Meeting Notes Dec 20, 2018

At today's meeting: Loretta, Raphael, Tim, Tom D, Wendy, Susan, Annie, Joyce, Loretta L, Tom K, Jeanie, Tedd,Jerry, Ken, Geri, Yong, Eunice, Joanne, Thomas and me, Celeste

Today's Topic: Diagonals in your you think about diagonals? Are they important?

Celeste: Kevin McPherson gets his workshop participants to apply a grid to their painting surface prior to that they will "see" corresponding diagonals in the landscape. The grid that he suggests is found in the Creative Illustration book by Andrew Loomis. I've tried the grid with a drawing, but not with a painting. "Diagonal" is one of the compositions in Edgar Payne's book on composition. Some outdoor paintings that have just 2 "stripes" of land" and 1 "stripe" of sky can be so boring and static...diagonals are important.

Loretta: I reworked a painting that I did recently. It does have a diagonal in it!

Raphael: I am "preparing" for the upcoming Strada Challenge. I have done some practice "daily" paintings. There are some diagonals in this one!

Tim: Every Christmas I paint little paintings for everyone in this group....It is my way of saying thanks, because without this group, well, where would I be and what would I be doing?? (Laughter)! I will send all around the table and then please choose one. (I found that doing a different painting on each one was great practice of my compositional skills).  

Tom D: I pass ! :)

Wendy: I don't think I have anything to add, except to say I think it is an important element. I am showing a painting I did about an injured bird in my backyard. I called the Audubon society and the bird was rescued. 

Susan: I have never used a grid like the one from the Loomis book! The best book on Composition in my opinion is Intuitive Composition by Albert Handel. I do "see" the diagonals in my composition in my mind's eye. No grids for me! It's definitely ntuitive for me. I love dappled light...that is what this painting is about. 

Annie: My husband has had a serious shoulder has meant that I have had to spend a lot of time in medical settings. I am showing my sketchbook where I have sketched my surroundings. I am also shown my book that I have illustrated. It is completed now!

Joyce: I am showing a recent painting that I did in an unusual vertical format. There are diagonal marks in this painting..but I wasn't "thinking" I need a diagonal here. I work intuitively. I am interested in framing this paining...if anyone has suggestions about framing something like this...let me know!

Loretta L: I have recently finished this I am taking you to Hawaii with it today! (Laughter)! It just so happens....there is a strong diagonal in it. 

Tom K: I am showing this painting that I did at Sauvie Island. I can make it diagonal by holding it like this (Laughter)! I am an abstract painter. Abstract is  inherent in me. While I was painting this a young kid looked out at the landscape and back at my painting and said: "What is that"?! I explained that the painting is an abstraction of what is there ---then  he said "I like it"! (Laughter)! 

Jeanie: I have just completed this painting...and there is a diagonal in it!

Tedd: I found this great book --it is a watercolor book but I really enjoyed this chapter on value arrangement. I am showing a painting I did at Unger Farm and also my first palette knife painting. 

"Value Arrangement"

Jerry: I don't think about diagonals. I am showing two paintings from the high desert. There are diagonal elements in the paintings....because they were there in the landscape(s) that I was painting. 

Ken: I don't "consciously" think about diagonals ....I do somehow consider corners. I am showing a recent painting. 

Geri: I don't do much "pre-planning"! I know that a variety of directions is effective. I am showing something that has diagonals.

Joanne: My painting style is "gestural"---so I will have plenty of diagonals in my work. When I paint I am more of a "should I try that?...or maybe that?" type of thinker...I try things out and see if they work or not! I am showing a painting that I did for an auction (on the front of this pamphlet for the event). It was a large painting!

Yong: Thank you, Celeste for keeping these meetings going! It is great that I can come here and be with other artists! For me...I always think what will describe the feeling best? A diagonal can give a slight feeling of uneasiness. In this painting of blossoms, I meant to contrast this diagonal against these verticals (for interest). In this painting I wanted it to be all peaceful, so it is mostly only horizontal and vertical. 

Eunice: I have been knitting and watching Hallmark movies! (Laughter)! Every year I knit for people in this group..this year I chose to knit hats and fingerless gloves for outdoor painters: Tom D, Raphael, Jerry and Yong! 

Thomas: In the past I taught classes in Illustration. Some of you in art classes might have done an exercise where you drew empty boxes and then had to fill them with marks that implied "action" "calm" "quiet" "energy" an so forth.  That type of exercise is valuable for fine artists too. I don't think my use of diagonals is as intuitive as it is for some of you here. I do have to think about it. A diagonal (or lack of one) can relate to what is called "off and on" in a painting  For years I did not exaggerate, but now I do...and I think about how to break up the space. It's our jobs to "activate" the space. It's not just the surface we have to consider, but also the shape of the support...because if it is vertical, horizontal or square, that "factors" into the result too.  You can direct the viewer in many ways. In this sketch of a "diagonal" face you'll notice that gravity makes the hair fall straight. In a similar manner, you'll notice when you paint rocks, gravity makes the water run "straight" down...those elements together (rocks and water) make the scene dynamic. (Thanks for the lesson, Thomas/ see Thomas' sketches at the bottom of the page). 


Register now for the Daily Painting Strada Challenge that begins on Jan 1: (You'll have a chance to win a Strada easel if you complete all 31 days)

Raphael Schnepf solo show at Clackamas Credit Union

Fine Art Friday Figure Session... Friday Dec 21 "Tony's Birthday" at OSA
Come paint or draw with snacks/cake to celebrate Tony's 19th birthday
20 drop in fee
Joanne Radmilovich Kollman

Fresh Flower Saturdays begin again in January 2019
OSA/ Joanne Radmilovich Kollman

OSA classes: Susan Kuznitsky and others

Hiatus Drawing club meets after the Alla Prima Meeting at French Quarter

Elizabeth Jones Gallery sketch show is up until Dec 24
(congratulations, on sales, Annie Cannon)!
Call to Artists:

PAINT OUT New Years Day 1/1/19 12th and Flanders (to paint a specific tree that is in danger of being removed due to development) with hosts Joanne Radmilovich Kollman and Elizabeth Jones Gallery contact Joanne for more details:

Tedd recommends the "Fake or Fortune" series, available on YouTube

Mike Porter is the new Workshop Chair at OSA. Do you have ideas and/or feedback on who you would like to see teaching a workshop at OSA? Email Mike:

In the near future Thomas Kitts will be introducing 4 week classes at his studio. The classes will progress (each lesson building on the last one).  Jan/Feb 2019.  Additionally, there will be announcements about his "Drawing for Plein Air" workshop, A local plein air workshop (that may be scheduled back to back with the drawing week, for those interested). August and Spt 2019. There is also an East Coast Workshop in the works (Mohegan Isle, Maine). To find out more go to the "Early Bird" subscription form on Thomas' website

Thanks to all who participated in the Dec 19  "At Eternity's Gate Field Trip" to Cinema21 and Elephant's Deli. It was a very unique movie and great to experience it together.

Next Thursday Meeting: French Quarter Thursday 9am Dec 27 Topic: Big ideas for 2019! What is your biggest idea for 2019?  (i.e.: Are you planning a new direction? Will you study with someone new?  Will you be looking into Studio space?) What is your BIG idea for the new year? Let's discuss!

(sketches from Thomas' diagonals discussion)

regular horizon line

diagonal implies a stress

strong "obvious" diagonals 

a "normal" shipwreck 

the diagonal horizon can put the viewer in another place and change everything!

Remember, the shape of the support is a factor

gravity together with diagonal = interest

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