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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Workshops, exhibits and books, oh my!

Life is what happens to you while you're making other plans." --John Lennon

I'm sure I've used this quote before, but it's very appropriate right now.

Teaching three workshops in seven weeks ought to be enough to keep a person occupied, but in-between I was also baby-sitting three days a week for our grandson, teaching a weekly class, setting up the exhibition for the Hithergreen class and having my second cataract surgery. I was not much in the mood for blogging most days.

I'll start with the exhibition, Beginners & Beyond, the second for the class at Hithergreen Center. The opening was April 21. The class provided an elegant spread of munchies, but the real treat was seeing their art displayed. There are 66 paintings by 27 artists in the show, all watercolors, but varied in subject matter and style. One painting sold right away and we've been told that another venue would like to display some of the paintings after they come down on May 30. I took pictures of the exhibition, but can't display them here, as some of the artists are still practicing by painting from copyrighted art and photographs. They understand that they can't sell their work and are required to attribute the original artist. I didn't have time this year to photograph individual original pieces and make a Web page. I hope I can do it next month.

As with my first surgery in February, the implant was good, but the first three or four days were touch-and-go. This time, instead of blurred, double vision, I had a great deal of pain and blurring. But by the fourth day the eye began to clear up and I'm very happy with the results. I can even work on my computer without glasses. I can also read and drive without glasses, but will be getting a prescription to prevent fatigue and improve my distance vision. Oddly, I found an old pair of trifocals that correct my vision almost perfectly. I have a photo of me wearing these glasses in 1990 at a book-signing--imagine huge, round plastic frames. I'm glad I had the surgery. If you're considering this surgery, Mayo Clinic has more information.

Yesterday we drove to Cincinnati to catch the "American Watercolors: From Winslow Homer to Edward Hopper" exhibition at the Taft Museum of Art. It was fantastic. In addition to the curated show, which originated at the Brooklyn Museum, there were images from the Taft's collection of 18th and 19th century watercolors, which made an interesting contrast. We also toured the permanent collection of the Taft, a world-class museum of 17th to 19th century painting and decorative arts in a small package. Rembrandt, Hals, Gainsborough, Reynolds, Whistler, Italian and Dutch masters--the list goes on and on, including a collection of Turner watercolors that is exquisite. The museum is easy to find and just a hop and a skip from the Cincinnati Art Museum. And five minutes away from Montgomery Inn at the Boat House, where we had fantastic ribs and strawberry shortcake for lunch. And that was my Mother's Day treat.

Confident Color bookMy new book is coming in August from North Light Books. Confident Color is 160 pages with 85 Try-it Activities in a spiral-bound hardcover format that stays flat for studio work. I've selected the work of 52 contemporary artists in a variety of media: acrylics, colored pencils, oils, pastels, watercolors, collage, mixed media and fibers to illustrate important color principles of harmony, contrast and unity through color schemes. Seven artists contributed detailed step-by-step demos of their color processes, including using a computer or a sketchbook for preliminary studies and mingling colors to select the best palette for a painting. Watch for my pre-publication offer of a signed copy and free shipping, coming soon on my Web site. Amazon.com is also taking pre-publication orders (unsigned, eligible for free shipping). Confident Color is almost ready to go to the printer. I'm more than a little excited about it, now that I've seen a few color-layout pages and the beautiful cover, a detail from Cheryl McClure's painting in the book. Cheryl was also the cover artist for The New Creative Artist.

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