Meeting Notes, OConnor's JAN/FEB 2013

At today’s meeting: Chris and Tim Lally (new), Thomas, Martha (new), Loretta, Diane, Lola, Dave, Char, Eunice, Joanne, Claudia and me (Celeste).

Today’s suggested topic was Painters (past and present) who influence and inspire you.

Martha (who lives across the street from the Portland Art Museum cited Monet and Frida Kahlo as favorites. “I love absolutely everything about Kahlo, she said, “even the way she dressed”.

Loretta brought in an “ethereal” painting that she did from imagination. She is a fan of Monet and the Hudson River School painters.

Diane showed us two landscape paintings. One is a revision of the same painting she brought last week. She also showed us a notebook that she has filled with inspirations. Anything that she sees that she likes, she cuts it out and puts it into an acetate sleeve inside the notebook. She includes some articles too. Two of her favorite artists: Vincent Van Gogh and Jef Gunn (contemporary painter).

Lola is back from a workshop with Matt Smith (in Arizona). She admires Edgar Payne, Thomas Moran and G. Russell Case. She brought in two plein air paintings from the workshop (Zion and Sedona). She brought in an Edgar Payne book and a book by Elizabeth Tolley.

Thomas Kitts has discovered a Russian painter, Bato Dugarzhapov. He showed us a gallery of his work on his ipad.

Claudia likes a painter named Mark Heine from Canada. She especially loves how he crops images:

David McBride enjoys work by Oleg Stavrowsky, Kathryn Stats and Jim McVicker.

He brought in two paintings, one of Heron Lakes golf course and the other of Big Sur.

Char brought in two paintings, one an acrylic and another of an expressionist landscape/sky. 

Eunice brought us an article about one of her favorite painters, Franz A. Bischoff.  She told us that if you ever see one of his roses painted on Porcelain you might wonder if you are looking at a real rose.

She also likes David Curtis and has all his books:

Eunice also showed us two paintings, one of Lolo Pass and the other Johnson Creek.

Joanne Kollman completed her BFA at Marylhurst (Congratulations, Joanne)! She shared information with us about applying for grants to RACC. She has won some grants and encourages us to consider it.

Her inspiration and influences include: Degas, Robert Hanson, Dan McCaw and Eric Jacobsen:

Chris told us that she likes many of the Australian plein air artists (sorry, the names I wrote down were probably misspelled because I didn’t find info on them). And she likes Oregon artist Randall David Tipton.

Tim advised that he likes all the “typical” greats like Rembrandt and Sargent. He is a big fan of good drawing, so he likes Henry Yan and Robert Liberace.

I (Celeste) brought in two paintings, one a Manet copy and another a portrait done in a Manet style. My favorite painter from the past is Manet! I have too many favorite “now” painters to mention, but I brought a book by Kevin Macpherson, because it is a wonderful book. 

In other news:

Don’t forget about Thomas Kitts’ workshops:

Don’t forget about all the great opportunities at Sequoia Gallery:

Many of us paint on Fridays at Studio 30. Email them to be placed on the managed email list:

Shows to check out:

Next Meeting, Thurs Jan 10:  suggested table-topic: Glazing and Painting in layers (and how it compares to Direct Painting)
See you then!

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Jan 10, 2013:

At today’s meeting: Lola, Marty, Eunice, Joanne, Loretta, Celeste, Chris, Tim Claudia and Carolyn.

The suggested topic today was: Glazing/underpainting (and the differences between painting in layers and direct painting).

Many of the paintings that showed up for discussion were paintings that had layers or some form of glazing (in keeping with our topic).

Joanne is familiar with all types of glazing/layering. She brought in several paintings that showed all manner of layering and she told us about mediums that she has used. She likes all the Gamblin products (Galkyd light, Neo Meglip and cold wax). She also showed us the MDF supports that she has been working on recently.

Loretta brought in two paintings; one was one that she glazed in order to “knock back” some color that she felt was too strong. She brought in the actual paint colors she used. Though she considered the colors she used to be “unattractive” they produced the desired effect. She brought in another painting that was partially from life and partially from imagination.

Chris Lally brought in 2 paintings. One employed a layering technique called Watercolor Batik. It is a painstaking process done on rice paper. The other painting was small oil.
Chris is participating in the 30/30 challenge Link:

Tim Lally enjoys painting the figure. He works exclusively from life. He brought in two monochromatic paintings. One was painted in Transparent Red Oxide and the other was painted with Burnt Umber.

Eunice brought in a large painting that she did after Rubens. She painted it in many layers (around 6). She used Linseed oil and turpentine as her medium and used very thin applications.

Lola brought in two landscape paintings. She showed us where she scraped off paint in one, creating an effect that was surprisingly effective, (so she left it alone). The other painting is in-progress.

Marty brought in a painting of a bird that his granddaughter gave to him as a gift. He told us that he painted “plein air” with her and they both had a wonderful time.

Claudia brought in information about the classes at Sequoia Gallery. There are many interesting affordable opportunities coming up with outstanding teachers. Link:

Carolyn showed us her new shirt that arrived today from Vistaprint. It is a reproduction of one of her Labyrinths (still on display to the end of the month at Lane Gallery). She also treated us to a run-down of all the fabulous museums she went to recently in Washington DC.  She brought in two books: Math and the Mona Lisa and How to think like Leonardo DaVinci.

I (Celeste) did a mini-demo, applying a transparent paint and a medium to dry paintings, transforming them into something different.

Please come to The Jane Eyre Painters reception on Sunday, January 13 1-5pm at the West Linn would be great to see you there!

Suggested Topic for next Thursday, January 17:  Demystifying.... Color Temperature.

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Jan 17, 2013:

At today’s Art Discussion meeting: Loretta, Chris, Tim, Marty, Eunice, Tim Young, Diane, Lisa, Donna, Thomas, Carolyn, Brenda and me (Celeste)

The suggested topic for today was color temperature. We each talked about what we’ve learned about it!

Diane Marks has been watching videos on You Tube. She likes Jeff Murphy’s portrait series:

She brought in a painting (in progress) that she wants to submit to a show at the Red Raven Gallery in Salem. It is a conceptual piece and likely will have some 3 dimensional elements such as a real thread to indicate the connection we have to others. A real working clock will be placed in the center.

Tim Young brought in two paintings, one very small (a miniature). The other painting a landscape with sensitive color temperature shifts. Tim found us via the Alla Prima blog and took Thomas Kitt’s plein air workshop last year. This was Tim’s first visit. Welcome!

Eunice brought in a floral painting that she did in the past. She thinks it is a good example of solid color temperature changes. (We agree!) Eunice has been taking classes with Kat Sowa. Eunice explained that it is important to keep white out of color mixtures for flowers. Lighten with other lights (like yellow and yellow ochre).

Donna has not done a pure watercolor (without adding an opaque, like gouache) for a while. She decided to make a concerted effort to work in only watercolor....just to see if she could do it.  She shared two recent paintings.  One was an abstract based on a motorcycle engine and the other was a painting done from a photo taken of a young woman. We decided Donna still has her “pure watercolor chops”. If you have an interest to show at Donna’s gallery contact her here:

Marty has been taking classes with Kat Sowa. He thinks she is a great teacher and he’s learning a lot. He has recently watched a DVD by Daniel Greene on the subject of color (and he recommends it).

Marty also brought in a book by Barbara Bradley called “Drawing People”. It has good illustrations for understanding cloth and clothing.

Tim Lally likes the painter Robert Liberace. Tim thinks many painters may over think temperature issues. Varying temperatures will help things to read correctly. He brought in a portrait that showed his preference for subtle color temperature changes.

Chris continues her daily painting project. She says she is not certain daily painting is for her because she finds it difficult to upload things to the Internet that she is not completely satisfied with. She showed us examples of what she has painted recently. (In our opinion..All great!)

Loretta brought in a floral painting and read a description of creating “Oyster white” out of a painting materials book. (Later Thomas used Loretta’s floral painting as an example of good gradation and temperature changes).

Carolyn brought in the famous Itten book. She told us that she will be sketching more and more in the future because she is poised to do a lot of traveling (to Washington DC, on an RV trip to California and finally to Paris!) She promises to keep up her travel blog so that we can “travel along”.

Lisa brought in a painting of an Arizona landscape (that was done from a photo). It has strong color recession and the temperature was in keeping with a consistent light source.

Thomas has written an article about “traveling light” for plein air magazine (Congratulations, Thomas!) He is also writing a book (about painting) and he shared some pages with us on his ipad. He brought in a painting of the Grand Canyon that was painted on site. He has a busy summer planned. Stay abreast of everything on his blog:

Brenda arrived late, just taking a chance that we would still be at O’Connor’s. She came from exercise class. She has been enjoying Fridays at Studio 30:

I (Celeste) showed two paintings and Dan McCaw’s book.

Great Meeting everyone! Thanks for meeting next Thursday, January 24 9AM---Suggested table topic: “Brushwork”!

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Jan 24, 2013:

At today’s meeting: Diane Holland, Brenda, Eunice, Tim Young, Dave, Thomas, Emily, Diane Marks Joanne, Chris, Tim Lally, Marty, Loretta, Vicki, Donna and me (Celeste).

Our topic today was Brushstrokes/Brushmarks. Specifically, are you aware of yours...? Do you “work on” Brushwork? (Practice it?) What have you learned about it?

I (Celeste) brought in two books on the subject of Brushwork (authors: Emile Gruppe and Mark Weber). I brought in two paintings that I felt were good examples of decent brushwork. I have had to work at applying plenty of paint; I have had a tendency paint too thinly.

Tim Young brought in two lively landscape paintings and a recommended book on color (by Dan Bartges).

Dave showed us a pencil drawing and two (fresh!) new plein air paintings from Heron Lakes.
Dave recommends we look at Jim McVicker for brushwork inspiration.

Thomas brought in two paintings that he owns (paintings by other artists) to help illustrate a talk he gave us on Brushwork. (Great discussion, thanks, Thomas!)
When we talked about the nerve required to put down paint with confidence, Thomas reminded us that this type of stroke has a name: Bravura.

Thomas also mentioned “top work” (paint that you do not touch again).

Emily brought in a painting that she did a long time ago, but just corrected last night! She felt that it was an example of good brushwork (and we agreed).

Diane Marks-Bestor showed us the work of James Lavadour (whose paintings are dramatic and bold). She said that his work reminds her very much of Geology.

She also brought in a book by Steve Allrich:

Diane shared a recent painting that she did at Studio 30 and an earlier portrait. The more recent painting showed her solid advances in expressive brushwork. “Brushwork is energy”, Diane said.

Joanne is working on a funded project entitled: “Who we are in the neighborhood." She showed us her large painting of Judge Philip Abraham (who recently died). A couple people at the table actually knew Judge Abraham and said Joanne’s painting of him is “perfect”.
She used large house painting brushes for this portrait well as small brushes.

Tim Lally shared a drawing book by Henry Yan. He brought in a portrait where he placed “color spots” next to one another.

Chris continues the daily painting project (Go, Chris!)

Marty believes that brushwork in a painting is “everything”! He loves the look of big bold and “rough” brushwork, like Van Gogh and the Russian Impressionists. He brought in a painting that he copied by a Russian Impressionist (whose name he unfortunately doesn’t know).  The painting serves as a reminder to Marty of where he wants to go. Marty recommends Kat Sowa for classes. Her classes have helped Marty, (particularly, he says, with brushwork)!

Loretta routinely works with a palette knife at the beginning of a painting and then finalizes it with brushes. She brought in one of her “from memory” high key paintings, a fine example of variety of brushwork.

Vicki showed us a painting that showed plenty of energetic brushwork.  She told us that Elio Camacho likes to put the most variety of edges or the most interesting brushwork right at the “focal point”. Vicki recommends we look at Rembrandt for brilliant brushwork.

Donna showed us a book by Sadami Yamada about Sumi brushwork. She brought in two paintings, one a portrait and another an Italian Vineyard. Donna’s goal is always to simplify and exaggerate. She likes stylization. She counsels that we should “go for it”!

Diane Holland is a pastelist, but she has worked a lot in the past in watercolor. She brought in some pages from her watercolor sketchbook; outstanding examples of confident “movement” in brushwork.

Brenda took up oil painting just last year and everyone is blown away that she has such a great command of the medium in such a short time. She won’t give up pastel, however, she loves both mediums! She brought in a pastel that she did as a demonstration (in an astonishingly brief time...10 minutes) and she also shared (her very first) plein air oil painting.

Eunice brought in Dan McCaws book, hoping to sell it, because she recently bought it by mistake! (She already owns a copy). This book is out of print and she got a good deal on it. If you want to purchase it, email her ( Eunice has also been buying up some fresh vegetables and fruits for still life.

Some announcements:

If you want to take Thomas’ popular Alla Prima Oil Painting Class sign up today! It is nearly full and he is about to put it out there to non-locals.....after that the class WILL be sewn up—so don’t miss out.
(March 1,2 and 3)

Brenda is offering a Pastel workshop at Sequoia (February 8, 9 and 10). The same goes for Brenda’s fills up in a hurry.... so sign up soon.

Art on Broadway is offering March and April for a guest show. Donna will bring forms next time she is in. The show is called “Color Temperature”.

Do you want to show during 2013 at the US Bank? Contact Renita Gerard:

Craig Srebnik’s demonstration date has changed to Feb 1:

He appreciates a RSVP email.

Great Meeting! Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge and bringing your paintings!

Next Meeting: Thursday, January 31, suggested topic: Critiquing your own work.


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Jan 31, 2013:

At today’s meeting: Michael, Donna, Marty, Thomas, Diane Holland, Diane Marks-Bestor, Tim Lally, Loretta, Eunice, Tim Young, Lola, Kay and me (Celeste)

The topic today: Evaluating (Critiquing) your own work

1. Michael Fisher stops working when he is about 80% finished and puts the painting aside for as much as a week or so. At that time he then looks back at the sketch that he did to compare the results with his initial idea. He looks at values and big shapes (are they still whole? Did he maintain the composition? Did he stay true to the direction of light? How well did he fulfill the original idea?). Michael brought in two paintings that had very different moods (one somber, one light-hearted). (Excellent report, Michael---thanks!)

2.  Donna feels critiquing is the most important part of painting. As your experience increases you develop your own “Harder eye”. Even now, however, she still asks her husband for his opinion, because he is a fine barometer. If he says, “I don’t get it” she realizes she may have missed the mark. She reminds us to look at things upside down, to use a mirror and walk away to look at it later. She always looks for the abstract in order to make a strong design. Donna brought in 3 paintings.

3. Marty believes that being able to critique work is the measure of what you know.  He is looking at everything in all his paintings, drawing, color, perspective, edges...all of it and knows he is getting better at being able to see what is right and what is wrong. Marty has been taking classes and he brought in a painting that he has been working on. He read a list of things that he feels need scrutiny in the painting. We could all see the great progress he has made.... and he will likely take the painting further.

4. Thomas Kitts shared his 6-step plan for checking his paintings:

1. Check the Values... Is the value structure right or wrong?
2. Check the Hues.... Are these the actual colors I see? (Adjust, if not)
3. Check the Chroma and Saturation... How do colors compare to one another?
4. Check the Shapes... Are they represented accurately?
5. Check the edges...Is there variety? Are any of them too sharp? Too soft?
6. Check the center of focus..... Did I build the entire painting to support it?

Additionally, Thomas told us that we should consider critique as a form of  “understanding” instead of anything negative. He brought in a beautiful profile portrait of an Island girl, (but it's in-progress and not ready to be shared online).

Check out Thomass workshops HERE:

5. Diane (Holland) wondered if critique is always needed. She generally stays away from it. She doesn’t like to get too tied down with it. She is a poet as well as a painter. She has a circle of literary friends who know each other well. She can agree that there is something good about getting together with people who know you and know your work so that you can get a new perspective with what they say. (It is harder to see some things for yourself; it is very valuable to hear from someone who has seen lots of your work). Sometimes when she is working she hears a voice from a past critique-r telling her something key and helpful.

6. Diane M-Bestor is new to oil painting (She painted in college, and has worked in other mediums since, but she is now working on “seeing again”). She brought in a painting that she did strictly from imagination. It is not finished yet and someone liked it, but wanted to know if she could do a similar painting in different colors. She is working on that and brought in the original inspiration and the in-progress painting. Diane talked about how valuable she finds the Alla Prima group, because she is learning along with the rest of us. She brought in a book on Vermeer. 

7. Tim Lally is “never satisfied” but he thinks of that as a good thing. He wants to grow and not become complacent. He never knows how to criticize others, but if anyone wants to tell him anything about his work he welcomes it. He does not compare himself to others. He can plainly see which painters seem good and which seem like they are new to it.... but that doesn't matter to him and he doesn’t rate himself against them. He is only competing with himself! Tim brought in a plein air easel to show us. Coulter System. (Thomas also told us about a similar one, by Joshua Been).

8. Loretta puts away work and doesn’t look at it for a while. Sometimes when she revisits it she will move something or remove something altogether. Maybe that object belongs in a different painting, she reasons, and moves on. It is wise, in Loretta’s opinion, to set your work before your own eyes before putting before another’s eyes. (To thoroughly assess it for yourself before getting opinions from others).

9. Eunice uses the darkness of her studio to see if the big abstract shapes in her paintings are reading. (She looks at things without the lights on). Eunice tells us: “You have to be willing to give things up in the painting (even if you like a certain passage), if it is for the overall sake of the painting.” Also, hold up your hand while looking at the painting, to block out parts of the painting. Is the painting better without what you are blocking out? If yes, take it out.

10. Tim Young tells us that he tends to be hypercritical of his own work and that can be a problem. When he feels he has gotten too serious he paints on something 3 dimensional...”just for fun”. He brought in two samples of this, paintings done on a halved squash. Tim brought in a book (Color and Light) by James Gurney. He got the book directly from Gurney, so it was autographed and came with a cool “do not disturb” door hanger sign for the studio door.

11. Lola told us that early in her painting journey a workshop teacher said something to her that insulted her and she felt disheartened and depressed over it. However, she has painted many paintings since that remark and she looks back now and realizes that the remark was not near as bad as she had thought. In retrospect, she realizes the teacher just used a word she hadn’t expected and it seems a much more descriptive (and/or neutral) word now than it did back then. She notices even brilliant and celebrated painters often talk about improvement (for themselves). She always wants to keep learning.
Lola brought in a book: American Sublime.

12. Kay has had workshops with 4 or 5 teachers. She talked about how one, Andreas, is masterful at giving critique. Kay said: “You can learn from what you don’t like as well as from what you do like”. She doesn’t mind if instructors paint directly on her painting now (there was a time when she did). She knows it is important to see exactly what the instructor means as they explain things. Kay has an opening at North Bank tomorrow night. She is part of a Portrait show (along with Christopher Mooney and Hilarie Couture) Congratulations, Kay!

13. I (Celeste) brought in two paintings. One is from when I first began painting and the other is more recent. I can see much more clearly now what is amiss in the early painting. The biggest reason for any improvement on my part (in my opinion) is taking classes as well as painting a lot (volume). I’ve painted many paintings between those two paintings.
I have painted enough to have a more “detached” and objective attitude about critique than I had when I first took up painting.

Don’t miss Michael Lindstrom’s Artist Reception, First Friday, Feb 1 at Art on the Boulevard. Michael is a true Cinderfella story...he holds down a full time job in an unrelated field and only took up painting 4 short years ago. Michael would be the first to tell you....follow your dreams!

Interested in learning Pastel (or refreshing what you know?) Study with Brenda Boylan (this weekend):

Don't forget Craig Srebnik's Free Demonstration (Feb 1) as well as his other classes:

Thanks so much to everyone who came today---for sharing what you know!

Next Meeting, Next Thursday. Feb 7, 2013, Topic: Center of Interest, (or Focal point!)

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Feb 7, 2013:

At today’s meeting: Diane Marks-Bestor, Chris, Tim Lally, Eunice, Loretta, Tim Young, Joanne, Marty, Thomas, Diane Holland, Kay and me (Celeste)

Today’s suggested topic: The center of interest (or focal point)

1. Loretta has an understanding that the center of interest (or focal point) is often where the light meets the dark in a painting. She showed us a painting that was painted mostly from imagination. Was the focal point the central bright flower...? Some said yes.

2. Eunice indicates thirds on her canvas every time she paints. She generally thinks about putting something important into one of the intersections of the thirds. She showed us a copy that she painted of Vermeer’s masterwork: Girl with a Pearl Earring. We talked about the place in her painting where we all looked first. Some of us thought the nearest eye was the center of interest.

Eunice also shared artist Saim Caglayan with us. Check out his work here:

3. Tim L told us about a book that he likes: Harley Brown’s Eternal Truths. Tim knows we should all be considering what makes a boring painting and what makes an interesting painting.  For himself, he is not interested in planning too much. Diagrams of how the eye moves through a painting leave him cold. He is more interested in painting and allowing the center of interest to evolve.

4. Chris has finished the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. She shared two paintings from the challenge with us. (We discussed what we thought were the focal points in each). Though she knows the experience was valuable..... she also learned that she doesn’t have an interest in painting in a “production” style.

5. Kay tells us that she hasn’t given center of interest much thought. Her instructor (Mark Andreas) had the class do a 20 minute painting each day and the resulting paintings have been some of her favorites. She brought in 3 paintings and we discussed the focal points in all.

6. Diane M brought in a work-in-progress. It is a conceptual painting that will incorporate an actual clock. The place where the clock will go is the “obvious” focal point. The concept of the painting is about how we are “all connected”.

7. Thomas brought in a landscape painting that he scraped back. (He taught some of us a new word: Palimpsest, which means scraped or washed off to be used again).
He asked us to tell him where we thought the center of interest is (in his scraped back painting). We all agreed it  was in a section of the creek in the painting.

8. Marty showed us a re-do of another painting that he did from life. He felt that it was a better representation of the model. (And Marty has ordered a Hughes easel! Congratulations, Marty!)

9. Joanne brought in a large painting of two women sitting back to back. We discussed what we thought the center of interest might be and also the symbolic aspects of the imagery.

10. Tim Young showed us a painting that he did from a photo reference of John Day. (We discussed the area and how unusual it is there). Tim also brought in a DVD by Peter Wileman. (And he is loaning it to me for viewing, thanks, Tim!)

11. Diane Holland shared a book by John Updike (Always Looking). She read a poem for us that she wrote during last year’s Hood River Plein Air event. We talked about the similarities between writing and visual art. What might be the “center of interest” in her poem? There are things in a poem that can be “shaped”.

12. I (Celeste) brought in two paintings. We talked about the focal points in each. I’ve read that whenever there is a face in a painting, unless deliberately obscured, most people will look there first.

In summation, often times the center of interest (or the focal point) can be

Where the sharpest edges are
Where the most contrast is (lightest light and the darkest dark)
Where the brightest (or most unusual color) is
Where an element is “most interesting”

We concluded that unless one is painting an all over repeating pattern practically anything we create would have an area that commands the most attention. It is up to us if we want to “plan” for that ...or not.


30% (with coupon) at Dick Blick today only

Japanese Garden is free on 2/18/13 (they don’t allow tripods or a ton of gear...sketching only).

Thomas Kitts has another plein air workshop in the planning stages...3 days in the Gorge!
Contact him to find out more.

Thanks, all! Next meeting: Feb 14.  Suggested topic: REDS in painting 

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Feb 14, 2013:

At today’s meeting: Eunice, Joanne, Diane, Lisa, Kay, Donna, Loretta, Craig (Srebnik), Roz, Steve Kleier, Thomas Kitts and me (Celeste) 

The suggested topic for today: RED

I (Celeste) brought in two paintings that both feature red (a plein air and a painting from memory). I also brought in the Sergei Bongart book (it includes many paintings showcasing red items as well as  paintings where the red is a “surprise”). I have heard red referred to as “the great modifier”. 

Eunice brought in a red “study”. Most of the objects in the painting were red and there was one green object to serve as the “foil”. She tried to use every type of red that she could.
(SORRY! Unfortunately this photo did not come out. I’ve asked Eunice to send me a picture if she can).

Joanne told us that she learned that bees are incapable of seeing red. She brought in 3 paintings that all featured red.

Diane loves red, she is drawn to it. She likes to add red to green. She showed us her completed clock mixed media painting.

Lisa steers away from red. She doesn’t use it much in painting and she can’t wear it. She has kind of an “un-affinity” for it. In order to participate today, she researched and shared some of the "psychology of Red". 

Thomas told us that there is an axiom “If you want to sell a painting, put red in it!”  He knows red is an attractor. He adds that where we live in the Pacific NW there is so much green... adding red “just makes sense”.  He brought in Roos Schurings’ self-published book. (This sparked a conversation about e-books and marketing---you had to be there!)

Craig Srebnik tells us that the eye sees green “best”. Chalkboards were changed to green from black for this reason. Red is a stimulant, he tells us, and the human eye tends to like it...perhaps in an evolutionary way. Red in vegetation can represent something delicious or something poisonous.  It gains our attention. 
Craig also treated us to a discussion of marketing in today’s economy. Some are scrambling and without due consideration you might find yourself an unwitting participant in “a race to the bottom”.

(Roz is Craig’s Mom.....she just said Hey!)

Steve Kleier has a background in commercial art. He was forced to do assignments and use materials that he never would have if he had not been in that world. He’s grateful for the experience, because he knows it has made him versatile. He brought in an alla prima watercolor and pointed out that it was signed in red. Recently he has thought that art is “a product...that has a non-product quality”. He said, “As a teacher, I help people explore creative expression and that helps me remember who I am.”

Kay E brought in color charts that she painted. She did this because Richard Schmid recommends it in his book Alla Prima. She thought at first that it was tedious, but over the course of the project she understood the value of doing it and it became engaging and something she enjoyed doing. She brought in a post card of the pastry chef painting in the Portland art museum and she showed us a recently completed painting on her iphone.

Donna brought in printed samples of good use of red in painting. She also brought in two recent works inspired by a trip to the Japanese Gardens. She told us she thinks red
”stops us” and is “arresting” and never boring.

Loretta read a Picasso Quote: I do a picture, then I destroy it. In the end, though, nothing is lost: the red I took from one place turns up somewhere else”. She brought in an “inner vision” painting (one done from imagination) that is predominately magenta.


Thomas Kitts is off to Maui tomorrow for the Maui Plein Air Invitational...Good luck and have a great time Thomas!
Thomas’ workshops are coming up fast! Plan for them and email him if you have questions.

Don’t miss Craig’s upcoming free demo at his home studio on Saturday. (He appreciates an RSVP). Also he has ongoing classes (and one in Marketing!) coming up. Check it all out here:

Eric Jacobsen, Brenda Boylan, Craig Srebnik and Steve Kleier are all offering upcoming workshops though Sequoia Gallery:

Art on Broadway is looking for new artists. You can look into becoming a member and/or check with Donna about being a guest artist:

Quin Sweetman, Janet Amundson-Splidsboel and I (Celeste) are included in the Love of Portland group show that opens Saturday beginning at 5pm in the People’s Art Gallery in Pioneer Square Mall (third floor).

That’s it for now...! Thanks for the great discussion, and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Next meeting: Thursday, Feb 21, suggested topic: Measuring and comparing in painting and drawing.

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Feb 21, 2013:

At today’s meeting: Eunice, Diane, Char, David, Marty, Tim, Loretta, Kay, Jen, Karen and me (Celeste)

Today’s “suggested” topic was measuring and comparing in painting and drawing

Loretta showed us a print out she got from a website about the Golden Mean and how it is repeated in the human body. (Great resource, thanks, Loretta!)

She also shared a magazine with us and showed us her 30x30 abstract painting.

Tim told us that he isn’t crazy about measuring and that is one of the reasons that he likes landscape. Landscape is most forgiving! He feels that he measures “intuitively”. Tim shared two paintings, one of John Day and one of Columbia River Slough.

Kay showed us some drawings that she did during a class on “sight-size”. She told us that she found it difficult and tedious. She is glad for the experience, but she currently measures with less constriction. She now looks mostly for prominent angles and keys off them. She showed us one-minute drawings from a session at Hipbone. She had a new Alizarin color chart and showed us a new painting from a photo reference. 

Sight size information:

Jen is brand new and was invited to join us by Diane. Jen is not new to art, but has been away from painting and hopes to return to it. Welcome, Jen!

Marty told us that he knows a painting or drawing has to start out right or you’ll be doing battle with it to the end. It is best to get everything mapped out correctly in the beginning. He showed us a set of calipers that he using for measuring.

Char brought in a flower painting that shows her delicate “botanical” style

Dave has been taking classes with Craig Srebnik. Dave says if an artist gets form and value are correct they will have a successful result. He shared a book with us by Cateura. Dave finds something significant and measures outward from there. He showed us his new wet canvas carrier and three paintings.

Diane showed us three paintings. One was an early attempt at life painting from the model and two others more recent. She has been paying attention to things Za says at Studio 30 sessions. She now begins a painting like a painting instead of like a drawing. She has watched youtube videos on the subject of measuring and, of course, they are boring...but she is making a concerted effort to not be “lazy” and to observe correctly.

Eunice told us about a DVD where the artist used a bicycle spoke for measuring. The idea is that he could see around the (thin) spoke better to see what he was measuring better. She used me (Celeste) as a model to show where the top of the head is. It is a very common artist mistake to place the top of the head where the hairline is...(instead of about two inches higher).

(I) Celeste showed two books that contain good information about measuring. I also showed a head and shoulders painting that I feel has a measurement problem. I showed a painting from recent experiments with “fracturing” (a paint handling tutorial I took a few days ago).

Karen Van Hoy came to tell us about Doll Gardner Gallery. She is currently taking submissions. Do you want to show with us in March?
Submit 3-5 jpegs (right away) to Karen.


Thanks for coming today and sharing what you know. Next Meeting, Thursday, Feb 28
The nature of ....Yellow


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Feb 28, 2013:

At today’s meeting: Eunice, Brenda, Diane, Kristina Sellers, Kay, Char, Dave, Chris, Tim L, Tim Y, Loretta, Joanne, Steve and me (Celeste).

Today’s “suggested topic”: What do you know about Yellow?

I (Celeste) talked about reading a passage pertaining to the “schizophrenia” of yellow. Symbolically speaking, it stands for sunshine and happiness, but also ill health (jaundice) and cowardice. Yellow is the color I run out of fastest and it is expensive. I showed two paintings that “required” the yellow in them.

Eunice brought up the difficulty of darkening yellow. Care has to be taken or your yellow will go green or purple. 

Brenda told us that she was inspired to do color charts, based on seeing Kay Elmore’s color charts on our blog. She said it was a challenge to get the tinting right, but in the end it was well worth it. (Brenda earned a round of applause...she is a featured artist at the 2nd Annual Plein Air Convention).

Kristina (new---Welcome!) thinks yellow is a wonderful “vehicle” for moving you around a painting. It is also the lightest of all colors and is often used for drama. She showed us one of her paintings where yellow was used judiciously, in the highlights.

Diane learned that yellow is the most visible of all colors; it is the easiest to see. (That’s the reason bright yellow is used in traffic signs). She showed us some paintings from magazines that employed yellow in important ways. Diane showed us two portrait studies that she did in a weekend class with Joanne Kollman.

Kay says that yellow is versatile. When she did color charts with yellow she learned that it has the capacity to provide endless variety. (Viridian, for example, always seems green only in charts). She loves yellow! She showed us her new yellow color chart and a figure painting from Studio 30 that she recently completed.

Char is fixing up her “mini studio” at home.

Dave has completed his figure painting sessions with Craig Srebnik. He brought in two figure paintings and one still life. He knows that yellow is great to keep in reserve in a landscape. In the final stages, just a little yellow can really bring everything together.

Donna often begins with a yellow sky, and steers away from local color so that she feels “freed up”. She showed us three other paintings from the Japanese Garden. She brought a book about Winslow Homer. Both Homer and Hopper used yellow to set a mood.

Chris doesn’t use yellow with abandon, as a matter of fact she told us she is a bit fearful of it. She brought in a watercolor figure. She continues to paint nearly every day and notes that she sees definite improvement in her work (and others). She sometimes has some setbacks too (and we discussed how setbacks are just as important as successes in the realm of painting).

Tim L explains that he prefers to “wing it”. When he paints he searches for good colors and just “mushs” around paint until he finds it. He likes handling things in this way because it is the most fun! He brought in a figure painting.

Tim Y points us to a youtube video called “This is not Yellow”. He tells us that it is well worth watching. He brought in a painting from the Garibaldi area. (Miami River)

Loretta talked about the symbology of yellow and showed us a painting of yellow flowers in a window.

Joanne said when she googled the color yellow the first thing that comes up is Vincent Van Gogh. She tells us that it is a very good idea to reach for yellow to lighten (instead of white). She showed us three paintings. One painting was done “live” at a wedding.

Steve thinks of yellow very much as a “supporting character”. He likes to darken it with Burnt Sienna and raw Sienna. Darkening yellow is akin to making a “dark white”...not easy! He shared a watercolor floral.


Steve Kleier is at Celebration of Creativity (along with Gretha Lindwood and others)

Kristina Sellers is at Wallflower in Canby (reception First Friday)

New show at Art on Broadway

The Jane Eyre Painters (painters from Studio 30) have a month long show beginning March 3 at the Doll Gardner (Reception: March 3, 12:30-2pm)

I (Celeste) am included in the group show at the “Farm Show” at the Lane Gallery
(Reception First Friday)

Art on the Boulevard (Michael Lindstrom) (First Friday Reception):

Mike Rangner at Caswell Gallery (First Friday)

Two GREAT workshop opportunities:

Next Meeting, Thursday March 7, 2013

Suggested topic: How are you are handling the business end of being an artist...good, fair or poor?

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