- You may be eligible for a discount. Please call (818) 708-9232.
Learn the fundamentals necessary for successful landscape painting in the open air (plein air). The process will be broken down into achievable steps through demonstrations, on-location painting and personalized critiques. The techniques of plein air painting will be explored with a focus on composition, understanding values, establishing a focal point, and learning to edit from the wealth of material in nature. Every week we will meet at a different site where I will start with a demonstration focusing on the essentials of plein air painting. Students will then paint on location with individualized critiques. Every plein air experience is a unique challenge with the objective of capturing a moment in time. Whether you are a beginner or an established plein air painter, my goal is to give you the tools to become a better artist through observation, simplification, and the appreciation of painting from nature.Comment on or Share this Article →
Art and money, big money, are in the headlines. "The Scream" by Edvard Munch sold at auction for $119.9 million last Wednesday night, setting a record for the most expensive artwork sold at auction. Makes all our work look like we are selling them for mere pocket change. This outrageous price would be news enough but I uncovered some startling facts about the artwork. I am wondering if the mysterious buyer, via phone, got what he thought he was paying for.
You see there are actually 4 versions of "The Scream." The Munch Museum in Oslo owns a pastel as well as a painted version, while the National Gallery of Norway holds the earliest painting, dated 1893. But the one auctioned at Sotheby's was best described as a crayon or pastel drawing, not a painting at all, on board. This information was easy to find online, but one wonders if the buyer who bid via phone realized he was buying a sketch in crayon on board. The art market has been all a twitter about this monumental amount with an art expert even denouncing "The Scream" sale as "a freak show." With the ever-increasing wealth of high-end art collectors, the price of art will continue to skyrocket but this sale seems, well, crazy. Who knows where this madness will end.
Saturday, May 12 there is a reception for the SFVAC 2012 Spring Juried Show at Gallery 800, 5108 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, CA from 5 PM to 8 PM. My painting Reflections in the Harbor won 2nd Place. I hope to see you at the Historic Lankershim Art Center.Comment on or Share this Article →
Seacliffs at Garapata 22x28 Oil $3200
I have been in my studio working on some larger paintings and contemplating the difference of studio painting verses plein air. The main struggle is tackling the size. I am so comfortable painting an 11x14 format that when faced with a much large painting, I admit, it can be daunting. Covering all that blank canvas isn't an easy task. Here are a few things to consider when going large.
- Work Out the Problems Before Painting - Don't wing it. Working on a large canvas will intensify any drawing problems so the smallest miscalculations are intense and obvious. I usually work from a smaller painting where I have already worked out the composition, values and perspective. A detail sketch can serve the same function. Even with a lot of preparation there will still be areas that are going to challenge you but don't make it harder than it has to be by trying to work out the composition on a large canvas.
- Scale of the Painting - When using a much larger format, decisions must be made about the scale of your painting. If you keep the subject matter at the same scale as you usually paint you will have a lot more going on in the painting. You can paint on a larger scale which will keep the details to a minimum and the effect will look like you enlarged one of your smaller painting. There is no guarantee that a BIG painting will be a better painting or that more detail is a good thing so a balance needs to be found where the size of the canvas, the subject of the painting and your style of painting all come together.
- More of Everything - More canvas to cover means using a lot more paint so remember to mix large amounts of your colors and keep track of what you are mixing so you can duplicate a color. Get out the large brushes too. Applying the paint will be easier with bigger brushes but it will also help to keep you from getting too tight and putting in details that are too fussy and unnecessary.
- Walk Away - Working on a large canvas makes it even more important to step back and look at what you are doing from a distance. I prefer to work standing up so I walk around when I am painting. If you sit while you work, get up often to see the painting. Get some perspective and walk out of the room. The impression you have when you first walk back into your studio is a great equalizer. I also use a mirror which helps me identify drawing mistakes.
- Time to Paint Large - A large canvas always takes longer so I am very selective with subject when I paint large. Love the subject so you are not bored, tired or impatient while completing your masterpiece.
In a culture where "bigger is better" painting on a larger format is something you should tackle. Understanding the challenges before you start will minimize problems for a great result.Comment on or Share this Article →
Trail to Echo Mountain 12x12 Oil Showing this weekend at Art Matters Encore! at the Huntington Library and Gardens
Perhaps you have noticed that I did not blog this past week. Sorry, but I downloaded a virus on Tuesday and just got my computer back yesterday. Luckily for me I didn't lose any data but I now find myself behind in my schedule because of this snafu. My smart phone allowed me to keep current with my email, but I missed the routine and convenience of getting on the computer. All my reference photos are filed on it so I couldn't work in the studio on a larger painting and I fell into a funk.
This last week has me thinking, what did I do before the computer? How did I survive and how did I paint. What did I use for reference? When I think of getting prints made and working from a photo again I am daunted by the lack of input. The computer allows me to switch back and forth from one image to another to get different lighting and color variations. If I am stuck on a passage, I can reference other paintings for clues about solving the problem. Not having it brought home how much I depend on this tool for my inspiration and maintaining a productive attitude. We often talk about how our computers are a black hole that eats up time, but after 5 days without mine, I realize it has become an invaluable part of how I make art. My productivity and my computer are integrated to the point that my work suffered terribly without it and progress was very slow. Is the health of my creativity linked to the health of my computer? Probably not but I am glad to have both back at 100% again.Comment on or Share this Article →