Meeting Notes, Sept 24, 2015

At today's meeting Loretta, Annie, Tim, Betsy, Jim, Joanne, Stephanie, Leslie, Charlie, Jean Thomas (new), Teresa, Tom, Dave, Claudia, Eunice, Za, mai, Carrie, and me (Celeste).

Today's suggested table topic: Painting related “hang-ups" that you have* and what you might do to improve the situation. (*things that you don’t want to do).

Comments are provided in random and anonymous order. 

My particular painting hangup pertains to my studio. I find it difficult to keep it straightened up. The room itself becomes a catchall and then it is really hard to move around and get things done. I clean the room but don't seem to have an organized method of keeping it clean on a regular basis. I think I should reframe how I think about this particular chore. Think about it in some sort of positive manner. Maybe I can make it a priority and check the status of the room at the end of every evening. 

I have too many panels that I have not completed. I will make this stack of panels into what I will call the scrape pile. I will scrape each panel and reuse it!

I find I have been painting recently for kind of wrong reasons! I've been painting in order to “show” things on the internet. That's not why I started painting. I really don’t want to be motivated in “other-directed” ways but more by “inner-directed” ways. I'll redirect my attention back to where it once was.  I like to work-up landscapes from pencil drawings. 

When I don't know what to do I will do a self-portrait. 

I have a problem with editing and simplifying. I will work on these things. 

My problem is that I work too much "in my head" before I actually get to work. I like to take classes and that will help me, but my thing that I say to myself (that really does help me) is this:  "just start". 

I think my problems all stem from fear. A lot of what we're doing is scary. I have learned to overcome some of my fear with music. In particular I like Baroque music for thinking. Watercolor is very unforgiving so I moved to oil. I have a lot of unfinished panels. But I knew a good artist who kept 70 unfinished panels right there in the studio for anyone to look at. I asked him about this and he said that sometimes he likes to live with the unfinished things and then he can determine over a period of comfortable time what to do with the paintings. (Finish them or not). 

I have a fear of lines. I just don't necessarily like architectural or straight lines in painting. This may be because of my past when I was a draft-person. It was drilled into me then that everything had to be so perfect! When it comes to fine art I am more drawn to organic shapes. But! I do recognize that this is something that I shouldn't fear. I can use thinner and medium to make lines and things like telephone wires etc. (and I should and will work on this because I do not want to be “limited”). 

Some of my paintings in the past have been too dark.  I was painting on a toned ground. I switched to a white canvas to see if it would make any sort of difference. I did see an improvement.  Also, I have had issues with “chalky" passages. For example, if I wanted to paint a lot of fog I had to use white.  The painting looked chalky instead of foggy. I  purchased different types of white. I think the biggest thing is for me to keep an open mind about things as it relates to painting. 

I have trouble sometimes knowing where to go to paint a scene. I can drive from location to location and feel unsure of where to be. This can lead to a certain desperation, because you just know that you have to get to painting….. but you haven't found a place yet! (Laughter)! I always find something…but I am looking to become more decisive. Here is the thing you have to remember: all this is fun and a privilege. I sometimes have to pinch myself... because painting paintings is so special. 

I get overwhelmed in workshops! You know, everything is going along pretty well and you get through the second day fine, but THEN you have to go back the third day and by the third day maybe you're on information overload. That third day is always a challenge for me. But, you have to power through it.  When it comes to what you produced during the workshop, you can't really be a good judge of it right off the bat. The best thing you can do is to put it away and look at it later. Things have to set sink in. 

I get hung up on just "getting up" to go out (laughter)! I brought in a couple of books that I got from the library. The library is such a great resource. I had a mentor who always would say to me "just keep painting". It’s simple, but necessary advice. I had a student whose paint tubes were so jumbled up and couldn't even tell what color was what because they were mucked up. She left behind her gear for the day and what I did was I straighten them out for her. I put them all in a single row on the floor in front of her stuff and when she came back and I said "look at this... you need to lay out your tubes of paints kind of like this like… in a row like piano keys. Don't keep them in a box: because if you have them in front of you and organized like this, you'll feel better and it will all make better sense to you". 

I have this mantra: "keep on going". 

I have a true confession I absolutely hate cleaning up! (Laughter)! 

I haven't put together my studio yet after moving... I will but not yet.  

OTHER Notes:

Celeste: Sometimes when I don’t know what to paint, I will paint something in black and while and only spent something like 15-20 minutes on it. I brought in an example. Also, I brought in a plein air painting

Dave: I’ll be out of town for awhile..going to Colorado!

Tom: I brought in a painting that I did awhile back. 

Jean Thomas: (new) I brought in two of my books that show my work. (Welcome, Jean)!

Leslie: I brought in a landscape painting 

Stephanie: I brought in a couple recent plein air paintings

Jeanne: I brought two recent forest paintings

Za: This is a painting I did in Washington. There was a lot of driftwood in this scene. I really loved painting it. 

Joanne: I painted a painting of a tea cup…the cup is from an estate sale. I also wanted to show you this unusual project. I have done lithographs of “whimsical” scenes. I was commissioned to do a larger painting of one of them and I am showing you both the original lithograph and the 2nd larger painting. The client lives in Miami. 

Jim: I hope it is ok that I show you a few more paintings than usual today. Nikki Boylan has been my model and I wanted to do some complete figure paintings out of doors. It has wound up to be sort of a series. I took a bunch of pictures of her and I did charcoal drawings at first. My goal was to just create interesting and pleasant pictures. I love using the palette knife in the background for these backgrounds that were mostly abstract. The palette knife lends so much vitality. For example this one I suggested (only suggested) a landscape in the background. I also wanted to do this one (the portrait) with all soft edges. I gave myself self-imposed “objectives” for each of these. (Applause)!

Betsy: I brought in this work from my “archives”

Tim: I brought a recent “vertical” painting and also three miniature paintings. 

Annie: I have been using acrylics. I have to carry my palette in a horizontal way. I also need water when using acrylics (she shows us a coffee pot). I found this box and I made it into a "cigarette lady" type box. (She demonstrates how it works). (Laughter)! I sometimes sit on the ground. I painted this recently. I sort of think I need a tripod to make this stationery and to be able to back up from it…..but then it will be like a “pochade”.

Loretta: I brought in a painting that I did not complete!


Washington County Plein Air 

Paint the Penisula award winners (Congratulations, Za, Eric Jacobsen, Gretha Lindwood, Ned Mueller, Melanie Thompson and all others)!:

Umpqua plein air winners (Congratulations, Za, Yong Hong Zong, Steve Kleier, Anna Lancaster, Don Bishop and all others)!

Joanne Kollman is in Portland Open Studios.

Leslie Elder October 17 and 18 Middlemen Jewish Ctr.

Stephanie will be at the Broadway Remax more information to come 

Sonoma plein air: (Eric Jacobsen won Artist's Choice)

Eric Bowman will be teaching at Sequoia only three spots left. 

Gretha Lynnwood is in the current Southwest Art magazine.  (Congratulations, Gretha)!

Sarah Sedgwick Sequoia Gallery workshop.

Great meeting...! Thanks, all! Next Meeting: Thursday, Oct 1, 2015 Suggested table topic: "Food" in Painting and drawing. Have you painted a meal? Have you wanted to? Have you admired others' painting of food? Let's discuss!

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