Saturday, December 14, 2013

December 14, 2013

It's the last class before our long holiday break. Only the hardy braved today's snowstorm to attend, but it was certainly worth the trip. We had a wonderful time! And our paintings reflect the joy of the season—full of laughter and color and fun...well, actually, people and Christmas wishes and cats.

Our festive paintings and drawings feature people we love—and, of course, there's Ken's traditional Christmas card, featuring cats he loves. Not to mention Susan's upcoming calendar. Yes, she's got twelve Pat-couture paintings—enough for a calendar. And the traveling skirt has inspired her to go back and add "traveling Pat" backgrounds to her paintings. In keeping with the ensemble, of course. So explorer Pat is exploring near a lighthouse; she's visiting Pisa and the pyramids (in her Egypt coat, natch); she's at a disco and even floating overhead. Look below and join the fun!

Artist of the day. We were almost outnumbered today by books and artists in our library. But what a collection! Our library table featured:
  • James Castle. Many of us saw his wonderful show at the Art Institute. An outsider artist without formal training, he used found materials to create some absolutely amazing paintings and drawings featuring things like soot and spit.
  • Hollis Sigler. Again, many of us attended her retrospective. She's a Chicago artist who painted exuberant, colorful paintings about her struggle with breast cancer.
  • Peggy Macnamara. Another Chicago artist. She's artist in residence at the Field Museum and Ken's favorite watercolorist. Loved her paintings of seasonal migratory birds. Drop by the Field Museum to see more.
  • Susan Rothenberg. A contemporary artist, we love her strong and striking style and are especially enamored of her paintings of horses.
  • Orchids. Steve brought in a brochure from the American Orchid Society featuring botanical art from the Ben Singer collection. Just beautiful! Worth joining the society just to get the member brochure.

Save the date. Well, we don't know the exact date yet, but Ken is having a show at Ten Cat sometime in January. Watch this space for further details—or watch Ten Cat's windows!

Happy Holidays! Hearkening back to our first painting, Ken, the three wise cats, and all of us wish you a wonderful holiday season that extends into the new year and beyond. We thank you for dropping by and wish you a year of health, happiness, color and magic. We look forward to seeing you on January 18.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

December 7, 2013

The frigid cold is here; the snow is on its way tomorrow; Ken was wearing his Santa hat—yes, 'tis the season! And we were feeling festive, too. We had a great time today but, as you'll see below, we were very productive, too. We compared Thanksgivings, discussed the Food exhibit at the Art Institute (interesting, but more educational than about the art). We voted on Gary's Christmas card image. We pronounced Ken's traveling train painting complete. We learned about Pat's traveling yellow skirt (you'll get a chance to see it soon).

And we discussed the virtues of paint families. Steve is still our ambassador for Opera. Gary's discovered Cobalt Violet (Sara's favorite). Ken thinks Cobalt Blue is the Eddie Haskell of colors while Elaine finds it honest and true. They also disagree about the Perylenes (Ken's a big fan; Elaine finds them flat and lifeless once they dry). But there's something we all can agree about—everyone loves Quinacridones!

But most of all, we painted, saying goodbye to summer and autumn before the snow flies. We painted kids and cats; lake, poolside and playground adventures; along with the leaves and fruits of fall. We even painted feasts, Thanksgiving celebrations and the snowy barren trees of winter. And, of course, there's Pat wearing a yellow skirt that's traveled around the world. The color was as bright and cheery as the sunshine. It was a good day! Just look:

Artists of the Day. Today we explored Klimt, Klee and the pre-Raphaelites. We're totally blown away by Klimt's landscapes. He may not be known for them, but they are exquisite.

Traveling Yellow Skirt. Learn more about it on Pat's blog. Just click Project Minima here or in the sidebar. Such fun!

Senior Kultura. If you're looking for something fun to do tomorrow, consider attending the Senior Kultura. It's an art/craft/cultural festival from 1:00–4:00pm on Sunday, December 8 at the North Center Satellite Senior Center at 4040 Oakley in Chicago. There are wonderful items for sale (get a start on your holiday shopping!), caricatures, raffles and baked goods. Well worth it—especially since it's free! Best of all, our own Dorothy Soltys has a Small Change for Small Stories booth. For small change, Dorothy will regale you with a story. You'll love it.

Have a wonderful week and we'll see you next week.