Meeting notes, March 2, 2017

At today’s meeting Loretta, Thomas, Tim, Jim, Sandy, Ward, Kathy, Susan, Yong, Dotty, Elo, Joanne T, Jeanie, Mary, Tom K, Kristina, Geri, Lisa, Diane, Anna, Joanne K, Mike and me Celeste.

Suggested table topic: Brushes your current favorite ---tell us anything you want to about brushes and/or palette knives.

Celeste: I have just recently discovered an artist named Herman Pekel. I watched a DVD where he painted in Australia and he used really crappy brushes.  (Laughter)! He uses big brushes that are worn out and he makes them work so expressively. I was inspired by this and I tried it for myself with big brushes. I am showing recent “daily” paintings.

Dotty: Robert Simmons signet brushes are my favorites. They last the longest and I like the flats. I have bought one dollar brushes at the hardware store. Those kind of brushes are great for indicating grass. I am showing a recent pastel that I did as a demonstration at Dick Blick’s.

Joanne T:  I have just graduated to using better canvases-- I am not up to speed yet on what kind of brushes I should really be using! (Laughter)! Tim Horn recommended Utrecht 202. I hear a lot about Rosemary brushes and I will (I'm sure) purchase some of those someday. I am showing paintings that I did from photo references.

Yong: I do happen to have my watercolor brushes with me---because I paint a lot in my car. I have had some of these brushes for a very long time. Some of them are very cheap! I like calligraphy brushes. There are some brushes that I use for detail and some other brushes are used for a wide stroke. I do 40 to 50% of the whole painting with this brush right here. I got this brush in high school and I still have it and use it.  For oil painting I use Robert Simmons brushes a lot, but I sometimes don’t clean them! (Laughter)! I am not picky. Think about this---sometimes results does not have so much to do with the brushes…… (people can make wonderful paintings with bad brushes---what does that tell you)! (Laughter)! I am showing a painting that I happen to have with me that I am giving to an organization as a donation and also a recent watercolor.

Susan: I like Rosemary ivory flats. I think they're also called ebony? I'm not a brand groupie. I go to “I've been framed” and I get off brand paint brushes there. Recently I took some of my old oil paint into I've been framed for store credit.. (They re-sell it).  For pastels I use cheap brushes to put in the initial color wash because sanded paper will ruin your brushes. I’m showing two recent paintings.

 Kathy: When I think of a “favorite” brush I think about my $52 brush that I don’t want to use! (Laughter)! I like things like toothbrushes and Q-tips ---anything that will provide texture. I’m showing a painting that I did recently of my grand-kitty.

Ward: I think what Yong said is exactly right! If you were shipwrecked somewhere you'd learn to just use whatever there was there as a brush! The brushes are not as important as we think. I do have a very favorite brush that is called Alvaro it's a big bellied strong pointed brush. I always use it for my signature –it is a joy to use.
My favorite knife is a credit card. I am showing a recent painting that I did of a giraffe. I will paint this one again because I liked painting it so much. Also, the painting that I have here on the wall in O’Connors was painted for a friend of mine who has recently moved into hospice. (How valuable our time together is!)

Geri: I don't know how many of you are familiar with this… This is a portable water brush. You fill it with water and can take it anywhere (like in your purse)! It is great for moving  inks or color on paper. I am showing a painting that I did recently on a teabag. I am beginning a project where I will paint on a teabag every day. I like how the teabag accepts ink and color…(and it is fun to have to drink the tea)! Laughter!

Sandy: I have been taking classes in watercolor. I have enjoyed working with brusho and coffee grounds. I am showing two recent paintings.  I also wanted to show you a couple of paintings that belong in my family. These were done by relatives. This one is considered “folk art”. It was done in the 1950s. This other seems to possibly be colored pencil and was done also a long time ago. I just thought you might be interested in seeing these pieces. (Editors note: yes, thanks, Sandy!  photos are at the end of these notes)

Jim: I like Robert Simmons platinum flats. They seem to last forever. I want to order some Rosemary brushes. I like working with the palette knife. The palette knife makes my work more loose. You can’t control the palette knife like you can a brush, so you’ll get some effects you do not expect. Also Ward’s watercolor class has helped me to loosen up also with oils! I have been doing the daily painting project on Facebook. I’ve been painting from life. Recently Sandy and I went to the beach for our 45th anniversary (applause)! I am showing some watercolor paintings I did there.

Tom: This topic has me thinking about the other topic we had where you could ask an artist from the past a question. I was thinking about Jackson Pollock and how he was famous for saying “I deny the accent”. But that's not true…his work still has accents (even though it is meant to be random).  I am connected to the palette knife. No matter how intentional you will be there will be what is called the happy accident with a palette knife! The artist Turner is said to have started the work with a small brush and ended with a great big brush for flourish. All of his paintings were dramatic. I did not bring a painting this time.

Elo: I took a online class and the teacher recommended a Princeton sharp edge paint brush…very useful if you want to do that type of exacting work. Carol Marine recommends a brush in her book called silver. She uses brights. I prefer the flats. I bought something called Princeton catalyst and I wasn’t fond of that. You should not really use a cheap palette knife because they don’t clean up properly. RGM is a quality knife and Dick Blick has one that is the same as RGM. I’ve been taking classes with Jennifer Diehl. I am showing two recent paintings. One is from Jennifer’s metal class and I painted the dog for a friend of mine.

Tim: For plein air I will grind out one side of a pallet knife so that one side is really sharp. I will use absolutely any brush that is available. I am showing a painting I did from a photo reference of a crane. I took the photo…and I felt so honored (that the bird let me get this close for the photo). The other painting is from Rooster Rock.

Anna: I have too many brushes and I use too many brushes! (Laughter)! I just started using bristle brushes about four years ago. Prior to that I was using sables. I like broken edges and I buy brushes at Blick. I buy professional synthetics. For palette knife I like the line long diamond shape. I like the teardrop shape as well. Thomas taught me to use palette knife to keep certain colors very clean. You use the pallete knife to mix the colors instead of using a brush. I’m showing two recent paintings.

 Diane: I like the feel of sable, but they don’t last. I like flats. I did this painting just last night.

Lisa: I have an old black and white boar bristle brush that’s a favorite. All these years later it is in wonderful condition. I love using it. Almost all my paintbrushes are filberts. I had a teacher who used a cat tongue filbert for highlights. It goes into a really sharp point. I use that often…like for the highlight in an eye. This is a painting I did from Tim’s photo reference (thank you Tim) and also I am giving myself assignments to paint glass and metal. These are all recent paintings.

Annie: James Gurney did a blog post one time on how he had to paint with a twig. What he painted was fabulous, of course. The consistency of the paint seems to matter the most to me (not the brush). I am showing a painting that I did and also a second painting that I did of the same scene using the golden mean. It got me closer to the scene. I don’t know which of these I like better. I attended a story-telling class recently. The teacher had us put down some random paint shapes and then write a caption to it.  If you consider doing something like that it will become a performance piece in a way. It enriches the experience.  I felt more meaning in what I was doing.

Kristina: I have brought some Rosemary bushes to show you ---they are brand-new. I will pass them around. (Interjected: “Are you sure you'll get them back?”) (laughter)! The thing about Rosemary brushes is that they seem to last forever and never fray, so I'm not quite sure when I’ll use these new ones. My other Rosemary brushes are just as they were when I bought them.. I may go ahead and use these for a plein air event. This is a little off topic, but I wanted to show you something that was given to me that is an absolute life-changing thing (Kristina holds up a metal paint wringer) (laughter! applause)! I am showing a painting that I did of an anti-social lady in Italy. This poor woman just wanted to be by herself ---but there I am taking pictures of her and then painting her.... destroying her anonymity (laughter)!

Mary: Someone once laughed at me because I asked what kind of brush they were using. I don't know why they laughed at me, but they did. There is that golf club analogy. A lot of golfers think that the answer is in the golf club.. but the answer is in the golfer! (Laughter)! I’m fond of the fan brush. And I like a palette knife for using more paint. I am showing a new painting. I like doors and doorways-- I might do a series of them.

Jeanie: I have palette knives that are 42 years old. I have things that were given to me and also I have inherited some things. I like the Rosemary synthetics and Roberts Simmons brushes and I also like $1.99 brushes. I like the “bad brushes! I am currently working on a large painting.

Joanne: I like the teardrop palette knife that I just bought at Muse! (I've just come from the Muse store closing sale). I like the Princeton Silverbrush and I will go to a house brush type thing if I want to cover a lot of canvas in an expressive way. I like the Egbert. In workshops the teacher will always want you to use the brush is on their list. I recommend you follow those lists when they give them to you! (You’ll better understand them and what they are teaching if you use their tools).  Recently I facilitated the Aimee Erickson workshop. I got to do this painting in her workshop.

Thomas: I am back from Mexico! I missed you all! (Laughter)! (Editors Note: We missed you too!) I get to paint with a guy named Billy O’Donnell. He is on the circuit and his nickname is Billy-o. He said something that really stuck with me: “If you use more than two or three brushes you’re insecure”. Well, ok I guess I am a little insecure... but I get his point. Because you can use a brush --just one brush in so many different ways that it is almost like having 4 brushes. You can use the corner of the brush --you can roll it in different directions. There are endless things that you can do with one brush that will emulate many different brushes. Just try to use the biggest brush that you have that will get the job done. Sometime ago I started really thinking about surface quality instead of trying to “render” everything. I am a big advocate for the Rosemary brush. The ivory line is indestructible. The mongoose brush is a favorite but it is not sold in the United States. If I were on a desert island I would want a filbert.  When people say that they make a flat into a filbert…they are missing something about the original brush. All brushes have “flags” –that is what picks up the paint. When the brush is worn the flag is missing. I was painting with Roos Schuring one time and I didn’t have my brushes. I asked her if I could borrow one of her brushes and she dug around in her kit and gave me a purely horrible miserable brush (laughter)! But I learned a lot that day (from that brush). It was a good experience. I recommend the Brushwork Essentials book
 I am showing a recent painting.


Tonight demonstration with Scott Johnson OSA (7pm)

Next Thursday (March 9) Demonstration Joanne Radmilovich Kollman 11am

Art on the Boulevard Michael Lindstrom Impassioned First Friday

Painting drawing March Facebook challenge

Susan Kuznitsky pastel workshop March 11 and 12 one spot left
Max Ginsburg Workshop (April) OSA

OSA juried show Saturday take in

The moment you have been waiting for! The Prospectus for the 13th Annual Plein Air Event at Maryhill Museum of Art in Goldendale WA is open for application! Details are listed in the prospectus! Mike Hernandez will be the Juror and workshop artist for this year! painting below by Mike Hernandez.

 Anna Lancaster at Celebration of Creativity March 2-5

 Muse store closing

 Hilarie Couture Fort Vancouver talk this Saturday

Joanne Kollman Friday life session with Catherine Friday 1-4 pm

Susan Kuznitsky, Michael Orwick, Ward Stroud, Brenda Boylan, Joanne Kollman and others classes at OSA:

Joe Paquet is going to have a workshop at OSA in a year
 It will be a seven day workshop (Feb 2018)

Thomas Kitts Florence plein air September 9-16
 Oregon outdoor workshop dates will go up late June July and August

Our friend Mark David Larsen's paintings for sale n the SE Artwork (Mark passed away in October)

The Drawing Studio: 3614 SE Division St
Portland, OR 97202

Thanks to everyone for the wonderful surprise today (the group presented Celeste with a new Strada easel and a gift certificate).  Just a fantastic surprise---!

Next Meeting March 9, suggested table topic is: "Color studies"--have you done a color study prior to the "real" painting? If yes, why...if no, why? What has been your experience with Color Studies?

Syfert family (heirloom) art:

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