Thursday, September 27, 2007

The "Art" of Painting

Cabin In the Mountains (and early painting in my journey) When I began this blog (8/07) I stated that I took a watercolor class from the Art Academy of Cincinnati's Community classes. I signed up for class because I wanted to learn the "mysteries" of watercolor. I say mysteries because it was not offered at the university that I got my Art Education degree. Furthermore, when I read in art magazines or books, they made watercolor sound like the hardest of all mediums. I felt that only a few artist could achieve this medium especially if they used the "wet on wet" technique. Of course this is what all these artist in the magazines were doing. I wanted to try that. So on my first day of class I was nervous. Here I was, a student of oil and acrylics, entering the unknown! How silly I was to have thought that watercolor was so different. Yes, you paint light to dark, which is the opposite of my background. However, it is still painting! I still needed to use the principals of design, mix colors, use brush strokes, yada, yada, yada. What I learned was that no matter what medium I use there will always be "mysteries" to unfold through the different techniques and I will always be learning about the "Art" of painting. Gaylynn

Monday, September 24, 2007

"Crowing For America" Update

"Crowing For America" (in progress 2) I thought I would give you an update on my painting. I figure I am about half way through. I like how the tree, flag and reflection in the window are shaping up. I have about 6 days left to keep with my goal of one painting a month. I realize that it is not as lofty a a painting a day, but changing habits is a slow process. Hopefully, I will succeed this goal in the near future. Gaylynn

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Frustrating Week

I have not been able to blog since Monday. I got the brilliant(?) idea to get a gmail account to go with this blog. Doing so locked me up. It has taken me since the 18th to go through every "help" item on Blogger. I tried to send email's to the support tech (which was no support). Finally tonight I went down each question whether it pertained to my problem or not. The problem was that it would not let me log in. It kept telling me that my username was invalid. Even trying to "claim your old account" did not work. What finally worked was resetting my password. Something that never ever came up as the problem when trying to log in. I can not begin to explain how frustrated I have been. Especially since I am VERY computer illiterate. So not having some way to communicate with blogger/google was enough to give up this process all together. Hopefully I can move forward now. I also saw a hand specialist this week due to my right hand being in pain. I do daycare in my home during the week. It seems my babies are chunks and I have strained the tendon from my thumb and up my arm. I thought it was my carpal tunnel acting up. So the good doc gave me a shot and a splint to wear for awhile. Even tho I can not lift babies I can lift my paint brush :-) I am still working on Crowing For America and hope to get it finished soon. Gaylynn

Monday, September 17, 2007

"Crowing for America"

Watercolor in progress I have begun the above painting. I took the picture for this in Key West at Hogs Breath Saloon. While my husband and I were eating dinner, there were several chickens hoping from place to place above us. Chickens and cats run freely through out the island. I happened to like this rooster and the look of his perch. I am having fun painting this subject because it reminds me of the great time we had. The subject is very "Americana". Gaylynn

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Favorite blogs

Yesterday I wrote about deconstructing a blog. Today I want to tell you what brings me back to their pages. I will begin with Maggie Stiefvater's blog that I read often. Maggie has others, but I like greywarenart. What drew me to this site was her and fellow bloggers, on Fine Line Artist, were naming an artist each month, doing research on that artist style of painting and life, then doing a painting with the information that they learned. Maggie does colored pencil paintings and I am amazed with her skill on her horses and her humor when she draws her pets. Maggie states on her title that her "blog on the creative life: being a professional artist and author, raising 2 kids, eating lots of cookie dough and a painting a day." Right away you see her humor. Maggie just received a nod from a publisher and will have a book out in 2008. It will be a young adult fantasy (as in fairies) read. Karin Jurick is an awesome painter! I love her almost "voyeuristic" style of painting people, as she states, "being themselves in public places." Her blog is simple and consistent with her work produced daily. Karin's title states that her blog is, "the results of the life of a paintaholic." I just feel the excitement she gets from painting when I check her blog/paintings. Karin's blog is a great model of a "good" blog. Peter Yesis and Belinda del Pesco are enjoyable blogs because they show the process of their work. I have learned so much just by clicking in. Peter has done oil still lifes on a daily basis for the past year. At the end of his daily anniversary he had a gallery showing. This years daily paintings are en plien air. I can not wait to see his subjects and how he deals with the elements. Belinda does small paintings daily. They are either in watercolor, etchings, mono type, collographs, lino cuts, woodcuts, drawings or mixed media. I find the detail she puts in her 3.5 x 3.5 or 4 x 6 paintings outstanding. I also enjoy when she explains the process of her paintings. I went to see Degas' mono types at the Columbus Museum last winter and Belinda happened to explain "how-to" that very week. It really made the show for me. Nita Leland, like me, is from southwest Ohio. When I began using watercolors I picked up her books "The Creative Artist" and "Exploring Color" published by North Light. I first watched her website then switched to her blog when she announced it. Her blog and website gives book reviews; art links; tutorials on watercolor, color, mixed media; new tool reviews; art topics; her workshops and her family (she is a proud grandma). I began looking at Casey Klahn's blog through Alyson Stanfield (artbizblog.com). I signed up for her help for two months. Casey was also on the group site. Since he spoke often and listed his blog I checked it out. I liked his pastel paintings bright colors and impressionistic work. I also liked the he says that he is "Mr. Mom" with a wife that supports his passion. That leaves Stacy Rowan and Carol Marine. Stacy is a watercolor painter that does art shows and fairs largely with her father, Bob Govett, and sister, Denise Mennella, both artist. Stacy does watercolors and posts them on her blog as well as talking about her latest show and family life. Carol paints small oil still lifes and posts them daily. She also posts and lists her workshops. I really like her vibrant colors. These are only the few that I return to often that I have listed on my blog. However, I have loads that are listed in my bookmark and I usually peak at them a few times a month. I also have listed Alyson Stanfield (who I have already mentioned) and Robert Genn's "The Painter's Keys" If you have not heard of his twice weekly newsletters please check this site out. Robert's newsletters are helpful, thought provoking and sometimes controversial, but always enjoyable to receive in my e-mailbox on Tuesdays and Fridays. His acrylic paintings are excellent and you can see his process through "The Painter's Keys" or on "You Tube -Artist". I hope you check these artist out and enjoy their work as much as I do. Gaylynn

Friday, September 14, 2007

Deconstruct a blog

Alyson Stanfield (artbizblog.com), on Monday's weekly Art Marketing Action Newsletter, she talked about deconstructing a blog to help create your own blog. Alyson said, "Do you want to know what makes a good artists blog good?...To find your answers, all you need to do is deconstruct one." Being new to posting I thought I would take her challenge using my list of favorites (listed on the right). Armed with Alyson's questions I began my research. Going through my list of eight I discovered that all do not use bells and whistles on their blog. They only use a simple format. Five have a colored background and three are white. Most posted six or more times a week with the average of two to three paragraphs. Six out of the eight post a painting daily and they sell on ebay. Two review books. Five are represented by one or more galleries and five talked about their family/daily life as well as their art. All had links either to their websites, other blogs, galleries, ebay, favorite bloggers/websites and informative sites. I could summarize that I learned through this exercise about how these artist use organization and marketing skills with their art and families so they can get on with their need to create. Although none of my eight raise debates or are controversial they do teach me something just by posting. Some are funny and some are straight forward, but all are informative in the process of art. Next time I will tell more about each artist. Gaylynn

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Latest Painting

Found It! Watercolor 11 x 14 I recently finished this painting. When I was asked in July to participate in the "Paint in the Park" I did not have a painting in progress so I went through my pics and found this one of my daughter 17 years ago. I was drawn to it because she was heading off to college in a month. This painting took me approximately 5 weeks to paint. I then let it sit for 3 weeks to see if I still felt it was done. Yesterday, I finally signed it and gave it a title. Gaylynn

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Organization

I spent some time yesterday morning organizing my files on the computer. Now I will be able to pull art business info, etc up more efficiently when I need them. I was amazed how quickly the files filled up without meaning, which in turn makes it hard to find anything. I think my management skills will have to improve or the feeling of being overwhelmed will take over and defeat my goals of moving ahead with creating more time to paint. Baby steps. Gaylynn

Friday, September 7, 2007

Stage Fright

It has been two weeks since I last posted. I guess you might call it stage fright. I know unless I tell people about this blog only those who happen upon it will see what I have written. The thought of this brings on so many emotions. Fear is at the top. Fear...to write or perform because so many other blogs are entertaining or informative. Trying to think of something to say that I would want someone to read. Then I got a piece of advice from a friend. Like the Nike slogan, she said "just do it", once you begin and get into the routine it will get easier. "Aha" Such a simple statement and I knew she was right. Actually on artbizblog.com Alyson Stanfield has said the same thing many times. So I have to remember that I am taking this journey to keep me more focused on my painting and moving forward in my abilities. Gaylynn
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