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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Best of Show - Raymar Fine Art Competition

"Los Cuatro Amigos"
Oil on Linen - 16"x 20"

I am super happy to announce that one of my favorite paintings I have done so far this year just won Best of Show in the Raymar Fine Art Competition for March.

A big thanks to judge Michael Gormley - Editorial Director of American Artist magazine for selecting it. Please click on the Raymar link above to see the other winners.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Off to Scottsdale

"Daisy Reflected"
Original Oil - 6x6"
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Continuing with the 50 flowers project, I tackled this daisy recently. It was set up on a piece of glass laid over a black cloth, and viewed at eye level. Painting the reflection was a supreme challenge, the brain got very busy telling me what it thought it was seeing and I had to keep reminding myself to SEE what was really there.

I leave tomorrow to Scottsdale, AZ for the Carolyn Anderson workshop and the Legacy Gallery's Salon of Fine Art opening night. Look forward to reporting in with some great new learning next post!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Painting models from life

Oil on Linen 16x12"

My good painting friend Sarah Kidner and I have been hiring models to come to our studio lately to prepare for two terrific workshops we will be taking this spring. (A 5 day figurative with Carolyn Anderson in April and a 10 day figurative/portrait intensive with Scott Burdick and Susan Lyon in June).

Mostly we have been doing one afternoon a week, but last week in a big push to get our chops down, we had a model in every day for 5 days. And just to add to the fun we invited some other friends to join in, which was huge entertainment value. Lotta whining going on, but we did get lots of work done, and we agreed that 5 days straight made for some clear progress - if not in skill, then at least in focus.

Here is what I find valuable in painting models from life:
  • It demands you address your drawing weaknesses
  • You can see amazing nuances that simply do not exist in photo reference
  • There are a world of subtle color temperature shifts beckoning to suggest form
  • It is divinely, completely captivating
  • It is hands down the hardest thing you can do as an artist
  • It DOES get easier with practice
If you're serious about developing your skill as an artist, I can think of no better way to tackle that goal. You don't need to hire professional models, any warm body that will sit still for you is an ideal subject. We pay our models $20 an hour and usually have them in for 3 hours at a time. We have found that putting a movie on the laptop for the model keeps them entertained for a sitting, and they just take breaks when they feel the need.

L-R: Liz, Sarah, Gaye Adams, Jean Pederson and Bobbi Dunlop in Sarah's studio