Meeting Notes, Sept 8, 2016

At today’s meeting Loretta U, Za, Tim, Jerry, Annie, Stephanie, Tom, Theresa, Jill, Genie, Susan, Eunice, Kimberly, Loretta L, Brenda, Kay, Joanne T, Jennifer, Dotty, Elo, Jill, Carol Kelly, Judith, Joanne K, Sharon and me Celeste.

Today’s suggested table topic: Workshop “gems” --or any good art advice you have been given. (Valuable art-related instruction that stuck with you).

Celeste: I recently took the Terry Miura one day workshop. He said “I will tone the canvas if I am going to do a middle value or low-key painting, otherwise I leave the canvas white for a high key painting”. These two paintings I brought are from the Strada easel facebook challenge (to paint plein air everyday for the entire month of September).

Eunice: I took workshops with Tedd Goerschner. He was always talking about the grays. He told us that you can’t have a good painting without grays. I still think about this and try to manage it in my paintings.

Susan: The last workshop with Za was enlightening for me. She had me reposition myself farther away from the easel and had me hold my brush at the end. She told us to hold our brush like a conductor. I found it to be wobbly …and fun! Thank you very much, Za! (laughter)! I am showing you the painting that I won a second place ribbon for in Toledo! (Applause)! Toledo (Oregon) is such an interesting place because it is a wonderful mix of industry, nature and art.

Genie: The best advice I’ve ever received is to use paint "as if you are a millionaire". I still have a hard time doing that. I am showing three paintings from the Strada easel challenge.

 Jill: I haven’t shown any of my work yet but I will. I like this meeting very much. It is very inspiring!

Teresa: I will pass on this topic.

 Tom: I have never had a workshop. I have picked up a lot of things from coming to these meetings. I am showing a painting that I did at Sauvie island. There are three things that bother me about it, the sky, the water and the land. (laughter)! But, in fact I do believe that the painting was rescued by this area in the land/water that helps the composition. I am also showing a still life that I did in my yard of some leaves. I painted it almost monochromatically and the composition seems successful.

Kimberly: I was told once that if you wear glasses you should take them off to paint. That way you’ll see the “big picture” shapes! I have been doing the Strada easel challenge.

Loretta L: One of my teachers is here today. I took classes with Jennifer Diehl and the main thing she had us think about from the start is to make sure you get the drawing right. Also I learned from Mark Andrus to incorporate the background into your figure paintings. I wanted to thank Joanne Kollman, because I learned from her how to hang my work properly. I have paintings at the NE Community Center this month-- thank you Joanne!

Kay: The last workshop I had was with Slava for plein air. He told us to use no more than five mass shapes in a painting. That was so helpful for me. The more I simplify the more successful I am. Also I took classes with Eduardo Fernandez. He is all about the gesture. He wants you to put things in very quickly and loosely. I painted this during the time I was taking classes with him. I’m delivering it to the house concert people today.

Joanne T: My first classes were with Jennifer Diehl. She taught me that trees are not just green! Put some red in there, she said! (laughter)! She wanted us to do paintings with three values. I try to remember that still. I also took a workshop with Quaing Haing. He does such a beautiful underpainting and he wipes away certain parts so that the highlights will be very clear. I took it all in –but no way I will do that (laughter)! I took a workshop with an artist named Penix. I learned from him that if you don’t like your painting you just go like this with your palette knife to the painting (she indicates a furious squiggle motion) Yes! If you do that you’ll have a great painting! (Laughter)! Seriously, I did that and everyone, including Penix, thought it was fantastic! (laughter, laughter)! I am doing the Strada easel challenge. I went out to paint and tried to fit this entire gigantic scene… buildings, trees, sky, water-- all these things into a little 8 x 10 panel (Laughter)! I stand out there and suddenly I can’t remember anything anyone has ever told me (laughter)! I am showing three paintings that I did recently.

Jeanne: I found my notes from the workshop I took with James McVicker in 2014. What he said was don't shy away from a second sitting of a painting. There is this alla prima genre.. but that doesn't mean that you can't go back and paint on the same painting on a different day with similar light conditions. He also told us that a painting is described by the light. Paint the light and don’t look at the shadows with open eyes. I am showing a painting I did at the Oregon coast.

Carol: I took a recent workshop with Colley Whisson. A painting that incorporates circles will draw people in. I brought in this large painting that I recently completed.  I did purposefully put in some circle areas here, here and here. I don’t know if in fact it does draw people in, but maybe it does! I did this in several sessions from my patio.

Stephanie: My most memorable workshop was with William Park. He had a (seemingly) finished painting on his easel. It was a nude in front of a Seascape. It looked great to us. Then, to begin a demo, he began painting on top of it. .. he painted these big black spot splotches right over the painting and there was a collective gasp from the entire class. He just turned around and looked at us and said “What?"(Laughter)! He said: “look, you are the artist you decide what happens”. William park is all about intuitive type painting. It’s never helpful to think “I don’t want to ruin this”. Experimentation is the job of the artist. I took a workshop with Scott Gellatly. I was trying to put in a really good solid blue sky. But he came by and said to me “Your brushwork is very active in the lower part of the painting.. go ahead and put that same kind of active brushwork in the sky. This was another very helpful thing to hear..I realized that I didn't need a “smooth” sky at all! His instruction seemed not a matter of technique, but more about the idea of painting. I have some work hanging in the NE. Community Center. I am showing a painting that I did --I took the lavender out of. It was a relief to remove the lavender (Laughter)! I am showing two other recent paintings.

Annie: I took a workshop with Scott Gellatly. He told us every year he does a series. When he does the series he takes everything out of his studio that does not relate to the series. I did the same thing in my studio. I found it very helpful. It  helps to make you more focused. I am starting to work in a square format. I prepared a bunch of squares. I have been doing a series on rocks. I have found that it’s very good to not look at them (after completion) for awhile. You can’t always judge right away. I am showing a painting that I did recently. I (temporarily “pasted” some lighter valued paper on top just to decide if that’s what I wanted to do.

Judith: Aimee Erickson said if you get stuck trying to determine what a color is --say what you think it is out loud. For example, say (out loud) “the color is green” –then say out loud the other attriubutes…”it is bright”, “It is yellow-green” and so on, describing it as much as you can…it is surprising that this works.

Jerry: I just got back from the workshop with Jef Gunn at Sitka. The name of the workshop was the Dao of seeing. I am still on a high from it! Jef had us do these exercises with Chinese calligraphy. With brushes and ink we would just push and pull and drag and dot again and again. After we did all that then we went out into the field he had us doing the same types of things with oil paint. You twirl the brush --you use a whole range of motion with your arm, etc. When it rained we left our paintings in the studio. When we got back the next day we discovered that Jef had spent the evening writing notes to all of us --in-depth notes about each painting. You can see how he did a full cartoon of my painting along with notes of his suggestions. The boughs of this tree were the interesting thing to me. Jef said I could make the boughs lighter and in the background darker or the boughs darker and the background lighter..either way, because it doesn’t matter what it “really” looks like.  You decide!

Tim: my very first workshop was with a guy I ran into by the name of Kitts. (Laughter)! During that workshop he talked about aerial perspective and I remember thinking to myself what? What?? But.. wait. I came here to have fun. (Laughter)! I brought in a recent painting.

Za: I recommend camping with your painting pals! I camped last year with a few friends…including Eric Jacobsen. I think this is a fantastic way to learn from others. We got to paint with him in this wonderful environment -- a campsite in Washington. One day Anton and Eric put their brushes down and started throwing rocks ..trying to get a rock into this little receptacle a distance away. I too stopped painting to join in throwing rocks with them and guess who got the rock in the little receptacle?? ME! (Laughter)! You should try to have fun with your paint mates. Don't take yourself so seriously. I did this nocturne when we were camping again recently.  I asked Michael Lindstrom to go out with me and paint at night. I knew the painting needed something. I put the a light from the bathroom here (laughter)! I went ahead and put this moon in the sky even though there was no moon in the sky at all. The painting needed it! Later we went outside again … there where I had put the moon in my painting ---there was the identical moon in the actual sky! It showed up! (Laughter! Laughter!) I’m also showing a recent figure painting. I have been using the Zorn palette for a long time and this was a full palette. I really like the rhythm of painting. I like expressive brushwork.

Jennifer: I like to call these things "aha" moments. I have had many, many classes and many aha moments. The one I will tell you about was when I was seven years old. My parents put me in an art class, a real class with adults. After the class the teacher went out to dinner with my parents and me.  The restaurant had crayons and paper placemats and  I colored a whole thing and then he asked me “can I show you something”? He then took a yellow crayon and he went over everything I did with that yellow crayon. He said “every painting has to have color harmony”! I am showing a painting I did recently.

Elo: I have listened to many of the Saavy painters podcasts. There seems to be a universal thing that many artists say. Fear is something that can creep into your efforts But fear only means that you are growing! (Acknowledge the fear and keep going)! I saw an artist on YouTube who did a portrait in a bunch of random colors, but all the values we correct -- it made me realize that the values are what matters. I am showing a recent painting.

Dotty: I was in a  workshop with Albert Handell. He had a cloth and he would tap it around the painting. It’s just a way to integrate and to soften things to make things work together. I am showing a demonstration that I did at the booth for Portland open studios at art in the Pearl.

Sharon: my most recent workshop was with Colley Whisson. He uses a razor to get his brushes very sharp. He told us that wherever there is light there is a lot of white. White with color. I’m showing three paintings.

Tracie: About 15 years ago I was taking a workshop with Phil Sylvester. Up to that point everything I had done had been on assignment because I was a graphic artist. Here was Phil Sylvester pacing like he does. Well he paces past me and he didn’t stop to talk to me and I found that concerning. I finally asked "will you say something to me about my work"? And he said “what do you want me to say?” Well I was sort of floored by that! At first I didn’t know exactly how to respond. He inquired further and then I got it…just who exactly is this work for? This work was not for someone else anymore, it was for me and I was discovering. I was wandering around in the dark and that is the thing-- we’re all wandering around in the dark and that is how it has to be. I am showing recent painting.

Joanne: When I took a workshop with Max Ginsberg he showed us that he establishes the foundation with dark lines. He goes over that and obliterates that with his paint. He told us to “paint through” the figure. I am showing you a figure where he painted on my work to show us what he meant by “painting through”. Painting through is the opposite of painting "up to". When I was in the Northwest plein air event I took the one day workshop with Terry Miura. It was so windy that day…easels were toppling over left and right. Mine stayed standing though!. Miura told us when you are painting opaquely you need to make your paint consistency almost like mayonnaise and you shouldn’t see the palette beneath your mixture. His language stuck with me. I realized as a teacher that you really have to find the right words to convey your thoughts. I am showing some paintings that I did recently at Sauvie island. I like to paint with what I call color notes. I will decide if I want to do another painting from these color notes.

Brenda: It seems to me that every instructor has a nugget of some kind. I especially like the plein air convention. I like learning about the business of art. The best most effective thing I’ve ever been told is this one word: squint! Katherine Stats said to not use more than four or five values and to do a sketch before painting. I have to remind myself to slow down. Recently, because it was so hot, I did 20 minutes studies in the early morning. I am showing a painting that I did at fountain downtown.

Loretta: I have a huge file of art quotes. It’s in my computer. But it’s your lucky day because I couldn’t access them! (laughter)! One of the quotes is something about getting out of the way of your brush. (That means don’t get too technique-y).


Lake Oswego Plein Air:

Susan Kuznitsky has Portland open studio book booklets (showing artist locations) for sale.
Portland open studios starts October 8.

Susan has a pastel class beginning the 21st at OSA.

Brenda Boylan’s current pastel class is full but she will be beginning a seven-week class soon

Brenda is accepted into to Laguna plein air along with James McGrew Amiee Erickson and Jennifer Diehl

Brenda’s pastel selected for inclusion into Pastel America show 

“Peaceful painting” which is usually on Sunday will be on Saturday this weekend!

 Joanne Radmilovich Kollman’s on going OSA Friday drop in paint class $25.

Meet Joanne and the other painters at the Cracker Barrel on Sauvie island 9 AM on Saturday!
The Cracker Barrel Store – 15005 N. W. Sauvie Island Road

Joanne will be doing a evening demonstration at OSA she will be showing how to paint a 30 x 40 figure painting. (Not listed yet, but check this space in the future:

Joanne's address will be at the Troy Studio for Portland open studios.

 There is a new show with the NE. Community Center from Joanne’s Friday classes along with Sauvie island painters.

Jennifer Diehl's workshops (one in NC and one in Arizona) and local class (beginning in October):

 Marc Andrus movie Dracula 10 AM at the living room theater a week from Friday. Sept 16

nnept 16
 and Jennifer Diehlurrently keeps you painting (if you are)? Let'sharing your ideas and your paintings next meeting Th Jerry Dickason will have an open studio at his studio Thursday, September 22 5 to 9 PM --address to come

Oleg Ulitskiy at Art on the Boulevard

The AIS American impressionist society is coming to the Northwest. It will be at the Howard Mandville gallery in Seattle. September 29 and 30th. Za recommends that you come and also to bring your paints. (Editors note: we are probably going to make this a "field trip")

Za Vue will have a workshop in Eugene there is only one or two slots left it is the figure in the environment October 8 and 9. She will also have a nocturne workshop in December or January

That is all for today what a great meeting thank you everyone for coming sharing your ideas and your paintings next meeting Thursday September 15 suggested table topic: Painters block have you ever experienced this? What do you know about it? What currently keeps you painting (if you are)!? Let’s discuss!

1 comment:

  1. Oops -- Marc Andres' showing of Dracula will be on Saturday morning, 9/17 -- not Friday, 9/16. Sorry, Celeste, my mistake! (Showing at 10am, artist's talk at noon)