These may not be Christmas trees, but you have to admit we love to paint trees. Here, Bill finishes his painting from last week...
... before doing another study. This one is more successful in depicting the depth of the scene. We love the texture of the leaves and the light spilling through the trees.
In this painting, Bill uses trees as a beautiful background. The foreground people are walking a labyrinth. There's something philosophical about how they seem to be walking in different directions, but ultimately they are on the same path, going the same direction. But even if your mind doesn't go to philosophy, this is a wonderfully composed painting with skillful color choices.
Greeta is painting portraits, too (another subject dear to our hearts). Here, she's working in her sketchbook, testing colors and doing a preliminary study....
... in preparation for this painting. It's based on a photo from pre-war Vienna. The little girl is grown up now and living in the American Midwest, but the sense of time and place is already very strong in this.
Elaine is also painting portraits... but she hasn't gotten far enough for you to tell what's going on. Take our word that there are two little boys, a computer and a desk. Beyond that, you'll have to come back next year!
Erika has been very busy lately. She's finished her watercolor of the National Geographic cover from last week...
... before moving on to this acrylic tribute to Simone de Beauvoir. The painting is a commissioned piece and includes her date of birth, date of death, and a quote, in addition to the portrait of the famed feminist. We love the colors and the background patterns and we're sure her client will be thrilled.
If that wasn't enough, Erika tried her hand at gouache. Gouache is opaque watercolor, but the opacity lets the colors glow against the black background.
And today, she was late to class; yet Erika still managed to crank out this lovely little painting of ducks. Aren't the colors and the water lovely?
Water is one of the more difficult subjects out there, but you couldn't tell by looking at Madeleine's paintings. Look at the layers and the colors—you can just see the reflections in the murky water, as well as getting a hint of what lies beneath.
This is a shining example of how to use color paths, even if the photo colors aren't quite right. Madeleine's Irish landscape uses pen and ink to draw focus to the cityscape. But also notice the way the bands of greens and oranges work to create focus. Just cover the framing bit of foliage at top left to see what we mean. Not the same, is it?
Speaking of colors, here's another masterful use. Alan paints a variety of cabbages from a farmers' market. It may look like only green and purple, but notice all the colors he's used. Who would have guessed vegetables could be so interesting?
Ken's latest series just proves our point. This is the last of the corn series. In this final (and most abstract) painting of the series, Ken uses color and pattern to create a very subtle shift between foreground and background. It's one of our favorite series yet. If you'd like to see them all together, you're in luck! Ken will be exhibiting his Corn paintings in January/February at Ten Cat. Keep watching for your invitation.
What's next for Ken? We're not sure about his next series, but we end our post, our class and our year with Ken's ever-popular Holiday Greetings painting. It's not finished, and we know he's running out of time, but he's never disappointed us yet.
Right about here is where you might expect to see a picture of us, smiling and wishing you good cheer. And it would have been a fine picture, too, with all of us in colorful Santa hats (provided by Susan—Thank you, Susan!). Somehow, however, we got distracted and forgot to take the picture. Sorry!
And so, from all of us, best wishes for a wonder holiday season. Thank you for your support this year, and be sure to join us on January 21, 2017 when our class and our blog resume.