Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Studio Gallery Reception


Summer Sweet, my painting, upper far right, spot light hitting it.

Phil and I took a ride into SF Sunday for the exhibit reception at Studio Gallery. He hadn't seen the new exhibit space yet and loved it.  It's big and roomy as you'll see in the photo below.  And we were lucky - found parking about half block away....and, no charge on the meters on Sunday.. YAY
Some very cool mosaic pieces, ceramics etc.  The show runs through Sept 14th.  Check it out!
Say Hi to Jennifer & Rab - the sweetest gallery owners ever.



Saturday, August 15, 2015

Delicious! - an invitation

(First - I DID go back in and tweak the male dancer in yesterday's blog.  I think it's a lot better.  His arm isn't as stringy! )

Now - for today....Have you visited Studio Gallery since they moved to a bigger, brighter space on Pacific Street?  If not, swing by during their upcoming exhibit   "Delicious!"  

Even if you've been before -- you'll have a blast at this HUGE exciting show.... you'll be amazed at many of the wild and wide interpretations of the theme.  

Reception....Sunday Aug 30, 1:00 - 6:00 p.m.  Free. 
Exhibit runs August 27 - Sept 14th. 
STUDIO GALLERY 1641 Pacific Avenue, half block east of Van Ness.
Check site days and times.

Oh, and...just in case it isn't obvious, one of my paintings will be on display ;-)




                  SUMMER SWEETS    oil on canvas






Friday, August 14, 2015

Dancing Figures - male, female

There's something about figure painting that feels different than other painting.  Maybe painter and viewers identify with it on some level: it reminds us of someone,  sparks an emotion related to the subject or pose, or we're just curious about how this person differs from ourself.  They're fun but challenging to paint.

I found some dance reference photos to experiment with.  I wasn't concerned about making the features realistically but didn't want proportions too loose or they'd distracting to the viewer.



And, something new... I used a palette knife!  I rarely do.  Yes, I did use a brush for the negative space (background), to sketch in the figure and do some initial value work.  But then, when I got to the skin surface, I began using the palette knife.  It really creates a neat texture on the skin-- a multi-color abstract surface rather than smooth flat skin tones.  This textured multicolor layering works well since our skin is made of so many tones.  (click image to enlarge and see texture - THOUGH my photos are a bit blurry; I need to reshoot)

I pushed it even further with the male dancer... allowing the blue underpainting that was already on the canvas to come through.  Not my plan initially but as the painting developed I liked the effect of this blue poking through.

Did you read about the fab trip Carol Marine's going on?  In the Sierras...a camping/painting adventure with mules packing in food and tents, artists packing in their painting equipt.  Makes me want to be a plein air painter. You can read about it here. http://carolmarine.blogspot.com/





Thursday, July 16, 2015

paintings all over the place


When you're out and about doing your errands or getting a cup o' joe, keep an eye out for my paintings.     About twelve modern still life pieces are up at West America Bank in Novato.  They'll be up for three months.  7333 Redwood Blvd.  Darn...I was so busy getting them hung that I forgot to take any photos-- -duh.

At the Bon Air Shopping Center, Greenbrae, you'll see mostly figure paintings and a couple large abstract florals at Frame Crafters (between CVS and Susie Cakes).  Owner Krista S. graciously hosts many local artists' work on her walls throughout the year.

I did remember to take a few photos at Bon Air, although the outdoor shots are not great because of the glare on the windows.  You'll just have to stop by and see for yourself :-)  It's a pretty charming area - with the outdoor tables, coffee shops...and those cupcakes at Susie's.


Looking towards front window.



Dancer (front) and Field of Red (on wall)


a grouping of figure pieces


Take Five i and ii

.....

In other news, I moved my studio -   yes...again!
I'm renting a garage from a neighbor right next door .  It has windows and a back door, so good light and fresh air.  How convenient is that?!    After two home and two studio moves this year, I hope not to have to pack and unpack again for a long long while!


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Look!



Summertime... YAY! I recently found a photo taken a couple of years ago of my granddaughter Elena and her buddy "B" (for Isabel).  Decided to paint it again the other day.  They were having such a good time - very enthralled with the treasure in their bucket (probably something squirmy and slimy!)

Hard to believe that little 9 year old is now 11!


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Painting - Llamas - Redwoods

It's been so long since I've posted. My creativity has been a trickle rather than a stream. First my excuse was we were in the throws of our second move in five months. Then it was the holidays.  But when the holidays passed and much of the packing was done (enough of it to not feel guilty if I went to paint) I still wasn't in my studio. Not much anyway. Not sure what's going on.  Well, that's not entirely true - it's really that I just can't decide what to paint.  I can wander in directionless and just paint from something sitting around --or from a photo.  But I've been wanted to do a series for a long while ...unfortunately the 'big idea' hasn't jumped out at me yet.  

My painting pal Linda and I talked about starting one at the same time. Committing at the same time. Like when girlfriends decide they'll each lose 5 lbs. You really have to do it on your own but it helps to know someone else is miserable too! :-)   Painting is never miserable though - I always enjoy just moving paint around.  But sometimes it needs to be something more. Something with a purpose.  So I need to get planning.  I feel like when you have to train before you run a marathon.

Today I felt like I needed to 'practice my scales'. Limber up. So I painted something I've painted before.  I tried to make it brighter with more clarity. Push contrast and values a bit. The first attempt was more muted.  When I was done I felt more like I could push forward with something new.  Like anything else, you get rusty when you don't stay with it.

 6/15 Version                  Paddle Boys                         oil

I'm not a complete drop-out thought!  I've been doing some weekly hiking. Three blocks or so from our house are several trailheads that open up to some wonderful paths.  And what a surprise I got!  As I was climbing a fairly steep grade I turned towards an open meadow and looking at me is...a llama and about two dozen goats!  

They've been 'hired' to clear the non-native growth.  How cool is that?  Half of them must have been on a break - laying around. Full to the brim.  Sorry the photos are so poor.  They were far away; it was hard to hold the camera still in zoom mode.



The full loop takes about two hours.  Half is in the sunshine, the other in the Redwoods.  





Too bad I'm not much of a landscape painter.  This mountain is a great resource.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Products Demo at Riley Street Art Supply

In class I've mentioned the occasional demos at Riley's in San Rafael where a rep from Golden covers the various additives  (gels, mediums, etc. ) for use when painting with acrylics.   One is coming up in March - just wanted to alert you.   Saturday March 7 from 11:00 - 1:00 downtown San Rafael on 4th Street.   Enjoy!
Mary

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Beagle Boy

 This serious little beagle was a pleasure to paint though initially I hesitated because he seems to have a bit of a scowl.  Before I declared "finished" I tried to make him a bit happier but then it didn't look like him anymore.  He reminds me a lot of Mollie, our cat.  She looks stern but it's all a big act.  Pets are fun to paint. I may get into this a bit more.

Also, what do you think about a 'pop art' version of Beagle Boy -with some out-of-the-box colors?  If I do I'll show it to you

Below is the photo I worked from.


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Your Invitation: Two Holiday Shows - Too Fun!


Follow the Leader - at Art Works Downtown


What a crazy time. We expected to move in October but the date's been changed four times.  It felt like a cloud had settled overhead and wasn't going to budge. Ahh..but then things began to brighten up: first I got the good news that the  two little warblers were selected for Studio Gallery's tiny show (last post) and now.. "Follow the Leader" has been accepted for the "Small Works" at Art Works
Downtown in San Rafael.  Yay!.... the cloud is finally moving along.

So - Save the Dates.   Drop by one or both receptions and enjoy yummy treats, likely some music and lots of fun art.   If you can't make the receptions, you can always visit these shows anytime during their run.  The website links below will give you more of an idea

tiny -  Studio Gallery 1641 Pacific Avenue, San Francisco
Reception:              Nov 16, Saturday 1-6 p.m.
Exhibition Dates:     Nov. 14 - Dec. 22
Check website for dates and times Gallery is open, especially around holidays.
http://www.studiogallerysf.com/home.html
slideshow with some of the selected pieces
http://www.studiogallerysf.com/tiny14_-_photos.php

Small Works - Artworks Downtown, 1337 Fourth Street, San Rafael
Reception:            December 12, Friday  5-8 p.m.
Exhibition Dates:  Nov. 21 - January 2
Parking lots are located on B or C St. between 3rd and 4th streets, the corners of 5th and C St., 5th and D St. 
Check website for dates and times Gallery is open, especially around holidays.
http://www.artworksdowntown.org/exhibits/upcoming-exhibits/1337-gallery-upcoming-exhibits

Wilson's Warbler and Blue Winged Warbler at Studio Gallery in San Francisco




.


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Not the greatest photo but...


My birds have new 'houses'!

Click to Enlarge
Finally my 'chickadees' are framed** - just in time for the tiny show at Studio Gallery. All pieces will be no larger than 7" in any dimension.  Once the gallery owners have put the slide-show up on their website, I'll send an update with the link.

In the meantime - the basics:
Exhibit Dates:  Nov 14 - Dec 22.
Reception:       Nov. 16th  1- 6 p.m.
Second Reception /Gallery's 11th Anniversary!  Dec 6th - 1-6 p.m.

....Each of the birds are available as cards or prints  here.

*framing by A.C. Graphics, san rafael.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

a Royal Enfield

6x8"   acrylic on boar
I spied this cool motorcycle recently--a Royal Enfield. Thought it was really old but when I looked it up, found out it's brand new although fashioned after it's predecessor - a 1940s war bike.  Enjoyed playing with the sunlight and bike shadow, the cars parked in the distance. Would really like to get a ride on this cool machine!

Monday, October 27, 2014

set up an art studio - any time, any place

Of course, it's great to have a room dedicated as your art studio --no worries about spilled paint etc. But  even if you don't have one, you shouldn't let that stop you from painting.  In class Saturday, more than one student mentioned the lack of having a studio/garage/dedicated room to paint in.  I want to encourage you not to let that keep you from painting.

Though I do have a studio, once in awhile I want to work on something at home.  We've been living in a temporary apartment for a couple of months and have lots in storage. While I have very little here here- it only took minutes to convert a space for a couple of hours painting.

I use the kitchen counter or table top (even couple tv trays would work), some grocery ads fliers that come in the mail, a small table-top easel,  brushes, paint, rags or paper towels, and water or mineral spirits for cleaning up depending on if I'm painting with oil or acrylic paint.  Here's what it looked like today.


(click for larger image)


Granted, didn't get very far on this piece. I don't have the original items anymore so just used it as a practice to get the metal of the bowl to glow.  I'll probably wipe off the board and begin a new painting.  

This is the same set-up I use occasionally when we're traveling.  So ....no excuses.  Get painting!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Unique Women making Unique Art

The class is Artistically Yours!   And the point is, for at least this one day, to make art that comes from deep inside - where you determine what and how you paint.  There are many wonderful classes on technique - and they are really important. But, at least once in awhile, you should put on some music, throw caution to the wind --and JUST PAINT.  Play. Experiment.  

If Picasso and Pollock had continued to paint portraits and landscapes, would we have known them? But they followed their vision - didn't listen to critiques - and their fearlessness made them universally known.

Some snaps of today's students on their personal journey.  It sounds easy but it is NOT!  You have to dig deep and be unafraid to follow a path that is not lit in front of you. I'm very proud of these unique women...and their unique art.
(sorry gals, not everyone got a great photo --the big windows blocked out a few of the photos)...







Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Artistially YOURS - a couple more empty spots!

 It's not too late - sign up tonight or tomorrow morning ... 

Get creative ~ have an adventure at Artistically YOURS!   
Oct. 25th  Saturday.   10:00 - 3:00; includes a lunch break.
College of Marin, Kentfield.  A one day workshop. 

We’ll have a series of exercises throughout with the day to set you on your personal journey. You’ll have a chance to explore and experiment in a relaxed, supportive environment. You will complete an original work -or two - or more!! ....without the aid of required subjects or photographs. 

All levels welcome.  Acrylic paint and/or hard pastel, markers or crayons.  

Sign up at HERE!  

SUPPLY LIST HERE    Be sure to use the right list! 

New painters - finding their voice - a wonderful variety of styles....








Notan Painting with modification


notan inspired still life     click to enlarge

Every so often I like to paint in a workshop with others to hone old skills and learn new ones.  I'm in one for the month October, every Friday, and am having a ball.  The first two Fridays we worked in the Notan style -with some modification.  Notan is a Japanese design concept - it has to do with the placement and power of your lights and darks.  Rather than think about the objects represented in your subject, you squint and find big masses of dark and light shape and paint those in an almost abstract manner.
 
Similar to monochromatic value paintings.  The idea is that for any painting (abstract to realism) to work well, it is how you use your -lights and darks - that contributes to its success.

The 'modification' I mentioned above: rather than black and white as you'll see in most examples of notan, we used Gamblin's Portland Grays (light/medium/deep).  The contrast isn't as great as notan b/w but it really trains you to use choose your values carefully in order to get some interest going.

First I painted in all the deep gray masses; then the middle, then the light.  I used a tiny bit of white for highlight in the focal point and a few very thin lines of black to define an edge here and there.

An anonymous quote found long ago --a repeat here...  "Color gets all the credit.... but value does the heavy lifting."   I use all the time in my classes (and in my head in the studio!)

Here's a kettle I found in an article....  one color, lots of values. You see the values give it it's depth and personality. If you had only one or two values it would be a pretty flat boring kettle.  By managing values this little pot has lots of personality.

 

You might enjoy reading more about Notan here.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

So many artists - so little time....

In my workshops, students have a wide range in what they enjoy and what they want to paint. E.g. in Saturday's class, I met folks who like plein air (outdoor painting) and landscape, digital painting, impressionistic etc.

I encourage you to pick out several artists whose work you admire and sign up for their blog or email newsletters.  I have a hard time narrowing down a favorite style of art... I really love getting art email updates from many I admire.

Here are just of few of  my 'faves'. (I know as soon as I post this, I'll think of more I should have included...)


Qiang-Huang  still life and landscape   (currently in his native home of Bejing; having trouble blogging)

Regina Saura  (click on the second line of text for her paintings etc.) 

Tim Horn plein air/landscape   

Carol Marine     modern, stylized realism

Jacob Collins  realism  (doesn't have an updated blog)  

Ken DeWaard  plein air mostly.  

Kathleen Lipinski  local Marin landscape artists (she and her hubby, Steve Emery)

Julian Merrow-Smith - an English painter who lives in France.  


Also check out Daily Painters  and/or Daily Paintworks

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Hot Day - Very Cool Class

Today's class was so into it!  Color charts and mixing,value scales and studies.  For a few it was the very first time they'd picked up a brush and painted.  Others wanted to step back and pick up some of the basics (terminology, techniques etc.) they missed along the way. Very open and friendly.  One of my favorite suggestion for painting loose and relaxed came from one budding artist:  "...and with a gin and tonic." Cheers to that!

So here are our 14 artists. Unfortunately it was hard to get the folks on the north side of the room- the light was pouring in. Sorry gals.

Thanks All for a great day.

CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE IT LARGE  _ THEN CLICK ON RIGHT SIDE TO SEE NEXT



Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Meditating a study

8x8"  oil on panel CLICK to enlarge

I was about to begin painting another painter who was standing at an easel well behind this young woman.  Couldn't resist taking a quick photo. She was sitting so calmly. The photo was from my camera and I'm not very steady with it. Maybe it's just as well - not much detail in the photo so the painting has to be pretty loose. What became of the painting of the woman with the easel, you ask?  Not good!  Wiped it off.

Friday, September 19, 2014

A Red Faced Warbler joins her buddies...

Red Faced Warbler
Finished this little painting today. It was really a challenge because I wanted to use, generally, the background colors as the previous bird paintings but it was hard to make the body pop out. So I move to to a much higher key than my photo source....artistic license and all that.  Painting her face I kept wondering if she's singing, complaining that hubby's late with dinner, or calling the kids back to the nest...?

Here are the four in the series. Each is 6x6", oil on board
Click here purchase




This Cardinal - the background color is too different to group it with the others; I may change it. We'll see....



Monday, September 15, 2014

Two October Workshops - come on down...


Fall session at College of Marin has begun -and both my workshops are in October.

Student Conquering Color Mixing
October 4th -  GET READY TO PAINT!  10:00 - 3:00.
For complete Novices.  This class already is close to capacity.  If you're interested sign up soon.

October 25th ARTISTICALLY YOURS  10:00 - 1:00  (note, time is wrong in error in the catalog)
Open to ALL levels. Lots of playful painting - no specific subject to paint from. Exercises and warm-ups.

To sign up for either class, click this link, scroll down and click VISUAL ARTS and then find the class you want to join.    http://marincommunityed.augusoft.net/index.cfm?fuseaction=1010&&#!

Be sure to check my website for the Supply Lists!

Spread the word. Both these classes are no-stress, comfortable adventures.  Come for FUN.
Write me if you have questions.

Here are a sampling of photos from previous classes.  Do these 'kids' look like they're having a goodtime or what?