Sunday, April 30, 2023

A Saturday in the McKenzie Valley

Somehow we jumped from winter to summer, then back to spring. Yesterday was one of the two days of a summer preview and Mike and I took advantage of it. I'll share my photos with brief narratives as I use my blog as a journal entry.

Mike knows some quiet spots in the valley.

Our lunch spot was on a spot less traveled.

After lunch, a walk on the McKenzie River Trail.

This moss was just too attractive!

Mike took a rest in the moss, as I walked on.

Sun, shade and the flowing river--what more could one ask for.

The beautiful mix of green on red branches is worth a photo.

An outstanding mix of colors!

I asked Mike to hop on a log to give a reference of how
 huge these trees are that came down this winter.
We spotted one lonely lady slipper.

But there were many trilliums.

We ended our outing with a beer at Toketee Golf Course. What a view!

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Why Take a Workshop? To Try New Stuff!!

It has been quite some time since I went to a workshop to just learn from another artist, but I did just that to learn from Vera Dickerson. She is known for wonderful figures surrounded by patterns made with stencils and collage. She also uses primarily acrylic paints. All skills I am interested in improving in my own tool box.

Vera Dickerson Teaching in Bend, Oregon

(We members of Watercolor Society of Oregon are fortunate to have internationally known artists come twice a year to teach here in Oregon. The workshops are considerably less expensive than taking a workshop elsewhere, and no flying is involved!) 

So the first day, we spent time making collage papers. Although I often make my own collage papers, Vera showed a somewhat different way, preparing the deli paper first with a wash of white gesso mixed with gel medium. Knowing stencils would be involved, I made 3 of my own using a plastic and hot gun.

My personal stencils and collage papers.

The next day, it was off to the races! We watched a wonderful demonstration by Vera, then began our own take on her process. Her stencils and patterns are mostly delicate--florals and lace-like patterns. She also uses more pastel colors, making for lovely settings for female figures. Me, I'm into bigger shapes and bolder colors, so even though I followed her technique, I came out with much wilder collage papers and wilder pictures.

So on the last of the 5 days, I softened my work to be a bit more like that of this great instructor. Plus my figure called for more sweetness.

The best things I came home with: I can use acrylics and even paint a person, I can combine collage materials and patterns, I can adapt these new skills into my own work, and finally, I can come home with something worth making into a story.

Reading in the Library