Monday, September 27, 2010

Weekend with the Masters IV

Yesterday was the Color Workshop with Dan Pinkham - nothing short of amazing! He demo'd for us and sent us on our way to paint at San Juan Capistrano Mission. Talk about a piece of heaven for painting! The gardens and ponds are gorgeous, the structures are aged, rigid, comforting. As instructed (and now part of my process), we wandered the grounds with a sketchpad in hand, writing the thoughts and feelings that came to mind as we searched for something to connect with. 80% of your vision is peripheral, the decisions we make about color come from this part. Only 20% is focused vision and that part of the brain sees value and shape, things we need to survive. Dan taught us to start being aware of the peripheral, of training our brains to see and interpret something we have most likely abandoned in our lives. All of this is bringing the unaware, the subconscious to the surface to question, study and make intentional. Then we were instructed to find the largest dark mass and the medium value in that mass. Start comparing and finding the difference in those masses. From there, it really is about comparisons - between color, temperature, value. I don't want to explain his workshop in too much detail because EVERYONE should take it and only Dan can truly explain his thought process, but it's a lesson in DISCIPLINE of the mind and decision making. It will be so hard to absorb all this into my own work, but I am determined to awaken my eyes - how I see! Only then can I truly speak MY voice and that is exactly what every artist should do. There is only one of you - your experience, your sensitivity, your soul!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Weekend with the Masters III

Today was a lecture day by Dan on Sergei Bongart, his teacher/mentor. Dan and Vicki have put together a slide show showing the lineage of teacher/student all the way back to Levitan and even further. Their style of teaching, their passion for art has been passed down through generations, and the kinship of instilling discipline and passion is evident. "It is important for each artist to be humble enough to give credit back to the mentor that inspired and taught each artist" - Dan Pinkham. Another keypoint that will set with me forever is the discipline that a scholarship student developed while under the direction of Bongart. Imagine, six days a week from 8am until 9pm and then homework (six figure studies) per week on top of that. Then add to that your jobs to pay your way through i.e. cooking, cleaning, handyman jobs, etc. FOR FIVE YEARS~!!!
Take a naturally gifted artist and then train them for five years, six days a week 13 hours per day, and you realize the work of Dan Pinkham and other Bongart students. I don't know about you, but it terrifies me that I will never be able to reach my potential because of my lack of total focus - chosen or otherwise - because of family commitments, every day life's commitments!
Bongart and Pinkham both live a well-lived artistic life, embracing music, beauty of all types, music, literature, poetry, all the things that satiate the starving intellectual, soulful mind. They have something important to say in this world and are surrounded by other beautiful people with something to say.
Tomorrow is my color workshop! I can't wait to hear more of what Dan Pinkham has to say!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Weekend with the Masters Post II

Just for information for everyone (lol, tee-hee-hee I don't think anyone reads my blogs except me), I came down here just for the Dan Pinkham workshops. There are great teachers, but it is his work I connected with, his emotional compositions and color. He is also known to be able to teach someone without them having to "paint like he paints". Well, believe me, this workshop has been all that I had hoped for and more. This morning was a lecture about personal interpretations of shapes, forms, compositions and what they mean to each person uniquely. He had us write as we quieted our minds and got in touch with why we pick our subjects, what those subjects actually mean to us and how to convey that and stay in our integrity as we paint it. Like I said, it was exactly what I had hoped for.

Got a little sunburned and my legs hurt from standing all day - but I seriously lost track of time and painted until almost 5:30! Tomorrow is the lecture on Sergei Bongart. Then maybe another lecture if I can find an open one. I will try and post the two paintings I worked on today too. Being on the ocean changes my palette completely and I love the blues!

Ok, too tired to write any more. I'm going to bed early so I can be rested and ready to absorb a wealth of information tomorrow!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Weekend with the Masters Post #1

Today felt like a little star-gazing on the red carpet of artists! I am down in Laguna Beach at the Weekend with the Masters Workshop, eager and ready to paint. When I registered today with my daughter, I was handed a goody bag with enough free samples to keep me busy drawing, painting, playing for months to come. It felt like Christmas in September!
After registering, I did a little wandering through the halls. Just enough to catch a glimpse of David Leffel, Richard Schmidt, Scott Christensen, Jeremy Lipking, Alexey Steele, Scott Burdick - to name a few. I had no idea this workshop existed until three weeks ago. They have gathered some of the finest artists working in this country to date to offer their how-to's and why for's to hundreds of eager students! All in one place no less! And I hear that they will offer this workshop in NYC next year - my favorite art spot bar none.

It's easy to become intimidated and vulnerable to lose one's unique voice in such an atmosphere of excellence. I do believe that learning and gaining new tools for expression is SO important to the artistic growth of each person, but I believe just as strongly that every persons' voice and expression is so important in this world and that integrity cannot be compromised for the likes of any one style or direction. Choose your mentors wisely. Find out why they do what they do, not just how they do it! Absorb that knowledge and then use it to your full advantage in speaking your own voice. Ok, there is my (self) lecture for the day...:)

I'm so excited for tomorrow!!!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Next up......
Dan Pinkham! This weekend coming up...can't wait!
I just got back from another adventure in art! I spent last weekend in Jackson, WY at the Western Visions Miniature Show - Jackson Wildlife museum, my first time at being invited to the show. Talk about beautiful artwork! Thursday evening was the Artists reception and Friday was the auction. It is so fun for me to meet artists I don't know but am familiar with their art, meet artists that I haven't seen for awhile, and meet artists I have met on FB but never met personally! If you get a chance to look through the artwork online, please do - it's an amazing show.
I had a few favorites to say the least! To name just a few:
September Vhay - my, what sensitive, feminine, delicate work as well as Kathy Turner in the same vein - delicate, high key and stunning! Just looking at these two make one desire to dig deeper into the soul. Skip Whitcomb had a beautiful little winter scene carried out with simple, direct brushwork that sings. Russell Case had an amazing piece, as usual! And can I just say he is as wonderful and compassionate a person as an artist? He and his beautiful wife inspire me as a human and an artist. Bonita Roberts had a landscape pastel/drawing that was great and one of my favorite painters Marc Bohne had a beautiful little piece that packed a large punch.
From the looks of it, the auction was highly successful! Many prior collectors, new collectors and gallery representatives showed up to admire and purchase the work. It was a really great show!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I'm reposting the link to the Southwest Art Magazine Article in the August 2010 issue for anyone interested in reading it!

Heading back out to Jackson tomorrow for the Western Visions Miniature Show! This is the first time I have been in the show and I'm very excited about it. Thursday night is the Artist's Reception. I went last year as a guest and met some great artists, saw some great art. It's great to be in the show this year and on the actual invitation list :) I have a few friends that will be going up there and we will try and get together and paint. Marco has never been to the Tetons, never been to Yellowstone and I would love to show him around. I'm hoping to see looks of sheer amazement coming from his eyes - I think taking him to a sports event would probably work better, but I'll tell him it's business and he will pay close attention! He's such a great sport for all these art events, four times camping this year, I think he loves me! This is the painting I submitted for the show!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A short down time - FINALLY! No traveling for a week or two. I am working on some small watercolors, trying a few new things, exploring a bit. This reminds me of why I fell in love with painting in the first place. After I finish a half a dozen or so, I will post them. For now, here is a winter piece that is in Mtn. Trails Gallery in Jackson, WY. A chill is in the air and I will be heading there soon for the Western Visions Miniature show. This is my first time in and I'm pretty stoked about it!