Meeting Notes, November 17, 2016

At today’s meeting Loretta,  Thomas, Jeanie, Annie, Kristina, Nancy, Jerry, Stephanie, Christopher Mooney (new), El (Genie), Susan, Mike, Eunice, Joanne K, Joanne T, Elo, Judith, Yong Hong Zhong (new) Jim Syfert New), and me Celeste.

Today’s suggested table topic active and passive passages within the same painting (areas of activity versus areas of quiet or non-activity) --what does this mean to you? Do you think about it?

Celeste: I took a one day workshop with Terry Miura. For his demo he placed a truck in the upper left. He left the lower right quite plain. The lower right was a grassy area but he didn’t describe it too much. He explained that he does intend for the quiet parts to contribute to the overall painting. I am showing recent paintings.

Susan: I have just returned from a trip to Hawaii. I was invited to lead a workshop there. I painted in Chinatown and it was so unique it seemed like a Hawiiain version of Portlandia! Laughter! When I was plein air painting with everyone I had to tell myself “slow down, you’re not in a competition here” laughter! I am showing some paintings that I did in Hawaii. I don’t consciously think about active versus passive. I think about the area of interest and I believe that the quiet areas come as a byproduct.

Mike: I've read about active and quiet. In watercolor the quiet has to do a lot with grays and neutrals.. I have been doing the Painting November challenge. When you paint every day--- it's a commitment to yourself. I find myself saying “wait a minute, I can't do-- that I’ve got to paint for the challenge”! laughter! I am showing two recent paintings.

Eunice: I don’t have anything to say on the subject. I do work from photographs, mostly because I can’t get around to the places that I’d like to paint. In particular, I want to paint Terrebone. I will need to do it from photographs.

Loretta: I do think about it. I like when there is space in the painting. I have been working from the Tedd Goerschner book. He has you mix up some specific grays. I am showing a painting that I did where I used some of those grays and also a viridian green.

Jim (Syfert) New! welcome Jim! I have spent some time recently renovating some property. It is a lot of work! I am a member of the Southern California Plein air Group. I like Arcadia National Park. I read an article by Michael Chesney Johnson where he suggested that you paint with violet and yellows. I am showing one painting that I did with my regular pallette and then a 2nd one done of the same scene with two violets two yellows and some viridian.

El (Genie): I knew nothing about this subject at all before I read that it as today's topic. I looked it up. That is what I like about this group and the suggested topics. You learn new things. I am going to think about active and quiet more in the future. I have been painting for the big 500. I am showing a recent painting.

Annie: I have been doing small paintings of my garbage! (Laughter)! These are just little paintings of things like carrots and potatoes and things I am going to throw out. I have been thinking about dominant and subordinate color. I’m also showing a painting from my archives that shows a lot of dominant color (blue) that implies quiet -- these stars, this motion and the diagonal imply activity.

Jerry: Whenever you put a band across the bottom that will make the painting feel restricted. You need to find a way into the painting and into that band so that you are lead into the painting. I am showing a recent watercolor.

Stephanie: I don't think that I have thought a lot about this, but I do realize the things do need breathing room. I have been watching the Quang Ho DVD. I recommend it. He doesn't think about the background very much ---to him it is all about shapes.  Sometimes it’s good to just leave things without “completing” them in the picture. That will imply some air or space. I am showing a recent figure painting and a recent landscape.

Yong Hong Zhong; I just wanted to drop by and say hello---this is my first time here. (Welcome Yong)! Thank you for the welcome.

Nancy: I will pass on the question. I am showing two recent paintings for the big 500 show.

Joanne T: I am so glad to see Christopher Mooney here! I am a big fan of his. I am also very happy to see Yong Hong Zhong here too… ! I think that there is a balance that is required in every painting.  I painted this from a photograph because the owner of the store would not allow me to paint on his property. There is all this activity over here on the left…all the signs and everything and then on the far right I elected to make that quiet. It is necessary for the balance.

Elo: Because I lead such a busy life I am restricted mostly to working from photographs. I do think I'm kind of bad at this thing about considering activity and passivity. I find when I work from a photo I go deeper and deeper into the details! I'm showing you two recent paintings. This one--- my boy said to me: “Mom you overworked the eye”! Laughter!

Christopher (Mooney) new welcome, Christopher! I studied at the Parsons school of Design. I learned design there, but I think many times we look at things and we sort of decide on a composition in a very natural way. We know what looks good. I love perspective, and I emphasize that. I have learned that all 4 sides and corners of a painting are important. All four corners and all the four sides should not be the same. To have a well conceived painting you must consider it all. I am showing recent paintings.

Jeanie: I absolutely get into too many details. I have been working on a painting 24 x 36. I have painted on it is so much—trying to decide what to do! (Laughter)! Hopefully I will decide and it will be in the December OSA show.

Kristina: I didn’t think I had much to say about this topic, but as I sit here listening to everyone else I realize a good painting is like a pinball machine ---with a clear path. The clear path, so that the ball can travel around and come back. I am so glad that I took classes with Jennifer Diehl. She stresses good design a good composition. I am showing a recent painting that I did from Italy.

Judith: I have been taking a color theory class. I am showing recent watercolor paintings.

Thomas: When you ask yourself questions about active and passive (and/or design) it forces you to look at a painting as an abstract. The decisions we make are deeper than just rendering. There simply are no hard and fast rules that we can look to. You can always ask yourself does this decision (whatever it may be) make the painting stronger? Sometimes it is good to turn a painting to the wall and leave it there for a while. Look at it later! Possible beneficial improvements could be playing down chroma and looking at dominant and subordinate colors. Best advice, think about your painting in the abstract. I am showing a painting that I’m working on that has some “echoing” shapes. I still have more work to do on this, but I am satisfied with the design/composition.

Joanne K: I have been painting in the Painting November challenge. It has been a good opportunity for me to just paint on gessoed cardboard and things like that. A great way for me to experiment. My issue is that I can be too active with my paint strokes….not leaving enough room in my painting for some quiet.


Scott Gellatly Reception at the Brian Marki Gallery tomorrow Friday, November 18, 5-8

Bridges of Portland: Paintings by Christopher B. Mooney
Architectural Heritage Center
701 SE Grand Avenue
Portland, OR 97214
First Friday reception Dec 2, 4-8pm

“Fine Art Fridays” clothed models sessions with Joanne Kollman (no instruction) OSA contact Joanne for your spot:

 Long pose at OSA on Sunday

 Max Ginsberg workshop in alla prima portraiture

Falcon Open Studios date is set for Dec 15.  RSVP 5414 N Albina (Jerry Dickason) See invitation at the bottom of this page

 Kristina Sellers has new paintings at the Acena restaurant (recent paintings of Italy)

 Thomas Kitts is nearly finished with his studio renovation.  He will be able to teach students at his studio. He also offers online mentoring

Art on the Boulevard:

Next Thursday there is no meeting because of Thanksgiving! Have a wonderful holiday.  See you the following Thursday, Dec 1.  (topic to be announced).

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