Thursday, February 23, 2012

Workshop Just around the Corner

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Heron in the Gloaming,  15 x 11

There is still time to sign up for my upcoming workshop, and there are spaces available. See the write-up below.

After hearing so many glowing reports ofMargaret Godfrey's workshop at EAC last year, we are having her back!  Margaret's lively 4-day watercolor workshop, "Combining Subject Matter With Abstract Design" is designed to incorporate all skill levels, and will challenge and encourage you to boldly step beyond your comfort zone and produce fresh and imaginative work, combining representational with abstract.  In this workshop, you will learn how to create collage papers, compose a dynamic abstract design, combine abstract design with representational shapes, use color and shape to unify a painting, and build a painting using an intuitive process. This workshop will be Wednesday-Saturday, Feb. 29 -March 3, 9-4. Price for EAC members: $225, for non-members: $265Part-time students may sign-up and pay for the first day and then add subsequent consecutive days if they wish. Price per day for part-time students: EAC members: $66 per day. Non-members: $76 per day. Margaret Godfrey's

 Please call Emerald Art Center: 541-726-8595

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Two Lesson about Juried Shows

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I just received news this morning that Rogue Heron (the painting above) is one of the 20 award winners at the Western Federation of Watercolor Societies 37th Annual Exhibit. This exhibit includes 100 paintings chosen from over 1000 entered from members of watercolor societies from 10 states.

And the lessons learned:
One: If you have faith in a painting, keep with it. I first used this subject matter in a small mixed media painting using collage. I then painted it in transparent watercolor as an experiment to see if I could get the same effects and excitement I got in the collaged piece. I really liked the composition, and felt the newer version was very dynamic. I entered the watercolor version in a couple of competitions where it was rejected. After those rejections, I modified the areas on the wings that had bothered my critique group. Then I sent it off again. This time it got into the Watercolor Society of Oregon Fall Show a few months ago.

Two: Any acceptance or award in a show is more about the juror than the painting. So the painting was accepted in a statewide show, but did not win an award. That made it available for entry into the Western Fed. show. There, the very same painting, was not only accepted, but won an award. (a smaller fish in a bigger pond) Both shows were juried by nationally known jurors.

So fellow artists, if you love a painting, it has merit. Don't let any part be so precious that you can't change it. and be willing to modify a good painting. Keep your faith it the work and keep entering.

If you have a piece rejected, remember that it is only one person's opinion. The next juror might not only accept it, but give it an award. This is a big thrill for me!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Veils of the Gorge

I am still working on my river series. This time I am revisiting the Strata format with acrylics. Although I am not as comfortable with acrylics at this point, I am getting better at using them, and learning how to get subtle color changes.

To begin this piece, I placed black gesso over a portion of the paper and let it dry. Then I made a soupy white gesso mix to put on top of that. While the soupy gesso was wet, I placed two birds cut out of heavy plastic. I then placed vivid color on the paper with liquid acrylic.

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After all the gesso and acrylic paint was dry, I peeled off the plastic birds, which left an impression in the dried gesso. I applied undiluted white gesso over the bright colors and used my homemade toothed scraper to make the water-like marks in the wet gesso. At the bottom of the page I put down rice paper in gesso to create a texture. At the top, I've placed my hand carved stamp of Tsagaglalal, She Who Watches, where I intend to add this legendary petroglyph. (

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To finish this piece, I used many layers of acrylic paints, stamps and hand made marks. I am intrigued by the veiled effects one can get using light washes over dark colors. It is so opposite of watercolor techniques.

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Veils of the Gorge, 22 x 15

Most of the techniques I'm using are out of books written by other artists sharing their own explorations. Usually I start with a borrowed technique and build on that for my own purposes. Thanks to Mary Todd Beam for the plastic in gesso idea.