Meeting Notes, Thursday, April 7, 2016

At today’s meeting Loretta, Jerry, Tim, Diane, Charlie, Marty T, Tracie, Ward, Annie, Jeanie, Vicki,  Susan, Mike, Tedd, Joanne, Eunice, Stephanie, Renita, Kay, and me Celeste.

Today’s suggested table topic:  Variety in painting-- how are you doing with variety in painting ---can you give yourself a grade? What do you suggest to stave off sameness?

Note, there was some confusion about if the question pertained to subject matter, materials or variety “within” the painting, such as strokes, edges, etc. Each person answered however they thought the question was about.

(Comments are in random and anonymous order)

I give myself a C in portraits because I seem to use the same color across the face without regard for all the other colors in the face. It comes out looking like wallpaper. I’m doing better so I’ve upped my grade from what it was before I started really considering this.

I remember a long time ago Thomas Kitts had a nice saying in one of his plein air  workshops.  He said: “Same-Same, No-No”. This was to remind you that if you painted two very similar objects next to eachother—it might result in a dullsville painting.

I would give myself a blue B+ for variety. I like different subject matter. I have four or five paintings going today.

I would get myself a B: I think you do get stuck sometimes with same types of subject matter.

The question confused me. I didn't know if we mean variety of subject matter or variety within the painting? I took Steve Kleier's class and I liked the amount of variety of subject matter that we did. Lately I have been doing a lot of flowers. I like to draw with the brush. I try not to change my color palette.

What I do for variety is I make sure that I change my mediums sometimes. I do know that it is inherent in us to want to make things alike and regular. We I know this from working with young people. They will often put same things together in the painting.

I am an inconsistent painter…but then someone once referred to me as an eclectic ! (Laughter)! I guess I’ll go with that.
I think that I make a lot of the same types of strokes in a painting. Not the right thing to do! (Laughter)! I remember Elio Camacho had an expression:  “three strokes and you’re out”! (this was to remind you to stop putting down identical strokes)!

This question to me pertains to the variety of strokes made and the edges. I think maybe I’ll give myself a B-

The thing is I am kind of a schizophrenic type of artist. I can't decide on things. I can't seem to land on the “consistent note”! The problem is not in variety variety is just not the problem.

I like variety balanced with unity. I've been told your body of work should have some sort of unity. I'm going to give myself a B. I know that Kevin MacPherson cleans his brush after every single stroke.

I am just schizoid!

I’m like a kid in a candy store! I just can’t stop thinking about all the things I want to paint. I want to advance or mediums. Variety in color is very important.

I put on music and I paint while under the influence….and I just think I am doing great! I’m van Gogh! Then the next day I look at it is it doesn't look so good (Laughter)! The thing is if I do things purposely I get stiff and. I will give myself an A+ when I do things at night and in the morning I’ll give myself an F in the morning…(Laughter)!

I think when you talk about variety you also have to talk about your own self and your life. We do things that we do and what results can be your “mood”. I give myself a B or C. Variety is sometimes in the close up. Sometimes I can’t be trusted.

I give myself an A! I’ve made progress. I am showing an old painting and a current one. . In television we had something called NTSC which means: not twice same color. Something to think about with painting too!

I will give myself an A--- because I never know when I’m going to do!  laughter!

Someone said to me “well I just don't see your voice. And I thought to myself well you must not be looking! (Laughter)! I think that it is important to stay fresh and to have a variety in your style and your work.

I’ll give myself an A for sameness laughter! I think about variety as I learn. I actually will give myself overall a C.

 My mind lines things up in nature. I have to fight that. Maybe I am the only one that that happens to? (editor’s note: No!)  

This question to me is about variety in marks within the painting. I think that you have to think design design design! Does the whole thing hold together? What are your values and temperature shifts? Are you are you providing enough variety smooth against texture?  if you are timid or energetic it will show in your brush work. I will look at a painting later and I know what to do. The painting will sort of tell me what to do and I will do it.

Other notes:

Tedd: I’m showing the panorama painting on the wall over there a--it was painted with individual canvases (hooked together) and framed in a custom (long) frame.

Susan: I brought in something that my mother was using to paint with called “Santas Flesh”. I just had to share it with you! Who names these paints? Can I be someone who names these? (Laughter)! I also brought in something called "Magic White" by the television artist Alexander. He was before Bob Ross. Finally, I also brought in THIS real treasure. I went to the Eric Bowman and Eric Jacobsen sale at Bowman’s studio. I got this Eric Bowman painting and I just am so thrilled with it! My hope would be that someday someone might buy one of my paintings and feel the same kind of thrill I have for this painting. I can’t get over that it’s mine. The painting is of Maynard Dixon. (Thanks, Eric Bowman)!

Annie: I have been taking classes with Mark Andrus. I have brought in I painting from the class.  I am showing you the photography and how I changed things to make the composition more interesting.

Vicki: Stephanie and I went out to find and paint the canola fields. We looked and looked for them and we finally talked to someone and asked them “Where are the canola fields”? and they replied: “Oh,  they mowed those down two days ago” (Laughter)! I am showing a painting from that day. 

Genie: Ever since Za told me to have fun I've been having fun! I’m going to give myself a grade of A for fun! 

Tracie: I call this painting (of swimmers) “The Ascension”.

Renita: I repurposed a drawer! I repurposed a drawer and made it an art box.

Ward: Saturday is my demonstration in Astoria. 

Marty T: I have been doing a series about homeless people. My hope is to be able to provide them for auction and give the proceeds to homeless. I am showing how I start with black and white first. 

Za: Yes! Everything that you do should be fun. I found a wonderful angle when I was painting this model but I didn’t like how her face was so I changed it. I did it for the sake of the painting. You have to do what you have to do!

Joanne: I like painting in this large size in three hours. The size is challenging, but you find out how much you can do in the allotted time

Diane: I brought in something from a long time ago. It's got to do with “domestic archaeology”. I also brought in another painting from a long time ago that I did at Kat Sowa’s  studio. 

Tim: I did this painting of my cat (who curled up in a perfect ball—also a gouache of a historic house, a recent plein air and a recent miniature.

Jerry: I am back from a trip to Death Valley! My wife and I identified over 84 wildflowers. I did watercolors there. It snowed! We did not expect that.

Kay: I’ve been taking a class with Eduardo Fernandez. I am showing a recent study from his class. I took  Za’s workshop  fairly recently---This is a painting from her workshop. I worked on it a little at home. Za teaches about “color shifting”.

I painted this in acrylics -- I just wanted to loosen up. I like to work quickly sometimes.

--------Za added:  I love hearing all of these ideas and I think it is so important to remember to celebrate whatever state you’re in. Don’t get down on yourself you must always be happy and celebrate exactly what where you are.


Check out all the available upcoming painting workshops (on Facebook):

Congratulations to Za Vue, Scott Gellatly  and Thomas Kitts –they’ve been chosen for the Olmsted:

Za is going teach a “Mini-workshop” once a month. It will be a limited participation. It will be for four and a half hours It will be tailored for you and what you want. Za is  putting these notices on Facebook. There are a couple of spots in her next one: Find out more here:

Congratulations, Eric Bowman for the article in Plein Air Magazine!

Studio One-Eleven in the Troy Studio life sessions Fri and Saturday --spots available:

Ward has a workshop demonstration on Saturday April 9th 10-11 am in Astoria:
Ward has been making YouTube videos --make sure we click on his videos and leave comments and thumbs up. This helps Ward to get the word out.

Vicki asked that you post your information on proposed paint-outs on the Facebook page so that we can participate!

Congratulations, Jeanie Bates for People's Choice award at OSA

 Cindy Lommasson demo/discussion at the OSA April 7th:

 Jerry has a new website up and running. He wants to know what you think about it:

That’s it for today thank you all for coming and sharing your ideas and paintings!

Next suggested table topic: Thursday, April 14: Statement or “Social Commentary” painting are paintings that are done to raise awareness of problems in society.  Have you ever done a social commentary painting? If not, would you like to? What might be your message? Can you tell us about an effective “social commentary” painting that you have seen?

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