Meeting Notes, AUGUST, 2013

At today’s meeting: Loretta, Za, Joanne, Eunice, Marty, Peggie, Stephanie, Kay, Quin and me (Celeste)

Today’s suggested topic “Dynamic Placement”

I (Celeste) talked about how it is favorable to have a “design plan” as you begin a painting. There is certainly room for paintings that are quiet, static and formal, but it is suggested that we consider dynamic shapes and orientations for increased interest. I showed images by Ramona Youngquist that illustrate this concept.

Loretta talked about “vees”. A vee shape can bring a person into a painting.... but, conversely, it can also (if pointed the opposite way) create an unfavorable shape. Loretta quoted Emily Dickinson “Tell the truth, but tell it with slant”.

Za says that YOUR vision is the most important thing in considering how and what to paint. Turn your painting upside down so that you can use your logic in a detached way. Za suggests we have a look at the work of Rick Howell. He knows how to compose! She brought in a new painting that she did yesterday in a vineyard. She’s encouraging us all to do the Eugene Plein air event.  Za will be offering new workshops later this year. Stay tuned!

Joanne has learned that cropping the figure will lend interest...but one has to be careful not to make things too rakishly slanted---it can be disturbing! She brought in a book, “Mastering Composition” by Roberts. She also shared a recent life session painting and two paintings from Sauvie Island.

Eunice relies on “third third third” to plot and plan her painting. She likes to use an overall triangle shape in still life. She tells us that one of the artists she has been watching (on PBS) suggests that you introduce yourself as a landscape painter. (You’ll be surprised how the conversation will be enlivened if you do!)

Quin has just returned from the Sandgren Coastal paint out. She painted for two solid weeks –2 or 3 paintings per day! Over the course of time somehow the rocks began to remind her of people. She learned that she enjoys painting rocks!

Marty has been working in his studio. He has been working with the Sanden Pro-Mix system of paints and believes it is really helping him to understand value and temperature in flesh. He showed us his newest portrait (of his granddaughter) and we all agreed...great flesh tones! Marty recommends Artist Daily. He has a web-subscription and he has been finding it worthwhile.

Peggie showed us two paintings from the Rose Garden. She painted a fountain with the intention of adding the water later. When she went to add the water she realized she probably should have allowed more room at the top. (But...we all thought it looked excellent just the same).

Stephanie shared “10 top tips for composition” with us and talked about formula versus non-formula painting. She recommends the Carlson’s Landscape book that clearly lays out principles of landscape painting. Stephanie showed us a painting that she painted onsite during Tabor Day.

Kay shared a Sargent book with us, showing us how Sargent often used the hands of people to create drama in the painting. Even in a mostly monochromatic painting, Sargent gained our attention with unusual gesture.
Kay showed us a painting from Gellatly’s workshop. The biggest thing she took away from the workshop was “Hold your focus” (stay with your plan).


Dave McBride is no longer hosting routine Wednesdays at Sauvie Island...he has other commitments now. (Anyone else interested in hosting?...let us know). THANKS DAVE for hosting thus far---! We appreciate it. J

Brenda Boylan has a talk tonight at OSA about her Easton experience.

Receptions and events:

First Thursday:

New Broderick Gallery (in Longview, WA)

First Friday:

Lane Gallery (Celeste and Joanne, among others)

Marki (Bill Sharp Solo show)

Side Street Gallery (Stephanie Cissna among others)

Saturday, August 2,  5pm-9pm People’s Art (Quin Sweetman, among others)

This weekend, August 2 and 3, Art in the Heart (Michael Lindstrom, Mike Rangner, Eric Jacobsen, among others)

Thanks to all for bringing your art and sharing your ideas!

Next Meeting: August 8 topic:
If you could meet any famous painter, alive or dead, who would it be? (Also, what sort of art advice would you ask?)

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August 8 Meeting Notes:

Today’s meeting participants: Loretta, Lisa, Diane, Eunice, Melinda, Za, Marty, Kay, Joanne, Dave, Char, Jean, Tim, Stephanie, Mandy, Renita, Donna, and me (Celeste).

Suggested table topic: What artist living or dead would you like to meet.... and what would you ask them?

Celeste: I’d like to meet Manet. I would like to ask him if he painted in his abbreviated ‘unfinished’ style in order to stand out in a unique way (or what!).... Additionally.... did he like his own work? Was he satisfied? I brought in a floral painting that I did on gessoed cardboard. Dave McBride said "I see a puppy in your flowers". Uh, gee thanks Dave. haha (I do see it now...Do you?)

Loretta said she heard David Dunlop ponder “would the impressionist have used acrylics.... if they were available then?” Loretta brought in a new painting. As she showed it to us she quoted WHAuden who said: It's better to say, 'I'm suffering,' than to say, 'This landscape is ugly.'
(Editor’s note): We laughed.... but Loretta’s painting is not in the least ugly!

Lisa said coming up with a favorite artist is too difficult...akin to naming a favorite color—impossible! She does mention Degas and Hopper, "who dealt with light in special ways". She really can’t ask them any questions. Lisa brought in a 4 painting quadrant study from Scott Gellatly’s workshop. She said Scott taught everyone about underpainting with an earth red. (It enlivens the greens!)

Diane would like to meet Frida Kahlo. She has been to her studio and seen the corsets Kahlo had to wear after her accident. Diane would love to be at one of those dinner parties that Kahlo and Rivera would host with other notables of their time. Diane likes how political both Kahlo and Rivera were. They were passionate about important issues and they had an international presence. Diane also took the Gellatly workshop and showed her studies too.

Eunice can’t choose just one artist...she did, however, boil it down to Rembrandt, Hals and Vermeer.  She brought in a large painting that she referred to as her “boyfriend”. (We laughed). It is a copy of a Hals painting.

Renita can’t choose a favorite artist. Too many! She showed us a recently completed painting (in a narrow horizontal format) of a longhorn bull.

Za tells us the artist she would meet would be Michelangelo. She said, "He was not just known for one thing.....He did everything”. She showed us a painting from a recent life painting session.

Marty said his favorite artist is Za and his question for her is “can you teach me to paint like you?” (this made us all laugh in complete recognition of what he meant!). Seriously, his ‘other’ favorite artist is Nicholai Fechin. He showed us a recent floral still life.

Kay said her favorite artist is Rembrandt. She would ask him “How did you have the patience to make your own paints?” and also she would inquire about his self-portraits...did he do them to document his changing appearance...or for some different reason? Kay said she loves Rembrandt so much...that when she stands before one of his paintings she feels close to him, just like he was (is) a real-life friend of hers.

Joanne talked to us about Manet. She showed us a photo of his painting: A Bar at the Folies-Bergère. It is a controversial painting, and it has been the subject of many scholarly articles. Is the painting correct ...or does it in fact have perspective errors in it (as asserted by others)? Joanne reminds us. 1. Organize 2. Clarify 3. Energize. (It is tempting to energize at the very beginning, but best to hold off!) She brought in 2 paintings (but only a few of us got to see them at the end of the meeting...see the blog).

David is a big fan of living artist Tibor Nagy. Dave brought in 2 new paintings.

Char is inspired by fellow student Bob Tessla (spelling?). She brought in two abstract tiles that she did plein air (with the Lallys) a couple of weeks ago at Sauvie Island. 

Jean cannot answer which artist she’d like to meet. Too many to choose from!  She's returned from a trip to Arizona. (Welcome back, Jean!) She brought in a new plein air painting from Sauvie Island.

Tim said he doubts that he could get any better advice from the luminaries of yesteryear than he has gotten from some of his contemporaries. What would be fun, however....would be to listen to their stories and philosophies!

Stephanie would like to meet Georgia O’Keeffe and/or Emily Carr. She was at the Scott Gellatly workshop and shared her quadrant of studies and another larger plein air. She said that watching Scott paint was great.... very helpful.

Mandy (Main) is in Oregon for a couple of weeks. (Welcome, Mandy!) She has been to the home/museum of Joaquin Sorolla in Spain.  She would love to ask him about color theory (in particular, about his use of violet). Seeing where he lived and worked was definitely a “high point’ of her life~!

Donna would like to meet Hooper or Wolf Kahn, but she added if she were to interview anyone, she would want it to be a woman and therefore she would choose Cassatt or O’Keeffe. She showed us a recently framed painting from her Japanese Garden series. She highly recommends Mel’s framing.


Broderick has a new and beautiful gallery in Longview WA. Open House Saturday, 1-6pm

Bill Sharp at the Brian Marki this month

Becky Joy Workshop in Hood River

Art on Broadway has a reception this Saturday 6-9 (20 artists)
They also have an opening for a new artist at the Gallery (6 month contract)

Dave McBride has suspended his Wednesday program at Sauvie Island (for now).

Brooks Hickerson has paint outs on his calendar (scroll to the bottom of his blog for his calendar):

Save the date! Party with Kay Elmore on Sept 14 (a party for Virgos, but if she knows you, you are invited). As the date gets closer she'll share more specifics.

New Srebnik classes (including free demo next TUESDAY):

Upcoming plein air events

That’s it!  Man, the restaurant was Super NOISY today...... but as always, everyone did a great job of contributing. Sincere thanks to all for sharing your paintings and ideas.

Next meeting: Thursday, August 15. Suggested Table topic: Wrong turns! Art related ideas, tools, techniques or events that you’ve experienced that did not work for you...(and....what you learned from it anyway!)

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Meeting notes, August 15:

At today’s meeting:
Jeanne, David, Loretta, Stephanie, Diane, Za, Vicki, Mandy, Kay, Brenda and me (Celeste)

(Marty and his visiting Granddaughter Bea sat at a neighboring table (We were so happy to meet her!)

Today’s suggested topic—“wrong ways” (Paths you went down that didn’t turn out as you wanted)---and what you learned.

1. I (Celeste) talked about how the first year I was in a plein air event I spent a small fortune on excellent custom frames---but how that wasn’t so smart, because the paintings weren’t good enough to justify the expense. The following year I “went on the cheap” and painted a black frame with gold paint. I brought it in to show how bad it was. Everyone agreed----bad!! I also showed a speedball painting support that from my perspective is bad for oil paints. Too slick.

2. Dave talked about how when he first started painting he painted in the basement with poor lighting and painted “idyllic” scenes that make him cringe now. He also told us that at the very beginning he used a giant “surveyor’s” type tripod easel that weighed a ton. (We had to laugh.... imagining that). He still has it, in case he needs to survey anything!

3. Kay told us that once she was in a workshop that had to do with creating in a “free” and child-like way. The object was to tap into a deep creative source. At the time she didn’t feel like she could do it! She not only didn’t feel free or child-like.... she felt like she wasn’t doing what the instructor meant...(especially as she compared work to others). She worried over it.  With perspective, Kay knows that though she ‘suffered’, she benefited from that workshop—and she is all the better for it.

4. Mandy tells us she was once painting plein air at Crown Point and the scene captivated her.... because the sun was going down.  She looked directly into the sun for a long time--- (in order to paint it) and her warning to all is.... don’t do that! (her eyes hurt for days afterward).
She showed us a new painting that is slated to go to Dragonfire Gallery.
(Editor’s note: GREAT to have Mandy visit with us while she was visiting here in Oregon.she is returning to her new home in California). Come back again, Mandy!

5. Vicki showed us a tool that disappointed her—a fan brush. It just didn’t work as she expected. She showed us a landscape painting that she felt illustrated the pitfalls of painting from a photo. (Part of it was painted from life...and part from photo). She said “Danger-Danger...don’t do this!” (Sorry, I didn’t get a photo of it).

6. Za counsels, “Be prepared”! (At an early plein air event, she wasn’t aware that she should bring frames---she knows now). She doesn’t like to be caught off guard and now if she has questions...she asks friends or organizers about specifics. Also, she relayed to us about how she seesawed between traditional oils and water-soluble oils for a while. She finally decided to commit to water-soluble and she loves them now. “Once you find something you like...stick with it”, she said.

7. Stephanie said that she has tried “everything”. She remembers when she was in school the instructor wanted the class to work abstractly...and/or to “splash paint around”. She was using oil then and the project came out “mucked up” mud. Others, who were using acrylic, had good results. She made a mental note! (Know your supplies!)

She showed us a painting she painted in oil.... over acrylic. She also told us about a wonderful film about Pollock. “When he dripped that paint.... he did it with all of his body.... almost like a dance. That’s why those paintings are so beautiful. The beautiful movement is evident (and lasting).

8. Diane told us that she once joined a co-op gallery. The experience was good.... but not for her! Her current goal is to paint only alla prima and only on site.  She showed us a painting of a tree that towers over her house and has caused her some concern (in a windstorm, it could conceivably fall and cause damage). She told us she wanted to paint it.... maybe to dispel some of her fear of it. 

9. Jeanne hadn’t painted in many years and took a class in “classical” painting because it was offered at a time that fit into her schedule. She discovered classical painting is not her thing. She likes painting what captivates her plein air much better than painting in layers.  (Apologies to Jeanne for spelling her name Jean for weeks!)

10. Loretta doesn’t like canvas panels. She prefers a stretched canvas. She doesn’t like acrylics either. She said something about....”perfecting my inner perfections” (What?)
I guess I didn’t get that full thought.

11. Brenda (got to the meeting at the very end...but we were happy to see her nonetheless!) She and others painted on the St. John’s Bridge at night last night...and the bridge will be closed again tonight (Thursday). She showed us her pastel painting. An error she has made is not having the right clothing with her. Once, on Lopez Island, she was not dressed warm enough and she suffered for it. Also, make sure you always have enough food and water too! Read all the instructions about an event prior to the event.


Hilarie and Nancy’s open house---mark your calendar! August 22:

Vicki and Stephanie plan to be at the Farmers Market next Wednesday (the Market is there 10-2)

Does anyone want to paint Sauvie Island next week? Ideas for day and place? (Vicki and Stephanie will go—will you?)

That’s it for now---thanks, all for coming and sharing your ideas!

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Next Meeting.... Thursday, Suggested topic: Today, I am inspired by____________. (Fill in the blank)
Meeting Notes August 22

At today’s meeting: Loretta Chris, Tim, Eunice, Jeanne, Lisa, Diane, Dave, Char, Mandy, Tim, Peggie, Joanne, Za, Melinda, Thomas and me (Celeste)

Today’s topic “What inspires me today is ____________(fill in the blank)

I (Celeste) am currently inspired with reading about artists from the past. I just finished reading about Mary Cassatt and her sister who posed for her. I like spending time with these artists and feeling transported into their time.

Good and great art, meetings, reading and movies inspire Loretta.

Chris says Nature is her best muse right now.... she is painting outdoors a lot.
She showed 3 paintings, one an experiment that she painted from imagination.

Tim Young showed us the new wet canvas carrier that he made. He also showed us his newest painting (done from imagination and memory).

Eunice likes to tear things out of magazines...she showed us an ad that she saved.... because she liked the color scheme. “I may use this in a painting”, she said.

Jeanne brought in a book of all of Diebenkorm’s paintings at the DeYoung in SF. Her teacher, Bruce McGaw, was a student of Diebenkorn. She brought in a plein air painting.

Lisa is new to plein air and her recent inspirations are workshops. She brought in two plein air paintings. She told us something Gellatly said during a workshop: “I try to react, not report”.

Joanne is just back from the Eugene plein air event. She had a great time. She brought in two paintings (from the event) and some calendars and tickets for Portland Open Studio. (She is listed under Joanne Radmilovich Kollman)

Za believes that ‘real paint’ communicates far better than giclees or prints. She thinks it is important to get out and see real paint (like in museums and galleries). Her biggest inspiration recently was seeing the Fechin exhibit. Za also notes that she responds to people.... and this can be verified in her paintings. (Some models, according to Za, relate to her and visa versa). She showed us a recent painting of model Jennifer at Laurelhurst Park.

(Za was recognized with 2nd place in the Cityscape category at the Eugene Plein Air event). Editor’s note: I don’t have an official list, but I also know that Pam Asbaghi won first place in Landscape). Other winners included Aimee Erickson and Kat Sowa.

Diane enjoys meeting with us on Thursdays and also drawing inspiration from nature. She often thinks about painting while driving (when she sees scenes that inspire her). She brought in a painting from the model session at Laurelhurst.

Dave is currently thinking about color harmony. He gave himself two challenges to paint in 50 minutes another to paint in 50 strokes. He brought both paintings.

Char says she looks intently into things (like a sky filled with stars) to see it’s inherent depth. She showed us her newest abstract painting.

Mandy told us that she is an artist with UGallery and because of that her work was used to kick off a new online art gallery on amazon! She showed us the piece that they used to promote the idea. (Editor’s note: I reported last week that Mandy was headed back to Calif...But I had that wrong. It’s this week that she returns). Great having you visit, Mandy.

Tim says that he has been watching a Rick Howell DVD and he likes it. He feels inspiration from the old masters.... so much so that he is considering making his own paints in the future. (He won’t make lead white....!)

Peggie says she is inspired by our meetings.... she brought us all a ‘present’ (vegetables from her garden)----thanks so much, Peggie! She also mentioned that she had a sale of a painting from the Rental Sales Gallery (Congratulations!)

Thomas says that he knows it may be unpopular to say...but inspiration will not find us.... we have to find it. His advice is to just go out there and set up (even when you really don’t feel like it). Before you know it, you may find (as he has on many occasions) inspiration follows. Just start.... and see where things take you.
Thomas brought in his moonrise painting from a recent plein air session and he also showed us the new thumb box he made from a cigar box. (Described on his blog):


Celeste will ‘kick off’ a new lecture series at Muse. Don’t’s only for one hour. My talk will be on Staying Motivated. Sept 21 10-11 

Celeste have a show coming up at the NW Community Center (more info to come)

Hood River begins next week!

Eric Bowman has a solo show at Brian Marki—if you aren’t in Hood River, go to his reception Friday, Sept 4

Next Meeting: August 29... VIOLET....let's discuss! what do you know about it? 

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August 29 Notes:

At today’s meeting: Steve, Loretta, Chris, Vicki, Tim Y, Lisa, Joanne, Za, Brenda, Jodi, Quin, Susan Offerdahl, Diane, Jeanne, Tim, Marty, Kay, Emily and me (Celeste)

Suggested Table Topic Violet/Purple, what do you know about it—let’s discuss!

1. I (Celeste) brought in a book that had a nifty section of violet/purple swatches. I talked about how I have learned that the truest purple (on a limited palette) is mixed with Aliz Crimson and Ultramarine Blue. Other mixtures are duller (like Cad red and Cerulean blue, for example).

2. Loretta likes violet but doesn’t use it often. She knows it is good in shadows.

3. Chris brought in a book and showed us three paintings. One she did with her fingers! She is taking the upcoming Becky Joy Workshop next week.

4. Vicki tells us she has enrolled in a 12-step program to eliminate purple (haha!) It has given her trouble. Dioxide Purple has been her nemesis. She told us that a teacher one told her to not use purple from a tube (because it is better to mix it so that the painting will have intrinsic harmony). She brought a great Lavender field painting.

5. Tim (Y) does use Dioxide Purple.... but not in everything. He brought in two paintings and showed us his new T-Shirt design that he accomplished with a “T Juice Pen” (heat set). The drawing is of a ‘wild oat’ bird. (Cool!)

6. Lisa has been working to use less purple. She used to use it in shadows a lot earlier...but now she is more judicious with it. She brought a painting.

7. Joanne likes to use purple. She tells us lots of beautiful purple-grays (and how to mix them) are in Ted Goershner’s book. She brought 2 recent paintings.

8. Za likes purple! She says “Purple is a wonderful tool”. Purple goes with everything and it is fun to ‘bend’ it either warm or cool (by adding touches of other color to it). Her favorite mixture of it is Aliz Crimson, French Ultramarine Blue and white. She brought in a painting that showed subtle purple-grays.

9. Steve has no secondary colors on his palette. He likes Aliz Crimson and Thalo blue for shadows. He agrees with is a useful color! “It has the distinction of being both warm and cool and it great for reflected light”.  Steve brought in an oil painting!

10. Brenda showed us a brand new box of purple pastels she just got. She explained that opening a box of new pastels (especially this one) is like looking at a box of candy to her! Her opening is tonight at Art Elements. Please come see the show!

11. Jodi has been sidelined for a while ...but she is back! (Hooray!) She loves purple and likes to gray it. She brought in 3 paintings.

12. Quin likes purple! She brought in a recent life model painting.

13. Susan Offerdahl is new. She has recently become a full time painter. She was able to work with an artist in Guadalajara. She most recently attended the Thomas Kitts workshop. She brought in two paintings. Welcome, Susan!

14. Diane likes to mix green with purple to tone it down. Try it! She brought in a painting from Sauvie Island.

15. Jeanne brought in two plein air paintings. She “doesn’t know much about purple”! (Though she does use it—she mixes it). 

16. Tim (L) says he is still doing battle with values. (He brought in a painting that looks like he is not having a bit of trouble with values!)

17. Marty is glad to be back. He has been visiting with family. He likes to work on copies by masters and recently he has been working on Wyeth’s Christina’s World. He sees that Wyeth seemingly painted every blade of grass.... and that upon close inspection.... there is purple in there!

18. Kay does not have purple on her palette. She told us she read something attributed to Nicolai Fechin:
To avoid murky results, it is necessary to learn how to use the three basic colors and to apply them, layer upon layer, in such a way that the underlying color shows through the next application.

Read more here:

19. Emily moved to Texas...but she has moved back to Oregon. She tells us she couldn’t find any groups like ours there! She brought in a painting of a “Texas sky” in a made up landscape. We’re happy to have you back, Emily!


Brenda at Art Elements tonight and throughout the month (Congratulations, Brenda)
Brenda is teaching a pastel workshop Sept 20 -22 at Oregon Society of Artists. (Details on her blog)

Joanne Kollman was selected for the 2013 Around Oregon Annual by the Portland Art Museum! (Juror Bonnie Laing-Malcolmson). Wow!! Congratulations, Joanne! (It is the painting of the woman holding a dog).
She still has work in the NW Community Center and the Beaverton City Hall –get out and see it! (Details on her website): 
Vicki and others are planning to go out to Sauvie Island tomorrow. If you want to go with her: email is zvicki@comcast(dot)net
Steve Kleier continues to offer lots of great classes at OSA! Check it out: 
Don’t Miss Eric Bowman’s opening at the Brian Marki, Friday, Sept 6:

Hood River plein air begins tomorrow....reception Friday, Sept 6:

Whew! That’s it!

Next Meeting Sept 5 Suggested topic: Art or Artists in film...what is your favorite (art related) movie?

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  1. I attended Brenda Boylan's talk at OSA. A lot of good information was given about the jurying process for entering national plein air events. She recommended start closer to home initially, get the feel for the event. Do as much research and leg work ahead of time. Go in as prepared as possible and meet ans talk to other artists while there. Gleaning the experiences of other artists will put you one step ahead at the next venue.