Meeting Notes, MARCH 2014

At today's meeting Loretta, Joanne, Tim, Tedd, Steve, Za, Marty, Stan, Susan, Dave, Char, Kristina, Eunice, Suzanne, Brenda and me, Celeste.

Today's suggested table topic: competitions and juried shows ...your experiences?

(Comments on this subject are presented below anonymously and in random order)

I have been in tons of shows, juried and non-juried. Recently, I realize the scattershot approach may not be the best way. I am being more selective about shows this year....and more judicious. Rejection feels worse than it really is. Someone once told me that the strong hurt (and panic) that we feel when we are rejected is an evolutionary response. By way of explanation, when we were cave people we moved as a group and we certainly never wanted to be left behind to freeze by ourselves. “Acceptance” is intrinsic to our survival and somehow...we still feel that we'll be "left to die" if we aren't accepted. 

I showed at an art gallery for 23 years and then I moved to Portland. My work is now sometimes at art on Broadway and OSA. I do not submit to magazines. I realize that this is a logical “next step”...but I am not inclined to do it.

I have a love/hate relationship with juried shows. Sometimes I feel I have wasted money on applications if I am not accepted. I can have a bad attitude about it, but, I do have ambition! I'm not someone who wants to paint only for themselves. I want others to see what I I am aware that exhibits (both juried and non-juried) are necessary. 

I entered into a plein air event two years ago. I liked the experience; I made friends and I am happy to continue to be in regional plein air events. When I was a child and we played musical chairs I was mortified to think there would not be a chair for me! Sometimes I still feel that “mortification” (in terms of having my work judged unfavorably by others). All that said, I’ve made a firm decision to risk being in competitions and to cope with these feelings.

I used to show a lot and I don't show as much anymore. I might join in again.

I think you need a sense of humor in order to show your work in juried shows. My work has wound up in some really strange places. Once my painting was put in a dead spot directly behind an open door. Another time my painting was in a nice enough spot in the front of the building... but you couldn't possibly back up to see it! Despite this, I will continue to put my work in juried shows (with the full knowledge that I might not be happy).

I have tried to get my work into a juried show but I was rejected. I’ll try again. My work has improved, so I have a better chance next time.

I made it into a juried show, but my pieces were so small they looked weird. I have decided that next time I apply for a competition or juried show I will go bigger.

I don't have much experience with juried shows, however, I aspire to put my work into a juried show in the future.

My non-art-related career was extremely competitive. When it comes to painting I do not feel competitive. I really paint for myself and if I wind up in shows that will be fine, but (right now) it is not at all necessary.

I used to compete a lot years ago. I haven't been competing, but I have rejoined OSA and I plan on getting in some competitions in the future.

My view is that everyone needs to get out there! Personally, I've had hundreds of rejections. I recommend that artists become involved in things like the Yamhill Lavender Festival or the Hillsboro plein air show.  These are non-jury shows and a good segue into juried shows. If and when you are rejected, don't take it personally. For myself, I want to do national shows...but I know that they are really tough! It's important to look at all the opportunities available on RACC. An artist should get out there...share your vision with the world!

I agree... you should get out there. I just started two years ago. I've had a lot of success, but it has been nerve-racking as well as so much fun! My opinion is if you are an artist you should not just collect a closet full of your own paintings. Next year I want to expand my horizons and paint in other states. I'll be going to California this year and also I’ll compete in a big event on the east coast.

I thought of an analogy between skaters and artists while watching the Olympics this year. In speed skating it's very easy to see (and understand) who was the winner. Speed skating, of course, is completely measurable with a clock. It's less easy to see who is the winner in figure skating. That's how it is for us visual artists...we are like the figure skaters. We are judged like they are and it is subjective. I personally love competition. I really love it! I love painting in front of people.  This year I'm going back east to New York to a plein air event there. It is important to power through any types of rejection you feel and always make your best effort. Thicken your skin.

I just like to paint. I don't like to compete. If, however, I find myself in shows, I am very happy to be there. I am not looking for competitions or juried shows at this time.

I was accepted into one show and rejected in the other. I do understand that it takes many no-s before you'll reach a yes.

The most important thing that people seem to forget is to have fun...We should all be having fun and that should be our utmost goal!

Other notes:

Stan showed us a cool painting with palms.

Tedd had a great experience recently while painting the Lafayette Reservoir (in California). A young boy and his Dad happened upon Tedd  painting plein air and with his father's approval the boy spent hours (over two days' time) watching and Tedd allowed the boy to paint directly onto his painting too.  In the end the boy exclaimed ......."I've decided! I am going to be an artist!"

(Tedd's "panorama" painting was painted on three individual canvases and then connected/butted together; displayed as a unit in one long horizontal frame)

Tim shared a book with us about Shishkin.

Steve showed us a book about painting surfaces. 

Suzanne showed us her small sketchbook and told us that she has learned that Fine Art America can make a reproduction from any size. 

Joanne showed us a photo of her (on her phone) when she was very little in front of an easel. "It is my first memory of being completely happy!

Joanne also showed us a painting of her son that both she and her son worked on (as a collaboration) in her studio.

Thanks to all for coming out to see me (Celeste) and Mark Larsen at the SE Artwalk. Thanks for your encouragement and support!


Art extravaganza! is a tools and techniques trade show that will be held Tuesday, March 11, 2014. (Noon to 6 PM at Lakewood Center for the arts in Lake Oswego).

Paint it forward is an annual art experience for the students of Sitton elementary (one of the many Portland public schools that has limited access to art programs).
Paint it forward is looking for donations from local artists (your pieces will be gifted to students at the annual event). Please contact Jesse Woodcock at

Today is first Thursday! Johnny Luczycki will be giving a demonstration tonight at OSA. 
"Plein Air: Color Harmony and Edge Control"
Doors open / Critique at 6 PM,
Demo at 7 PM

The following Thursday Michael Orwick will give a demonstration at OSA.
Thursday March 13th
Michael Orwick,
"Bringing the Outside In"
Doors open at 10 AM,
Demo at 11 AM,
buffet lunch at 12:15 PM

Brenda Boylan has upcoming pastel workshops.  Check out the opportunities here:

Steve Kleier continues to teach classes at OSA on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. He teaches drawing techniques and watercolor. He will be at Art Extravaganza (see above) on Tuesday from 3 to 6 demonstrating drawing techniques with Derwent materials.

Za Vue workshops:

Field trip! Next Wednesday (March 12) you are invited to meet us at Cinema 21 at 4:45. We will watch the movie Tim’s Vermeer. Afterwards we will go to Elephants deli to have a discussion of the movie.

Thanks all for bringing in your art and ideas today. Next Meeting:
Thursday, March 13. Suggested topic: Seemingly un-art-related things that "inform" your painting.

Check out our facebook page for a message from  Brooks about upcoming paint out dates. 

Return to the front page; HERE

Meeting notes March 13, 2014

At today's meeting Loretta, Peggie, Tim, Tedd, Stephanie, Char, Diane, Vicki, Joanne, Lisa, Diane, Dave, Kay, Jim, Eunice, Claudia, (new person) Bonnie Rieser, and me, Celeste.

Today's suggested table topic: Seemingly un-art related things that inform your paintings or run parallel to painting. (It's a philosophical question).

Celeste: “Painting is like golf. When I golfed there was this unwritten law that you never left the driving range on a bad shot. Likewise, when I am painting, if I have a bad result, I will end the day with a decent sketch, just so I don't end the day on a sour note”. I brought a painting of clouds that I painted on a natural linen support.

Loretta provided these metaphors. “Painting is like trying to climb Mt Everest with a dinner fork, or trying to put out a forest fire with spit...or defying gravity and achieving escape velocity”.

Peggie brought in two paintings of cats. One was a black cat. The other was a cat sprawled out onto a Persian rug. The large Cat/Persian Rug painting was at Portland Art Museum rental gallery when a film crew for a Harrison Ford movie saw it and rented it. Peggie was surprised when she saw the movie that the painting was actually fashioned into the script.... When the camera zooms in on the painting Harrison Fords says, “My wife likes cats”. The movie is Extraordinary Measures

Tim: “Everything seems to parallel my art. To me the entire world seems to about painting and visa versa. I see paintings everywhere". Tim brought in a pallet knife landscape.

Tedd brought in a “panoramic” painting that he did in Lafayette, California. As he was painting the painting someone behind him said “Ahem”.  He turned around. It was a lady with a teapot and hot tea! She said, “I thought you might like some tea”. (He did!)  During the same painting session a German Shepard dog came and stood between Tedd’s legs...then the dog laid down and put his head on Tedd's foot! The dog stayed there a long time and Tedd enjoyed the company. Finally, (during this same session)  a man on a hang glider sailed right past Tedd and doubled back and sailed in front of him once more. You just can’t make these things up.

Stephanie:  “I have always been interested in light and color. I was a psychology major. I became a lighting designer. I know that light affects behavior and that there is scientific evidence the color and light affects people. I agree that everything in life seems to parallel painting". Stephanie also told us that she did a Hipbone workshop about visual expression and portraits. She was surprised how her feelings mirrored whatever the model was doing.  For example if the model looked sad ...she felt sad! Stephanie brought in two recent portraits.

Char paints in her backyard. She finds the flowers and birds very colorful and very inspiring for painting.

Sometimes when Diane (H) is painting the painting comes to her in lines. Conversely.... sometimes when she is writing lines she thinks of visual things. She read a beautiful William Stafford poem to us. She brought in a pastel landscape.

New person Bonnie Rieser is from the San Juan Islands. She was in Seattle recently for a painting class. Bonnie is “just visiting” but plans other visits to Portland in the future. She told us that during her commercial art professional life whenever she invested in something she found that she always inexplicably “needed” the very object that she had just invested in (to complete the project!) In other words, maybe everything unfolds, as it should.

Vicki is a schoolteacher. She draws inspiration from young people. They are always enthusiastic about painting and drawing. Recently, she did an art project with her students that involved owls. “You have to know something about owls before trying to represent them.  You have to always be learning about things when you're a painter."
Vicki brought in two landscapes.

Joanne: “During a very difficult time in my life I began painting dogs. I'd taken many photographs of dogs.... so I had a lot of reference material. During those hard times I made the dogs whimsical. That helped me!
Recently, I won a grant. The subject of my grant was/is “Community”. The name of my project/exhibit is: Northwest Neighbors; Who We Are. As part of the project I painted a portrait of  Judge Abraham. He was a paternal man and very well respected. (He had passed away and hundreds of people attended his funeral). As I painted him I realized it wasn't all together necessary to paint my own father ...because this painting (of the Judge) really serves as everyone’s Father. (It's a matter of "community)". Joanne showed us a painting on her phone as well as two other paintings.

Lisa:  “I left home at a young age and I've lived in many different places. I've lived several different lives! Each life has informed me about failing and starting over. Isn't this what the painting process teaches us too? I realize moving all over enriched my life is many ways”. Lisa brought in a painting of a landscape.

Diane thinks there is a parallel between hiking and painting. It has to do with solitude.  Diane grew up in an apartment. Maybe the confined space made her very observant. . She asks “What good is it to know the name of something without knowing its nature”? Something else she holds in her mind pursuant to painting is:  “You don't know what you don't know”. Diane brought in a painting of a bird’s nest that she's doing in a Flemish style.  She showed us a new book that she acquired about glazing. 

David believes there is a parallel between skiing and painting. He tell us that there is an expression in skiing: “no falls, no balls”. (If you're not risking your not learning). David brought in two paintings. One of St. John's Bridge. The other a somewhat made up landscape.

Kay: “I think that music informs my painting.  One time I really got into the music playing and I painted with the enthusiasm of the song. Later Kat visited and she said, “Oh my, look at the energy in this painting!” It was the very painting that I danced to while painting. While I was visiting Scottsdale recently I painted a painting in the desert. I don't usually use wet canvas carriers. I found a corrugated box company and they made a makeshift wet canvas carrier for me and I used clips to secure it for the travel home. I was happy with how my desert painting came out.... I don’t have concerns about whether anyone else likes it or not.  It is “my desert”.

Jim:  "My entire life has informed my art. I believe even the years when I was not being an artist informed my later paintings. I used to like abstract painting a lot. I did many of them and I enjoyed it. More recently, I'm more interested in people. I like to try to achieve what the people are about in the painting". Jim brought in a painting that is based on a recent Studio 30 study. He changed a lot about it.... to enhance interest.

Eunice has not been painting recently. However, she'll be back to it next week. "You have to have 400 paintings under your belt....before you can begin understanding things"!

Claudia: “I love taking photographs. I love taking photographs out of the window of the car when it is going 60 miles an hour. I just love taking pictures of lots and lots of different subjects. The sad thing is that I had years of pictures inside my camera and I lost my camera in Cabo. I have been grieving that!  I have recently taken a break from painting, but I will be back to it soon".


Studio 30 will have a man in a kilt as the model today. On Friday the model will be an Italian woman. The following week the inspiration will be a costume model in the theme of Mme. Agnew.

 Mike Orwick is giving a demonstration at OSA today. He is also giving a workshop this weekend. There are still some spots left. Contact OSA if you're interested.

Eunice thought we might enjoy this:

Several of us enjoyed yesterday's field trip to the movie Tim’s Vermeer at Cinema 21. Thanks to Tedd for thinking of the event. We had dinner at Elephants afterwards. We'll do more of this type thing in the future. It was great fun.

In the Movie Theater lobby

Also, congratulations to Tedd Chilless for first place in the OSA Juried show. Dave McBride got third place. I don't have all the other names of the winners yet. Congratulations, all.

This weekend, March 15, from 1 to 6 PM, Broderick Gallery will have a reception for a show entitled the private collection. This collection showcases paintings and prints by famous artists like Picasso, Dali, Kline, Diego Rivera and others.

Thanks everyone, for bringing your painting and ideas!

Next meeting: March 20---topic to be announced.

Meeting March 20, 2014 Notes:

At todays meeting: Loretta, Marty, Tim, Dave, Char, Tedd, Diane, Kristina, Claudia, Brenda, Jeanne, Susan, Jim, Eunice and me, Celeste.

Today's suggested table topic: Who is your favorite local artist? (Each participant defines “local” and “present company is excepted”).

Comments on this topic are anonymous and in random order.

My favorite artist is Za Vue. She is a wonderful teacher and a very humble person. She paints like a dream.

I agree. My favorite local artist is Za Vue. Her soul comes through and shows in her paintings. She likes the light ...and that also is apparent.

I have too many favorites locally. There are so many talented people in our region. Kat Sowa is my favorite. She has a beautiful spirit and she is remarkably talented.

I will second Kat Sowa

Cathleen Rehfeld is a great painter!

I can not say just one.  My favorite artists locally are in a tie: Craig Srebnik and Aimee Erickson.

I like an artist from Alaska. His name is Kesler Woodward. May I mention that my favorite local artist was also my own grandmother.

I cannot say just one. My favorite artists regionally are Anton PavlenkoJennifer Diehl, and Eric Bowman.

I am a big fan of Aimee Erickson.

My favorite local painter is Phyllis Trowbridge.

I collect paintings from many local painters. I like Eileen Kane.

My favorite Northwest painter is Eric Jacobson.

I like Michael GibbonsThomas KittsMichael Orwick and Kat Sowa

Other notes:

Celeste brought in a painting after a Russian artist.

 Loretta brought in a recent painting of a scene from memory.

Tim brought in an "experimental" landscape painting that was done predominately with naples yellow.

 Dave McBride showed us a special painting for an auction in May for the Alzheimer's Association (at the Portland Art Museum) . His painting was in response to another painting that was done by an Alzheimer's patient.

Tedd brought in a landscape painting.  He told us a story about a time (a long time ago) when he came home from plein air painting.... annoyed that someone had ruined his painting session by talking too much to him. Later, his young daughter presented Tedd with a shirt that she made for him. It read:  “Quiet! Daddy's Painting!” (We all laughed).

Diane showed us a new oil painting. She told us that she tried to capture the light in the atmosphere of a snow scene. (consensus: she succeeded)!

Kristina went to the coast last weekend and painted a coastal scene.

Claudia told us about a recent trip she took. Before she left she was very cold and the place that she traveled to was very hot. Two extremes.

Brenda has done two versions of a street scene in preparation for a demonstration she will be giving in Monterey at the plein air convention. This same painting has been accepted by the IAPS in Boston for a show. Very exciting. Congratulations, Brenda. Brenda has spots open in her pastel workshop, held May 2-4 at Studio 30. Check here for all the details:

Jeanne is back from having spent two months in Oaxaca, Mexico. She brought in three paintings, one landscape and two from Mexico. She told us that traveling with paints can be easy if you prepare properly. She took Gamblin paint (on the plane). In advance of her trip, she printed out all the information about Gamblin paints off of the Gamblin website. (Additionally....she had it translated into Spanish, so that there were no questions about the properties of the paints).

Susan brought in a pastel painting that she did of a Nun riding a bicycle. (She obtained express permission for use of the reference photograph).

Eunice showed us the results of her one-day workshop with Michael Orwick. Neither painting is for sale, because these paintings were done from Orwick’s photography. She gave Orwick high marks and wants to let us know that his drop in sessions are continuing on Thursdays at OSA.

Additionally, Eunice has learned that Getty Images has recently put scores of their photos up as free on their website. No copyrights apply. 

Next meeting Thursday, March 27. Suggested table topic: Local places, natural areas to paint that are interesting and safe. Places that aren't obvious.

Return to front page HERE

Meeting notes, March 27, 2014:

At todays meeting Eunice, Chris, Tim, Tedd, Jim, Kristina, Claudia, Peggie, Stephanie, Tim, Dave, Char, Mark, Diane, Jeanne, Kay, Marty, Loretta, and me Celeste.

Todays suggested table topic: Plen air painters (“safe”) locations....but the more off the beaten track the better. (alternately...Where do you like to paint)?

Celeste: I like to sometimes paint at the Sandy Delta Park. It is a dog park and that is the downside because it doesn't always smell great. However, there are nice country-type remote views there. It's a huge area and very easy to access. (I brought two paintings, one from the Sandy Delta Park and another I did during classes with Craig Srebnik).

Dave:  I have always like places on Sauvie Island however, I've painted there so often, I'm ready to find new places. I like to “scout” all the time and take my camera everywhere to gather ideas. Dave also really enjoys his own garage studio. He brought a painting of a construction site under a Bridge and a floral painting.

Char brought a painting of tree trunks with ”fauvist” colors.

Claudia: I like Highway 47 from Forest Grove to McMinnville. Anywhere where there are vineyards seem great to me!  I take a lot of photos and paint from photos.

Peggie: I like to paint flowers so I enjoy places like the Wooden Shoe Tulip farm and  Schreiners Gardens. I have a story to tell that is un-art related. A long time ago I lost a ring. Recently I was gardening (in a location far from where and when I lost the ring) the dirt I found a ring that was identical to the ring I lost!  Later...I put it together l.. my ring that I had lost so long ago had actually been stuck in a glove that I used for gardening (for all this time).  The ring must’ve fallen out of the glove into the dirt.  I was so happy to be reunited with my "puzzle" ring. I guess when I think of it the story IS related to art, because painting is about lost and found things ....(editors note: and oftentimes puzzling).

Stephanie: I like Portland Public Parks. I look for water generally to paint. I usually go with someone. I like Clackamette Park. Recently I went there by myself. No problems. Stephanie brought in a painting of Quinn Sweetman that she did at studio 30 and also a rock painting that she did from a photograph.

Tim (L): I like and recommend George Rogers park and Sauvie Island.

Eunice: I have paintings that I am working on I will finish them up soon. I want to tell you about a show at "The Allison". Michael Orwick is one of the painters represented there. There is reception 3/27/14 from 5 to 7 at the hotel. Details here:

Loretta: I do not paint outside. However, I am interested in painting outside!  Fanno Creek goes everywhere it is behind OES. You can also find Fanno Creek behind the Tigard library. I wouldn't go by myself, but I would be interested in going sometime with others. My favorite place to paint is in my studio at home. Everything is there. Oaks Park is another great idea of a place to go where there is plenty of security and interesting views.

Chris: I like George Rogers Park. They have clean bathrooms. Make sure if you go there you go all the way down into the parking lot, across the grassy area and down to the beach. Everything is really nice there... you cannot tell from the street how varied the views are. It looks only like a soccer field unless you investigate. I also like Luscher Farms. There are lots of views and a lot of big sky. At Luscher Farms they have sunflowers, buildings and scarecrows. The owners are welcoming and friendly. Chris brought in a painting from her 30 day challenge..she took the scene from a movie called My Life in Ruins.

Tim (Y):  My favorite place to paint is inside my head. I also like Kruger Farms at Sauvie Island. It's a great place with a lot of variety. Tim brought in a painting of "springtime".

(editors note): sorry, no link to inside Tim's head. 

Tedd: I have done a fair amount of plein air painting in California. Tedd brought in a recent painting from Sacramento of a silo. His absolute favorite place to paint is north of Seattle in the tulip fields. Skagit Valley:

Jim: I am not much of a plein air painter. I don’t have enough time! I have been doing mostly figures, but figures are a lot of work. It is hard to get everything just right. Recently I started painting some landscapes (from my own photo references). I noticed the big difference between the stress of painting a figure versus the painting of a landscape (landscapes are a more serene experience). Once a week I go out with the camera and look at places. I have recently painted a large sunset from my photograph. I am also working from a photograph taken at Kats studio of a western still life.

Kristina: I like the Chinook Landing. There is a fee to go there. It is five dollars per day. There are plenty of people; they're mostly fishermen. It is in Fairview. The fisherman leave you completely alone. I also like Rooster Rock State Park. The rangers are always around. I feel very safe there and there are wonderful views in all directions.

Diane:  Here is a list of some of the places I like (or want to go to).
Laurelhurst Park, Mt Tabor Park, Leach botanical gardens, Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, Reed College, Johnson Creek, Sellwood Park, Glen Otto park, a park close to elk rock in Milwaukee, and Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge. Diane brought in some paintings she painted inside her car south of Anchorage. 

Jeanne: I do like driving back-and-forth to the Oregon coast. I like the State Forestry Center (the visitor’s center). All the vineyards I’ve encountered (Newberg) are friendly and they like painters. Other places I like: Sauvie Island, Tillamook county, Knights park, Neskowin and Lincoln City. Bishops close. Jeanne brought in a painting done in Neskowin.

Kay: I like and Anne/Amie Carlton Vineyard. One time Scott Gellatly took us to Cooper Mountain as part of his workshop. That was a great place. Kay brought in a painting done from her very favorite spot .... on her couch! She also brought in some two and three value studies in her sketchbook done with markers.

Marty: I don't go out very much. I've been taking classes with Kat and she will be doing plein air classes at her farm in the near future. I'll be there! Marty brought in two paintings that he did with Kat in her class with a limited palette.

Mark: I like Government Cove. I also like Lewis River in Washington. I have had good success at the Lavender gardens. Mark brought in some paintings that he cropped with his tablesaw (to make better compositions)!  Mark made a point of saying that he appreciates the Alla prima Portland blog and that it is a great resource. (Thanks, Mark!)


Mark is going to organize a show at the Art Factors frame shop and all of the all of prima Portland painters are invited to submit one painting (up to 18x24 maximum size). This will be held in June at the same time as the Rose Festival. More details on this to come. (Thanks, Mark!)

 Sequoia Gallery Happenings:

Za Vue  will give a demonstration May 8 Sequoia Gallery the fee is $10. There is a waiting list for her workshop. 
There is a workshop with Sequoia Gallery with a woman who will teach you how to use your photographs to make paintings; it is May 10.  Gene Constanza (a premier painter) will give a Plein Air Workshop June 23 through June 26.  The ever-favorite/Popular Eric Jacobson will give a workshop in August.

Srebnik resumes classes

Free demonstration, "Painting Dancers" Monday, March 31 10 am at his Maryhurst studio location (please rsvp to Craig Srebnik)

Don't forget to check our Facebook page our Facebook page for updates/paint outs.

Thanks everyone for coming today and sharing your ideas and paintings. Next meeting is April 3. Suggested Table Topic: MORE about the center of interest! Bring a painting that shows either a bad example or a good example (or both)!

Return to front page HERE:

1 comment:

  1. Art IS like figure skating-much room for interpretation and artistic
    expression especially in the "Free Dance" style. The judging is
    very subjective at times. You have to find your voice, love what
    you do and find the right venue for your goals. Apply often….then
    forget about it once you send you things in…go on to the next one.
    I love reading your remarks this week and can feel much empathy
    in them all. Thanks for the share!!
    Nancy Klos