Saturday, January 25, 2014

January 24, 2014

Welcome! We're sure you're tired of us whining about the snow and cold (almost as tired as we are of shoveling it) so we'll skip over that sad news and get right to what you came here for—the art!

We've got some great art to share, starting with Vivian's accidental art series (looks so deliberate and deeply meaningful, doesn't it?) and continuing on with our tribute to the "ages of man." We start with childhood, move on to adulthood and then old age and beyond. But lest we get too philosophical on you, we also visit places we remember and those we wish we did, action scenes and, of course, the requisite cats and plaids.

Yes, Ken and his new convert, Mark, are engrossed in cats, but Ken's also using plaid to explore his newest paper discovery—Arches rough. So far, he's loving the effects he can obtain. Check out his plaid, along with the plaids of all our new students. Same colors, vastly different effects. Plaids just never get old, do they?

And speaking of plaid (and Ken), scroll down for a review of his art opening at Ten Cat.

Color of the day. This all started with Ken's comment that he didn't understand blues as well as he thought. A lively discussion ensued about colors and their personalities. Sure enough, we couldn't agree! Some of us find cobalt warm and friendly; others find it sneaky and obsequious. Indigo is either evil, mysterious or peaceful, depending on who you ask. Things didn't get any better when we moved around the color wheel to the ochres and siennas (weak, chalky or glowing). Until we came to Sepia! There's a color we could all agree upon. So we declared the official color of the day to be Sepia. We like its depth, warmth and range. And it plays well with other colors, too. Scroll up to see Sepia in action in Ken's plaid. (Elaine also uses Sepia and may have used a touch in the little boy's hair...or not. Even if it turns out to be sepia-free, she's still a fan.)

Art Opening Review. Yes, we went to see the opening of Ken's show, Sixteen Spangles, at Ten Cat. The opening reception was delightful, with good food, libations and great company in an incredibly cozy and inviting venue. The exhibition itself featured a smattering of paintings from several of Ken's most recent series. There were all the popular themes Ken is known for—his cats, plaids and abstracts. But there are also some new directions—landscapes and the R-series, for instance, that are wonderful. The paintings are on display in the window of the Ten Cat Tavern, so you can stroll by and see them any time in the next month or so. We guarantee that the burst of color will brighten your day. You can click on the show title above for a preview of what is on exhibit. Our conclusion: This is a show worth seeing in a venue worth experiencing. The address is below:

3931 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL

 We're looking forward to next week. See you then!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

January 18, 2014

We're back! Miss us? Well, we certainly were glad to see each other again and catch up after nearly a month apart. We have a lot to share with you, too, so stay tuned after the paintings. You'll get an invitation to Ken's opening (always fun!) and hear about Elaine T.'s son's new gallery (welcome back, Elaine!).

And so, we'll just get started, shall we? First of all, kudos to Sara. She's bravely tackling three of the hardest things possible as she starts the new year painting large portraits from life. Bravo! As for the rest of us, we're obviously tired of the snow and cold already. We're painting sunny happy memories—happy children, walks in the grass, families at a pool and summer camping. John's almost finished with his story and Ken's trying something new, too. He's painting small—and on a block of rough paper, too. And Mark's a cat convert as he sketches and paints an adorable kitten.

Isn't that cat adorable? Perfect lead in to some of the colorful abstract cat parts Ken finished while he was on break.

But Ken wasn't the only one busy over break. Susan returned bearing gifts for everyone. Sweet, wasn't it? She gave everyone a 2014 calendar—featuring 12 months of Pat! That's right. You'll recall Susan did 12 paintings of Pat in various outfits. Then, inspired by Pat's traveling yellow skirt, Susan added backgrounds of Pat traveling the world and turned them all into a calendar. Here, in month order, are the paintings. Watch carefully for inside jokes. January Pat poses in her skirt in front of Chicago landmarks which also bear her likeness (see the fountain and the Bean!). Look at April as Pat plays an April Fool joke on the Tower of Pisa. And don't miss Christmas in Andersonville. Tons of fun!

And wait, there's more!

Upcoming events and important announcements:

You're invited to Ken's Art Opening. That's right—Ken will be having a show at Ten Cat Tavern. It's called Sixteen Spangles and features an assortment of paintings from his most recent series. There will be an opening reception at Ten Cat on Saturday, January 24, beginning at 3pm. Join us for the party. It's well worth the trip!

3931 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL

And for those of you who can't make the opening and want to see what you're missing, click here to see what's in the show.

An artist you should know. Check out Daniel Burnett. He's a St. Louis artist whose art is mostly of three different types—graffiti, portraits of authors, and self affirming cartoon characters. Sure, we're predisposed to like him because he's Elaine T's son, but you'll like him on his own. Click on his name (above or on our sidebar roster of friends) to see more.

See you next week!