Today's suggested table topic: negative space. Do you think about negative space when you are painting? Tell us what you know about it!
Celeste: I recently read a book about the yin and yang of painting. You can't have up without down, you can't have left without right, you can't have warm without cool and so on. The author puts forth that a good painting incorporates all those type things and positive and negative too. I brought in a painting that I recently changed. I changed it by "carving" into the figure (with negative space). I also brought in a painting I did directly on top of my sketchbook.
Eunice: I think about negative space always and most especially when I paint trees. Trees will look like lollipops unless you account for the negative spaces....the branches and leaves etc. I have obtained some photos from Smith rock and I've been painting from them. I will bring them in next time. I want to recommend a new app I learned about it's called Skelly. It is for figure painters.
Tedd: I brought in a portrait that I did as a demo for my student. It shows the negative space. I also brought in a painting that a student did of me while I was painting.
Bill: I brought in two paintings that I did from Hipbone studio. You can't do the figure without considering negative space! I also brought in a painting of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Mike: I brought in the book "Drawing on the right side of the brain" by Betty Edwards. I will read a section to you about negative space. Looking at the negative space will help you to define the positive space. We all know this from drawing classes that when you're drawing a chair it is classic to look at the spaces between the rungs to draw those rather than the rungs themselves. This subject is a good reminder for all of us!
Khanh, I have just come off 14 hours of working in the emergency room. (Applause)! I brought in several of my most recent nude paintings that I do from reference photos on the Internet. I wrote up a instructional account of what I have learned from these most recent paintings on my blog. I also did a video a while back of a painting like this. I brought in two plein air paintings that I did recently. I do pay a lot of attention to negative space...especially in the figure.
Marty: I know negative space is important. I do think about it. brought in an urban scene painting that I painted from a reference.
Jim: I have not been painting recently. I have been concentrating a great deal on drawing. I did bring in paintings today that illustrate how much I do think about negative spaces. In several of these I adopted a playful/creative attitude about the background. I used big and small areas of texture. In this one I put in a design. In this one there were some props that I incorporated into the background. I used a knife for a lot of these backgrounds. Knife work will give vitality to a painting.
Susan: I teach about negative space to young people in my classes. The ages of my students are often 3rd to 5th grade. I show them how important it is to understand that the space around something. It's wonderful for me to have to teach this to others because then it is drilled into my own head. I brought in some paintings from my students to show you how well they understand the concept of negative space! Also, recently I went to the Hulda Klager Gardens in Washington. It is a lilac garden. I did a plein air painting there.
Vicki: I brought in a black-and-white painting. I submitted this to the Torret grey contest (Gamblin). Black-and-white makes it easier to see negative space even better. I know that using a piece of red plastic to look at values is very helpful. I also brought in two "summer" paintings. I painted over something from before and I allowed some of the previous painting to show through. I like how it came out.
Annie: I learned drawing from learning about negative space. I had a teacher who helped me to absorb this. I did a oil sketch at Sauvie Island. I also brought in a second painting...of deer.
Nancy: I know that negative space has to do with relationships from one thing to another. I brought in a class project that I did. It is a master copy of Degas. As I followed along with what he painted I became more aware of negative space. I went to Eric Jacobsen's workshop. I also have been in Anton's class. I brought in two plein airs.
Claudia: when Kevin Macpherson was here to paint a demonstration he painted the St. John's bridge. He painted the bridge by painting negative spaces.
Za: Last year I took a workshop with Katherine Stats. What she taught was about clustering the lights and darks... she teaches you about not thinking about objects anymore. I brought into exercises from her class. (Editors note: sorry I did not get to photograph one of Za's paintings).
Pam Edwards: I am new here today. (Welcome Pam)! (I am married to Tom Clark). I wanted to come with him today! I brought in two paintings. One is of Monterey and one is a floral.
Tom: I brought in a painting of my father-in-law. It is pretty big and heavy so I won't pass it around. This painting is good for today's topic because the negative space around my father-in-law really tells the story. It is a "biographical" painting commemorating a cross-country trip he took as a younger man in a sports car decades ago. When I painted the background I was aware of where he went on his trip ... I meant to indicate that location with warm color.
Marty D: I have learned about negative space from the Portland Art Museum! I know that black-and-white really shows negative space easily.
Brenda: If I am struggling with the painting I usually can go to the negative space to see how to solve the problem. The more we paint the more intuitive we become. I just finished teaching a composition class last week. The painting that I have brought in is from my demonstration for the class.
Joanne: I recently painted a portrait from life. I used a new surface. It is linen on aluminum. It is triple primed. I learned about it at the portrait conference in Atlanta. It is an expensive surface but I decided to paint with it on last Monday. I thought go for it! I also brought in a new brush to show you from Rosemary brushes. This is different than the brush I am used to. I brought in my portfolio* that includes my portrait of Father Murphy. This painting is installed at Beaverton City Hall. There is a ribbon-cutting and the reception is tonight. *(Editor's note: Joanne got to show her portfolio to Max Ginsberg at the portrait conference...what a great experience)! Congratulations, Joanne!
Tristan: (welcome Tristan)!: I am new to art and just becoming aware of things like negative space. I am studying 10 hours a day because I am passionate about learning everything I can. I view negative space as sort of like a measuring tool. It is another tool, like squinting when you need to see the masses. I didn't bring any in anything today. Some of my work is digital. I will bring in something next time!
Steve: I look at negative space in two different ways. I first do a composition in line and then after I have that down I go back and look at the negative space and make sure that it is clear. Negative space has just as much validity as positive space. It should be given just as much attention as anything positive. I teach a drawing class. I brought in a drawing and a watercolor.
Charlie: There is an anthropologist named Bios who who wrote a dissertation on Northwest Indians.Different cultures "see" the same thing all together differently. I brought in a small piece...where I tried to catch something from a dream that I had.
Tim: I went out to investigate a noise at my house.... I discovered this little bird had flown into our window. It jumped right into my hand! It was such a remarkable thing. I photographed the little bird. He was apparently a little stunned... but then he was fine and he flew away. I facebooked all this. I'm showing the painting I recently did of the bird.
Diane: I am recovering graphic artist. (Laughter)! When you are graphic artist you learn about negative space. There is a real emphasis put on it. It is so critical. I use my knowledge of negative space now in my endeavors with fine art. I brought in the painting that I did in Joanne Mehl's workshop. I like Fechin. I like how he allows his underpainting to show.
Announcements and other notes:
Lavender Festival http://www.oregonlavenderdestinations.com/artists.php
Brenda Boylan Plein Air workshop June 25-28
Marty has gotten the new Ned Mueller instruction and he is very positive about it.
We are working to try to get Ned Mueller to come to Portland to give a workshop.
Claudia tells us that she is working on the Sequoia plein air show. It will be October 1 2 3 and 4. Put it on your calendar! The focus will be on selling artist work. Two days of this plein air event will take place at Pumpkin Ridge golf course. You'll be allowed to paint in other excellent places. There will be a Nocturne and a quick draw. Za is the juror.
Sarah Sedwick is giving a workshop at Sequoia Gallery June 5 6 and 7. She is featured in Carol Marine's daily painting book.
Za has a workshop September 26 and 27 plein air and October 24 and 25
Diane tells us that studio 30 is over for the summer. Brenda led us in a big thank you to Diane Marks-Bestor for all the work that she did this year for studio 30.
Jim King is going to go to the Tilbury event that takes place on May 9. Here is a link to that event. Jim went before and said is really marvelous for figure painting as well as landscape... it's just a beautiful event well worth the $65 charge.
Here are some paintings Jim did at Tilbury a few years ago:
Tedd: I have found a wonderful resource for plywood to do my paintings on. It's called crosscut hardware. I bought a 60 x 60 x 1/8 board and it was $17. It's very lightweight and I highly recommend it.
Khanh: I wanted to show you my plein air brush carrier. I made it ...it's looks like a pipe bomb and that is why I wrote "artist brushes" on the side. (Laughter)!
Broderick Gallery call to artists: http://www.racc.org/resources/call-regional-art-wa
Steve: I will be giving a demonstration first Thursday tonight. It is called my journey in watercolor. Is about all my influences in watercolor. OSA
Susan: I will be giving a demonstration at OSA June 11. My demonstration/talk is about pastel.
Za will be offering weekend workshops with a model in the future. They will be limited and will be announced. It will be first come first served.http://www.yerzavue.com
Za brought in her award from the Olmstead event to share it with us!...it is a beautiful glass curved trophy for best figure in the landscape. She also shared the catalog with us. Congratulations, again, Za... !
Joanne: the students I've been working with are representing their show exhibit tonight 5-7 at the library on Killingsworth. I will be giving a workshop in Woodland Washington in June.
You can find a list of workshops on the Painting Workshops 2015 Facebook page:
Facebook pages (about paint outs, etc) you may want to join:
We had some new people come for sketching at Medley Tea with us---Good to see you Susan Putnam-Jensen, Marty D and Tristan Hodges
Next meeting May 14 suggested table topic: High Key...(a high key painting is one that is primarily light). Have you painted in High Key....(and if not...why not and have you wanted to)? Tell us what you know (or don't know) about High Key.