Saturday, September 29, 2012

September 29, 2012

Beware! We're starting another of our "projects." Pat found an art instruction book with instructions for various techniques and decided we're going to try them out. And because she's the teacher, we're going along with her hare-brained scheme. So we each drew a technique from the art bag, read up on it, and will explore that technique before the end of the term. Some of the things you'll want to watch for are masking, spattering, sponge painting, backruns, brush drawing and lifting out.

Actually, this could be fun. Look at the sunset above, for instance. Backruns! Tune in over the next few weeks and learn along with us. In fact, after today's paintings you'll learn an important lesson about mask—although not from Elaine, whose technique it is. Meanwhile, join us as we welcome our newest artist (from Paris, no less!), explore color wheels, exuberant colors, flowers, seashores, skies and more. You'll see brush drawing from Mark, masking by Ellen and Helen, and lifting by Susan—and none of these artists chose these techniques!

A lesson about masking (actually, more of a cautionary tale). Masking fluid is a rubbery liquid artists use to reserve the white of the paper. They paint it on and can paint over it with impunity, knowing the masked areas are safe. And that's what Ellen did in the painting of irises at right. Notice the sparkling whites? And how she protected the petals when she added the leaves? Exactly how mask should behave. But then she tried to remove it—and couldn't! The lesson? Masking fluid has a shelf life. When you get to the gummy bits at the bottom of the bottle, you've probably passed the unwritten "use by" date. Toss that bottle and buy another! In this case, the painting still looks fine (a little shiny, but fine). But some brands add color for visibility. That would not have worked out so well.

An amusing juxtaposition. Did you notice Robert and Patricia's paintings? Positioned together as they are here, Robert's tiger looks to be stalking Patricia's bird! Mind meld? Hidden message? Who knows? We just found it funny.

And come back next week to see some of the sketches from last week's fabulously successful "autumnal equinox sketching party."

Saturday, September 22, 2012

September 22, 2012

We had a freaky number of unintentional pairings today—from the glamourous shoes in the video to two Saras, two color wheels, two birds, two vacation spots, two bodies of water, two different animal species sharing the same composition, and two mother/son paintings (you saw the other one last week!). We even had two artists sharing the same paintbox. You'll never guess which two by looking, though—Ellen kept to the cool side of the pallette while Elaine O went warm. Kind of like Chopsticks, but with paintbrushes instead of a piano.

Now, without further ado, we invite you to scroll through the paintings to see what we're talking about. Sketching party invitation and information follow (hope to see you there!), along with the summer cemetery sketches—and a couple of other things.

It's a sketching party and you're invited. Continuing our tradition of ringing in each season with a sketching party, you're cordially invited to celebrate the autumnal equinox. Join us on Sunday, September 23 at Ken's Marina City "sketch pad" (sorry—couldn't resist). We'll draw some incredible views from the balcony and the roof and socialize afterwards. Here are the details:
  • When: Sunday, September 23 from 1pm–3pm
  • Where: 300 N. State, Apt. 2131 (East tower)
  • Phone: 312.467.7021
Summer sketches. Speaking of which, here are the sketches we promised from our summer of cemetery sketching. While not everyone remembered their sketchbooks today, we'll show what we have and add more as the weeks roll by and memories improve.




Oh, just a couple of other things....first, it's not too late to support Steve in the Out of the Darkness Community Walk to benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
  • Go to Find the fund raising page by entering "Steve Meyer" in the search box or get to the team page by entering "Ed O'Brien's Crew Members"
  • Just click here to Support Steve!
Secondly, Halloween is coming. And what better way to celebrate than with Rocky Horror Picture Show? Join Elaine T as the criminologist at the Music Box Theater, 3733 N. Southport Ave (3 blocks south of Irving, north of Addison). Her group has been performing Rocky Horror for 25 years now, so you know they have it right! For tickets, upcoming dates or more information, go to

See you next week!