Meeting Notes JUNE 2014

Meeting Notes, June 5, 2014

At today's meeting Anna, Loretta, James, Jim, Jeanne, Tedd, Nancy (Tedd's wife), Diane, Lisa, Za, Diane M, Char, Dave, Joanne, Vicki, Brenda, Peggie, Stephanie, Bill, Marty, Eunice, Kristina, and me (Celeste). 

Today's suggested table topic: Starting a painting (line mass white canvas toned canvas)? What other things can you tell us about starting a painting? 

Celeste: I watched Mitch Baird paint a complete painting once. He stood up like a Maestro about to conduct an orchestra. He took a deep breath before starting. I also saw this type of contemplation in Zhoming Wu's DVD. It seems important to gather yourself before you start a painting.  Posture is also seemingly important. 

Loretta: I do deep breathing.  I do wash a canvas with a tone before beginning.

 James:  I breathe to get over any fear. I block and map. I used to run out of room as I would compose and not think things through. I do better now. I painted this morning because I was feeling anxious. Painting calms me. 

Jim: I have been taking classes with Craig Srebnik. We have been painting Paris street scenes. I brought in 2 paintings today that are from the same photo reference. I painted one horizontal and one vertical. When I start a painting I always plan the lightest light and the darkest dark. I also look at value patterns. I start with a light wash of value statements. I know right from the beginning what I'm going to do. 

Jeanne: I used to use Burnt sienna and I would block in my shapes early.  I don't use burnt Sienna anymore in that way. I start by spending a lot of time looking at the subject and deciding what I'm going to do. I brought in a book that was given to me as a gift. It is great... it is called A Painters View. The author and painter is Katie Grant Hanson. It inspired me to paint in the Gorge on Tuesday with the Tuesday Painters. The light in the Gorge is very different than here. I recommend that you try the Gorge Tuesday group... it's only an hour drive. 

Tedd: I like to use rags to start a painting.  I like to move the paint around. I brought in a painting that I did from Foothills Park. 

Lisa: I use burnt sienna to block in shapes and values and that I let it dry and go over. I don't really like the white canvas. I brought in some paintings I did from photo references of a trip I took to Tucson. 

Diane: I am showing a recent painting where I used a newspaper as part of the composition. 
I find Alla Prima painting a challenge, because I am accustomed to painting slowly.

Dave: It seems to me that I started painting in a different way nearly every time. Sometimes I put paint all over the entire campus and then subtract the paint with a Q-tip. I brought in 2 paintings.

Kristina: I like a toned canvas. Eric Jacobson taught me to put an X in the middle of the painting in order to keep my self away from the middle of the painting. Because it is not a good idea to put anything important smack dab in the middle of the painting. I painted recently in Joseph Oregon with Peggie and I brought two paintings from there. 

Diane H:  I paint in both pastel and oil. Sometimes I paint in pastel to get the idea. I can use alcohol to deepen my colors. I brought in an oil painting. 

Za:  I spend the time in the beginning to think how am I going to get my idea across. I like to absorb the moment. My mentor hates toned canvases. I have learned to appreciate his version of painting on white canvas. I like to play at painting and I find it the joy.  I like to let some of the canvas show through sometimes. I like to dance around the canvas and provide positive and negative shapes. 

Joanne: I prepare the linen with a number five gray.  I like to start with thin paint and then build from there. I brought in a sample of some underpaintings I did to show my class how to paint underpaintings for portraits. 

Vicki:  Recently I have been doing underpaintings in fast matte by Gamblin. I went to a show in Washington DC of D├ęgas and Cassatt. I learned there that Degas regularly painted over his old works. This made me feel better about painting over my old works. I brought in a recent painting. 

Brenda: At the plein air convention I learned that there are many many of ways to start painting. There doesn't seem to be any one way. Every artist seems to do it in a different way. I like texture.  I started this painting in transparent Earth red. I completed it and two sessions.

Peggie: I work either white or toned canvases. I was at Schrieiners recently and I sketched instead of going right to painting.  Drawing helps me to plan the painting. Later, when I did a painting, I referred to my sketch. I went painting with Kristina in Joseph Or. I brought in paintings from that trip. 

Stephanie: I like white canvas. I used to be an acrylic painter and now I like to go over some of my old acrylic paintings with oil paint. I like to reinterpret things and change things. 

Bill:  Sometimes I hold up my brush to the canvas and visualize painting the painting I'm about to paint. It's an imagination thing...(much like an athlete visualizes). 

Marty: Music lightens me up. I need to be relaxed so that I paint alright. Recently with Za's encouragement I have started using three markers for sketching. This helps me see and plan better. 

Eunice:  I am like Dave. I start paintings in all different ways. I brought in a painting that I recently did of a photo reference of Lacamas Lake in Washington. 

Anna: I recently took a workshop with Jennifer Deihl. She asked me "what do you see as the color of the day"? My canvases were toned with blue...and I came to realize that I had to fight against the blue. I realize now that I should not tone in blue for every painting.  I brought in work from the workshop.


Kristina won second place at the Wallowa Art Festival she also sold her quick draw painting. Congratulations Kristina!

Our reception is Thursday, June 5 (Tonight) at Art Factors. 

Joanne Kallmann is also at the Elizabeth lofts on 9th also with the reception tonight.

This Saturday Brenda Boylan and her pastel group invite you to come out to Sauvie Island to paint with them at 10 AM in the transit parking lot on Sauvie Island. 

The Rose Festival show begins at OSA on Sunday. 

Za has a workshop in Washington. Go to her website and then go to her email to sign up. She only has a few slots left. 

Eunice tells us that she saw a picture of Anton in the recent Plein Air magazine. 

Diane tells us that there's show at concordia College with Jim Lamb is excellent. 

Thank you everyone for coming today and sharing your ideas and paintings. I nearly ran out of battery taking so many pictures! (Ha ha)

The meeting Thursday, June 12 the suggested topic is---your notable strength (what you find easy) and your weakness (what you find challenging) in painting.

Meeting Notes, June 12, 2014
At today's meeting Loretta, Za, Tim, Tedd, Lola, Kristina, Diane, Dave, Char, Lisa, Diane H, Eunice, Anna, Emily, and me (Celeste). 

Today's suggested topic: Your one strength and one weakness as it pertains to your painting ability. (All comments below are in random and anonymous order)

My strength is drawing. My weakness remains values. Often when I'm painting outside everything looks fine, but when I bring it inside suddenly the values look all mid tone and there isn't enough contrast to make the painting interesting. I sometimes do value exercises in order to try to improve.

My strength is in my ability to change, and in my ability to learn. I build on my foundation of knowledge. My weakness is my inability to control the saturation of my colors. I want to push my colors, but my material won't allow it. I am working on this.

My strength is simply in getting out there. I have no problems getting my gear out to a site and painting. My weakness is in perspective. At times I just don't feel that I know what I'm doing (but not all the time ..sometimes things work out, much to my surprise!)

I feel very confident in drawing. I know that I am too picky with small paintings. I have a hard time leaving them alone and then I overwork them. 

My strength is that I like to learn. My weakness is that I need to learn to simplify. 

I have been told that people emotionally connect to many of my paintings. My downfall is things like angles. Sometimes I get a painting home, thinking I did well, but then I see a big error. I want to take a refresher course in drawing. 

 My weakness is simply a lack of experience and skill in alla prima painting. I do not work quickly. Working pretty fast is something that is preferred in alla prima painting. I will give myself assignments in specific areas so that will improve. (My strength is that I have tenacity and I will not give up).

My strength is I am not afraid to look stupid in front of other people. My weakness is in composition and value. 

My strength is that I like to bend color. I thoroughly enjoy doing that. My weakness is that I can get a little too sure of myself....(but if I do .... I generally will get a dose of reality)!

My strength is in drawing. My weakness is in editing. 

Once I wrote a thesis... and when I think of it...a thesis is comparable to sketching and painting. My way of writing the thesis (as well as sketching/painting) is "inductive". Inductive works from more specific to more general.  In other words, When I wrote the thesis, I just started writing and eventually got around to what it was I wanted to say. This is true of how I work in paint as well.  

My problem is that I have too many styles. This is because I like to try many different things. Oddly enough, this is actually one of my best qualities (that I love to learn). I can get lazy and just put paint down without thinking. I need to be more mindful. 

 A good strength of mine is that I get very excited about painting. I have always been this way! The weakness that I have is that I don't know when to stop sometimes and I can ruin a painting because I've gone too far. 

My strength is that I can catch a mood. At least that has been what I have been told. My weakness is that my composition, my planning is not as good as it should be. If if I do a thumbnail and plan the painting will certainly come out better. One thing I know is that you need to do this for yourself....! (We can't be thinking about what other people think about our paintings while we are painting them)!


The Lake Oswego "open show" (Deadline Sunday, June 15 from 1-4pm

Pacific NW Plein Air Competition and Exhibit 2014 (Hood River) (Deadline Sunday, June 15 Midnight):

Za has two openings in her Hood River one day plein air workshop. It is June 27. "The Art of Decoding" contact her through her website:!events/cgpq

Eric Bowman's Studio Sale is Saturday beginning at 9am:

Lola talk to us about some property in her family that is Washington. Specifically it is near Toledo, Washington. Lola thinks that we could have a workshop/painting party there that may be an overnight situation with lodging. More will come from her about this exciting prospect. 

There are many plein air event opportunities this summer locally. Also, many artists are offering workshops. We have been posting these opportunities to our Alla Prima Portland Facebook wall.

Thank you everyone for coming today and showing your work and discussing the topic. Next meeting Thursday, June 19 topic suggested topic: WHITE! (Painting a white object and/or what do you know about white and "lightest light").
Meeting Notes, June 19, 2014
At todays meeting Loretta, Thomas, Tim, Kristina, Lola, Stephanie, Renita, Diana Gray (new), Kay, Claudia, Susan, Bill, Eunice, Anna, Donna and me (Celeste).

Today's suggested table topic: share something that you know about white.

Celeste: I brought in a book that Chris Lally had recommended the name of the book is Making color sing by Jeanne Dobie. The book is for watercolorists, but all of the principles in the book apply to all medium.  In the book there is a section about whites and how to use a complement of the slightly tinted white that you are using in order to make the color glow. If your white were tinted slightly red (pink) then to heighten that you would use a halftone next to it that is slightly green.

Loretta: I generally use titanium white. I never use flake white. I have heard positives about zinc white. I have never used it myself. I brought in two paintings where I am employed white.

Thomas: I am back from Italy. One of my favorite artists is Sorolla. He conveyed light better than anyone else. When I saw his paintings in person I nearly had to shield my eyes as if I were outside in the bright sunlight.
It is important when you are using white in a painting that it be clean.  I recommend you try a pallet knife for your white (in some cases). It is just so easy to pollute. I use a zinc- titanium mix. I brought in all my paintings from Italy. I painted them on Claussens acrylic primed linen (that I cut to size) and I used just 4 colors for the entire time.

Tim:  I like history, so I researched this a bit and found out that white used to be provided by all manner of things ...things such as fish scales, pearl and ash! I painted a white set up in still life as an exercise. I also brought in a plein air painting that I did at Chinook Landing.

Kristina: When I first started painting someone told me “just grab a simple teacup and paint that”. Well, teacups are generally white and painting a white teacup is no easy task! I learned that you have to “steer” white this way or that in order to make it read correctly. I brought in a painting of Chinook Landing and also another painting that I did in Jennifer Diehl’s workshop.

Lola: I haven't thought much about whites, but I will! I brought in some paintings that I've done in Mike Orwicks classes at OSA. I recommend these classes. Anton Pavlenko is also going to be teaching at OSA. I have been learning a lot.

Stephanie: Well it seems to me that white is something you just can't seem to get enough of!  It is a challenge sometimes painting wet and wet to get things at the right value (especially if it is a light or white value). Gamblin has some premixed colors that are really fun. These are new colors like blue white cool white warm white yellow white. These are shortcuts but absolutely fun.  Next weekend I will be painting at Smith Rock in their annual plein air event.

Anna: White is a big challenge. I brought in a big painting. It was done with an underpainting. My mentor taught me to paint in an underpainting and leave the places that were to be the brightest white as a white. I also brought in a painting in my newer style (direct painting). I did this painting in Jennifer Diehl's workshop.

Renita: I don't have anything to add about the discussion about white. I have been thinking a lot about painting. I went on a camping trip with my horse recently. My plan is to paint from some of the sketches and photographs I took during this camping trip.

(New person) Diana: I met Ted Chilless and he told me about this group. I am relatively new to drawing and painting. I took a drawing class at PCC and I fell in love with charcoal. I am happy to find this group. (Welcome)!

Kay: I am back from Thomas’ workshop in Italy. I had a wonderful time! I brought in several paintings that I did there. In particular, I did one painting there and Thomas helped me to see that if I was to make my white flowers stand out I was going to have to change the temperature of the tablecloth. I made the tablecloth cooler to juxtapose the slight warmth of the white flowers.

Claudia: I have nothing to add to the discussion about white. I am here to learn what you all have to say!

Susan: I brought in this painting of a white cup and a pastel painting of two eggs in a jar. 

Bill: I brought in a painting of Indian Beach. I also brought in a painting that I did of a model. I felt she needed “something” so I put a white earring on her even though there was no white earring there. Artistic license!

Eunice: I brought in a painting of Coos Bay and also this painting of a Basset hound that has a lot of white.

Donna: I brought in some drawings from my sketchbook. I enjoyed this contour drawing that I did in a Laundromat on a recent trip. I also brought in a book and wanted to show you how of the abstract quality of these paintings are key to their success. The thing about white is (for sure) your eyes will go to it ...that's what I know.
(Editor's note): sorry, I didn't get the name of the book.


There is a new gallery right down from Donna’s Gallery in Beaverton. Come see the show at Art on Broadway and check out the new HART gallery too. 

Lola Dennis is featured artist at Broadway Gallery in Longview. Reception July 10 5:30-7:30

Gretha Lindwood won Best of Pastel in Carmel:

Thomas Kitts offers three workshops this summer. He will provide a bonus lecture for artists and the public during the Hood River workshop.

Hood River (July 25, 26 and 27):

Portland (August 11-15)

Carmel (Sept 8-10):

Here is a blogpost about the recent workshop in Italy (that will be repeated in Sept of 2015)

Eunice recommends a prospective class with Ken Klos this weekend. She’ll be there! 

Pick up unsold art date from Art Factors is July 8 between 9 and noon

Lake Oswego Art (Chronicle and Open show) is this weekend:

Next art discussion meeting June 26 suggested topic: Setting out your paint (your palette arrangement) and why you use the arrangement that you do. 

Meeting Notes June 26

At todays meeting Loretta, Thomas, Tim, Joanne, Chris, Thim, Lisa, Diane, Vicky, Marty, Bill, Barbara, Eunice, Peggie, Za, Anthony, Brenda, Kay, Lola, Kristine, Erin, Jeanne, Claudia, and me (Celeste).

Today’s suggested table topic: Your Palette Arrangement (and why you do it the way you do it).

Celeste: I brought in a photograph of my palette. I have yellow, red and blue on my palette along with green, violet,  gray and white. My primaries are split warm and cool. I also brought in a photograph of Richard Schmid's palette. I learned my palette arrangement from Kenn Backhaus. I brought in a painting from last week (from when we discussed white).

Eunice: I put white next to yellow and a second white in another place. I haven't done any painting this week.... but I plan on painting again!

Barbara (new). I set up my palette mostly like Celeste does.. I took a workshop with Daniel Greene in New York. I was so impressed by how he laid out his palette.  it is very complicated and very organized. (It was a portrait workshop). I discovered that he had three assistants who would prepare his palettes for him. (Welcome, Barbara!)

Bill: I also set up my palette with warm and cool primaries. I make a habit of cleaning my palette. I brought in two paintings that I did while visiting Germany. One is a watercolor that I did on the airplane.

Marty: I also set up my palette with warm and cools of the primaries. I learned a lot from Kat Sowa about how to organize my palette. Recently I have been using a limited palette.

Vicki:  I put white at the far end of my palette. I use a glass palette. I brought in an article about selling from alternative spaces and a plein air painting.

Lisa: I am returning from being out of I am just listening today.

Diane: I’ve bought some of my palettes as glass cutting boards.  You can paint the back side gray. I sometimes put colored paper behind the glass. It helps for seeing values. I use two whites. I have been reading the Alla  Prima book by Richard Schmid. I also have a Masterson’s  box.

Lola: I set up my palette with a warm and cool of all the primaries. I use two piles of white. I am frugal, so I move my paint to the side after a painting session (to use again). I clean my palette with alcohol. You should try it.  It works really great. You will be surprised. I continue my classes with Orwick. He taught us how to improve old (bad) paintings. I brought in an example.

Jeanne:  I have a Soltek easel, so I use the small palette that comes with it. I use a warm and cool of all the primaries and I use extra blues. I don't purchase greens. I mix my own greens. I put out a full palette every time I paint, even if I don't think I will need a particular color. I brought in two paintings that were painted plein air.

Brenda: I have over 400 colors on my palette in pastels. I will show you how it looks on my cell phone. I set up my pastels warm to cool and dark to light. The neutrals go to the side. I am just back from the Los Gatos Plein Air event. Several people from Portland went and we did so well! Five of my pieces were sold, and got some commissions and I got an honorable mention.  Za won second place! (applause).
Everyone there likes to have a good time, but they also noticed that the Portanders were there to work. 

Anthony: I own the HART Gallery in Beaverton. I am inviting you to submit work to a show in August. I will provide the canvases (the fee for this in included in the entry fee). The theme is "Classics". (All your interpretations of the theme will be accepted). Please contact me if you're interested in showing in our gallery. (Welcome, Anthony!)

Za: I brought in my palette to show you. I set up my palette the same way each time. I scrape paint to the side and use the grays as my neutral. I tried something different in Los Gatos. I invested in series 2 of the water-soluble paint because it is better, brighter color. We all had a wonderful time in Los Gatos and I encourage you to participate next year. I am showing two paintings I did there. (One of them won 2nd place).

Peggie: I brought in my palette to show you. It’s paper. I tear off each page when I'm finished with it. I brought in two paintings of the Rose Gardens of the Rose Garden. I went when it was blooming (and also I returned when it was not blooming)!

Kristina. I set up my palette like most of you do, except that I am left-handed so my paint goes the opposite direction of most of yours. I brought in two Nocturnes. I thought Nocturnes went with today’s topic. When you are doing a Nocturne you need to know where your paint is (because you can’t see your palette!)

Erin: I am new here. I was invited by Kay to come along today. I am a watercolorist. I brought in my palette to show you. I also brought in some of my watercolor note cards that I have done. (Welcome Erin!)

Kay: I brought in this photograph of Scott Gellatly’s palette arrangement. He uses a limited palette that many of you would be familiar with, however he uses Indian yellow (as his only yellow), which is unusual. Personally, I don't have a strict paltette. I play with all of the palette arrangements that I have learned about. My recent trip to Rome was just wonderful. I brought in the Boldini book for you to look at. I also brought in a small painting of Italy. My work has improved since this painting was done. I loved the workshop that I took with Thomas Kitts in Italy. My work is definitely improved significantly with Thomas’ guidance.

Claudia: I set up my palette like Za sets up hers (I learned the arrangement from her). Stephanie, Kristina, Nancy and I painted at Smith Rock last weekend. Some paintings were chosen to be shown at the airport in Bend. Mine was among them! 

Thim: I know that palette organization is important,  but I am kind of a square peg in a round hole. I don't place a lot of emphasis on it. I do use a limited palette, just red, blue, yellow and white. Color is almost an obstacle to me because I am still learning about value. I really like muted color. A limited palette makes sense to me.

Chris: I took a workshop with Leslie Saeta. She uses a limited palette. I brought in a painting that proves that you can get really “crazy” colors with very few colors. She also helped me to learn to paint with the palette knife.

Joanne: I like Ted Groschner's book. He shows his palette arrangement there. He uses premixed grays. I like to use a transparent red oxide that Richard Schmid recommends. It is the old Holland brand. Dick Blick has a student grade range of colors that are sold in a box. I have used those with my students and I think that they are pretty nice. I want to recommend that anyone new to painting go ahead and try the Dick Blick set of colors. I am showing you the commission I have been working on.... a young girl playing a violin.

Tedd: I have been using a limited palette. I like Bob Bertram. He has very good educational videos on YouTube. I used a limited palette to paint this portrait of an art student model of mine.

Tim: On my palette you will usually find a couple of reds,  a couple of yellows,  a couple of blues, a white,  some gel medium and some umber. Recently I met a friend who wanted to paint in acrylic plein air. It was a challenge. I brought in the painting that I did.

Loretta: I use all of the primaries and two whites, a volet and a brown. I mix with a knife to make sure that everything is clean.


“ROYGBIV” describes the spectrum. (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet... this is the order of colors of the rainbow).

When I think about the color wheel, I think of it with yellow being at the top and purple being opposite it at the bottom. As I paint I will ask myself questions as I look at things:  “how yellow is this ....or how purple is this”?

On my (full) palette I use cad yellow light, cad yellow medium, cad red medium, alizarin crimson (or quin), ultramarine blue, cerulean blue hue and viridian green. I use also some earth colors: ochre, burnt umber or burnt sienna, and black. I use titanium white.  When I set up a palette, I don't have any gaps in between the colors. The colors can and should touch each other.  In Italy I used a limited palette of Hansa yellow medium, quin red, thalo blue and black and white.

I brought in the studio painting that I am working on and I used my limited palette on this large painting. It is in progress (not quite finished yet).


Claudia tells us the Sequoia Gallery will have a summer open show.  It will showcase Hillsboro and the surrounding areas. Claudia is organizing paint outs that will occur July 2 July 4 and July 5. July 2 is at Sequoia Gallery, July 4 is at the Hillsboro parade on Main Street and July 5 is at Saturday market at Main Street. Go to the Sequoia gallery link for more information.

Are you going to the Eric Sandgren Paint out in July? Kay Elmore made arrangements for a campsite that she has from the19th to the 27th of July.  It is for eight nights in the Tillicum campsite. She has different accommodations and she wants to offer the campsite  to any painting buddies who are in the Sangren paintout. Please contact Kay to find out the fees.
You can inquire on our facebook page:

This Friday there is a reception for Ted Chilless and all of the Lake Oswego painters in Lake Oswego. (Editor's note: I couldn't find a link for this).

Contact Anthony of HART gallery for details about “Classics” in August:

Pick up your unsold work at Art Factors on July 8 from 9 to 11 AM.

Thanks to everyone today for sharing your ideas and art. Next meeting: Thursday, July 3. Suggested Table Topic: Artist/Art Etiquette. What do you know about manners/etiquette as it pertains to being an artist. 

No comments:

Post a Comment