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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Over-sized Pair

Over-sized Pair, 8x10, oil on linen
This is a little still life I did over Easter weekend. The pear on the left went into a delicious French Fruit Tart that my daughter made us for Easter.  I wish I could remember the name of that kind of pear. It is only in a few stores for a limited time each year. I like to do these little studies to keep my eye fresh after working from digital images on the larger works. They also help to loosen up my brush work.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Cherry Creek Resevoir revisited

Docked, 12x9. oil on canvas board

Docked, Original. Creek Reservoir, 2010
The painting above was hanging about in my studio and my husband asked me why I didn't rework it as he thought I could "make it so much better." So last weekend I put it back on the easel. The first thing I did was to redo the sky color. That made a huge difference. Just with that adjustment the other colors became brighter. I then set about to correct some of the drawing and the values. I brightened the whites because when I paint plein air the colors can tend to get muddy. I then worked on my main focal point, the yellow boat and its reflection. I did lose some of the freshness of brushstrokes reworking it, but overall, I think it is an improvement.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Touch of Spring

Cracked Pot with Daffodils, 12x9. oil on gallery wrapped canvas
Just a fun piece I did one rainy day and it just seemed the thing to do. The daffs are no longer in the stores and the few in my yard are on their way out. I found this enamelware coffeepot in an alley last spring. The bottom is rounded from getting too hot, which is what I love about it. Seems appropriate for Easter.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sign of Spring

Sign of Spring, 22x28, oil on canvas
Walking my dog one morning in our neighborhood park a few weeks ago, we came across 4 kites "eaten" by 3 trees in this one clump of trees that surround a huge field. Trees surround this field on all sides, but only this small clump of trees had kites. It was a beautiful but windy morning, so I patiently waited until the wind blew this kite out to almost full glory. This butterfly was by far the most interesting of the kites. A week later it was in shreds.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Judging HS Photography

In the Body Shop Competition, no color correction or digital manipulation! These students are Post secondary level.

The TV Broadcasting Competition HS level - This is the actual photo as taken.
Yesterday I was a judge for the Photography segment of the Colorado SkillsUSA Leadership Conference being held at Warren Tech and Red Rocks Community College in Lakewood, CO. It was my first experience being a judge for any on-site student competition. The students (only 5 HS students for photography) were impressive. They were given their "assignment" at 9 a.m. and had to have 50 photos available for me to look at on the computer (aka contact sheet) and 7 prints made. 2 B&W, 3 color and 2 of their choice. 2 had to be 8x10 and 3 had to be 5x7. I only required 2 to be matted and to mat their choices only. The assignment had to be completed by 1 pm. They were judged on print presentation, digital manipulation, troubleshooting, field work, composition and color correction - and they had to use a digital SLR. I had my Digital SLR with me and I decided to go around campus and act as if I were in the competition so I could better understand what they were up against, to see how they dealt with the problems vs how I saw it and to see how they worked in the field. I then watched them when they worked on the computer manipulating and color correcting their chosen images. This lab had better equipment then I have at my job! State of the art. I found that one young man stood out in my view. There was a second who was fast, his presentation looked very professional, but I felt he played it safe and was not creative in his choices. The youngest contestant had a great eye but needed maturity to fine tune his work (I told him I expect great things from him next year and leave his excuses at home!) The person who got second place stood out by his compositions, very strong lines, but he went too far with that one concept and therefore they all looked the same-he was also very good at digital manipulation; Third place went to the only young woman. She wasn't as strong as some of the others in her choices of subject or composition, but she was creative in what she did with in a different way than the boys. Only the first place winner will go to the national competition held this summer.

I was given 2 "assistant" judges, 2 young men from Las Cruces, NM who knew nothing about photography or design principles. They were both very willing and took their task seriously. They gave the side of the viewer to their decisions, and their first choice was the young man I thought played it safe, which did not surprise me. Their second choice was the person who ultimately got second (he came in 4th to me) as he did focus on the cars that were in the body shop (another area of competition going on yesterday).

It is quite amazing to go back to high school after so many years. The opportunities available are phenomenal. Warren Tech offers Fire Science, Forensic Science, Computer programming, Advertising Design, Carpentry, Precision Machining just to name a few; I saw girls competing in the welding competition and in the body shop. There were maybe 8 categories just in the body shop alone! Who knew?

Tomorrow I head up to Vail for the weekend to be a judge for the Future Business Leaders of America. I will be judging HS Web Design; only the finalists, as they have already been winnowed down by 3 judges. I have been a judge for the winnowing part of this competition in past years, and again, impressed by some of the student work that is being generated. This will be my first time in judging the cream of the crop.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Silent no longer

Today I saw a funny thing from my studio window. Two young teen girls were walking by. I have a painting that I did a number of years ago attached to the wall of our house. It was an experiment to see what it would take to make an outdoor painting. It has weathered well and has garnered lots of attention. But this is the first time I saw this particular scenario: The girls put their arms around each other, put their backs to the painting, aligned their cell phone camera and took a photo with the painting in the background! How fun is that?
Here is the painting I have outside. I painted it in acrylics and on cement board. I think I put Spar varnish on it, but I can't remember for sure as it has been that long ago.
Water Lilies, 24x48