Sunday, December 3, 2017

December 2, 2017

We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We did. And, just as many Thanksgiving parades traditionally end with a Santa float ushering in the rest of the holiday season, we pick up with our version. Greeta has painted this masterpiece. It features our very own Ken, as seen last year on the front page of the Chicago Tribune. It's beautifully rendered, and Greeta has managed to capture the essence of both Ken and the season.

Another seasonal painting from Greeta, this one features a lion from the Art Institute, wreathed and with a light coat of snow. She's used masking fluid to reserve the white of the snow. This truly says Christmas in Chicago.

And then, of course, Greeta returns to her book and paints this, her favorite of the Houses of West Graceland.  It really is beautiful, isn't it? We aren't joking about doing a walking tour when she's finished.

Madeleine is also inspired to paint a stone edifice. Unlike Greeta's, this is in Ireland. Like Greeta's though, Madeleine has added a lot of color to the cold grey stone. She noted that the more she looks at the stone, the more colors she sees. It's an experience many of us have shared!

Look closely at Elaine's painting, particularly the stonework. It may look grey, but it's really a mixture of colors. If you look closely, you can clearly see blues and reds and oranges. This may or may not be finished. After discussion, she may be revisiting the slate roof. Tune in again and see.

Meanwhile, Elaine has moved on to a still life, albeit a rather unusual one. These are her "retirement" socks. She may have bought them to reach a free shipping threshold, but she truly loves the message. Come back next week to see what they say. These socks are not just for retirement!

You may recall how we were obsessed with painting trees last week. The love-fest continues. Bill began this cabin in the woods while waiting for another painting to dry. The evergreens are carefully observed and the greens are very natural.

You can tell Bill's been concentrating on natural greens—probably the hardest color to mix well. This is a houseplant and the leaves look beautiful.... as do the bowl and roots!

Isa is painting flowers too and she's also using lovely varied shades of green.  Look closely and notice that she's removed the masking fluid she used to reserve the paper white. She's used pencil to add birds to her garden.  Doesn't this just say spring?

Sara's painting her favorite subject—trees. Here's she's tried to capture the movement of a grove of trees in the wind as a storm rolls in. She's succeeded, and she's perfectly captured the peculiar light before a storm as well.

Ellen's group of trees is completely different, but equally beautiful. She's finished this today after she had an epiphany during the week about the value of value. See how she's added the dark trees against the softly colored sky? And, of course, this is also a fine example of complementary colors, gradated washes and fine brushwork.

This is the painting that sparked the "values" realization for Ellen. This is Bryce Canyon and she noticed that it seemed a bit flat. With nothing to lose, she added the dark watercolor outlines. No, that's not ink! And yes, it really makes a difference, doesn't it?

Armed with her newfound knowledge, Ellen returned to another painting, adding dark values to the fur and the shadow and adding texture everywhere. In the process, she's made it come wonderfully alive!

Susan's ready for the holiday, too! She's put the finishing touches on this synopsis of her vacation in the Canadian Rockies. It feels like an old time postcard, doesn't it? Portraits of her fellow travelers surround the central image. And just in time for her annual calendar! What a great remembrance.

Ken's finished his tomato painting and we love it. The tomatoes and greenery are on theme for us today, but he's added a rigid grid to the background and colored the whole thing in a tropical color scheme. Chicago as Margaritaville.  

Ken's hard at work on his annual holiday card, as you can see. He's working the wreath and background in his favorite techniques and it's coming out beautifully—despite a slight technical glitch with his paper.

Remember how we discussed value? Cesar is one of our newer members, but he's a firm believer in value studies, as you can see below. Having done a value study of the apple before moving to paint, he's able to quickly and confidently paint a fully realized apple.

As you may have guessed, it's "big fruit" day and all our newbies were up to the challenge. All of them brought in challenging subjects with lots of texture. Look at Yanna's beautiful pomegranate. The colors are even richer in the painting than on screen. And we love the lively brushwork she's used to capture the markings. Unfortunately, we didn't get a picture of Yanna's shadow homework. Know that they were beautifully soft and luminous.

Yi's homework was to paint a shadow of something. Here, she's gone one better by adding the object as well. Notice how well osbserved this is. You can see the translucence of the pump in the shadow and the soft edges all around.

Yi's giant fruit is a richly textured green apple. Again, the color is spot on and the
markings and brushwork capture the very essence of a green apple.

Crazie also upped the game on the shadow homework. She did three versions of the same shadow with different light intensities and added background stars. (Incidentally, Yanna also did several versions of her shadows. This group is incredible!)

And, of course, Crazie's giant fruit is interesting and richly textured. Take it from those of us who saw both, the colors and markings are dead on. We love the spatter and the added shadow.

As if that weren't enough, Crazie did this extra credit painting. The topic of value came up again as we discussed the color and value choices Crazie made in the shadow area to draw focus to her subject.

Somehow, we missed getting photos of Alan's work (and Yanna's shadow work, as mentioned before). We'll be more careful next time! Meanwhile, you still have a few days to catch the exhibition below and to mark your calendar for our upcoming group show.

Food.  Alan and Greeta are featured artists in a group show about Food. The show runs through January, so there's still time to catch it. If you attend, you are asked to please bring a donation of non-perishable food for neighborhood food pantries.

      4243 N  Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL

     Exhibition: September 16–January 13    

Save the date

We'll be having a group show at the Ten Cat starting in mid-February. It's the perfect time to meet and greet us, see some good art and anticipate spring. Mark your calendar and bring your valentine to our opening reception!

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