Meeting Notes, Dec 6, 2018

At today's meeting: Loretta, Eugenia, Susan, Marie, Raphael, Dave, Vicki, Leslie Yong, Joyce, Lily, Thomas, Tim, Dottie, Jim, Tedd, Jerry, Tom K, Ken, Geri, Wendy, Peggie and me, Celeste.

Today's topic: Share a "technical" tip !

Celeste: I'm happy for this group...the topics make me do things that I might not otherwise do. Yesterday, even though it was so cold, I painted this plein air exercise that was recommended by Susie Baker. First you determine your scene (and it doesn't need to be a "good" scene) . Next you mix 3 lights, 3 mediums and 3 darks based on the colors you observe. In the end you paint a small "thumbnail" of the scene with the colors. It was a valuable exercise and I recommend it! I am also showing a painting I did of some flowers in my back yard.

Loretta: I am showing the palette knife I use to paint straight edges and also the brush I use for softening edges. This is "magic soap" and if you get paint on anything and you get to it right away with this soap it will get the paint out completely. You can see I haven't always gotten to it right away (Loretta shows her painted up sleeve on her coat) Laughter!

Eugenia: I am showing a flyer for a product that seems really helpful. It makes it so you can paint a small canvas on your easel (like 6"!) I am also showing an article in New Yorker magazine...about how to be an artist. (I typed up the 33 "rules"). I am showing a recent still life.

Susan: I got this tip from Albert Handell. You use extra wide masking tape and create a "ledge" with it at the base of your pastel painting.  The pastel dust lands there on the ledge instead of anywhere else! I am showing a painting I've done called: "Veronica excels at art at one years old" (Laughter)! 

Marie: I am showing this piece of cut insulation..(this is the type of insulation some use to put around frames). You can use it to remove pastel "lightly". I am showing two pastel portraits.

Raphael: I used to work in a sign paint shop. We always had lacquer thinner to get anything off of works! In September I did this painting (during the Strada Challenge). I recently put it in a frame and I instantly had a better appreciation for it! I am going to make it a present to a family member for Christmas. 

Dave: This tip is for acrylic painters. I use airbrush medium in my underpainting. It adheres really well and dries really fast. Also, I am hooked on panels instead of stretched canvas. Panels are better for portability and for storing...they take up a lot less space! I am showing an acrylic painting I did of Storm Large. 

Vicki: I got this suggestion from Dave McBride! I use Q-tips to take paint away (whenever I have needed to describe something delicate in paint). (McBride interjects that he got the Q tip idea from Michael Orwick). Here are two Lotus paintings that I have completed.

Leslie:  I've been researching lighting and I've learned that 5000 Kelvin is right for indoor painting. The higher the Kelvin the whiter the color temperature. The number of lumens is also important. I am showing a recent portrait I did in a Wednesday life model session.  

Yong: I am always thinking keep things very simple! When I go out I say to myself: "Dark, medium and light" and "Big, medium and small" (shape/sizes). I had to stop and paint these apples...even though it was so cold outside! 

Joyce:  (new! Welcome)! I'm sorry I'm late, it is hard to judge how to get here on time! I am an abstract painter, so I hope it is ok that I am here. It seems like there are a lot of plein air artists here.** I didn't bring anything. Once I got a lot of Phalo paint on clothing. I immersed it into straight Murphys soap. It came out completely!

** Editor's note: all painters are welcome, we have no preference of genre --we're glad you are here, Joyce!

Lily: (new! Welcome)! I learned about you all from Facebook. I didn't bring anything today. I came to see how the meeting works. I'll being a painting next time!

Editor's note: We're glad you're here, Lily!

Thomas:  It's a challenge to get values right, especially when you are outside. I like to use the handle of a paintbrush as a guide. This Rosemary brush has a black you can hold it up to look at your subject and judge just how dark something is. You'll be surprised sometimes that something you thought was really dark is less dark compared to 100% black! (I like the brush handle better than those printed value cards). Also, for those of you who have smart phones...the face is black glass --so I use that to look at the subject ("backwards"). Many use a mirror to check their work, but this seems better to me, because it is one less thing to carry. I brought a painting I did in a boot factory during Plein Air Texas. 

Tim: My tip is use a brush at least 3 times larger than you think you need! Seriously, it works because you can't put in detail with a big brush. It takes a while to realize that big shapes are best. I painted this plein air this morning! (it is acrylic). Also, I am interested in doing a whole series of small birds. I just really like small birds! Here is a recent small bird painting. 

Dottie: I bought some Ray Mar panels and I wasn't all that happy with how "absorbent" they were. I got a tip (from Tim) to paint the entire surface of the panel with Titanium white. This is a painting I did on Sauvie Island. 

Jim: Someone once told me to stop holding onto my brush like I'm killing snakes with it (Laughter)!  I started holding the brush "lightly" and it made all the difference! Don't hold the brush like a sword, keep it loose. I painted yesterday with Tedd. It was super cold and we positioned the cars to help cut down the wind! It has been a busy week. I also did a commission. 

Tedd:  If your brushes have dried paint on them...soak them in Murphy's soap! I did these paintings recently. One at Unger Farm and one at Stoller vineyard. 

Jerry: I paint a painting and get the composition down....and then I scrape it off! (Then I "restate" the painting) I put the paint I scraped off into the center of my palette. On my palette I have warm paints on the left, the neutral (scraped off paint) in the center and the cools on the right side.  To separate the warms and cools like this helps me think the painting through! I am showing two recent paintings from the Malheur Wildlife refuge.

Tom K: My tip is about cleaning your brushes. You take a tennis ball and cut it in half. Instead of using the palm of your hand, you use the 1/2 tennis ball to loosen the paint. It works better than anything else.  

Ken: I use a paper towel to disrupt edges in my paint. Sometimes I'll "ruin" everything I've painted just to put it all back in again.  That's my process!

Geri: I paint a lot in acrylic. Most of the time I use a tupperware container for my paints...but every time I get a big pumpkin pie from Costco I save the container! (Laughter)! I tested it by putting acrylic in it and putting the cover back on top, leaving it over night. The paint was still great the next day. So I use this as an "adjunct" palette for when I have more than one project going at a time. At 
home we've installed a "hanging system" where the paintings can be suspended from a wire. This way we don't put holes in our walls and we can change the art just like in a Gallery. I am showing two recent paintings. 

Wendy: I've had issues with perspective --so I am showing measuring devices! I am also showing two pastel paintings. One I did recently in Susan's class. 

Peggie: I just recently organized my brushes at home. I put them into categories: big, medium and small! Why haven't I done that sooner? There is a Peter Brown trick where you use the edge of a panel to paint against to make a straight line. I am showing a painting that I did from life of models who wore authentic regency clothing. 


David McBride "field trip" to Jola Cafe (5915 SW Corbett Av) is next Wednesday Dec 12, 2-5pm (please note time change from previous communication) We meet at the cafe, look at Dave's work and then walk to his studio (very close by).

We're looking to organize a field trip also to Cinema 21 for the new van Gogh movie and also Edward Hopper at Portland Art Museum. Check on Facebook

Joyce Sloan is looking for Studio Space. (email:

Congratulations Yong Hong Zhong, Best of Show, Washington Plein Air

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).  Information to come (or email for information

Single Pose "Fine Art Friday" Figure session 
20 drop in fee
Fridays: 1 -4pm
Sept 7 - Dec 2
Join this “Fine Arts Friday” group.  Enjoy the company fellow artists, share art ideas.  Work in the drawing or painting medium of your choice. Clothed models with an occasional partial nude.
 contact instructor:, 503-752-3708 or OSA: 503-228-0706

OSA classes: Susan Kuznitsky and others

Contact Leslie Elder if you have an interest in painting the figure with her Wednesday group:

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

Za Vue's solo show at First Presbyterian Church (1200 SW Alder St, Portland, OR 97205) off of SW Alder St is up until Jan 2019

Raphael Schnepf will have work in the Clackamas Public Building beginning next Tuesday (specifics to come).

Next Thursday Meeting: French Quarter Thursday 9am Dec 13 Topic: Your "dream" destination (as it pertains to painting). If there were no obstacles, where in the world would you go painting (or simply just "visit" for museums and/or inspiration?)

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