Meeting Notes, April 2, 2015

At today's meeting Loretta, Thomas, Brenda,  Bhavani (new), Tim, Kristina, Charlie, Annie, Kay, Betsy, Jerry, Marty, David, Stephanie, Tedd, Eunice, Diane H, Diane M, Lisa, Jeanne, Susan, Peggie, Joanne, Eric Bowman (new) and me Celeste. 

Today's suggested table topic: Sizes of canvases and/or supports. What is your preference? Do you paint in a size "out of your comfort zone"? 

Celeste: I was once told that it takes as much time to paint a big painting as it does a small painting. I didn't really think it was true, but I have since tried it and it is true!  I don't care for small-small canvases (like a 6 x 6 is almost too small for me). If I have a favorite size it might be 16 x 20. I brought in some exercises that I did based on reading the Edgar Payne book. 

Diane H: I brought in photographs today. I used to work with monoprints and watercolors. When I started out I worked in abstract ...really big with great big color fields. I also used to do a lot of photography. Photography and painting have more in common than you might think.  You can start with one idea ....but end with something completely different from where you started. I brought in some photos that were experimental for me.

Diane M: Well, as everyone knows, I do like small paintings! I am learning. I work on things slowly.... so to complete a small painting is manageable for me. I brought in a small painting.

Lisa: I am working on changing my style. I used to paint very controlled. I brought in two paintings that I did while I was visiting in Tucson. One was painted in a tighter way than the other. I have started working with 6 x 6...  I am up to 8 x 8 and I will probably do 12 x 12 in the future. 

Jeanne: When I was in art school I painted very big. It was easy because they (the school) were the ones who would store a large painting! Now that I am a plein air painter I am sometimes driven by practicality. I will paint sizes that will fit into a carrier or a box.  I have wanted to go larger recently. A favorite size for me is 12 x 16. I can fit a 24 x 30 on my Soltek easel. I like the landscape shape. It is certainly good to change up sizes and not become too automatic about it. 

Susan: I like all sizes. I like all formats. There is a size limit on my outdoor easel. I once did a commission painting that was 40 x 70. I will show you a picture of it on my phone. I had a love hate relationship with that painting. (Laughter)! Recently I have been painting sheep and cows en plein air. I did this painting of cow from a photograph. ( time painting from direct observation really helped me here).

Bhavani (new)..Welcome!: (So good to see you Bhavani)! I am most comfortable painting on the small side. But! when you're painting larger you can certainly be more expressive.  A composition that might work well as 8 x 10 might not work really well at 30 x 40. You have to be aware of this! I brought in an urban painting.

Brenda: One of my favorite sizes for pastels in my studio is 24x24. I like all the standard sizes for oil. I painted (pastel) recently at Yosemite. My husband and son were having a wonderful time watching the crowd watching me! (Laughter)! Everyone stops to talk to you in Yosemite if your painting a painting. I brought in 4 to show you.

Eric (new) Welcome!:  (Eric has known about us for a long time...but this is the first time he has gotten here...yay!). Well of course it depends on the subject. If I am doing a study I will usually use a small surface. I like surfaces like panel, linen, stretched canvas, I will paint on velum at times. I paint on all sizes and I will paint 20 x 24, but not larger for plein air. 

Joanne:  I paint the same painting small as I paint if I am painting big. I don't change the brushstrokes. I brought in a painting that I did on a very cheap canvas. I also brought in a pizza box that I just gessoed and painted on top of. I do this so that the children I teach will know that they can paint on anything and not feel intimidated. It's a lot of fun for both me and them. I like working large. 

Peggie: I like 16 x 20. I sometimes don't finish!  I generally paint big. I brought in two paintings. 

Kay: I brought in a painting that I did that was from a sketch at Medley Tea. I brought in another painting as well. I brought in a Sargent book. I am going to see the Sargent show later in the year. Looking at this book of Sargent subjects (which were his friends) is a little bit like looking at People magazine. (Laughter)! These people were so influential in their day... it is a lot of fun to see who he painted. 

Betsy: I am generally a watercolorist but I brought in another oil painting that I did recently. I use watercolor papers in different sizes. I am showing you a large watercolor that I did, but I don't want to pass it around because there is a bad watercolor painting on the other side (Laughter)!

Jerry: It depends on what the subject matter is and also the concept. 30 x 40 is the biggest I will paint and 8 x 10 is the smallest. I took a workshop with Joanne Mehl. I brought in this painting ...a little influenced by David Leffel.

Marty: When I first started painting I painted on paper with acrylic. Then I took a workshop with the Ovanes Berbarian. He insisted that you bring very large canvases to work on! That opened a new world for me. I brought in a painting of another Flamenco dancer... this is 2nd in a series. 

David: Well, ugly is one thing and big and ugly is another. (Laughter)! I brought in two paintings. One is a figure painting and the other is a landscape. 

Stephanie: I liked painting very large in school. Now 16 x 20 is about as big as I go because of size constraints at my studio. I like squares to paint on... I feel that they look modern and informal. It's just a favorite format for me. I have to be practical about the sizes that I choose when I paint outside. 

Tedd: I have painted small paintings and hooked them together and framed them into a long horizontal. I have brought in a recent portrait that I did of a young woman. I had painted her once before and was commissioned to paint another. 

Eunice: I have never painted bigger than 40 x 60. I usually work around 11 x 14. 

Loretta: I live in a small space so my paintings are generally in the area of 16 x 20. I have noticed that if you pay bigger --the work seems less tight. As I come down and size the tighter I get. 

Thomas: Have you ever looked at a painting and thought "this certainly has to be really big"...only to discover when you saw it in life, that it was really small? Or the reverse have you ever looked at a painting and felt that it was really small but when you saw it in life you saw that was really big? There's a reason for this. A painter like Sorolla would put a small highlight somewhere in an important place so that you would "sense" the scale of his idea. (Small marks serve as a foil for big shapes) This highlight placement was orchestrated and on purpose. Look at some paintings that you like and you'll see the painter designed it to imply bigness or smallness. 

 I went to the beach to paint, but it was raining so I created this still life. I will go back over this painting --it's not quite done. 

Tim: I don't like painting anything smaller than 1" x 2" (laughter)! I did paint a satellite dish one time (laughter)! My largest painting was 54 x 90 it was done in my yard... and it was sold! I brought in two paintings of them is called April Fools. 

Kristina: I brought in this horizontal painting. It is 12 x 36. It is of a bridge in Florence. 

Charlie: I like to paint mostly small because of convenience. I brought in a multimedia dry media painting. I get attached to small things and sometimes don't want to let them go. 

Annie: I illustrate books. So I am restricted to whatever size the book is! I painted these two paintings--- I painted this painting in studio 30 and I did this self-portrait (which was a challenge, as my face got wider and narrower as I did it)!

("Other") and Announcements: 

Stay tuned for information about two new exciting prospects for this summer...not all hammered down yet. (One a plein air event downtown and another Artist opportunity....just for Alla Prima Portland)!

Studio 30 is next week and will be an all day that will feature the look of Sargent.

Stephanie has work at the US Bank (Lloyd Center)

James Gurney has a book club started. The first book will be about drawing by Harold speed. Would any of you like to join in?
Lake Oswego Festival of Arts (June)
Kimberly Kent Art Broker Call to Artists (Deadline 4/15/15)
Plein Air Lake Oswego (Deadline 4/15/15)
West Linn Library Call to Artists (Deadline 4/9/15)

Thanks to all for coming and sharing your ideas and paintings today. Next meeting, April 9, suggested table topic: Clouds! What can you tell us about painting clouds? Share your experience. (And if you haven't painted clouds....pick something equally "airy" to talk about)!

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