Friday, May 21, 2021

The Joy of Digital (or "Why Take Lots of Photos") and an Important Announcement!

 

I've been meaning to make a little post on this -- specifically about the benefits of taking LOTS of photos.

I've created eight large paintings and several small ones from this same "photo shoot" of this herd of sheep I came across somewhere in North Texas years ago. And I still haven't exhausted the possibilities.

I must say, when the conditions are just right - the light, the subject, the time - you'd best run with it, and keep snapping!  Good fortune smiled upon me when I found these sheep.

On this public Patreon post you can read some tips on scoping for photo refs, more about how I found these sheep, and a little gallery of all the paintings (15!) I've done so far from them. ...Be sure to read all the way to the end, for my favorite features in a camera and a terrific digital camera reviewing site!


Now for an IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT:

The Feedburner team announced that their email subscription service will be discontinued in July 2021. As a result, Blogger’s email subscription widget, also known as FollowByEmail, will be turned off. Specifically, the email subscription system will no longer work and subscribers to Google blogs will no longer receive email updates.

SO! If you're receiving this post via email, I thank you for your subscription, but you will no longer be getting these delivered to you from my Google Blog after next month. 

But don't despair! There's a way you can still get my Art Journal musings in your inbox! Simply follow my public Patreon Posts. Sure, Patreon is a subscription-based creative support platform, but you don't have to pay anything for my public posts, and just about all of my new work gets posted on my Patreon page, along with occasional art tips and extra info like this post.  CLICK HERE to go to my Patreon Page and right below the membership levels, next to a button that says "share" is a button that says "follow". It's that easy! (Browse around my other free posts while you're in there..)

Thanks so much for following my blog. Here's to many more years of following my Patreon, and to many more years of creative thinking!

Thursday, October 22, 2020

On Judging Shows...

 

I recently had the privilege of being a judge and/or juror for three pastel exhibits and I wanted to share my experience with you! 

I love judging art! I feel like I have fairly good judgement when it comes to recognizing what is a strong work of art based on certain basic criteria which I will talk about in the link below. Plus, it's fun to have the power to decide the fate of an entry and to imagine how someone will feel when winning an award!

Read my comments on the six winners of the MidAtlantic Pastel Society on this public Patreon post, along with what I look for when judging artwork, my experiences judging the animal category of the Pastel100 and jurying for the Pastel Society of New Mexico.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Getting Ready for the WWAF - with free interior photos

 I'm Photoshopping my art into copyright free interior pics for the Woodlands Waterway (virtual) Arts Festival!

A friend told me about a couple of useful websites for copyright free photos. Unsplash.com and Pexels.com. If you do a search in these sites for "interior decorating" all kinds of interesting pics will come up, that you can sift through and find some with walls that will suit your artwork! And these sites really are copyright free and free to download the images! No attribution required.

Then, with the magic of Photoshop (or any photo editing app with the ability to adjust colors and create a drop shadow) you can "hang" your art in these beautiful rooms to stimulate the imagination of potential buyers!

Here are the above photos as I found them, before hanging my art...

 

I Photoshopped these at last Saturday's Virtual Open Studio day. I've been busy trying to do this with much of my current painting inventory to prepare them for the Woodlands Waterway [Virtual] Arts Festival coming up. (...Seems like "virtual" has become the world's favorite adjective these days!) 

(I've also been taking evening walks with the hubby while the weather has been so nice, so my time for these [virtual] tasks has been kinda short lately! But winter will be here soon enough. Gotta enjoy these temperate days, especially in south Texas!)

The recording of this Photoshopping will be available soon on my Patreon page (at the Bunny Buddies level.) Oh yeah, I haven't yet mentioned my new Patreon page on this blog yet! I'd love for you to check it out! I hope to make it my general blog/vlog with art tips and news, plenty of public posts, and all things Pastel! Right now it is anchored to my Virtual Open Studio Days (born out of the Covid stay-at-home) and my two main levels on Patreon have access to all the video recordings from the Studio Days. Lots of pastel demos!

I'm thinking I may slowly blend this blog into the Patreon page (as public posts) so I'd love for you to follow my Patreon page ("following" gets you the public posts, kinda like a blog.)

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Who's the Boss?

"Parked Tree" (pastel, 12x9 inches)

Well, a week ago I said I'd take the Daily Painting thing one day at a time, and I made it a week. I had an epiphany yesterday while working on my newest batch of underpaintings, and I realized that when the pressure of the Daily Painting Machine was creating Stress in my life, then it was time to stop taking it so seriously! I mean, who's the Boss here, huh? Ok, I know I have workaholic tendencies, and I'm very serious about living up to the goals I set for myself - and most especially the Goals I post online for all to see! (...which is sometimes the only way I ever get anything done, lol.) And I've done 30-in-30's before with no problems (or at least no problems that prevented me from getting it done) so on the one hand I couldn't understand why this first month of my new open-ended Daily Painting Goal should be so difficult.

Really! But several things coalesced yesterday in my mind and foremost of those thoughts was the simple and pure Enjoyment I was getting out of working on the new batch of underpaintings. So much that when my stressed out workaholic pointed out to me that if I didn't pause this batch process and get at least one of these pastelled to the finish for yesterday's post, I wouldn't have a post for the day.
yesterday's batch of underpaintings... first layer finished

UGH!! That thought was SO annoying that I only gave it about 5 seconds of consideration before replying, "Shut. Up! I'm HERE. In my STUDIO. WORKING, and ENJOYING it. And how DARE you interrupt me and tell me what to do!!"

So, I continued to finish the first underpainting layer on all 19 new little paintings-in-progress, then I went back to the house and made dinner.

After dinner, my competitive left-brained workaholic needed to justify my flippant decision to skip a post, so I looked up a few of my favorite Daily Painters and collected some data...

I was happy to find out that Julian Merrow-Smith had posted 267 paintings in his first year, and an average of 203 paintings per year across the 15 years that he's been posting his famous Postcards From Provence. Carol Marine, my personal introduction to Daily Painting, posted 319 in her first year as a Daily painter, and 225 per year average across 13 years. And so just out of curiosity I checked on Duane Keiser, the "original" Daily Painter, and found that he had a whopping 388(!) posts in his first year, but an average of only 111 posts per year for the following 14 years.

It seems my impression that "Daily Painters" actually post daily on a continuous basis has been a myth all along. (Although starting off strong seems to be key!)

I'm so relieved!!

To top if off, this morning on the way to the grocery store, someone talking on NPR who had written some book was saying that these days it's important not to stress yourself about work. Just do what you can and make sure you allow yourself time to just "be." I only heard a snippet of the interview but that part really hit home.

So, my new revised Daily Painting Life Goal will be to paint and post as often as I can enjoy doing it, and just try to beat my 13 posts/month average as much as I can.

And, oh yeah, NO STRESS!!

Have you had any recent arguments with your self over how to use your time or what you think you need to do vs. what your soul cries out for? (Sometimes what you really need to do IS what your soul cries out for!) I'd love to hear from you!

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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Careful What You Wish For

"Mooove Back!" (pastel, 16x8 inches)

Our times have changed so dramatically in such a short time. Just two months ago I was sketching portraits for my 25th year at the San Antonio Rodeo, surrounded by hoards of people (well, on Saturdays at least!) Then I woke up one day in March and it seemed as if my entire calendar for the foreseeable future was wiped clean.

For the first couple days of cancellations, I was frankly shocked and a little depressed, wondering where my income would come from. But at heart I've always been one to take life as it comes and follow the opportunities that life presents to me. An idea from another artist prompted me to have a Studio Sale, which has been quite successful thanks to my wonderfully supportive clients! (You know who you are, and Thank You!)

In week 2 and 3 of these strange isolated days, the new reality has begun to settle in, and I've been seeing this as a golden opportunity to handle those critical actions that have constantly been pushed to the bottom of the to-do list since 2016... namely CLEAN UP THE COMPUTER, and the surrounding office! 😂 (and next.... the Master Closet!?)

But humming just beneath the surface of all this domestic activity is the strong, pervasive desire that has been plucking at my mind for months, digging it's way through the frustrations of juggling several businesses and scheduling conflicts. That little voice is telling me "I just want to be a Daily Painter!" In the tradition of Julian Merrow-Smith, Dwayne Kaiser and Carol Marine.......... Drop the events, the craft shows, the festivals... I just want to paint, and post, and see where that leads.

(I've been half-heartedly attempting to paint daily since 2011, but my average has dropped off. Sure, the unwritten "rules" of Daily Painting are not as firmly followed as in the early years of the movement. Even the big names don't paint/post EVERY day any more. But most of them did - for years!)

So the little voice is saying "..What are you waiting for? We've cleared your schedule... "

I'm filled with sadness and regret that it has taken a global pandemic to finally bring this little voice to the forefront. But that just firms my resolve to make this opportunity worth the effort. I'll be taking this adventure one day at a time, and we'll see how far it goes.

I sincerely hope you have not had any friends or loved ones severely affected by this virus. How have the forced stay-at-home rules and the changed situations affected your daily life and your future goals?

Today is Day 1 of April. I invite you to follow along with my journey and I'd love to hear from you!

Follow my Daily Paintings

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Lorenzo Chavez Demo of the Southwest Landscape


 Lorenzo Chavez demo at IAPS convention workshop, Sunday, June 9, 2019.

Explaining his thumbnails and color notes

Atmospheric color spectrum

Lorenzo's palette

The sketch

Blending the base values



 Somehow the painting looks "finished" at every stage...



 Amazing!
See more of Lorenzo's work and workshop opportunities at www.lorenzochavez.com.

See my own attempt at a southwest landscape in Lorenzo's workshop here. :)

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Thursday, March 14, 2019

The Jen Evenhus pastel workshop with the Austin Pastel Society

"Gerber Gala" pastel by Jen Evenhus
Jen Evenhus' workshop is called The Beauty of Imperfection. What a great workshop this was! We got to watch Jen create this most awesome floral painting, that she must have really loved herself because she put it right up on her website home page!

As far as workshops go, I must say that this was one of the more challenging workshops I've taken. That's a good thing! In my experience, the more difficult they are, the more I learn. Frustration in effort is productive in the long run. I mean, no-one but Jen Evenhus can paint like Jen Evenhus! Trying to brings on frustration, but in the trying are also included valuable things like discovery and exploration. Artwork cannot improve without occasionally moving into the unknown.

Jen is an excellent teacher. She has a well-organized and very fast-paced workshop, with lots of timed exercises on color theory and technique, and she has really good handouts! I learned a lot and have one half-way decent landscape to show for it (See "Orchard" on my Daily Paintings Blog!) which was started in the last hour of the workshop and finished at home.

Me, I'm more of a visual learner, so I took lots of pics. Here's her opening demo on Saturday morning:
photo and thumbnail sketch
 She chooses her pastels in advance.
Her drawing with charcoal.







I found it absolutely amazing how she can get such a dynamic, intriguing, colorful composition from such a, well, really sort of mostly ....boring photo! I've got thousands of photos in my files that are equally as interesting. This was really inspiring!


And, her Sunday daisy demo "Gerber Gala", I gave the pics to my son and he obligingly put together this short slideshow vid:




Thanks for watching! Enjoy more of Jen's work and find out about her workshops at jenevenhus.com.

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