Thursday, September 29, 2011

Curious Elements: Incubation to Completion

I completed twelve Curious Elements yesterday. I recently wrote about the 20 plus steps it takes to create a Curious Element, so I'm always working on some aspect of the process. But it feels like a red letter day when I finally add my signature to the back of the piece and move it from the working side of the studio over to the completed side. I've shown many photos of the process in previous posts so for today I'm just going to show you the pieces I completed.

While I am working on various projects in my studio, I am always auditioning ideas for new Curious Elements, letting them incubate for awhile. Here's my latest batch in the incubation stage.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Getting Wild and Wicked With Watercolor . . .

I was back at Sitka this past weekend for my final Sitka workshop of 2011.

The title of the class I took was Watercolor With a Tweak: Unraveling Your Painter's Personality. It was my understanding that this was not a traditional watercolor class -- but boy, that's where things got haywire on my end! I've played with watercolors before in my journals -- nothing traditional, nothing formal, just blotches of color and splatters of paint. I went into the three-day workshop thinking there would be some guided exercises playing with watercolors. Well, there were some exercises all right, but also a lot of traditional type water coloring going on. I was out of my element quite quickly -- and to top it all off, there were several, I mean many, women in the class who were traditional watercolorists looking to expand their repertoire of techniques.

It was definitely a weekend for learning. I learned I am NOT a watercolorist and I don't like traditional watercolor (well, I already knew that) so I guess the weekend reinforced that. But I did learn a few things.

I learned that I love:

Oil paints
300 pound rag paper
Plein air painting

It was also reinforced that I love:

Judy Vogland as a teacher (probably one of the most generous art teachers I have ever had)
Lami Li Loka handmade papers
Ebony pencils
Oregon Art Beat

Okay, given all that reflection, here's how it all went down.

Judy's space, so vibrant and alive with possibility.

My space. So full of promise.

Our first warm-up exercise was a prompt-driven painting using oil paints. OIL PAINTS! I have never used them before and I fell in love. Deeply in love.

Collage exercise with Judy demonstrating, then what I got started on (I do have plans to finish this).

Tree exercise (my trees are not viewable due to horrible watercolor painting skills, or should I say lack of skills):

Plein air painting:

Post Script: I decided at the end of Saturday that this was not the class for me. I am NOT a watercolorist and the frustration level was just too high. So when the class was done for the day and everyone was out for dinner, I packed up my stuff and left a note for Judy and the class.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Salem Art Collective: The Oregon Garden

Once a month the Salem Art Collective (formerly the Salem Art Group)gets together for some kind of creative outing -- we've visited a monastery, a cultural art center, even a field trip to Portland. For our September event, we travelled to Silverton to visit The Oregon Garden. Several of us used the opportunity to hone our photography skills, and a couple of us did some sketching. After poking about on our own, we reconvened for lunch at an outside picnic table. It was a perfect fall day: warm and sunny and many of the bright colored flowers were still in bloom.