Meeting Notes, Dec 22, 2016

At today’s meeting Loretta L, Loretta U, Susan, Tim, Diane, Tim, Karen, Stephanie, Jeanie, Annie, Kristina, Jim, Diane, Eunice, Ward, Nathalie, Thomas, Joanne T, Joanne K, Nathalie, Mike Sowers (new), and me Celeste

Today’s suggested table topic: Improvement ---how can you judge if your skills are on an increase or not? Is it measurable somehow and how can you keep track?

Celeste: I can measure my progress by how much or how little fear I feel. Not too long ago because of the strada easel challenge I painted my muddy backyard --it was a subject that I would have avoided in the past.  I am showing some recent daily paintings. I don’t know how you can measure progress except to just look at your older work and your newer work and evaluate.

Jeanie: I have learned a lot since I got out of school. It’s just got to get better with time, doesn’t it? (Laughter)! Recently my work has been leaning toward more representational.

Mike: (New! welcome Mike). I live in Northeast Portland and also Tennessee part of the year. I’m in a plein air group there. I have a iPad Pro. I have been learning the app “Procreate”.. It is vast! As far as seems easy enough to discern the difference between paintings that are successful and those that are not, but it takes awhile to gain perspective. I am showing two recent paintings.

Loretta L: Since I began painting I am better with perspective and values. I have been taking classes at PCC. I am showing you some new paintings where I mixed oil paint and cold wax together. I painted over some old paintings. In this one I used the actual netting from onion packages you buy at the grocery. I’m also showing a large painting that I did from a previous painting that I did in class.

Joanne K:  In the beginning it is hard to grasp that you have the freedom to move things around in your plein air paintings. It takes a while to believe that you are “allowed” to do that.  I’m showing you a painting that I painted at the AIS paint out where I “comfortably” moved things around. At the start just hauling your stuff outside seems daunting enough, but you’ll find that if you stay with it you will get more and more familiar with what works and what doesn’t.  I’m also showing a figure painting that I did largely from imagination.  It is important to know why you were putting down certain marks. Put down marks/strokes with intention.

Joanne T: I judge my improvement by Facebook! (Laughter)! I know that Celeste in particular is very encouraging. In fact, I do judge by feedback. I get feedback here in these meetings and also from others. I will ask people I respect what they think. Some people have told me that some of my paintings were good and those are the paintings I put into juried competitions (and I was rewarded). I think feedback is really important. I listen. This year I have been improving palette knife skills and in painting thick and thin. I am showing two recent paintings.

Ward:  It is so interesting to hear other people's stories. When I first began playing the flute I just played and played and people thought I was going out of my mind. I had my flutes everywhere and I just played and played (laughter)! But, I didn’t care if I looked ridiculous and I wasn’t afraid to fail. I think that maybe that might be my strength.. that I don’t mind looking stupid for a while! I may have appeared "out there" while I was learning the flute but sometime later I got a music contract and all the sudden the people who had laughed at me were congratulating me! (Laughter) I’m an overachiever. I set higher and higher levels and higher and harder and harder goals for myself. I am showing a recent wildlife painting.

Annie:  I attended the Monotype party at Oregon Society of artists. I like doing the Monotype… but best of all I liked cutting them up. I am showing you things I’ve cut up (cropped) as well as a charcoal self portrait and the color version self portrait (Editor's Note: Annie brought bookmarks from some of her paintings for us….thanks, Annie!)

Jim: I try not to paint with perfection in mind! If I see that something is not going exactly right I at least try to get emotion into it. For me, when I make a make a step forward I realize that there is something else that I need to learn too (besides what I just learned)! I am showing a recent painting.

Dave: What I have learned is that you have to "use it or lose it". I was painting a lot some years ago but then life got in the way and I have not painting as much as I used to. But, I am painting when I can now and in a relaxed manner. I am showing recent paintings.

Eunice: I have not been painting lately. I have been knitting and watching Hallmark Christmas movies! Laughter! (Editor's Note: Eunice knitted some things for us… thank you Eunice!)

Loretta U: Progress will depend on the day! I can see in retrospect whether or not I’ve done the job that I set out to do. I am showing a copy I did from the Ted Goerscher workshop book.

 Nathalie: I haven’t been painting recently --I am here for inspiration!

 Susan: I am a teacher of young students and I have these two best friends who are girls. I told them the other day they’re not allowed to use anymore photo reference --we are going to paint from life! I showed how to set up a still life…I set out these ornaments for them and I painted them myself. I don’t generally paint this sort of thing, but I enjoyed it!
I’m also showing you my Richard Schmid charcoal portrait. I have talked about it so often here at these meetings. I took classes with Richard Schmid at the Pallette and Chisel in Chicago. This is many years ago and back then Richard Schmid asked me to sit for him in a demonstration….then he gave the drawing to me! I just wanted you all to see it --it means so much to me! (Applause)!
For me, teaching is what pushes me forward. Every few years also I take a workshop. I’m going to take a plein air workshop next year.

Tim: My judgment is drawn from how many paintings I like out of how many paintings I do. So, if I do 10 paintings I might like only four and if so-- that is a bad week! (Laughter)!
Every year I want to say thank you to everyone in this group so here are my miniature paintings that I’m passing around for everyone. (Editor's note: Thank you Tim!) I'm showing recent paintings. I was inspired to paint a Ward!

Diane: I learned about keeping track from my drawing teacher. He saved our first drawing and then produced it at the end of the semester and we could all easily see how we had grown. So I remembered to do that and I kept my first painting from studio 30 -- I could see later how much I improved over my time there.
(Editor's Note: Kristina pointed out that she thinks Diane may have improved most of all of us)! Applause!

Tom: I relate to the fear factor regarding progress. My fear has gone down a several notches. I just don’t feel as fearful when I go out to plein air paint. I painted this painting from Mount Tabor.

 Karen:  I volunteered to help on an art project with young people. I never would’ve volunteered to do this with them prior to learning to paint. There is that expression about you don’t know what you don’t know! Everything builds on what you’ve learned before.

Stephanie: In general I don’t like to think thoughts like “this is bad” and “this is better”-- but certainly I do evaluate my work. I switched from acrylics to oil and I discovered all sorts of new ways of doing things. I think that these meetings (here) are better than a college course! When I look back at some of my paintings I think "this one is fine—this one is hopeless" (laughter)! I am showing older and newer paintings.

Thomas: I’m getting better when I hate something less!  (Laughter)! If you overthink it will compromise you. The best work seems to come from when you are "in the flow". I recently did a live demonstration on Facebook and it was a real challenge because of technical difficulties. Talk about having to be right-brained and left-brained at the same time! Despite all the trouble, it was another valuable experience for me! (Editor's Note: thanks, Thomas, we all appreciate your demonstrations and generous advice)


Ward Stroud has put together a trailer for Brusho and Beyond.  Video editing is quite the task and he wants you to please look at his trailer!

Ward Stroud Friday drop in class at OSA

Fine art Friday at OSA clothed model session (no instruction) the model is Tony Dec 23, 1-4pm  (and it is Tony's birthday---have a cupcake!)

Kristina Sellers paintings at ACena

 Susan Kuznitsky has paintings at Medley Tea

 Susan Kuznitsky Pastel classes two spots left and a two day workshop coming up in March

Richard Schmid new portrait download:

Karen Doyle has a show at new seasons in progress January 5 reception 30% of sales will go to the Oregon food bank

Max Ginsburg February 20 two spots left

Thanks, all! Happy Holidays ---!

Next Meeting:  Dec 29th Suggested table topic: Taking risks! “If I go down, I’m going down in Flames”! describe a time where you "went for it" when you took a big risk (in painting, but in anything else if you think it applies). Were you disappointed? Rewarded? What happened? Let’s discuss

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