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Friday, February 29, 2008

From the Sublime to the Freezing

Flying home from the Palm Coast, Florida, workshop I didn't give much thought to what I was coming home to until I saw the ground as we landed in Dayton. A solid sheet of snow and ice, although not very deep, was awaiting me. Oddly enough, as much as I enjoyed the Florida sunshine, there is still much that is comforting at home, even in the middle of a cold, cold winter.

The class was a lot of fun. I should have taken more pictures, but I get so involved in what's going on that I forget to get out my camera. Finally remembered at lunch the second day, so here's part of the group with a couple of insets in the corners. The weather changed after lunch and it poured rain briefly, then later in the evening there were thunderstorms and lightning, heavy rain most of the night. The last day was cool--in the fifties.

This was an enthusiastic group of accomplished artists looking for ideas and motivation for their artwork. I think each of them found something she can use or think about for a long time to help her grow as an artist. Anyway, that's what I wish for them.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Warming my bones

I'm in Palm Coast, Florida, teaching a creativity workshop. Weather sunny and in the 70s. Such a relief after the hammering we had last week in Ohio--ice, snow, freezing rain. I guess that's still going on up there. The class is fun, the facility about a block from the beach, where we walked after lunch yesterday. The ocean was calm, the sky a pure cobalt blue, the ocean a dark blue-green at the horizon (phthalo green blue shade with a touch of indigo) and clear turquoise near the shore. Gorgeous.

This is the first time I've posted from my new laptop. I almost didn't bring it. I had locked myself out by forgetting one digit in my password. Then I had one of those weird waking-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night experiences where the answer comes unbidden after you've give up on it. The brain is an amazing machine.


Friday, February 22, 2008

This made my day

I received this email a couple of days ago. I'm excited to know that teachers are finding The New Creative Artist so helpful. Quoted with permission:

"I wanted to drop a note and let you know that your book is my bible for teaching art. I have 4 children that are in college so I have gone back to teaching. One of my assignments is 8th grade art. After being away from teaching for the past 24 years or so I wasn’t sure how effective I would be or where to start. Then I found and read your book and have developed a wonderful creative and exciting program to teach the principles and elements of art in a highly innovative way. The classes I have are excited about art and are truly enjoying their assignments. I have read through the book a few times now and have developed even more lessons. The colorful artwork and the activities in the book are amazing."

Thank You,
Marian Kuban
Tremont Jr. High School
Tremont, IL

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Crazy week

The Hithergreen Monday class went well--everybody seemed to "get it" about the contrast effects of masses of color, broken color and how small quantities of intense color stand out against neutrals. I didn't have time to photograph and upload this week.

Jenna slept over Tuesday night. Wednesday we had a winter storm, so I drove her home instead of to daycare and had both tykes all day. It's a good thing they're so manageable. She entertains herself and Daniel, too. He can't take his eyes off her when she's in the room, even when she isn't playing with him. I just sit there and enjoy the interaction. It's unconditional love personified. Yesterday he didn't nap much, so I was busy keeping track of him. He plays on a queen-sized comforter in the living room and rolls like a speedball from one end of it to the other in no time. He almost got himself caught under the armchair. He will be a dynamo when he starts crawling.

Today I'm at home, sitting out another winter storm and setting up my Christmas laptop. I'm taking it with me to Florida to do some writing. Tomorrow I'll pack and catch up on business and domestic duties before I leave.

Jennifer King, a former magazine editor I've worked with in the past, has launched a great new web magazine, Create Better Paintings. I browsed it the other day and it's one of the best I've seen on the Web. There are two areas, one for unsubscribed visitors and the other for subscribers. Both are packed with great articles and tips for artists in all media. Highly recommended. I plan to browse the articles while I'm in Florida. I hadn't thought of it before, but this is a good solution to magazine pile-up and recycling problems. And so easy to search back issues.

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Watercolor class--contrasts

The lessons in color contrasts the past two weeks were on temperature contrast, then complementary contrast. Temperature contrast doesn't have to be opposites--it can be as simple as which of two reds is warmer or cooler than the other. But complementary opposites are always temperature opposites, which is why they are such a powerful contrast to use. My Hithergreen class caught on to both right away. Critiques are so much fun at the end of class when we see how each one has interpreted the lesson. Unfortunately, my camera battery quit on me so I didn't get pictures. Today we're doing quantity (size) contrast. Can't wait to see what they come up with. Next week I'll be teaching a workshop in Palm Coast, Florida, for the Flagler Art League. It will be nice to go where it's warm for a few days.

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Pause for repairs

Had a cataract operation last week, so I haven't been on the computer much. There was a problem, which seems to be clearing up, but it's very scary to go through that simple procedure and find that you can't see properly. Everything was blurry in the operated eye and there was something about pressure being too low, whatever that means. I was seeing colored swirlies part of the time. I was not only worried, I was bored out of my mind. The second day I managed to finish the last thirty pages of my author's review and do two small painted minglings for page icons, but everything seemed to take such a long time. I could complain about some other aspects of the experience, but I won't. The bottom line is that the blurriness began to clear up last night and I can see pretty well today. Contrasts are much sharper and colors are brighter. I keep asking myself how did I do a book on color with cataracts in my eyes? The color in the paintings must be off the charts. Apparently I will have to wear glasses for astigmatism, so the usual bonus of no glasses after cataract surgery doesn't apply. No big deal. I'm ready to schedule the other eye surgery. In the meantime, workshop season is starting up, so I have a lot to do. p.s. I sent the editor's layout back to her yesterday and it felt good to get it moving (read "out of the house"!).

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