Saturday, March 25, 2017

March 25, 2017

We're back—although some of us were a little late. Despite extended vacations, daylight savings time mishaps, and torrential rain, it was great to be back. And, as you can see, some things haven't changed. Ken is still painting corn, but notice how he's adding an element of pattern? We love the contrast of the flat mosaic in the background with the deeply modeled corn kernels.

You'll see the beginnings of the mosaic patterning in the background of his last painting. We think it is a lovely complement to the undulating stripes of the corn leaves.

And here, Ken begins a small study for his next corn painting. We're well in to the second series and have yet to tire of it.

Bill is between series and likes to warm up with some abstracts. Here he experiments with layering pen, watercolor and watercolor pens. And in the process, he adds a good bit of water to the mix. It's even richer-looking in real life.

Here's another of Bill's abstracts. Again, he begins with watercolor pens, adding watercolor before finishing up with another layer of pen—all on a soft watercolor background.

Finally, Bill revisits his landscape from before break. In this, he uses lessons learned in the abstracts to more clearly define the edges of the shapes. He likes the color choices better on the previous version and the shape definition from this one, so we may want to watch for version three!

Hector has been doing abstract landscapes, too, with bands of color and texture defining the area. He began with this stormy sky over lighter ground....

... but realized he liked it better reversed, with layers of sky and background receding from a dark foreground.

Hector is still using bands of color and pattern to create landscapes. Here, we really like the cloudy sky and the hills in the foreground. But we are in love with the rain in the middle. The color layers and texture perfectly describe rain.

Here's how Hector begins.... with three subtle primary colors. Come back next week to see where this goes!

Madeleine is also doing with horizontal bands. Hers is a much closer view of Masada in Israel. Zoom in and see the active sky and the richly textured rocks. If you look closely, you'll see that she'll be adding ravens perched on the rocks.

Madeleine is our master of marine paintings. Seriously, look at the rushing water below. You can feel the movement—and it contrasts perfectly with the solid architecture. Beautiful!

Susan is back from vacation, too. And she's also painting architecture, as you can see in this beautiful basilica from Taal, a tourist site in the Philippines. We admire the painting and love the fact that she's titled the scene, too. And look closely at the bottom right. Exactly where you'd expect to find a signature, you'll see small people interacting with the title—and one of them is Susan!

Here's another painting from Taal. It's the volcano that makes this a tourist attraction. Speaking of layering, there is a lake in the crater of the volcano, which itself sits in the middle of a larger lake.  And Susan makes this personal by adding the whimsical touch of her friends playing in the foreground.

More Philippine vacation paintings from Susan. Just look at the bougainvillea wall! What a lovely background to a scene of Susan's husband playing with his new friend, the neighbor dog. Despite the busy background, we don't lose the main action.

Elaine is continuing her series of "People I Don't Know." Here, she's pulled back to a three-quarter pose from earlier head and shoulder poses. But here, the man's stance is what intrigued her, so that's what she's concentrating on. Come back and see how it comes out.

Steve is also painting a figure. So far, he's been sketching in preparation to adding color. Steve plans to use actual Hawaiian stone to create the colors. He has three different shades of brown, yellow and red. This is going to be interesting, so come back to watch this progress. 

See you next week!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

March 4, 2017

It's the last class of the term and we had a smallish turnout today. But what we painted was choice! We even had a new theme. See if you can guess it from Madeleine's painting below. We've done vacation paintings before, and urban landscapes, and even gold paint—so it's not that. But do you notice the perspective? This is an incredible view, looking sharply up at the dome. Besides the skilled drawing, Madeleine has painted the lower part of the buildings with less detail than the dome itself. And then the tops open up into sky. This is from Prague and it's beautifully done.

Another scene from Madeleine, with more perspective drawing. We're impressed with the details of the windows and can't wait for next term to see how this comes out.

Tony's Mediterranean scene is another fine example of perspective drawing. Notice how the vanishing point is almost centered, causing the lines to form a classic "x."

Can you see what we meant about perspective? Steve has finished his incredible painting of Venice awakening. The gondoliers are readying their gondolas in the foreground as the city stretches back, lit by the early morning sun.

Another  city on water and more perspective. This was one Bill started last week and wanted to ponder. He started again and concentrated on shapes and their relationships. He also used ink to outline the shapes before overpainting some of the lines to soften them. In the process, he's managed to define the building and add a great sense of depth.

Bill also uses ink as one of the three layers in his abstract below. The first layer uses a water soluble marker to define the framework. Then, Bill adds watercolor, both to create shapes and to define them, followed with a web of ink lines.

More perspective! Bill paints a Turkish landscape as seen from a boat on the river. In a fine example of aerial perspective, we see the shore and the hills recede before the distant background mountains.

Ken finished his painting from last week. Just by adding the rich, deep background, he's added depth and perspective to this corn abstract.

Even an abstraction can have perspective. Ken's corn leaves have a distinct hierarchy in space and the stripes blend to add a sense of depth. Can this truly be Ken's "farewell to stripes?" Come back and see for yourself.

Sara takes her perspective drawing indoors in this deep view through a room, a hallway, another room and a porch. Besides the precise drawing, we love the color choices. Be sure to come back to see the sunlight spilling down the length of this house. You'll love it.

Apparently, Elaine didn't get the perspective memo. So she continued her portrait series of People I Don't Know, in which she paints interesting faces from newspapers and magazines. Because she doesn't know the people, she's less invested in the outcome and free to have fun. She's obviously had fun with texture here.

Ellen didn't get the memo either. She did finish her Machu Picchu painting, reducing the value contrast between the llama and the background. And then, she started a painting of an Art Nouveau woman from a flat US coin. Unfortunately, we didn't get photos of either of her paintings, so you'll have to come back in two weeks when we begin our next session. Meanwhile, here are some places you can keep up with us and with our art....

Come join us!

Here are some upcoming exhibitions and concerts you don't want to miss.

The Corn Exhibit.  Ken's exhibit continues at Ten Cat. Drop by to see the art...and maybe play some pool. 

      3931 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL

     January 22–March 15, 2017

DePaul Community Chorus
Here's a chance to hear Steve and the DePaul Community Chorus—FREE! The music celebrates the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Click the thumbnail at right for more information and watch for fundraising news below!

     DePaul Concert Hall
     800 West Belden, Chicago, IL

     Sunday, March 19, 3pm

This is the Community Chorus' premiere concert of the year, with a soloist and full orchestra, besides the 150 voice chorus. While you don't have to pay for the concert, the Chorus does have to pay the soloist and the orchestra. If you'd like to contribute, please sent your contribution to the DePaul Community Music Division. Gifts are tax deductible and greatly appreciated.
12 Notes/12 Artists
Erika is part of a group show featuring 12 artists' visual response to music. Click the thumbnail at right for more information.

     6032 W. Irving Park Road, Chicago, IL

     February 9–March 27

We'll be on break for two weeks, returning on March 25. See you then.... if we don't see you at Steve's concert or at Perkolator or the Ten Cat first.