Today's suggested table topic: "Over-working!" Do you have any experience with this and do you have any recommendations to avoid it?
Celeste: When I first started painting I painted a rose and I stayed seated so long painting it ....that I actually pinched a nerve in my back. I had to get physical therapy! (Laughter) Currently, however, I seldom paint "too long". I've adopted a kind of "brief" style. Katherine Stats told us during her workshop that you are in trouble if you find yourself working too much on one area of your canvas. I brought in two paintings.
David Mc: I view myself as the King of overworking! My best results are where I did not go back into the painting. Less is more. I brought in a plein air that I did recently. (Suggestion: I recommend using an egg timer. Put it at 30 minutes and see where you are at the 30 minute mark. You will be surprised. The ticking of the timer actually helps me to stay on track).
Sheri: Overworking is the same as over-telling a story. It is over-describing. People will walk away from a painting that just has too much information in it. It is the kiss of death! I brought in a painting.
Brenda: Katherine Stats told us in her workshop to put a stroke down and leave it. I want to give the painting my full attention. Every single mark should deliberate and necessary. My advice...don't "lick" the painting (go over the same place over and over).
Loretta: I agree with the idea that you're in trouble if you concentrate too much on one area of the canvas. If you stay in one place ..."Rome is burning"!
Marty: I tried very hard to lay down one stroke and move to the next when I was doing a portrait of my wife. Somehow, however, that portrait turned into my father! (Laughter) I am working on a project where I am painting my grandchildren. What a challenge ....because, of course, it needs to really look like them.
Tim: My solution for overworking is to scrape it off. I start again. I brought in a studio painting that I did recently.
Vicki: If Dave is the king of overworking I am the queen of overworking! I brought in a painting to show you that I definitely overworked. I'll show it to you but it stays off the blog! (Laughter) I scraped it down and sanded it down and I keep it to remind me do not do this! When I lived back East I painted with a friend who would call out to me "STOP"! (at a good place). That was helpful! I brought in a painting that I feel I didn't "over-work".
Jeanie: Yes, I too had a friend who would tell me where to stop. She actually helped me realize that I was at the right place to stop on the painting that I brought today.
Susan: My aunt and uncle were married for a very long time. They were the type of couple that could say anything to each other and get away with it. (loving, but blunt!) My aunt used to say to my uncle: "Get to the point!" It became "a thing" that my family would say to each other. I'm thinking that is just what plein air painting is. You have to get to the point! Recently I painted with Tayla in the Dahlia fields. She looked over and called out "STOPPPPP!" I'm grateful, because I would have likely taken it further ...and in retrospect, she had it right.
(I brought in that painting).
Diane: Well, I am going to speak in favor of overworking. That's right in favor of it! I was a teacher and I gave the best grades based on volume and effort. You need to overwork to actually know what overworking is. How else would you know unless you went too far sometimes? Recently I painted at the Foster Flood Plain. This is the painting that I did there.
David M I am new this is my first time here. My first painting was done in 1994. I was a middle school teacher and I am now retired. I recently finished a very big landscape project in Costa Rica. It was very absorbing, I am proud of it, but now that it's over I can devote more time to painting! I brought in a painting of Gilbert Ridge Road and also a painting I did at the coast. (Welcome, David!)
Joanne: I turned to plein air because I felt I was spending too much in the studio. After the Kevin Macpherson demonstration I decided that 6 x 8 is a very good size. I took a trip to Hawaii and brought in all my plein air paintings from the trip. I had my mineral spirits taken away from me so I decided to try safflower oil. This is the safflower oil that you can get at the grocery store. I painted with it. It worked great. I was able to clean my brushes with it. I painted a lot in Hawaii and I even painted in the rain. There is a point where it really doesn't work because the oil and rain resist each other. One thing I understand better than before is that it is all just paint and time. Whatever you do...what's the harm? Whatever I do will improve it or wreck it ....and either way is ok!
Kristina: When I get into trouble it is usually because I went back into something that was already done. This is when I am in the studio and I look at it and try to fix something. It usually does not turn out very well. I brought in a recent painting.
Jerry: The thing about overworking is that while you're doing it you are not aware you were doing it. You usually see it when you're back in your studio. I brought in a print of a block-in that I did along with the resulting painting. I think you can see that I may have overworked it. Some of the flavor of the initial block-in seems to be missing in the final. I also brought in a 2nd painting from the coast.
Charlie: I work with colored pencil. (I am working into pastels). It is ideal to have colored pencil look good from a distance and also close-up. Two expressions come to mind: "You don't stop, you abandon." and "The Mona Lisa was still in-progress". (Welcome, Charlie)!
Eunice: I have a big box of paintings that need to be "fixed". I brought in a painting of a squash.
Vicki, Stephanie and David are having two receptions at Remax (October 12th and 19th):
Happy Birthday to Eunice and Brenda!
Brenda has 2 workshop opportunities and an ongoing class at OSA:
David McBride invites you to the Portland Art Museum rental reception October 24, 5 to 8 PM.
Here is a Call to Artists from Pittock Mansion. The theme is Portland's Rivers and the deadline is December 15, 2014.
The Beaverton Quickdraw results are hanging at the Beaverton library (to October 12):
The results of the Hillsboro plein air competition can be found here (lots of familiar names, congratulations, all!):
The current Plein Air Magazine has a great article about ("our") Za Vue (Congratulations, Za!):
Thank you to everyone for coming in today and sharing your ideas and your paintings.
Next meeting Thursday, October 16: “Artists choice”...Tell us what you think a good topic will be for our next round of discussions. (We've gone through most all the previous requests). We'll compile your suggested table topics and use them throughout the winter.