At today’s meeting Loretta U, Tim, Susan, Diane, Jim, Bill, Annie, Tom D, Jill, Jeanie, Charlie, Eunice, Sue, Ward, Teresa, Loretta L, Diane H, Jeanie, Elo, Genie, Peggie, Joanne K, aAnna, Kay, Kathy and me, Celeste.
Today’s table topic: Your subject matter-- how do you decide what you will paint, how do you get your ideas --do you ever change up your subject matter? if so what is your reasoning?
Celeste: I wish Tracie Broughton were here-- I was hoping we would hear how she got the ideas for all of her swimming type paintings. I like to work towards a purpose. Sometimes my ideas are geared toward a particular show. I am showing a Nocturne-- I don't generally do this type of work. I used a palette knife here and it is different than what I usually do. I generally paint figures landscape and still life. I’m also showing a scratchboard that I did --- changing mediums is just fun to do at times.
Diane M: I am inspired by many things. I never have a problem being inspired and trying new things. I love portraits and animals. Recently Amiee Erickson gave us some small cards. I decided to put animals into costume and paint them onto these cards. The "unexpected" intrigues me.
Jim: I forgot the two paintings I was going to bring today! I used to do tight still life. I then moved to loose landscape and figurative art. Lately I am trying to work from what I have learned in the Max Ginsburg workshop. I have an idea now to do still life and combine it with some figurative. That is my new direction. I am glad to see Joanne K here today--- I would like to “roast” her. She just deserves it (laughter)! (Editor’s note: Jim does have a new beautiful painting on the wall)
Bill: How do I get my ideas? It is just what speaks to me. Just the other day a nasturium in my yard said to me: “try to paint me”. It didn't turn out well. (Laughter)! But! I got to spend time with that nasturtium --all was not lost. While I tried to paint it a bee landed on it and I just feel like it was time well spent. I painted this painting of crabs from photo reference (a recent trip to Santa Cruz). I painted this also recently--it’s something that I’m calling “Life is a bowl of cherries". I have been life painting at OSA. This session I didn’t bring enough white! I tried to correct it later---but it is never a good idea to paint the model ---when the model isn’t there! (Laughter)!
Jeanne: Generally I am a landscape painter. It is a challenge for me to not get all fussy out in the field. I have learned that it is wise to get right to it, to not spend too much time searching for the ideal place. I recently did the Erik Sandgren coastal paint out Erik's father said something (and I hope that I have the quotation right) it is something like “There are no boring subjects, just boring painters”. (Laughter)! My husband is a birdwatcher and I take my paints along whenever we go. We went to the Crooked River and I painted this. I painted this scene at the coast on a gray day. Regarding change up--I went to Studio 30 even though figure was not my forte. I knew it would be good for me in the winter. Then she closed her studio so I took a life painting class. It’s very useful to take classes-- it will keep your growing. I endorse the concept.
Diane H: I am drawn to landscape. The way I decide on my subject is that I walk around. My subject matter isn't what others might be. For example I found this half dead bush and I loved how it looked against the sky. I often turn things upside down to look at them. I am a lyrical poet. So to me it is not so much about what I see but what I feel. I am showing two recent paintings.
Teresa: I like figure best. I have tried painting flowers, but I don’t think flowers like me (laughter)! I am showing both a figure and a floral.
Loretta L: I am inspired by all of you. I am grateful to all of you! I wonder about the right and the left brain ---you know how you move from one side to the other. I find myself sometimes stymied by being in one side too long. I am showing a photograph that I took --Google stylized it for me! They just took it and stylized it and I’m going to pass my iPad around to show you what a beautiful thing they did to the photo. I am leaning toward painting this!
Ward: There are a lot of voices in my head (Laughter)! Seriously, I aspire to be good at painting. I want to support myself with painting. I will have this in mind--I will wonder “Would someone like to buy this”? It is motivating in a positive way. I’ve done a series on elephants and they have proven popular. I have a fast-forward movie in my head sometimes when I look at something ...I think “How would I paint this”? Facebook is a great barometer. Your friends will “like” the good paintings (and they won't like the so-so ones as much). It's informative. As a changeup I believe that commissions can change things up. Someone will say “Well, can you paint THIS??” and I'll say “sure! Of course”! (inside I'm wondering if I can)! (Laughter)! I am showing a recent painting that I did of some friends.
Annie: I went to art school and I went to college. During that time I felt that I had nothing to say! But then I became a book illustrator and my objective became to help tell each story assigned to me. Later I wanted to illustrate my own stories and I took a writing class. My subject matter almost always has to do with stories. I painted on Sauvie Island last Sunday. The painting I did is still wet so I photographed it and printed it out but some of this is the wrong color. I recently framed these little simple paintings that were done with “no thought”. These are like haiku type paintings.
Jill: I used to draw and paint, but I’ve given away a lot of my work. A long time ago I did a drawing of a dejected person. I realized that though it was good it was also quite sad---so I tried to touch it up to make it less grim. Later I knew that I should’ve let it be what it was in the first place. I haven’t used my paints yet, but I have them out and I will. I am happy to be here.
Genie: I have more inspiration then I can possibly get to. I have done a series on climate change and I am always thinking about ideas that could impart a message. I am trying to paint faster like Anna talked about last week. I painted this painting of Mt. Hood from Lyle, OR.
Charlie: Art in general is basically sharing. This includes sharing with yourself. I do have this advice, If you don’t like something... do it again.
Eunice: I told you all last week that I was going to paint a rose painting. I did, but it is too wet to bring in-- I will bring it in next week.
Loretta U: I like trees and water as subject matter. I have also done still life and abstract. I always remember what Thomas Kitts said about “same same no no”. I am back from my painting hiatus! I worked on this painting recently. I lightened it up.
Tom D: I'm pretty much a landscape or still life painter and I have done some portrait. I look for great compositions! My way of getting things to paint is to visit a place and then go back again. I like to let things percolate. I keep my eyes and ears open. I went recently to Cascade Locks /BlackBerry beach. I painted this there.
Kay: I just don't know where to begin with this topic. I am trying to get better at plein air. I am just trying to observe the light and the planes of objects. Then there are my "cerebral" painitngs where I just let it rip. I've done some things in a series. I painted this painting that is based on van Gogh’s "Mailman". I saw a ticket taker and I took a picture and merged it in a painting with van Gogh’s Mailman backgroud. I do like drawing on a Master's work. Plein air is such a challenge. I often wonder why am I doing this? But I love being outdoors! I should just go stare at things instead of trying to paint it! (Laughter)! This is from Sandgren’s paint out.
Joanne K: I am fine artist but I also do "whimsical" etchings. I have done those for years. (Subjects like animals driving cars). My painting subjects are typically representational and about community. That painting over on the wall --a man who looks to just be waiting for something--- in fact he was waiting for a liver transplant. I picked berries yesterday for the food bank. I am always thinking about how we are all connected and how my subject matter is connected to me and my neighbors. I don’t think I will ever get caught up in commodity art. When I painted this (model “thinking”) I remembered my mentor Dan McCaw saying to me “Make sure that your painting is about something other than the model”. I am also showing two Sauvie Island paintings.
Anna: When I first started painting I was very interested in “Americana”. At the time I was doing a lot of palette knife and that was a change up for me. I'm learning now about direct painting brushwork. Thomas Kitts challenged me to do these half hour studies. It is a revelation because I am seeing that the new work has a new energy and I am making better decisions in the field.
Peggie: I met a woman in my knitting club. She has three cats and this beautiful old couch. This is my newest project, I am going to merge the cats with the couch. She actually found this couch in a chicken coop, but it is an extremely fancy and unique piece of furniture… the arms of the couch are women carved out of wood! I did a plein air of her couch and the idea is to ultimately put her cats on this couch in a painting. I’m working it out. I am also showing a recent painting of Iris.
Kathy: I should never try to paint on gray and overcast days because every time I wipe those out! I feel I need some light and shadow. I painted this painting for the lavender festival and I won an honorable mention ribbon (applause)!
Elo: Everything is so inspiring, but I don't have time to paint outdoors. I have to use photo reference. This painting is from a walk at Lacamas Lake. Recently I went to the dental hygienist and I had my teeth cleaned. They give you this gum to at the end of the session. I was chewing the gum in my car and I took a selfie --- I loved how the green gum looked against my teeth! and I painted it… I thought it looked so cool! (Laughter !! Applause!!!)
Tim: Well, I can't follow that! (Laughter)! I am inspired by everything. It's not as important what I painting than that I am painting! Normally no one would see this except for this topic --I wanted to show you this. This is something where I've scraped off of my palette onto another surface (over and over)and it made this big pattern of colors. I am also showing two paintings from Sauvie island and finally a painting of the soup can (that is inspired by Andy Warhol). I will accept a million for my soup can. (laughter)!
Susan: I am so glad that we all know each other that were all artists, because if someone else were here they would think that this whole conversation sounds wacko. “Voices in my head” “Talking nasturtiums” “soup cans and green gum “. (Laughter)! Lately I am attracted to shiny metal. I really don’t know what makes me do things in pastel or oil ---I don’t even know. I am showing a demonstration I did recently of a figure in the Lavender fields (in pastel).
Sue B: I love the figure and flowers but I struggle with plein air. I am very attracted to the work of William Wray. His work is inspirational to me. http://williamwray.com
Jeanie: I am working on a still life and also figure. I don't generally paint small-- this time I did. I am also showing you a painting that I did that I just felt like doing. This is about as "different" as I will ever get.
Thomas Kitts Buddha demo:
Thomas Kitts demo video on lead white paint facebook:
Ask an Artist: (Mentoring with Thomas Kitts) http://www.askanartist.com
OSA Perk up your Paintings (Joanne Radmilovich Kollman) (Drop in)! Fridays 1-4pm $25
Come at noon and Joanne will help you prepare your surface
Peaceful Painting Sundays with Joanne Radmilovich-Kollman meet at the Cracker Barrel 9am every Sunday The Cracker Barrel Store – 15005 N. W. Sauvie Island Road
Others teaching at OSA (Ward, Susan, Brenda and others):
Portland Open Studios
Villa Catalana is looking for people to paint at their annual paint out (August 20) http://www.villacatalanacellars.com (there is a cover charge, but no charge to artists) contact owner through their website.
Alpenrose 100th anniversary (Susan Kuznitsky art): August 13:
Anna Lancaster: Affolter Gallery
325 NE Evans
McMinnville, Oregon 97128
The Affolter Gallery has 3rd Saturday events from 5:00 - 8:00 PM
Long Pose Sundays at OSA Open Drawing & Painting (uninstructed)
3pm-6pm, downstairs studio, $15/session
For more information call Laura @ 503-841-3431
Call OSA to register: 503 228 0706
Thanks for your ideas and for sharing your paintings today. Next meeting, Thursday, August 18. “Mental and physical well being---how important is it (as it pertains to painting)? Do you have ideas to share –tips and suggestions about maintaining positive emotional and physical health? Let’s discuss!