Sunday, February 24, 2013

Portrait Workshop With Casey Childs

Have you ever taken a portrait workshop?

I decided to try one.

Taking a three-day workshop from Casey Childs proved to be a marvelous experience.

Over a three-day period, Casey took us through the steps to create a portrait. From the initial monochromatic block-in, through the generalized shapes of light and shadow, to the painting of the final details, he taught us a process that was exciting, grueling and rewarding.

We worked under the lights of an old gymnasium while a blizzard of snow whirled outside. We set up our easels in a half circle around our model, Christina. Each artist selected their own viewpoint of her and began their work. 

I set up my easel just behind Casey's, where my view of Christina was nearly frontal.

Even though I worked hard to complete my portrait of Christina, I wouldn't call it finished. Instead I would refer to it as an excellent visual aid of Casey's portrait painting process. Learning to step away from my easel and call my end product "good enough" was a lesson in itself! 

Here are our final portraits of Christina. They are each as unique as the artists who painted them.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Kindred Spirits Art Workshop

Where do I go on Wednesday afternoons?
To Art Access/VSA where I'm teaching a six-week art workshop about planetary nebulae
This class is being taught through the "Kindred Spirits" program. It's a lot of fun!

I thought you might enjoy a tour of our classroom experience.

Here we are working on making a nebula collage. We tear tissue paper into small pieces and then glue it onto brightly colored card stock.

We dry our projects with a hairdryer then flip them over to work on the other side. 
When both sides are finished, we sprinkle our nebula with stars.


Our hands get a little sticky, but it is worth the effort.



  Here's our group effort:

And now for the star show.  Each of our nebulae are unique.
Just like the nebulae in deep space, no two are alike.




As we created our artwork, we were mindful to remember a few things about nebulae. 

  • Some nebula contain star nurseries. 
  • Some nebula clouds are the remnants of dead stars. 
  • Some nebula (like a super nova) explode in a violent fashion sending elements out into the universe.  These clouds of dust, depending on their composition (like hydrogen, helium, nitrogen and gold) have their own color. 
Although learning the science about nebulae was fascinating and helped us to understand a little more about our universe, creating our own nebulae with bright colors and shining glitter was the most fun! 

Wouldn't it be great to see our own nebulae creations floating up there among the stars?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

It's All About Layers

I was driving by Fairmont Park (two blocks from my studio) just as the sun was going down and I stopped to shoot an image with my iPhone. I returned to my studio the next day to begin painting a landscape of the scene.

Several layers later - I had "Last Glimpse of February," 16 " x 20" oil on canvas

Here's my process:

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Art Competitions - A Good Measuring Stick!

Even though the process of getting a painting juried into an art show is subjective, it is one way to demonstrate your success as an artist.

Getting your artwork into a show  can help you determine how viewers read your work. If your artwork is accepted then someone thought that it was good enough.

In the past, when my work did not get juried into a show, I usually cried as I drove myself home. The sting of rejection was horrible and I wore my heart upon my sleeve! Now, I don't take it personally. I realize that my artwork can still be of a high quality and not make it into a competition. Whether or not your painting gets in a show depends on many factors. Here are some of the criteria that a juror/judge might use:
  • Size. Many venues instruct their judge to jury in specific sizes of paintings. Example: maybe a huge amount of tiny paintings were submitted and the juror can only admit a few of them.
  • Medium. Some venues tell the juror to accept an equal amount of watercolor, oil and mixed media. If the "call for entries" has only two watercolor paintings submitted along with 300 oil paintings, you can bet that both of the watercolor paintings will get in.
  • Style. Let's say that the show is slated to be a contemporary show and your painting is very traditional. Chances of getting your painting into the show are slim. It helps to check out in advance what type of show is being held.

So, do you want to put your work to the test?  Are you tough? One sure way of becoming tough
(I like to call it confident) is to experience both rejection and acceptance.

Why not go for it and see what happens? There is something magical about seeing your framed work displayed under the lights!

Below is a list of local art shows that are held on a regular basis. If you know about them in advance, you can allow yourself a few months to paint something to enter. Now's your chance! Just call and ask the various organizations to send you a form or download the information online and follow the directions. These are the dates that the "call for entry" is due.  The show dates will be a week or two later.

January        Hogle Zoo Annual Art Show
contact Jameson Weston 801-584-1739

January         Eccles Community Art Center  (Ogden)
Annual Photography Competition

Jan./Feb.      Bountiful/Davis Art Center (BDAC)
Statewide Competition

March           Springville Museum of Art (SMA)
Annual Spring Salon

                      West Jordan Schorr Gallery "Spring Fling"
                      contact Linda 801-255-6698

                      Taylorsville City Arts Council  Art Show

ah Watercolor Society
Spring Show

June              Wasatch Plein Air Painting (Midway, UT)
Usually the last part of June through and including July 4th

                      Provo Freedom Festival
Fine Art Exhibit  801-818-1776

e              Eccles Community Art Center (Ogden)
Statewide Competition

                Utah Watercolor Society
Fall Show

August           Utah State Fair
                      538-FAIR  (3247)

mber     Springville Museum of Art (SMA)
Religious/Spiritual Show

November     American Association of University Women  (AAUW)
Annual Show
                      Due to privacy issues no phone number