Meeting Notes, Feb 19, 2015

At today's meeting: Loretta,  Peggie, Tim, Linda Noval (new), Kristina, Kay, Stephanie, Lisa, Diane, Jerry, Diane H, Dave, Hilarie, Eunice, Kathy, Barbara, Claudia, Annie, and me Celeste. Today's suggested table topic: Interpreting photographs for paintings. What has been your experience?

Celeste:  When I first started painting I didn't realize then that photographs "lie" to you. I have since learned from painting outdoors...and I am better at recognizing how light falls onto an object.  I learned from Dave McBride that it is helpful to paint from a an iPad, because it is more like how we see the world (with the light coming into your eyes, instead of how a photo print looks). . I brought in two paintings that I did from photo references. 

Tim:  I use photographs and I am aware that the sky always looks overexposed! I like playing with the shadows from a photo.  I did this painting that I brought in purely for fun!

Linda: I am new this is my first time here. (Welcome, Linda)! My husband and I have a boat. We  have been many places --great places (like the white cliffs of Dover)! So I have lots of pictures that I would like to interpret into paintings. 

Kristina: I love working from photos, but I do have some rules associated with it. I only use my own source material (or my husbands). I will often paint quickly after the photograph is taken and use my memory of the experience.  Crappy photos are okay with me a matter of fact sometimes I sometimes prefer a crappy photograph. I brought in a large (and tall) painting that I did from a photo of my trip to Italy. 

Kathy: I do paint from photos and if I can turn it into black and white... all the better. I use Photoshop so that I can see and change the shadows. I have been taking Jennifer Diehl's workshop. I brought in a painting from her class. She has been teaching me to paint faster. 

Kay: Some of my best work has been from photographs. I like figures in the landscape and I also like them to be doing something. I like gestural figures. It's this combo deal that I like.  It works the best for me to draw the figure in pencil.  I have paintings that are going to go into the OSA Concordia College show (the 8 x 8 show). The reception is on Saturday at Concordia College 6:30-10pm.  I brought in paintings for that show. 

Stephanie:  I sometimes print out in black-and-white and purposefully make a bad print. I feel freer to change it and work from it that way. I also work from drawings. Shadows (of course) are too hard edged in photographs so you have to draw from your own (outdoor and from life) experience. I brought in a painting from studio 30. I also brought in a painting I did from a magazine ad. I changed it significantly. 

Annie: I will pass today  

Claudia: I take photos all the time. My family gives me kind of a hard time about it. I even take photographs while I'm driving (laughter)! I like the blur that I get when I am in motion. The blur helps me to not think to "statically".

 Barbara: I brought in a framed pastel painting that was an interpretation of a photograph from several years ago. This painting has hung in my husband's office. I brought in some paintings that will be in the OSA Concordia College show. They are all interpretations of photos that I have taken. 

Diane: I'll admit it. I have problems with photographs. They just look so dead to me. The camera thinks everything is middle of gray. I suggest that you bracket your photographs that you have a range. 

Lisa: I am showing a painting that I did recently from a photograph. I "lifted" a salt shaker from a different paragraph to add to this composition. If you're going to do that you have to be careful, however, that your lighting (in both photos) are similar. Painting from the photograph is a challenge for me because I get sucked into the details and that is murderous for me. Photos are both good news and bad news. 

Diane: I am a shameless photographer-- in other words I just photograph a lot of things. At Studio 30 I can't see the model (even if I am close to her). I take photos of her so that I can really see the planes of her face. I brought in a painting that I did at Studio 30. It is good in a lot of ways, the color are right. I also did a second version while he was sitting on my couch. I don't really recommend that you sit on your couch to paint a painting (laughter)!  I did learn a lot from this experience as well. Recently Thomas Kitts put a studio painting and a plein air painting side-by-side on Facebook and asked us to choose which one was which. I did choose the correct one for the plein air. There was just something about it that let me know that it was painted on the spot. I brought in 3 paintings.

Jerry: I paint from photographs, but they have to be personal. If it's not part of my experience then the emotion won't be there. I also do a sketch before I do the final painting. I put both the photo and the sketch away after I am finished with the painting. I don't look at them again. Photographs are just another tool just like any other tool. I am showing a painting I did and the photograph I worked from.

Betsy: This is a painting I did of the Grand Canyon of Maui. I did it from a photograph. I also was involved in a project where one of my paintings was auctioned of a garden. That meant that I had to go to the garden and I had to photograph it and paint from those photographs. I took several photographs in a panoramic style in order to get the look of the entire garden. 

Dave: When I go plein air painting I begin by taking a photo with my iPhone  This is how I always start out. I get the composition and the lighting I want in an iPhone photograph and I email it to myself. Later, I may use the photo on the iPad. I brought in a painting that I did from another painting. 

Hilarie: When I first started painting I painted in the "big eyes" style. (laughter)! I used pastel in the very beginning. With experience now, I don't think you can paint from photographs without having painted from life. I took a workshop with Ned Mueller. He gave me "permission" to change the photographs that I was using. He taught us to take something from one photograph and another photograph and put it into the same composition. For me, during that class a light bulb went off. I understood (finally) that I can edit. 

Eunice: I do work from photographs. There is a painting here at O'Connor's on the wall that I did from the photograph. But I also like to paint from life. Most my still life paintings are from life.  I am working on a sunflower painting. 

Loretta: I don't have much to add to this conversation except to say that if I do use a photograph it is to jumpstart my imagination. I will only look at it from once or twice...then I will take off and paint my own painting based on the photo as a springboard for the idea. 

PeggIe: I agree with everything that's been said so far. I want to show you how I painted this painting of a horse and her colt
The photos that I took were not really right compositionally, so what I wound up doing was cutting the horses out of one print and inserting them in another. I then did a grid. My end composition was a "composite" of two photos. Also I am bringing in two paintings that I did in Jennifer Diehl's workshop. 


 Please sign up for the model session on Friday. If we don't have enough participants the session will be canceled. (Still life in the morning doesn't have a minimum count required).

Kathy: I am helping put together the lavender festival this year. It will no longer be in Yamhill.. it is moving to Newberg and it will be a bigger show. There will be more information on this. I will send it out to Celeste. It will be the second week in July. You will have the previous two weeks in July to paint and you'll need to have the list of places to paint. 

Eileen Holtzman sends us some information about the Troutdale at art Center. it is available for renting studios. If you want to know more about this you can can you can reach Allison Brown at 503-515-5673. Also Eileen Holtzman is teaching origami at the Springwater studio. You can register at

Next Thursday Steve Kleier (Feb 26) will be giving a demonstration at Sequoia. There are many classes and opportunities at Sequoia Gallery here is the link:

The love of Portland show at People's Art Gallery will have a reception.  There are many of "our" artists involved in the love of Portland show. "4th Annual Love of Portland Art Show“ 
Reception: Saturday, February 21. 5-9pm. 
Show runs February 21 – March 15, 2015 
Peoples art of Portland - 700 SW Fifth (3rd floor) People's is Suite 4005

the CAP Auction is coming up. March 4 is the drop off date. here is the link.!art-procurement/c1r5a

 The reception is on Saturday at Concordia University for the OSA 8x8 Concordia University show (the 8 x 8 show).6:30-10pm. 

The Thursday Drawing Club met today. We meant to go to the French Quarter but their doors were locked. We went back to our old standby Medley Tea. We are going to make Medley Tea our headquarters in the future. The photos from today are in the slideshow on the front page.

Thank you for bringing in your paintings and ideas today! 

Next Meeting: Thursday Feb 26 Suggested Table Topic: Night painting/Nocturnes...have you painted in the dark? What has been your experience? (and if you have not done a Nocturne....have you thought about it)? What about Nocturnes in general that others have done..what do you think about them?

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