Meeting Notes, January 14, 2016

At today's meeting Tom, Loretta L, Tedd, Tim, Diane H, Lisa, Bill, Judith, Ward, Donna, Jeanne, Charlie, Annie, Za, Mike, Dave, Eunice, Debbie, Jerry, Diane M, Stephanie, Thomas, Loretta U, Claudia, Brenda, Jeanie, Eugenia and me, Celeste.

Today's suggested table topic: "Painting loosely"... what do you know about it, what has been your experience... do you aspire to do it? Tell us what you know.

Celeste: In the 70s I saw an art show that was photo real. At the time it blew me away and I thought "that's what I want to do". Now, with some experience, I know that photo real is the last thing I want to do. I have a natural tendency to be kind of a loose painter (laughter)! I brought in a painting that I did from Khanh's photo reference on Facebook. 

Eunice: I start out loose ...but then I get tighter and tighter! (Laughter)! I have started painting again after a bit of a layoff. I am taking an online class. I am using more paint in the painting I am currently doing.

Dave: I do admire photo real, but no... I don't want to do it for myself. I started writing the "story" of my painting on the back of my paintings...then I will repeat this on my website.  I brought in two paintings.

Mike: I am a former engineer so I find it a challenge to not paint in a tight manner. I am working on this! This topic absolutely speaks to me. I brought in my sketchbooks that show my progress. 

Za: I have been accused of being too loose (Laughter)! I am currently drawn much more to the abstract than I have ever been in the past. I like to lose edges and see where it all will go! I did this painting that I'm showing you of crashing waves when I was with Eric Jacobsen. This was the time that I man on the path "thanked" me for "sharing the land" with him. (Laughter)! (He apparently thought I had something to do with the ownership of the land where we were).
 My motto is ---experiment and "see where it goes".

Jeanne: I do admire loose application. I have been taking a class with Marc Andreas. He had us paint a master painting in a very unusual way. He had us get a piece of glass and then we were to make decisions about the master painting by line and value. We had to use just four values. Then we painted our design directly on the glass. Here is my results of my copy of a Diebenkorn painting. I am also showing you a painting that I did not long after that exercise from a life model. I am also showing you a copy of a Matisse painting that I did. These exercises with big shapes and few values have been useful! It has been too cold and rainy to go out plein air painting... this classroom work is helping me to see more.

Donna: I have not been painting. I prefer loose work, but I don't always do it. I like realism when it has an abstract edge to it. I just love that type of work. 

Debbie: I took a watercolor workshop with Janet Rogers. I love to move color around on paper. I believe I paint faster than most. We took a family trip recently and I am showing you two paintings. 

Ward: I am a watercolorist. Funny, I started as an iPad artist! Then I saw a Charles Reid article I was just wowed by him. I  love how he lets your mind fills n the gaps! I was also a photographer at one time and I believe that if you're going to paint like a photographer you may as well take a photograph! When I read Richard Schmid's book he talked about how the eye sees things so differently than how the photo camera takes a picture. I am showing a recent watercolor. If things work out I will be taking a Charles Reid workshop this year.

Jerry: I have a way for you to become loose right away. What you do is use a very big brush and paint on a very small panel! (laughter)!! I took the Scott Gellatly workshop. I am showing you the painting I did there. What was interesting was to be able to use different colors than I would have used under usual circumstances. Scott Gellatly provided the paint so I used plenty of paint! (Laughter)! We painted large...that was the point of the workshop, but a by-produce was to paint loosely.  I think that if you want to be more loose one of the very best things you can do is to use a palette knife. I brought in a book about Sanford Gifford. I saw his painting at the Seattle Art Museum. There is a section in this book that is titled: "An unfinished discussion on finish". Gifford was the "Godfather" of our Gifford Pinchot Natural areas.

Diane H:  I have been working on lessons and not liking them. My mind doesn't feel free when I am thinking too much-- I realize that becoming loose will work itself out. 

Judith: I'm trained (and like to) paint in a traditional I guess that might be considered tight. I am experimenting!

Stephanie: I don't like a fussy painting. I like an expressive painting I want to feel that the moment is caught in the paint. I do this better (I think)! with pen and ink and drawing. But I am working on "getting it" in paint. I brought in a painting that I did  that I painted over an old painting. It is a memory painting.

Lisa: I am aspiring to loosen up. ...and is a battle! (Laughter)! I like Carol Marine; she has influenced me! I love her small paintings where she only puts down a few strokes to tell the whole story. I brought in a small painting that I did recently.

Diane M: Studio 30 made me speed up. I had to paint in the amount of time that we had. I realize that sometimes I painted in a sloppy manner when I lost my focus. I am improving my way of seeing and what I know is that gesture equals life. At the museum I noticed that the smaller paintings were so lively... they were fresh, they are studies for the larger paintings. 

Tim: To paint loose or tight depends on my mood! And my larger paintings are done with bigger brushes, so that will always make them looser for sure.  I am showing a painting that I did recently. 

Brenda: When I was young I was motivated to do very tight renderings because that is what people liked! It has taken me a while to get away from that and now super tight paintings don't really speak to me. In my workshops we do timed exercises
 and it is fun! The quick draws that I am involved in at plein air shows are also great fun. You have to be able to paint super fast, frame it and get it where it is supposed to be is a very short amount of time. I am showing a 25 minute pastel demonstration that I did at my last workshop.

Joanne: What I generally do is paint on something and then scrape it down and paint over it again. Some of my loose painting comes from just been undecided! (Laughter)! Seriously, I like to work in a loose and tight manner on the same surface. Sometimes (in a portrait) the face will be in focus while everything else is thrown out of focus. It is important that you get the design down first before you make any decisions about how loose or how tight to be. I am showing recent paintings. 

Jeanie: I am uptight and my painting is uptight! (Laughter)! I have been painting something and it is a big painting. 

Tedd:  I spent 50 years being an architect! I am precise, but not tight. I brought in the color study that I did a while back.

Loretta: To be loose equates to a lot of energy to me. "Bigger" generally means "looser" to me.

Tom: I don't think that I'm exceptionally tight. I knew someone who is very realistic painter... and he confessed to me that he was OCD. (Laughter)! Myself...maybe I am ADD. I tend to forget things. For example, here I forgot to clean my brushes and I had to paint this (the painting I am showing) with a stiff brush. That "problem" probably made me paint looser then I would with a regular brush.

Loretta L: I am taking the same class that Jeanne Chamberlain is taking.  I am learning to get the construct right and to get the values right and then I can address being loose. I am showing my painting that I did on glass in the Andreas class. 

Claudia: My grandchildren are loose artists!  (Laughter)! I have noticed the way children develop their sense about art.
 It happens around third-grade where they really want to start making things look representational. One of my grandchildren even said that abstract work looked "messy" to him! We are sometimes shaped by our desires to make things look real. I like how Za, Joanne and Sarah (Segwick) paint in such a loose manner. I have taken Sarah's class and it's interesting how she has her class start with 25 strokes than 20 strokes and then 15 strokes to describe the same thing. You learn that it doesn't take many strokes to accurately describe something! T

Thomas: I brought in two compact Strada easels for Brenda to borrow for an important upcoming trip.  These easels were in the freezer for months but the paint is still usable! (After months and months)!  Richard Schmid said that "Loose is how a painting looks not how it is made"! I think maybe we should we call ourselves TPA (Tight Painters Anonymous)! (Laughter)! Maybe we can be in recovery... But, seriously,  it is a natural progression as of an artist. The more experience you get the more you don't want your work to look too tightened down. I recommend that you avoid a "clear outline" of anything. Look at plein-air and see the variety of edges and brushstrokes there.  I'm noticing that some artists on the plein air circuit are trying to get more and more abstract. And it is interesting because the audience might not be that informed. But still the artists are wanting to take risks like that.  Have a look at an artist named Charlie Hunter. He is breaking some of the rules! He paints in in a monochromatic way and sort of tight and loose! Carolyn Anderson paints "across" any subject. What I mean by that is she paints not in just one area--she moves all around the canvas across the canvas. I really recommend that you try that as an exercise. Think about stopping a painting before you "think" of it as complete. I am showing three recent paintings.

Carolyn Anderson:


The Sequoia Gallery workshops:

(Joanne will supply all of the supplies at the workshop this weekend).

Brenda Boylan's workshop at Sequoia will be in March

Ward recommends a Ted talk about beauty:

Joanne says that Mark Andres class at PCC with the model can be taken if you are over the age of 65 as an audit class.

Charlie: the Portland Urban sketchers are going to be at the Union Station this Saturday.

Donna: Art on the Broadway has a new show. Gretha will be giving some classes. There is a landscape painter at Art on Broadway that Donna recommends. There are show opportunities at the Gallery:

Tedd: There is a helpful app for ISSUU. You can find great books there!

Thomas: There is a big blog post coming up on my blog about his website and a new feature called "Ask the Artist" where Thomas be able to video conference with interested students.

Some of the sketchers went to Medley to today the results are here.

Thank you to everyone for coming today to share your ideas and paintings. It was probably a record-setting day for attendance! Thank you everyone for being such great participants. Next meeting January 21 suggested table topic: "All over Pattern paintings" (Sometimes referred to as Equivalized paintings) ---Have you done anything like an all over pattern painting? If yes, what was your experience? If not....why not? Lets discuss!

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