Saturday, June 30, 2012

June 30, 2012

Another scorcher today...but what do you expect? It's summertime, after all! And our paintings reflect that. We start out with the familiar exercises—color wheels, color matching, paper towels, skin color, collages. And then we move right into the essence of the season—trees (along plazas, paths and lakes), fruits of summer, lakes, folk tales, sunny trolley cars, siestas, a tropical village on a hill and even an air-conditioned mall for the urbanites among us.

And keep scrolling to the end for our special feature. We got such a good reaction last week that we've done two this time!

Salute to Impressionism
And here's our salute to impressionism! First, we examine a popular technique of featuring a painting in the background of another painting. While this goes back to the Renaissance, it was particularly popular with Impressionists. Here's an especially attractive use of the technique (below). The background portrait goes beyond mere decoration to actually further the story—it's a painting by the sister of the woman in the foreground (also an artist!). Even if you don't know the full story, you know there is one and you can't stop looking. It's that good. Reminds you of some of Gaugin's Tahiti paintings, doesn't it?

Wondering what happened with the Summer Solstice sketching party? It was a huge success—enough that we're hoping to ring in all the seasons with a sketch! See below for an impressionistic take on the party. Like Renoir's Boating Party, this is a fresh and vibrant plein air celebration of a celebration. Doesn't it make you wish you were part of the fun?

Story behind the painting
 And lest you think we're getting too "art history," here's a painting with a story behind it. It's another artistic tradition—the memorial painting. Below, Isa celebrates her dog, Roxie, in a beautiful and sensitive work that captures the essence of a much-loved pet. This beautiful remembrance touched a chord with everyone and sparked reminiscences of other pets we've painted and lost (we even had a laugh at a memorial painting of a favorite car). Take some time to enjoy the exquisite texture of the fur and the grass; smile at the sparkling personality in Roxie's eyes; and remember a favorite pet of your own.

See you next week!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

June 23, 2012

Welcome everyone! Things are really happening around here—extra-curricular activities and good fellowship abound.

Ken's opening last weekend was a huge success, both socially and professionally. He sold a number of paintings and a good time was had by all. What more can anyone ask? If you're wondering what's next for Ken, scroll down to see the new (old) direction he's moving in. We're all excited!

We're also excited about tomorrow's Summer Solstice Sketching party where we'll all be exploring new media and stretching our drawing muscles. Thanks, Vivian! What a wonderful idea.

Finally, speaking of expanding horizons and stretching our skill sets, we'll be adding a new feature. While it's all about the art (and always has been), we've gotten good feedback about our attempts to delve a little deeper. So, going forward, at end of the post we'll highlight something in our world of art. It could be a technique we're trying, a new material or tool, the story behind one of our paintings, an exhibition we've seen or participated can be anything so long as it's about our wonderful world of art. Keep scrolling all the way through—you don't want to miss a single thing!


While you were scrolling though, did you notice the two girls walking? We're adding another copy below for easy reference. Very charming, very sweet. Did you also notice the technique? It's pen-and-wash—a classic watercolor technique where the emphasis is on line. The art is drawn with pen (preferably non-water-soluble ink so it doesn't bleed when it gets wet) and a watercolor wash is then added to highlight the drawing. This requires a skilled artist with fine drawing ability. Because it's ink, there's only one chance to get it right. Then, the wash part requires fine artistic sensibility to get just the perfect balance. This is a fine example of this technique, used beautifully. But here's something else you should notice. The painting is exquisitely tiny. The girls are no more than 2 inches tall, max! Imagine getting everything so perfectly right at such a tiny size?! Worth another look, don't you think?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

June 16, 2012

So here it is, the middle of June already! We had a great time painting today and are eagerly anticipating Ken's opening reception (scroll down to see a photo). And here's an interesting observation. The new students were doing exploratory plaids—and so was Ken, who's won awards and is in his 20th year painting! Some things never grow old! Keep reading to see what we're up to—lots of trees, lots of landscapes, not to mention people, places, clothes and pets.

If you weren't able to make Ken's opening at Ten Cat, you can drop by and see the artwork. It's up for another month or so.

See you next week—and enjoy!

And here we are, entering Ten Cat. Ken's paintings add a splash of color to the windows, attracting admiring glances (as seen here!). Check out the paintings as you walk by. It's on Ashland, just south of Irving.