And of course, we took time to paint, too! As usual, we had some unconscious themes going... some of which were a little unexpected, but beautiful nonetheless.
As the weather turns colder, it is no wonder our thoughts turn to waves crashing against rocky shores under dramatic skies. Everything in Marva's landscape seems to be in motion from the pounding surf to the rolling sky. We love this!
Surprisingly, for many of us, our thoughts turn not to tropical isles or snowy ponds, but to Michigan. That's right.... Michigan! Here Bill paints a view across a pond. The colors and bare trees are distinctly autumnal.
Same pond....but the color palette makes it look like spring.
With an even more delicate color palette and some calligraphic brush strokes, Bill takes us to a creek...in Michigan, of course.
More water, same state. Here, Bill skillfully uses complementary colors to differentiate the trees from their reflections.
Madeleine was also inspired by Michigan. The drying grasses and boulder are highlighted against the bare trees. Once again, Michigan seems to lend itself to bold calligraphic brushwork.
Far away from Michigan, Madeleine paints a richly textured street scene in Bruges. The bricks, windows and cobblestones keep our eyes swirling around the figure silhouetted against the doorway. It's Madeleine in a self-portrait. Notice the name of the shop? Yes, it's "Madeleine," spelled correctly! And it offers gifts and presents made with love. How very festive!
But the holidays are also about family. Tony's painting says it all.... beautifully. The composition, the postioning of the couple, the muted limited palette—everything about it is perfect for this wedding portrait from the 1940's.
From this, Tony takes us to a view of a contemporary wedding, looking through the church door. All the elements are cleverly designed to guide our eyes right to the focal point.
Still on the theme of churches, temples and holy places, Tony finishes his painting of a Greek monastery on a cliff. With a very limited palette, he manages to convey the architecture and the towering height of the mountaintop.
Elaine is also painting a temple... even though she hasn't gotten farther than sketching and dropping in the background. This is the Bahai Temple just north of Chicago. It's the only Bahai temple in North America and the first of only seven Bahai temples in the world. It's incredibly beautiful; Elaine has her work cut out for her!
Here's a temple of another kind. Sara's sweet painting of a couple's first home is an homage to young love. We also love the tree framing the scene.
Susan ventures farther afield in this painting of Machu Picchu in Peru and paints the mountain and the entire sacred valley below. To get an idea of scale, look at the small tourists hiking at the bottom of the painting.
Here, Susan paints the majestic Iguaco Falls in Brazil. Yes, that's all water—three tiers of falls!
But tourism isn't all temples and tourist sites. This is fun! Susan paints herself and her husband visiting a bird sanctuary near the Iguaco Falls. Their shirts inadvertently matched the toucan's bills! No, it wasn't planned! You can't make this up.
No birds in this tree. Abla has finished the tree and moved on to the autumn leaves. The tree trunk is so richly textured and modeled, we can't stop looking. And we can't wait to see how the rest of the painting turns out!
Finally.... a sign of winter! Alan paints tree branches caked in ice and snow. You can just feel the crispness and cold, can't you? And yes, that's Yupo!
Back to regular paper, Alan paints tree branches against a brilliant blue fence, which is in turn framed by bricks and leaves.
While we're on the subject of trees, we turn to Ken's Christmas tree. In an innovative twist, he paints a stained glass tree against a star-filled mosaic tile background. Wow!
It's a perfect complement to the finale in Ken's Ten Cat series. This monumental pool table exudes solidity, serenity and calm, despite the Klimtian patterning all over. We can't wait to see what series 2016 will bring for Ken.
How can you think of holidays and tables without thinking of food? Greeta, the master of food painting, begins a platter of oysters. The pearlescent shells, the lemon, everything is beautiful... is it any surprise we're all hungry after Greeta paints?
Rosemary is right in step as she paints one of our favorite exercises.... the giant fruit. We love the apple, particularly the way it's anchored with its colorful shadow.
This is the very essence of monumental. Vivian is doing a large watercolor, based on a small, quick sketch. This has a massive presence here that is sculptural and very impressive.
Mohammed's girl with a book is coming along nicely. He's beginning to add color, beginning with an exquisite red. We have always had a fascination with red, finding it hard to get a rich and pure red. This is it!
Interested in joining us next year? If your new year's resolution has anything to do with releasing your creativity and having some fun, this is for you. Registration is now open for January classes. Come in or register online. Start at my.ccc.edu. Go to My Academic Plan>My Registration>Add Classes. Here are the class numbers (you can register for both at once!)
Jan. 23 to March 5 (Spring I) Class No. 67223
April 2 to May 14 (Spring II) Class No. 67224