Sunday, December 31, 2006
Saturday, December 30, 2006
Paint like Pollock--what fun!
Friday, December 29, 2006
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Rembrandt and the Golden Age of Dutch Art
Friday, December 22, 2006
'Tis the season to be busy
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Art-to-Buy at the Dayton Visual Arts Center
I spent such a long time browsing at the Art-to-Buy showroom at DVAC that I had to feed the parking meter twice. Artists are so amazingly creative with the gift items that they bring to this venue every year at the holiday season. The variety is unbelievable, from pottery and paintings to artistic tambourines.
Quilters offer wall hangings and potholders. There are scarves: dyed silk and knitted in stunning colors. Felted hats and handbags, both practical and dressy. Funky, funny and elegant ornaments hang from trees throughout the gallery. I found handmade books and calligraphy that took my breath away (and some of my cash.)
The handmade jewelry is spectacular: silver, ceramic, beaded and glass earrings, necklaces and bracelets. There was a good crowd there this afternoon. I hope there will be even more shoppers buying the artwork, paintings and photographs for gifts. It's a great way to support art and local artists.
Every wall is covered with art. Here a rack of wonderful handmade ceramic mugs and framed artwork share a space with more pottery and gifts on stands. The work is professionally and lovingly created and displayed, as well as reasonably priced. We are very fortunate to have such a great place to buy original art during this annual exhibition. 118 N. Jefferson St. in downtown Dayton.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
"A Guided Journey for the Creative Soul"
I lived in central France for nearly eighteen months in the mid-1950s as a young bride. My husband and I went to Paris once a month and explored. Yes, Paris is a special place for lovers. But it is also a metaphor for escaping the dailiness of your life and doing your creative work, no matter what.
Monday, December 11, 2006
Watercolor class Christmas cards
This was the last day of the current session and we had a good time sharing calories nobody really needed and exchanging hand-painted Christmas cards. Everyone brought two and selected two from a box I put them in. There was a delightful variety of cards from beautiful poinsettias to snowmen and snowy landscapes. So here is my smiling class for all the world to see. I'm proud of them and wish them all--and you--a happy holiday season and a fantastic New Year.
Georges de la Tour--One of my all-time-favorite painters
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Pocket Palettes to the Max
Friday, December 08, 2006
More Art Book Reviews
Colour and Light in Oils by Nicholas Verrall and Robin Capon (Batsford, 2004). The pages on Understanding Oils are very informative and user friendly, even to a beginner in oils like me. There aren't many swatches for visual comprehension, but the artwork throughout is dazzling, but not overwhelming as a possible goal for an artist to strive for. Verrall and Capon cover painting color and light, different types of subject matter and the working process, with a few demos scattered throughout the book in two or three stages.
The Digital Canvas: Discovering the Art Studio in Your Computer. (Abrams Studio, 2006.) This book by Jonathan Raimes almost makes me want to sell all my painting gear and just play with my computer. It's dazzling and I really think I could do it with this book as my text. The book has page after page of brilliant color effects with simple computer screen shots to show the tools for achieving them. Probably not for beginners, but definitely for creative computer artists.
Barbara McGuire has written Embracing Child Art. (Krause, 2001) to give adults ideas on how to encourage a child's natural creativity and ultimately help them to make a few treasured objects. There are wonderful suggestions for guiding Little Artists and helping them create projects with their own art to last a lifetime. The best part of the book is page after page of wonderful examples of child art.
Helen Van Wyk's Color Mixing the Van Wyk Way: A Manual for Oil Painters (Art Instruction Associates, 2000) has quickly become a classic since it was first published in 1995. She keeps the color concepts simple, emphasizing primarily color temperature and comparing a few basic palette choices for simple still lifes and portraits. This book would help beginners in oils to understand their colors and master color mixing of specific pigments.
Helen Van Wyk's Favorite Color Recipes. (Art Instruction Associates, 2000) expands somewhat on the previous book and introduces a greater variety of subjects with color recipes in oil paints that are her recommendations for painting them. This book ale effects in this book are understood, the painter would be well advised to develop a more personal palette of colors.
Barron's Creative Painting Series: Color. (2005) by Gemma Guasch and Josep Asunción contains a wealth of useful information on color and numerous beautiful reproductions of masterpieces to illustrate the use of color throughout art history. I love that part of the book, but I don't think the demo paintings do it justice. Maybe it's just the design of the book. Check it out, though, because it has a lot to offer.
Once again, thanks to McCallister's Art Store for providing books for my reviews.
Labels: art mediums, book reviews, books, child art, color, color mixing, color theory, computer, design, landscape, McCallister's, oil painting, painting, still life, temperature, watercolor, watercolor techniques
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Art Book Reviews
A Painter's Guide to Design and Composition by Margot Schulzke (North Light, 2006)includes the work of twenty-six contemporary masters who describe their process of designing their artwork. This is a beautiful book with lots of demos and color illustrations, but I find it a little confusing. The design-and-composition objective tends to get lost in the plethora of different techniques. I enjoyed reading it, but probably won't include it in my personal art library.
I love Jean Uhl Spicer's book, Bright & Beautiful Flowers in Watercolor (North Light, 2004.) If I were a flower painter, this is how I would want to do it. Spicer's supplies and equipment section is concise and complete. Her basic palette of colors is fairly limited and well balanced. The chapter on color covers the basics in such a way that I think beginners can grasp the concepts quickly. The chapter on composition isn't quite as accessible, but the remainder of the book, which includes various transparent watercolor techniques, tips and demonstrations, is very good. Way to go, Jean.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Art haiku by Herb Reed
Painting Christmas cards
Last week I brought salt and isopropyl alcohol and demonstrated the sparkly effects you can get with these on a damp watercolor wash. I don't recommend using salt in paintings for exhibition and sale, but for cards and illustrations that will be reproduced, there's no problem. The effects are so dramatic sometimes and make great backgrounds for children's stories, in particlar.
This week I took some metallic powdered paints, gold and silver, and sparkly glitter pens, but no one seemed interested in them. Hmmm. I thought they would be great for the cards. I also did a quick demo on painting people with a few brushstrokes. They tend to get too involved with detail on people in backgrounds.
Stay tuned. Over the next few days I'll be reviewing ten books on the blog.
Friday, December 01, 2006
The Little Artist's first watercolor exhibition
Here are a few of the many paintings Jenna did when we painted together recently. She started out on inkjet printouts. I was surprised at her choice of the primary colors for the three girls.
She never told me what this one is, but she was very intent on making a figure of some sort. She sort of scrubbed the paint on the figure. Then she carefully framed it. She was still using the cheap paint set for this one.
She painted the big rectangles and didn't seem to think they were finished, so I said, "If the brown one had a branch, it might look like a tree." Pow! She slapped a branch on both of them.
She made a lot of circles and blobs, so I asked her if she had ever tried to make dots. Of course, they had to be purple, her favorite color. By this time she was using my paints, so the colors are more intense.
This is my favorite. She was concentrating so hard to make the big red blob as bright as she could. She looked up at me and said, very seriously, "These are lips." When she got them just the way she wanted them, with a flourish she dotted in the three spots and made a face.