any photo reference, I recently reworked this painting keeping the underlying structure as is. The original furniture item is an old oak shelf unit I had gotten when Emily Griffith Opportunity School. It used it to hold art supplies. It has long since gone to the trash, so again, I had to use my knowledge of oak. I also wanted it to look like the light was coming in from the window you can't see on the right. These old paintings remind me how far I have come, but also that the learning is lifelong. Reworking these old gems helps to loosen me up when I feel I am getting tight. It is so freeing when you know you can't ruin it.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Alley in Spring

On the left is my studio painting that I recently finished from the study on the right. I had both hanging at Bell Gallery for my opening there the first Friday of May. I hadn't realized that I had not posted the finished studio piece. My artist friends comments from the opening were unanimous: the studio painting was liked better than the plein air. And usually, it is the other way around-artists normally like the freshness of the plein air. That may have something to do with the fact that I know in my mind what I am looking to do when painting outside, but I don't have the time to get there. (and I also have a hard time keeping my lights clean, though I am working on that) And then I take that direction with me back to the studio using the study as the skeleton on which to build from. I added the dog, Pearl, who belongs to the people who live nearby. They came walking up the alley while I was painting and I hastily took a few quick photos; only one dog really was worth putting in, as the owner and the other dog ended up behind the dumpster. They are going to buy the study. I am thinking I should add Pearl to the larger piece as well. What do you think? She is definitely a dog with  'tude.