Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Greetings from Sanibel Island, Fla.

My family is on vacation this week in Florida. I took a shot of my painting before I left so that I could update everyone on it's progress. I had some of my "Legendary" friends critique it for me. They all agreed that the dark open window was toooo dark and took away from the reflections on either side and the flowers. At this point if I tried to take some of the dark out it would turn chalky. One friend suggested a curtain. I was not wanting to paint over the table scene. So I began researching lace or sheer curtains. I found a sheer that is pulled up like a roman blind. I liked that it was sheer lace and the bottom created a shape that would throw the eye back to the flowers. So with blind faith (no pun intended ;-), I sketched on tracing paper the sheer and added it to the painting. My first thought was that I had just ruined it! But, as I kept working, I think it was the right thing to add. You can check a previous post to compare the before and after. A little more tweaking when I get home and I can call it done. YAY! As for vacation...we are enjoying the sun. I am getting some nice pictures and shell hunting is the best in the world here on Sanibel. I swore that I would not pick up any and yet I found that I could not help myself as I take walks on the beach. I don't have the buckets full like when my girls were little, thank goodness. Let me know what you think of the painting or share your vacation in comments. Gaylynn

Friday, July 17, 2009

8th Annual Breast Cancer Brick Auction

Here in Cincinnati, like most towns, we have our many fund raising opportunities for the community to participate in. I am going to recommend one such opportunity. In October is the 8th Annual Breast Cancer Brick Auction "Bricks Along the Journey" at Mayerson JCC. (www.breastcancerbricks.org) The auction is in loving tribute of hope and determination to every woman who lives or has lived with Breast Cancer, along with family and friends. The event was begun by Ellen Berstein Ganson and Marcia Levitas. Ellen was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and always spoke how she felt like she had been hit with a ton of bricks. Ellen lost her battle Septemeber 26. 2006. In celebration of Ellen's life and fight against breast cancer, family, friends and local artists commit themselves each year to decorating bricks for the auction. All proceeds go to the Ellen B. Ganson Fund to benefit research, education, advocacy and patient support in the greater Cincinnati area. Last year, 2008, the brick auction, raffle prizes and advance sponsorship raised $45,000. I am encouraging everyone in the greater Cincinnati area to contact Beth Goldfarb at 513-673-7420 or by email, beth@breastcancerbricks.org to find out how to get a brick to decorate for the suction. There are several locations throughout the area to pick them up. They come with directions on how to clean your brick and how to seal your brick once you have decorated it. All participating artists are invited to a very special thank you party. I picked my brick up from my design artist friend Tina Clyburn, proprietor of Designs on Main in Mt. Carmel (Clermont Co./Eastgate area). Tina has participated since the beginning auction. She has several examples at her beauty shop to help you get ideas. Deadline to turn in bricks will be September 25, 20009. Now, as to my creation to the right...as I have told you, I am struggling. I have now made it a mixed media painting because I got out the gouche'. I was talking with a friend who just got back from seeing both the Farnsworth and Brandywine museums with the Wyeth families wonderful paintings. She reminded me that Andrew himself said that when a watercolor was not working he got out the gouche' to "save" the painting. Well, I do not claim to have his skills, but I am willing to try his suggestions. I think the flower area is my sore point. My goal was to have your eye hit their before seeing the reflections in the glass, then the rocks around the windowsill. I have lost the light hitting the leaves and flowers. I am struggling to bring them back. Gouche' has helped some.(?) What do you think? Should I keep working or scrap it and start over? What would you do? Please, leave me a comment. Gaylynn

Monday, July 6, 2009

Little Bit of Bybee and Churchill Downs

Yesterday, my husband decided that we needed to go to Louisville to watch the last day of racing at Churchill Downs for the Spring/Summer season. Since I love adventure and travel, I packed my bag and we headed south. The weather man said the sun would come out after noon. Sad to say that he was wrong. We hit rain around 1:30, however, after we parked and headed to the gate it did stop. It stayed overcast the rest of the day. We were lucky that a gentleman was handing out box seat tickets. We did not have to pay an entrance fee and the box was front row on the finish line. We checked them out, but did not sit in them because we like to people watch, as well as, watch the races (and the seats were wet). We wondered onto the Veranda that overlooked the paddock. We watched the horses be mounted by the jockey's from the veranda, as well as, down at the paddock. I got a picture of Calvin Borrell. He is the jockey of this years Derby winner, Mine that Bird. Beside Calvin, I did get some shots that might work for future paintings and the Hubs won a little money. So it was a great day at the track. Today we went to a little town outside Louisville called Middletown. There we went to a store called A Little bit of Bybee (11617 main St.). For those not familiar with the Kentucky pottery company I will enlighten you. Beginning with some back history...I went to college at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky. Most college students go down to Bybee and buy their mugs, cups, bowls and plates to fill their apartments. I myself have several pieces that have been with me over the years. Southeast of Richmond is a little town called Bybee outside of Irvine, Ky. In this blink-and-you-missed-it town is a family owned pottery business that has been around for 200 years. The Cornelison's are in the 6th generation of ownership. It is the oldest existing pottery west of the Alleghenies. The pottery is housed in a log cabin that was built in the 1800's. They mine and process their own clay that is found near Bybee. Once processed at the old pug mill, the clay is then thrown by a potter into the pieces found at the original store and at Little Bit of Bybee. This brings me to today and my visit with Ron Stambaugh at his pottery shop. I am pictured with Ron on the right. Ron is a cousin of the Cornelison Family. Ron also went to EKU. As we found out today, he graduated in 1977 and we did in 1979, so we walked "campus beautiful" around the same time. While at EKU Ron worked for his uncle and learned how to throw pots. He finished his degree at EKU, but years later found himself coming back to what became his passion. So today he runs his shop and throws pots in the back of the store. Spending time talking with Ron, while looking at the many pieces of Bybee pottery lined around his shop, we learned about the many similarities he and the Hubs had. I let them talk while I shopped :-) I added soap dispensers and cups to match for my bathrooms, as well as, two coffee mugs and a chip and dip plate (to replace the one I had broke). It was nice to find this gem of a place. Not just for what I bought, but for the trip down memory lane. So, if you find yourself in or near Louisville, stop in Middletown (two miles west of the Gene Snyder hwy.) and enjoy this pottery shop and its proprietor. I promise you will find lots for your home and gifts you might need to buy. You can find out about this shop, the history of Bybee and directions on how to get there at www.littlebitofbybee.com Gaylynn

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Fourth of July!

I know I said that I would not post again until I got this painting done... well, I am still working on it. I am having more trouble with the flowers then I have with anything else in the painting. Go figure. Anyway, I have scrubbed the leaves and I am now in the process of re-working them. This past Wednesday was the monthly meeting for the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society (GCWS). I officially joined. YEAH! I am happy to meet everyone in this group. I am glad that my blog buddy, Deb Ward, made it this month. I will only be able to participate one more month because school will begin and interfere with meeting times. However, I am thrilled to have been able to get to participate this summer and that I have learned something at each meeting. This month's guest speaker was Jeanne McLeish from Indiana. She paints with transparent watercolors. She was a very informative teacher. Jeanne began by showing us her very detailed drawing of her subject. Jeanne feels that by doing a precise value study, she then has everything resolved before the painting begins. Jeanne spent time going over the design she created from several photos and how she made sure the flow of the shadows kept your eye moving around the painting (example on the right). Jeanne then makes a chart of her layers to remind her of the value/temperature in her design. She feels this helps her to stay on task to get the finished look that she wants. When she begins a painting she uses the three primary colors to fill in the paper. Aureolin, Rose Madder and Cobalt are her choices because of their transparent qualities and they are balanced hues. In her scene, she begins with Aureolin and puts the yellow all over the paper. Jeanne then came back with Rose Madder to the areas that will be mid tone or cooler spots. Lastly, she placed the Cobalt in the dark/cool spots. Once the first layer is down, she then talked about beginning with your big shapes. Her quote was, "Paint the big dog first then the fleas." Jeanne said that if you went to the little things right away then you will get too tight with your painting. I felt this was a truism that everyone agreed upon. Jeanne then quoted Don Andrews, "Stay in the midtones as long as possible, because that is where the color resides." She said that was her favorite tip she learned from him. Jeanne also gave us a tip on mixing colors. She said to mix transparent with opaque colors to keep the paint from becoming too thick. To the left is her finished painting next to the one she worked on in her demonstration for the group. I really enjoyed her and felt lucky to have learned some valuable tips. I then went home and put what I learned into practice. To the left is my next painting. I do not have Aureolin or Rose Madder so I used Lemon Yellow and Quin. Red. I began by paining the whole paper in the yellow. I then placed the red for the house and in the plants. Last, I placed the blue for the dark areas. What do you think? Have I followed Jeanne's formula well? I wonder how long I will stay with the "big dog" before I paint the "fleas" :-) Leave me a comment. Gaylynn
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