Thursday, July 31, 2014

Hello Again!


I know! I've not been posting for months ....because we recently moved after 21 years in our old house.  We're downsizing big time so I spent the last 90 days sorting, donating, selling, tossing out things...and almost going nuts in the process.  Also I moved my studio from the house to a fun funky building with about 20 other artists.  So all that packing and unpacking too.

The other day I painted for the first time in months.  I was so "cold" I decided to just use a cheap canvas board, divide it in quarters and quickly paint four warm up impressions of this birdie.  Various colors, timed myself on a couple (20 min each).  I felt like someone getting back on a bike after years of not riding.

So today I went in and painted a 'final' 6x6" version - this little guy.  It went really fast - doing practice pieces sure makes a difference (like practicing a piano piece lots before a recital).  Anyway - I'm pretty pleased with the way he came out.

BTW - I have stopped getting all but two of the blogs I have signed up for.  I even tried to sign-up again - nada.  I'm really bummed because I so enjoy getting my friends' painting posts.  

I'm curious if you are getting mine.  If you are, would you let me know by commenting below or sending me an email?  THANKS
Mary

Monday, June 2, 2014

Class Saturday - Artistically Yours

We have space in our Saturday class - so thought I'd send out a note in case any of you want to register.
It'll be at Drake High School  9:30 - 12:30.  A one-day workshop.

Here's the write-up from the catalog

Think Picasso,Diebenkorn or Brown...it's not their traditional work that comes to mind , but rather those paintings created once they discovered/created their unique styles. 

While there are many skills and techniques to learn along your artistic journey (composition value, line etc, ) it is also important, and fun to look for inner inspiration, tap into your creativity, and find your own voice. 

In this workshop we'll start with warm-up exercises and then set you on your personal journey. You'll have a chance to experiment in a supportive environment. You'll paint an original work without the aid of a set-up subject or photograph. 

Acrylic paint, hard pastels, markers or crayon are best for this class.

Note: This class is a one day workshop, so you must bring supplies. For Supply list go to www.maryvalente.com

If you want to sign up - do so by Wednesday morning.  
Try this link
http://marinlearn.com/index.cfm?method=ClassInfo.ClassInformation&int_class_id=45125&int_category_id=1&int_sub_category_id=29&int_catalog_id=0

Or contact Tam High Community Education. 

Hope to see you there!
Mary

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Sneak Preview.....

Unreal..moving after 23 years. I feel like Cinderella BEFORE the fairy godmother showed up---sweeping, sprucing up, sorting, starting to pack. Where are those helpful little birds and mice when you need them?

Of course - moving includes all the stuff in my studio (supplies, frames...and paintings)... so...
Open Studio =  Moving Sale
 Lots of Special Deals: discount corners, sale trays...and more.  The less I have to move into a smaller studio the better.  Good for me.... good for you.

Here's a preview of the almost-ready-studio  Come see the rest of it and more paintings. 
May 3/4 - and May 10/11  (note-I have to leave about 1:00 on Sunday 4th;  Patricia will host)

Long Shot 


Figure Corner


Abstracts & Landscapes


and a sample of my friend's Patricia's Encaustics





Monday, April 28, 2014

Photo from MOS Gala....

When we arrived at the opening exhibit for Marin Open Studios it was almost empty, quiet and easy to walk around, see the art.  By the time we left about 45 minutes later it was jammed.  Phil snapped a shot just before we headed out - me and my roses.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Gala - Travel with Paints and more...

Orion Rose

OK - let's start with the 'and more' and work back to the Gala.  Orian Rose, above, is one of the few abstracts I've painted.  It's textured, acrylic on canvas, using warm, harmonious colors.  It was painted as a 4-panel (quadriptych) but I think I prefer it as a 3 part - though I still have the fourth- a girl can always change her mind, right?  Each panel is 6x6".  

OK - now about Traveling with Paints.  An wonderful artist, Dreama, recently posted a blog all about traveling with your art supplies.  Saw it on Carol Marine's blog site.  Just had to share it with you all.

Finally:  Saturday night was the Gala opening of the exhibit of work by the artists participating in 2014 Marin Open Studios.   It was a delightful, albeit packed, event; donations of great food and wine were a bonus. Two separate spaces in the Bon Air Center - my work is in Gallery 2, right next to Road Runner, Noahs etc.  Runs through May 17th, Tuesdays thru Sundays 11-6:00.
 
They also had a silent auction - here are some of the donated pieces:

O




Monday, April 14, 2014

Aeroskobing....finished in time for Open Studios



I'm preparing for two full weekends of Open Studio in May - going through my inventory, framing etc. Came across a half done painting...!  Had fun finishing up Sunday evening.  I painted this from a photo we took in Aeroskobing, Denmark almost 10 years ago. We were biking around the island Easter week - you can tell how verdant and lush it is. A magical place; like a fairy tale ...culturally preserved much as it was when first built up in 1800: thatched roof cottages, farmland, sheep everywhere.  Danish high school students spend several months on the island learning their history and cultural traditions.

Marin Open Studios-   May 3&4 and then again May 10&11.  In my home studio.  Do come!  I'll be sending out invites in the next few days.  If you don't get one by Wednesday - let me know.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Beginners Only! Coming Soon....College of Marin

Just a heads up - there are a still a few seats left in the March 22nd workshop "Get Ready to Paint" at College of Marin, Kentfield.

This class is for total novices.  Really.    It's designed for students who have wanted to paint but are hesitant, never painted before--or it's been a zillion years.  We'll cover basic terms and tools: brushes, paints, surfaces, color mixing, value etc.  The point of the class is to get you ready for your next painting adventure; after this you'll be more confident taking a landscapes, abstracts, figure class etc.

You can sign up here:  www.marin.edu/CommunityEducation 
Or call the Admin. office for a form by email which you can fax back or drop off.  But do it soon!

Here are some newbie artists from my February at Drake High.




Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Spring Tulips

acrylic                                       Spring Tulips                                   6x6

Tulip Season, yay!   Tulips everywhere - parks, gardens, farmer's markets - even check-out stands. Must be Spring (well, 8 days).
Click Here to purchase.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Mollie the Model

One of my models wandered in today and posed while I was cleaning up the studio.  She's right; I should be painting not cleaning but someone has to do it once in awhile. And she refuses.
More soon....




Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Surprise! Guess Who?

Guess Who



Last summer --the park was full of kids having a grand ol' time...so I took several photos.  Caught this just as the girl in the orange snuck up behind her pal.  Thought the little gal in blue was going to lose her head..and her eye! But they giggled and ran off together so no harm done. I debated about leaving out the tiny toddler who ran across the field but I think I like her there. Figured if I didn't paint her too detailed she wouldn't take away from the main subjects.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Patti Mollica's Workshop. Great fun!




Just back from a three-day workshop taught by Patti Mollica.  She's delightful and an especially good teacher.  Rather than just do a demo and expect the students to 'get it', she uses very specific exercises to convey specific techniques....which I can use at home too.
Today I did a couple studies using one of the exercises from the class:  defining light/middle/dark values and painting with limited strokes.   Also working with a much wider brush.
The workshop was in Carmel Valley - gorgeous area and great weather. My friend Linda from southern California joined came up for the class ..plus I met a bunch of new painters, including one gal who lives just down the road.  I got a lot out of this class - including some special memories.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Free Demo of Paints and Products in San Rafael

I get a lots of questions in my classes about paints and product additives for a variety of art-making effects.  Noticed this in an email today:   Free Demo at Riley Street Art Supply presented by a Golden Paints rep.

Saturday 11:00 - 1:00.  They have limited space so you'll want to register.  Enjoy.

Learn more and register here:  Riley's Demo

An Experiment with a fun result


Take a long, floppy flat brush.  Add acrylic paint and plenty of water. When you touch the paper the bristles splay out, flatten floppily--as the brush decides what marks it'll make versus the ones you intended. Like painting with an old kitchen mop.  Great Fun!!  This took about 10 minutes, if that.  I'm not presenting this as a "finished painting"...just the result of my quick experiment.  It's a technique used many years ago in a Bob Burridge class.  Painted on gessoed watercolor paper.  Will try it on board and canvas.

On a personal note - yesterday brought yet another birthday.  A fun day, a full mailbox, ending with dinner by Phil and my daughter's family.  Topped off, literally, with scrumptious, homemade banana-split treats:  marshmallow, chocolate sauces, praline and strawberry toppings along with the traditional whipped cream and nuts. So Sweet! (pun intended :-)   And, I got my own set to devour over the next few weeks.... Not only am I older - I'm fatter today! (Notice the chalk-board labels.  Really, you write w chalk.  Cool and reusable.)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Winter Sweet

6x6                                                        acrylic

Bought some really fresh California tangerines today.  As I unpacked my bag, this one just begged to be painted.  I find when I'm smitten with my subject it practically paints itself.  This is the first time I've painted pyrex glass, with its faint green cast.  The edge sometimes showed green; sometime was totally clear except for the light reflection.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Come Rain or Come Shine

Denise...........Cristy.....Annie.............Michele
Come Rain: Think a little rain was going to stop these budding artists?  No Way! They arrived wet, schlepping bags of art supplies, ready to jump in, mess around with brushes, create a ton of fun colors, slog through value scales and then, because they worked fast and hard, did I reward them with free time? Nope.. I got out my timer and hit them with a timed painting challenge. Paint your subject in 5 minute-no more. When the bell rings, you stop now..and being the next one.  Come Shine: And STILL they smiled. (  Good sports all!



Denice ...........................Margot
Today's class was at Drake High in Fairfax...offered through Tam District Community Ed. Like the class in January at COM - this class is designed for those who have never ever painted before or if they have ...it's either been a long time ago....or they have been doing their own thing and want to learn some paintings basics.  Some will go on to more formal classes; some will continue to experiment on their own.  But bottom line, I think we were all there for the pure pleasure of playing with paint!  It doesn't get much better than that. 

(folks, forgive these blurry photos. used my phone. wasn't steady- too fast I guess)       

Phil...............Blanca.............Jeanna

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Two Topics Today: The Challenge ...How to Figure Out What to Paint

The two parts of this title have nothing to do with one another. Or do they?

Part 1: The Challenge.  The other evening I painted from a weekly challenge offered on Daily Paintworks. The challenge, from a fellow artist, was to replicate the values in a b&w photo of her cat, regardless of what colors you chose.  You'll see I decided on complimentary colors...blues and oranges.

(for my students- about the 'black"in the painting:  I wanted it interesting, not out the tube. It includes varying degrees of Ultramarine Blue, Alizarin Crimson, sometimes Viridian or Sap Green, a even a dab of orange at times.)


Part 2:  How to Figure Out What to Paint.  If you've ever grappled with this (me? like all the time!) check out a recent segment/podcast ..from the blog talk show "Artists Helping Artists", hosted by palette knife painter Leslie Saeta.  She and Carrie Waller (watercolorist) share not only their personal ideas but review an excellent article by Marion Boddy-Evans.  You're give a plethora of ideas from specific subject matter to where to find inspiration. Plus exercises to get you thinking in a whole new way.  I encourage to listen (be patient, there's a lot of friendly chatter along the way)...
iTunes (click on Podcasts - then search Artists Helping Artists )
Or here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/artistshelpingartists/2014/01/23/how-to-find-the-right-subjects-to-paint

So, are parts 1 & 2 really so different? Nope - finding challenges (on-line or on your own) is just another resource of try out new subject matter.   You never know what will get your excited.  And even if the subject doesn't become your signature work, it's always a way to hone your skills.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Credit where credit it due! ...and Tip about Acrylic Paint Hue and Tube Labels

First , I want to share with you the name of the artist who painted the two paintings (the dazzling eggs and the handsome portrait) in my last post:- hers was the very meticulous studio - white, organized and lovely.  Suzanne Berry.  I've long subscribed to her blog and love seeing her work and, as importantly, reading about her journey.  Check it out!  http://suzanneberry.blogspot.com/

Secondly, a student asked me about tubes of acrylic paint marked Hue.  I tried to explain about the label and hues but not sure I was clear. The particular color in question was Alizarin Crimson.   Here is some info about the Golden Alizarin Crimson Hue that was in question:

The chemical name for Alizarin Crimson is Quinacridone / Chlorinated Copper Phthalocyanine. The ratings on the Alizarin Crimson Hue are:

Transparency Level: 4   (high - very transparent)   Good as a glaze, to mix or as a think color.

Lightfastness:  1    Excellent!  not likely to fade or change colors over very long time.

ASTM International (formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials) classifies artists' colors based on a test that simulates 20 years of gallery exposure.  Lightfastness standards that you should look for when selecting paint: 

ATSM 1 = Excellent 
ATSM 2 =  Very Good
ATSM 3 = Not Sufficiently Lightfast

Here's a good link to learn how to read the label on paint:

http://painting.about.com/od/paintingforbeginners/ss/PaintTubeLabel_5.htm

Also you can go on the Golden Site ...research/support and find all kinds of important information about their products.  

http://www.goldenpaints.com/

Monday, January 27, 2014

What a COOL bunch Painters! And.. photos for encouragement

The workshop at College of Marin last Saturday was terrific....and crazy.  Arrived to find the doors locked and a loud high pitched whistling coming from inside the room. I stressed a bit because it's takes me quite a while to set up. I made a call but got a message machine..yikes more panic. But then in only a few minutes superhero Valerie came to my rescue.

And..what a special group of folks.  From a young au pair to recent retirees - and everyone in between. They arrived by car, bus and bike - determined to try their hand at something creative, something that most have wanted to do for years and were either afraid of failure or just too darn busy (like two young mothers who were tickled to find some time for themselves!).   My bad though - we were so engrossed, I forgot to take photos of the gang.

One student is concerned because he's trying to figure out how to use a small space for a studio.
So - below are some studios for inspiration.

The first two shots are of a room that may be bigger than you have, but given the big paintings she creates, it's a pretty small.  If you're painting smaller, you can get by with an even smaller space, no? Photos show both ends of the room- she probably moves her easel based on the light and what she's painting.

The third photo is tells it all - if you really love to paint, you can paint anywhere, no matter how small the space.  Once you start painting you'll forget the size of the room.

Check out Google Images and search for art studios...or small art studios for lots ideas.

Let me know if this gives you some inspiration!




Thursday, January 23, 2014

Winter and Spring Classes - Begin January 25th

Time to put on my teacher hat again.  Yeah! I so enjoy this part of my art experience.  The Winter Session begins this week and rolls right into early March.

Get Ready to  Paint - for the total novice.  Students learn about painting tools, terms and how to mix paint.

Artistically Yours - students of any level.  Experimental painting.  Exercises, free form etc.

See complete descriptions:  www.maryvalente.com    click on Workshops

Jan  25   Get Ready to Paint - College of Marin      Kentfield Campus 10:00 - 3:00
Feb  8     Get Ready to Paint - Drake High School    Fairfax
Mar 8     Artistically Yours -    Drake High School   Fairfax

It's not too late to sign up for either class.  Just go on either College of Marin's or Tamalpais Union District's  Community Education website to register. Please forward this to anyone you think might be interested.  More classes will be added March through May.  Email me with any questions.


Here are a few
Budding artists
College of Marin 






 Spring Classes - still waiting on confirmed dates from both schools.
Supply lists are on the website also.




Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A Rascal

 6x6                                         Ninko                             acrylic 
This is a new adventure for me - painting animals.  A few days ago I posted a small painting of our current kitty, Mollie..so then I wanted to paint Ninko   Ninko was a character -a bit feisty with most, not great with my grandkids though they were sweet o her.  But she was a buddy to me. Definitely did things on her own terms, like curl up near you on but never on your lap--tres gauche!  She loved to play and was a stealth hunter.  Like most hunters she wanted to show off her prize... at the sliding door (mice-yuk!).  I miss the rascal.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

on-line STUDIO SALE

Today I sent out an email to my friends, family, previous buyers and art students announcing a big On-line Studio Sale I'm having.  Bottom line -  over 90% of my work is being offered at a big discount. This tells you what/why/where.....

So, here's the deal...
   2014  Online STUDIO SALE.....with 20% off many paintings

It's the new year and I'm starting a series of larger paintings, in addition to my normal work. really need to create some space in my studio, which translates into bargain prices.

Check out the sale!    Click here: www.maryvalente.com ... then click on the gallery titles on the left of the main website page. On each gallery summary page you'll see thumbnail images framed in red.  Click the thumbnail and find the new prices.

Save even more!  If you're able to swing by the studio to pick up your painting, you'll save the packaging and shipping charges.

If you have any questions, just reply to this email.   Happy Shopping!
Mary

Friday, January 10, 2014

My Muse

6x6                                       Mollie                      acrylic
Mollie likes to hang out in my studio; my buddy and mascot...or maybe muse would be a better word.  I've been wanting to paint her for awhile but next time I'll try to find an better photo to work from. (I've asked her to model but getting her to stay in the same pose.....) You'll see that the light hitting her in the photo below is over exposed so I made up the info that's missing.  Even so, it was fun to play with darks and lights...shadows and sun.  Felt more like painting a b&w study.  
Click here to bid.



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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Messerschmitt ~1956



Came across a photo of this little cutie and had to paint it. What a cool little car; bet it would be a kick to drive it around.  And I'd keep that little luggage case on the back - sort of jaunty, no?   I admit, though, that the three wheel design gives me pause.  I read that this and a variety of models were designed by Fritz Fend and built by an airplane manufacturer. A trivia fact about this car is that one of my favorite people is a Messerschmitt! Wonder if any connection.....

Acrylic, 8x10" panel  Auction begins Jan. 9 here

Monday, January 6, 2014

Anders Zorn

OK - there are a lot of amazing painters ...both current and historic, that impress me. And I greatly appreciate those who have broken ground and push boundaries.  But...this weekend I spent a joyful couple of hours basking in one of the most breathtaking exhibits I've every seen.  I got to 'meet' Anders Zorn....a master painter I had not heard of until a couple of months ago (why am I sharing my ignorance here?!).

While all his varied genres captivated my attention (colorful country scenes, portraits of European and American politicians and socialites... as well as local rural folk) I was most enthralled by his outlandish ability to paint an entire scene using white and make it so incredibly rich, complex and ..'colorful'.

For example, in this he had his wife (new bride) pose, incorporating white in the gown, upholstery, lace curtains, table cloth, outdoor light etc.  I could have stood and looked at this painting forever.  The layers of watercolor work is amazing.  You have to see it in person to realize all that is going on here - the multiple layers of fabric and folds. White upon whites.





This smaller work was one of my favorites  Just a white dress and the shoulders and face of his model (wife).  So simple and yet so full of information...a sense of sharing an intimate moment with this young woman, a feeling, a story being told...



Zorn was just a kid -15- when he entered the Art Academy in Stockholm; by 20 he had dropped out of school to accept commissioned paintings and travel extensively.  He is one of those lucky individuals born with a rare talent. They make it all seem so effortless - his sense of composition and line, his ability to capture the delicate nature of the skin's texture, the blush of a cheek, the wet, shiny surface of the eye..whether with water colors or oil.  He even did some sculpture. And many etchings.

The image below is of his mother and step-sister.  If you see it in person, you'll see the glimming shine in the mother's eye, the high edge of the cheekbone. Almost like a photo but with a tenderness and warmth unique to his work.


Well, obviously, I'm a big fan.  If you haven't yet seen the exhibit and have time, get over to the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco.  The show only runs through Feb. 2.

Here are just a couple more images.  Can't help it - I'm hooked.   Thanks for indulging me.






Monday, December 30, 2013

Little Gingko

Not far from our street I pass by this little gingko  It's radiant before the leaves fall. The day I took the photo the sun was just bouncing off the bright side.  Worked on the dramatic shadows and brightness of this scene.

In the next couple of days, I'll post the dates of my winter classes at College of Marin and Tam High. Workshops will run January through March.

Hope you all have enjoyed the  holidays - some time off from the normal routine.  Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Follow the Leader

          8x10                                                                           acrylic   

Had a fun day in my studio yesterday and today painting "Follow the Leader".  After almost two weeks not painting it felt so good to pick up those brushes.  These two girls were marching around in a San Anselmo park.  Lots of giggling going on. I was so wishing I could be in on their little secrets.

Secondly, an apology for any hassles you may have encountered from my last post.  Turns out that to vote you needed to allow access to your FB account (if you have one).  How rude is that?  I had no idea. So let's write off that crazy project!  I'm going to contact the De Young and let them know how inappropriately their promo people are handling this project.

A good Christmas gift?  To purchase, click here.


Thursday, December 12, 2013

David Hockney on-line contest exhibit

Have you seen the David Hockney exhibit at the DeYoung ..and the dozens of friends' and self portraits? Well, my neighbor Laura alerted me to a cool Hockney on-line contest--asking for images of friends or self.  Sounded like a fun idea to me so I submitted a couple pieces.  Just learned they got accepted,

It's a trip to see my image as part of a David Hockney Exhibit poster....
https://apps.facebook.com/meltwaterpromo/670966/entry/766970

Here's the main page with many submissions. As I'm writing, they're on the third line. Might be lower by the time you get this. You'll notice one called "The Pout".  It's a detail shot of a bigger portrait of Elena.  Her full portrait may be added tomorrow.
https://apps.facebook.com/meltwaterpromo/670966/entries?filter=submit&sort=time

One of the more novel exhibits I've entered.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Christmas Treats


You're right - it's been a long time.  I'm doing some painting but mostly enjoying the holidays..beginning with the late Thanksgiving kick-off.  Each year, since my first grandchild was 18 months, we've had cookie day with him and his sister.  That little guy is not so little anymore - passed me up this year and begins high school next fall!  But he's still seems to enjoy our tradition - he's adventurous around the kitchen..making up new recipes as we go.  And younger sis puts us all to shame with her decorating patience and skill.   I figure this little ritual may fade as they get bigger, so I'm enjoying it while it lasts.

For this painting I used our mini biscotti and sugar cookies....then we ate them!  Sorry, the photos is fuzzy - painting is not.

Not sure when I'll post again this year.  Just in case, let me wish you peaceful and joyful time with your loved ones over the next few weeks.  Wait! Why just then?  Let it last all the way through 2014.

To Bid or Buy - click HERE

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Coral and White


What is this woman looking at in Dana Point harbor?  I looked for awhile but never saw a thing out there. Back at home, when I looked at the photo it hit me that she may just be holding her hair back in the breeze.

Painted this on a panel by SourceTec.  New for me.  They're solid and easy to carry and store but the surface is quite rough - at least on this style. Will play around with them a bit more.  Maybe try another style too.

Lots of good art coming my way this week. Monday met up with a pal at the Celebration of Craftswomen that ran three days at Ft. Mason.  Gorgeous textiles - worsted wool and silk jackets, hats, scarves along with hand-made journals, huge variety of pottery and jewelry.  Then, this Thursday a neighborhood friend set up an outing to see the David Hockney exhibit at the De Young museum.  I heard there are over six rooms full of painting.  I've only seen a few of his iconic pieces; can't wait to see this huge variety of his work.   If you've seen the show, let me know what your favorites were--I'll check them out.  It'll help me focus! 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Garden Roses

acrylic 20x16 stretched canvas                 click image to enlarge

Had to paint these delicate roses fast.  They're the 'carpet' type....not really great for cutting; they drop their petals easily if bumped or moved but they were so pretty I had to try and bring them in and capture their delicate feel.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Maine Light

8x10" oil on panel                                    click to enlarge

Recently I've been working with white in all kinds of light: learning how to make it read warm and cool; making it more complex with multiple colors.  This weekend I painted Maine Light  at a workshop taught by Tim Horn at the Knowlton Gallery in Lodi.  In "Keeping it Fresh, Tim demonstrated how to use elements of plein air painting when working from photos.  It was great fun.. he's a friendly and patient teacher. And, the icing on the cake....the other 'kids' in the class were a kick. Lovely, funny, supportive.  The learning continues....

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

You're Invited...

..to the annual TINY show at Studio Gallery, in SF.  Gallery owners Jennifer and Rab selected these two pieces; two of my favorites--probably because the 'models' are so dear to me.

I'll be there late afternoon Sunday for about an hour.   The receptions are fun, often spilling out onto Polk - if you can, come by and say hi.

If you can't make the reception, the exhibit will run Nov and Dec. Details about the show, and a preview, can be seen here:  http://www.studiogallerysf.com/


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Blast from the Past Calle Lillies

20x16" oil on canvas                              click to enlarge

When I moved my studio last winter, I found this painting tucked in the back of my canvas storage cabinet. It's one of one of my earliest still life pieces. The background is a prussian blue-black.  The most fun was painting the 'white' - use so many colors and yet it reads as white.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Blogger Blues :-(

Dear Friends, I'm SO sorry you are getting old blog images... arrrrhhhh   I recently signed up for Google+.  I like that my android photos automatically upload to my MAC - easy to just grab for posting.

Then I noticed a ton of OLD photos in Google+(1-3 years) so decided to delete them.  BIG MISTAKE. Had no idea they were connected to my blog. Suddenly images throughout my blog were gone. So, I tried to 'fix' it by editing and reposting the missing blog photos.  Now, as you notice,they are reappearing as new posts.  Again - my apologies.

 Please hang in there.  A new post in coming soon; working on another parade painting.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Birthday Tulips 1&2

acrylic on canvas                                                   20x20 plus large gold frame
acrylic on canvas                                   18x24 black frame  with gold accent 

I'm entering one of these in a juried show this week; haven't decided which yet.  They were from hubby for a birthday awhile back.  I painted fast and furious because each day they changed positions - felt like I was painting dancers.  Boy they were hard to photo.  Something about the contrast between the very black background and the bright flowers created lots of glare even when I shot them in a room with no direct sunlight.  Anyone have a trick for shooting these dark colors?

To purchase:  http://www.maryvalente.com/painting.php?pid=birthdaytulips

P.S..  Long ago I found this great entry an art forum -from a painter - Elwell.  Thought I'd pass it along:

Question "How can I hasten drying time on an oil painting?"

Answer:  "How thick a paint layer are we talking? If you've got any impasto then your best bet is to leave well enough alone. If we're talking relatively thin layers, however, there are some old illustrator's tricks. 

Yes, heat works, but you have to be careful. A drawing lamp positioned ~6-8" from the painting should dry it overnight, but only works on relatively small areas. I do know of one illustrator (Rene Milot) who uses those McDonald's fry lights. I've even heard of people putting paintings in the oven at very low heat. In all cases, you want to heat things up just slightly. You don't want a scorched painting (at best), or a burnt-down house!

Thin washes of paint can also be dried with a misting of Krylon Crystal Clear spray. Only do this outdoors or with LOTS of ventilation, as this stuff is pretty nasty. I wouldn't do this on any piece you were intending for the ages, as there is the possibility of yellowing and cracking down the line, but it does work in a pinch.

Finally, you can build a box around the painting out of cardboard or foam core so that it can be transported, photographed, etc. while still wet.

All of these can be avoided, of course, by using some sort of drying medium when you paint."