Friday, July 24, 2015

Acrylic Abstraction Class Starting Sep 24, 2015

Just a few of the fun projects will be working on at the next Acrylic Abstraction class starting Sep 24, 2015 at the Port Moody Arts Center.

If you would like to join me, please register online at Port Moody Arts Center Online Link or call 604-931-2008.  Please register at least 5 days prior to class start date.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Acrylic Abstraction Class - Student Work

I wanted to share these beautiful pieces created by one of my students during one of my recent Acrylic Abstraction Classes.  She framed the pieces beautifully and they were included in the student exhibit at Port Moody Arts Center.

The pieces were done as part of one of the exercises that we do during class which is a process of exploration of how we can allow acrylics to react with the paper which guides how the painting will evolve.  For the top painting, three colors were used, for the bottom, only two colors were use.  Just goes to show what you can achieve with a very limited palette and a keen eye!

If you are interested, I have another Acrylic Abstraction class starting Sep 24 on Thur nights from 7-9pm.  You can register online at Port Moody Arts Center Online Link or call 604-931-2008 to register.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Registration for Fall Art Classes are Now Open!

Still Life Seashell - Oil on Panel (Indirect Method)
Wow, time is flying by! Registration is already open for fall art classes.  Please check out my Workshops & Classes page to see a full list of classes I am offering this September.

I have planned new exercises and some fun projects for each of the classes and am so excited to share them!

Students have already signed up for several of the classes so if you are thinking of joining me, please don't wait too long to decide as spaces are limited.

Looking forward to another fun fall of teaching and sharing my love of art with all the art lovers out there :)

Friday, July 10, 2015

Alla Prima Painting of Blue Vase & Apples From Life

Blue Vase, Green Apples - 6x8" Oil on Paper Canvas
This is a little alla prima painting I painted yesterday in my studio, SO much fun!  The blue vase I found last week at the thrift store and love it.  I have been hunting for simple ceramic bowls and vases to paint and got very lucky with this one as it was exactly what I was looking for.

I usually paint using the indirect method but as I am short on time in the studio over the summer, I wanted to try alla prima so I could get in & get out all in one day as who knows when I can get back in the studio in this heat!

I used a very limited palette, only the three primary colors and burnt umber and white which is the same palette I use for plein air painting.  Using a limited palette really simplifies the painting process and makes the painting feel more I manage to keep my palette so much more organized and clean! I will have to take a photo of my palette next time. 

This was painted from life with no preliminary drawing other than a very rough block in with the burnt umber paint thinned out with odorless mineral spirits.  That is the only stage that I use the straight mineral spirits as I hate the thought of it wafting through the air in my studio even though I have the window open.  Then I used straight paint with the smallest amount of medium I could get away with, just to give the paint a bit of flow.  I actually really enjoyed how I did not have the drawing to worry about "keeping", which is the beauty of painting a more simple set up.

I meant to take a photo of the still life set up but I forgot, darn.  I used the shadow boxes I made for my Drawing From Life classes that I teach, which is the same as I used for the shell  but I used a proper clamp light with a daylight bulb which shone in from the top.   I plan on doing a lot more paintings with this set up so I will get a photo of the next one I do.  I really love simplicity of these "boxes" as I can adjust the lighting so easily and just leave set up.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Wisteria Acres Art Retreat with Lalita Hamill & Michael King

View from Pagoda Ridge Golf - 5x7" Oil on Paper
Last week I got to spend two wonderful days at Wisteria Acres for the Art Retreat in Langley, BC put on by Michael King & Lalita Hamill....SO fun!

I went last year for one day but this year I planned ahead so I could make it for two days.  On the first day Michael King did  a demo filled with tons of great tips.  We then went to Pagoda Ridge Golf club to paint for a few hours.  

When we got there everyone migrated to a huge shady tree (did I mention it was smokin hot, 34 degrees, ugh) and set up in front of a pond with a beautiful view of the mountains.  I loved the pond but of course the view I wanted was outside the golf course, looking through a chain link fence.  

Luckily I still had the shade of the tree so it was such a great afternoon of painting.  I have not done much plein air or alla prima painting as I mostly do indirect oil painting.  I found that I tend to rush when plein air painting and use too many brush strokes so I really focused on slooooowwwing down for this one and using a few brush strokes as possible.  My mantra for the day was "paint with purpose" and I really like how much more peaceful it was to be more mindful of each brush stroke rather than frantically trying to fill the white space.

It was so nice just to paint for fun, not worrying about creating anything, totally changes your mindset.  It is just painting for the love of painting.  The bottom foreground of the painting was done by Michael King.  Michael is a very colorful painter with very bold, expressive brushstrokes... I on the other hand, usually totally refine my brushstrokes so they are almost invisible and obviously, I love my neutrals.    The more I look at my little painting though, the more I like the contrast of texture and color between the foreground and background, hmmm new things to try :)

The next day we went down to Marina Park and Michael King did a few really quick demos which were great to see how to simplify and get everything down quickly.  Then as it was Lalita Hamill's day to paint as she was to be doing the demos for the next two days, I parked my easel beside her and watched her paint for the first part of the day.  Lalita is like a treasure trove of knowledge and she is so passionate about sharing all of her knowledge that it is impossible not to be inspired and learn a lot! I learned a lot of great tips from Lalita Hamill and again, tried many new techniques and much more chromatic colors than I normally used.  So the opposite of how I normally work....and SO much fun!

It was so interesting to watch how both Lalita and Michael paint so differently yet at the same time there are many similarities to what they do.  They are both so approachable and giving of their knowledge.  They really know how to simplify the process into useable tidbits that their students can use in their own work, they make a great teaching combo! 

That is what I love about taking classes and workshops, trying new things that I likely would never do in my studio and learning new techniques and styles.  The other fun part, is that it is such a social retreat that it is just as much fun sitting and visiting with the other artists at the retreat.  I definitely plan to attend this retreat every year, it is a great way to kick off the summer! 

I posted a few photos below of the resort as it is so peaceful, had to share!


The barn
The patio was so nice and shady, great for late night wine and early morning coffee....and no internet, tv or phones...nice  :)

The barn, with a beautiful loft above.  You get to walk through the barn to get from the parking lot to the main house.  I LOVE horses.

Bedroom greeters

The beds were so comfortable, just like they look.  A big white cloud to melt into after a hard day of painting :) The rooms are actually bigger than they look in this photo too ;)