Friday, December 30, 2011

Vanderbilt for a Friend


I painted this tower at Vanderbilt University for a very good friend for a Christmas present. She and her husband and daughter all graduated from there and anyone that knows her knows that she is one huge fan of everything Vandy! In fact, she is a current Board of Trust member and also served in the past as National Alumni President. My son is currently a Vandy undergraduate, and when we were visiting in the fall for a football game, I decided to go out scouting for a reference to paint for her. I got up early one morning and planned on getting some early morning light photos from which to choose the perfect scene for my painting. As I was drinking my coffee from the breakfast room of the hotel, I looked out the window and saw this view above. The line of early morning clouds were perfectly lined up in the sky and the light was just beautiful on the tower and the surrounding area. I quickly grabbed my camera and went to shooting through the glass window. The other breakfast eaters all looked at me strangely, but I didn't care. I knew I only had a few moments to capture that light and just kept shooting. It turned out I loved the shots and decided I didn't even need to step outside to go shoot anything else. She loves the painting and has it proudly displayed in her home with some other important Vanderbilt things. This is one of the joys I have as an artist - to be able to make other people happy with something I create!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Lori Putnam Still Life Workshop

A couple of weeks ago, I participated in an impressionist still life workshop with artist Lori Putnam at her studio in Franklin, TN. It was a great group of artists and we all learned a lot about setting up a still life, lighting, and just details that I have not thought about before when doing this type of painting. Above you see a couple of the timed studies we did during the workshop. Different setups were done in short amounts of time to make us focus on capturing the general shapes of the colors and not focus on drawing an object and filling it in with paint. As many of us soon realized, this is harder than it sounds! It is our natural tendency as artists to want to draw or sketch off the boundaries of an object and then mix colors to fill in that object. Although I don't generally seek out to paint still life, I felt like it was good for me (kinda like taking vitamins) and my painting journey to learn these things. It should help me in my overall development as a painter, which is one of my main goals at this point.

Like Camille's workshop, the studies in this workshop were intended as studies and not finished paintings. I really like that and it takes the "pressure" off that we as aritsts put on ourselves to always create something that we can hang on the wall or sell. I need the practice and can always see that I improve in aspects of my painting when I paint with this attitude and frame of mind. I am able to let go of that little voice inside that tells me what I am doing is terrible and just learn. The final day we painted a very involved and larger set up and although I wasn't thrilled with the results of mine, I managed to focus on the techniques Lori was teaching us and felt I was successful at that.

I also used a new brand of paint for the first time and loved them.  Blue Ridge Oil Paints are made by Eric Silver in Asheville, NC. I can't really explain why but the paints feel so nice on my brush and as I apply them to the canvas. They are made with a combination of several oils, which you can read about if you are interested on their website. They seem to be slower drying to me than some of the other brands I have used lately, but of course, that is just my first impression. Lori is using these now along with other artists I know, so I decided to give them a try. I know that the brand(s) of oil paints an artist uses is a very personal and individual decision, but if you are looking to trying something new, give him a call. It is a small company and made in America, which are both positives in my book. Plus, he is open to suggestions and feedback from the artists "out here" and is sincerely trying to create a quality product.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

St. George's Art Show and Sale

"Watercolor Lake" 
9" x 12" oil on canvas panel

I was honored to be selected to participate in the St. George's Art Show and Sale in Collierville, TN again this year. It is a wonderful collection of artists from this area and the surrounding region and since my son graduated from there, it was fun for me to see my old friends and share my artwork with them. I did not paint when he was in school there (mostly because I was doing "mommy" stuff all the time!) so many old friends would see me standing there and say something like "Hey, are these YOURS??? I didn't know you were an artist!" I would then go into my discussion of how I needed to focus on something when my children began leaving the nest and art was my passion when I was younger, so it seems like the appropriate thing for me to do now. Anyway, it was a fun show and I sold a few paintings, including the one above to one of my son's math teachers when he was there who is also a sweet friend.

Another cool thing that happened and made me smile really big inside (and outside!) was a man (didn't know him) was walking with some speed down the hallway and just glanced over to where I was standing in a lounge area with my paintings displayed on the wall, and suddenly stopped and backed up and came over to one of my paintings. He stared and looked closely for a minute and then looked at me and said "Are these yours?" I politely said "Yes, they are," not knowing what he was about to say next. He then said "Wow, these are fantastic! This one 'spoke' to me from over there!" Now, I don't know about the rest of my artist friends out there that may be reading this, but this is music to my ears as a painter! I thought "Do other people really have that happen to them too?" I mean, I have that happen a lot and those are the paintings that I dream about, think about, look at over and over (if I can be fortunate enough to buy it or at least find an image online to stare at repeatedly). I was able to stop smiling long enough to thank him and then chat about plein air painting (which he read about on my bio hanging next to my work) and the joy that painting brings me. It was one satisfying moment. And no, he didn't buy that painting, but that compliment was worth all the work I put into that painting and all the others up to this point in my painting journey. 

I also want to share a photo of my artist friend and fellow Chestnut Group member from Nashville, Tiffany Myers Foss, below. She was also invited to participate in the show and it was so fun to hang out with her and her sweet husband some and chat! It was a great show all around and one I was happy to participate in!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Workshop with Camille Przewodek

My third workshop in October was a five day workshop called "Color Bootcamp" with the fabulous artist, Camille Przewodek. I first must say that it was a different kind of workshop from any other that I have done before. Camille is a Colorist and paints in tradition of the Cape Cod School, and trained with Henry Hensche. Her workshop was about LEARNING about color and this method of painting and seeing the effect of light on color, and not about making finished paintings, studying composition, values, or any other of the many aspects of good art. All of the work we produced that week was like note-taking - not finished paintings. We worked exclusively with a palette knife, which was different for most of the artists there. The reason for this was so that we could get clean color mixes and not using a brush where remnants of the previous color can remain.

Needless to say, there was a lot of moaning and groaning initially from those of us (me included!) that were not used to using the palette knife exclusively on a painting. However, we all quickly learned how to make it work, and continued on. Camille is an excellent teacher and knew that immersing us in this method first off and immediately was the best way for us to learn and understand. In my head, I called it "trail by fire," but soon realized that it was working. She does some very valuable things in her workshop, such as have us all walk around and see each other's progress so that we can learn from not only our successes and mistakes, but also those of others in the class. And we did this very often during the day and not just at the end of the week, like a workshop critique in other workshops I have taken. I felt this was very informative and helped me see so many things more clearly.

We spent the first two days working with blocks in the sunlight (and on gray days when we had cloud cover). Then we spend the next two days on location painting buildings outside, and the landscape also. We painted one day at the beautiful location that you see above. As you view this painting, please remember it is not a finished painting and only a block in using the techniques that Camille teaches. She believes, as do many others out there, that you must have many starts in order to begin to understand this method and how to represent the effect of light on colors. The final day we spent painting models that were hired to sit for us. I have not done much work before with live models so that was a great experience for me.

I also loved having her husband, Dale Axelrod, there too helping with the workshop. Dale and his ever present timer (to tell us when to start and stop on the studies) was so helpful and I really enjoyed the banter between the two during the week. He kept us all organized and moving right along! Also, Camille has a wonderful sense of humor (not understood by all) and gift of knowledge that was so refreshing and I thoroughly enjoyed my week with her.

I also met a great group of women from Louisiana that came together to paint and had two of my art friends from Arkansas there also in the workshop. We all stayed at the same hotel and enjoyed hanging out together in the evenings and at breakfast and lunches. We tried not to be too annoying but I am sure that the people at the Madison, MS, Embassy Suites thought there was something wrong with us most of the time! Again, the people I meet at these workshops are one of the main reasons I continue to go. We learn so much from each other and laugh so much that it makes the workshop experience even more fun!

If you have ever wanted to learn more about Henry Hensche and this method of studying color and the effect of light on color in painting with pigments, this is the workshop for you. Not for the faint of heart and not for someone who isn't willing to work hard though. It isn't a vacation where you paint. Camille pushes you to think outside the box and it is a huge undertaking if you are used to painting in a different way.

I am including another one of my studies below of a building across the street from our classroom. Again, it is a beginning STUDY of color and the effect of light on color and NOT a finished painting. You may be able to tell that I used a brush on this one, which was fine, but I went back to the palette knife on the next study because I had found I did indeed get cleaner mixes and applications with it.

At the beginning of this month, Camille had a video released and if this is something you think you might be interested in learning about, I suggest you try the video. Also, she will be featured in the next Plein Air Magazine and so if you receive that magazine, look for an article about her. All in all, it was a wonderful workshop and I feel like I learned a lot and also had fun at the same time! She is truly a modern day Master in this style of painting and I feel fortunate to have spent this small amount of time studying with her!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Workshop with Dee Beard Dean

"Old Well House" 
8" x 10" oil on linen panel

For my second October workshop experience, I spent a few days in beautiful St. Simons Island, GA, with the talented and inspiring Dee Beard Dean. If you are not familiar with her work, click on the link and enjoy a feast for the eyes! She is not only a talented artist, but also a beautiful and energetic woman who shares her knowledge of painting and life with those around her. 

The workshop was sponsored by Anderson Fine Art Gallery in St. Simons. They made sure everything was perfect and accomodating for the artists in the workshop, including catered on-site lunches when we were painting outside or even in the studio space arranged for the workshop participants. This is a nice feature because I always hate taking time out during a workshop to search out something for lunch, and the catered lunches were fabulous and a real time saver. 

I painted the above painting outside on the first day of the workshop after a great demo by Dee. Each day of the workshop, we would meet in the studio space and Dee discussed different aspects of painting that she feels is important, whether painting plein air or in the studio. Then, we would venture out to painting locations and Dee would come around and help each artist at their easels. Her advice and encouragement was invaluable to me and I will treasure the time I spent with her. 

We had a rainy/windy day and decided to stay inside and paint. The painting below is done from one of my reference photos that I painted from my iPad. I LOVE using my iPad rather than my computer or photos for painting because it is small and will fit right on my easel side panels, and you get the benefit of backlighting that you don't get from a photo. STILL not at great as painting outside to see true colors and light, but second best in my opinion. 

 "Sunset Dunes"
8" x 10" oil on linen panel
And another great happening of this workshop is my purchase of two of Dee's beautiful paintings! I love collecting art too and these paintings are now hanging in my office at home where I can see them daily!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Apalachicola, FL with Lori Putnam

"Beach Cottages 1"
9" x 12" oil on linen panel

Whew! October was a month of travel and fun workshops for me! Against the advice of most artists, I signed up for 3 workshops in the same month. I love to paint plein air, and in the South, October is a fabulous month for that because of the milder weather. Plus, all of these workshops were with people that I have always wanted to study with and it was just convenient for me to go the places they were going to be. And also contrary to what most artists say, I am not AT ALL confused or messed up or whatever from the three different teachers and their varied painting styles. Unlike most people, I go to workshops for several reasons. One, is to meet other artists and chat and visit during the week about something we all love - painting and art. Another reason is just to visit different places. And then, of course, to learn. I love learning about things and especially about painting. I don't go to workshops to totally change the way I paint or think about painting. I always come away from a workshop with something I can carry over into my own journey, whether it is a small tip about supplies, brushstrokes, other techniques, colors, or some idea or theory that I have heard explained a thousand times before that finally "makes sense" to me after another instructor says it their way. Anyway, I am not recommending that anyone do what I did, because it was physically exhausting (haha!) but mentally fun and I wouldn't trade anything for my month of October 2011!

Lori's workshop in beautiful Apalachicola, FL, was sponsored by the Apalachicola School of Art, which is a wonderful organization that is just getting started holding workshops in this quaint little town. They are working on a website currently but you can find some information if you Google the name. They have held a plein air event there for the last several years, and we were able to see some of the fabulous artwork from some of these events hanging in the school.

Not only did I meet some fun people here that also took the workshop, but I had a blast painting the shrimp boats, marshes, and the other sites here. It is really a plein air painter's dream here with all the choices in painting subjects, and I hope to return here maybe for the plein air event next May to watch all of the artists that are there painting. I can also recommend taking workshops from this school. They are really welcoming and the whole town is accepting of art and artists, so look them up and see what they have to offer if you are interested in workshops at all. They are just getting started so keep an eye out on the growing schedule. 

As you may remember, I am starting a mentoring program with Lori in 2012, so I am taking any workshop I can with her now so that she will be familiar with my painting and what I need to work on as we begin the mentoring in January. As with the first workshop I did with Lori, she was again a wonderfully patient and giving teacher and I felt so inspired and encouraged by watching her demo and also by her advice at my easel. Below is a photo of her teaching before her demo the first day. 

We painted in several places in the area, including a morning in the studio because of the high winds and light rain on the final day. The painting you see above at the top of this post was on the beach one beautiful and sunny morning. Below is a photo of my set up and the painting after I was finished. Of course, the light had changed by then but you can get an idea of the beautiful place I was standing while painting.

Stay tuned this week for another fabulous workshop review about my next October workshop, Dee Beard Dean. Maybe I should do this for a job? Anyone want to hire me to take workshops and write reviews? Plein Air Magazine maybe? Now THAT would be a dream job!

And, I just couldn't resist a little Photoshop editing of the photo below! You will probably have to click on it and enlarge to see the "hazard" well. We painted one day after lunch on the side of a road with beautiful marshes on either side and really high winds! We shielded ourselves with our cars and our equipment and setup was truly tested. After we painted, Lori also did a demo in that spot. As I sat with my new friends and watched, I kept imaging "critters" climbing out of the water which was just a few feet away from us. Needless to say, this is not a "real" photo but one I am deeming "The Hazards of Plein Air Painting" just for fun! I know all of you plein air painters out there can think of other hazards from your past plein air experiences.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Smoky Mountain Painting Fun

This past weekend, I participated in a painting trip with 5 other artists from the Nashville area. I belong to a group there called The Chestnut Group  (follow link to see some FABULOUS work from the members and read about this wonderful organization) and although this was not an official group trip, all of the artists are also members of this wonderful group of artists. The participants of this trip above are (from left) me (yes I was blinking when the camera took the photo!), Claudia Williams, Cynthia Crook, Roger Dale Brown, Beverly Ford Evans, and Cathleen Windham.

We stayed in a cabin there with this beautiful stream right out the back door! Needless to say, there were many painting opportunities all around us and we took advantage of that and painted for three days. I came home with several studies I plan to enlarge back in the studio this winter. Below is one of my almost finished pieces from the trip. I hadn't gotten to the red truck peeking out of the door to the barn when it was time to move on! We had such a blast loading up in Roger's truck and laughing all the way to the next painting stop. It is truly one of the things I love most about this painting journey I am on - meeting new people who all enjoy and understand the love of art and painting!

I always love seeing other artists post their work in the place they painted it when doing plein air work, so I remembered to take one of my own this time!

I have also posted some other photos from the trip on my Facebook art page Smoky Six Trip Photos, so take a look there for more inspiring photos of the beautiful state of Tennessee!  I am off tomorrow to paint in a workshop with the fabulous Lori Putnam on Florida's Forgotten Coast (Apalachicola) so look for more painting fun next week!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Art Show Recap

The beautiful lobby of the Memphis Botanic Gardens.

Our water aerobics class ladies came to support us!
 No class tonight!

Some of my small still life paintings grouped together.

Two of my still life paintings in beautiful Randy Higbee floater frames.

One of the four walls of our art!

Floral paintings by me (left) and Judy (right). Just perfect for this venue!

Artist and beloved local disc jockey, Ron Olson, enjoying the show and the food!

Me and my sister (2nd from left) and other friends who came to the show.

Art grouping with a "bird" theme by me and Judy - the two in the middle are Judy's and the two on the sides are mine. We had fun arranging the art on the walls at such a beautiful place!

One of my landscape paintings. 

Another wall of art!

Some of the early guests to the show
and one wing of the gallery space.

Another shot of the lobby before the show opened.

I wanted to post about the art show that opened last week at the Memphis Botanic Gardens. I hope this is not photo overload, but I wanted some of my artist friends across the country to share in our excitement since they could not be here in person! It was a great opening and there were sales (yay!) and most of all, lots of wonderful friends and family who came out to support Judy and me. We had over 100 people at the opening, which was so fun for us! As most of the artists out there know, it is a lot of work to organize and market and hang a show like this, but it is so fun in the end to see your work hanging all nice and framed at a beautiful location like we have here. The show will remain up for the rest of September, so if you are in the area, drop by and see it!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Art Show Opening

Just a quick post to let everyone know about my show with fellow artist Judy Nocifora opening this week at the Memphis Botanic Gardens. Since we are "travel" buddies (to workshops and fun art events!), we entitled the show "Memories and Mementos: Two Painters' Journeys." If you are in the Memphis area this Thursday, September 8, we are having an opening reception from 5:30-7:30 pm. The show will hang until the end of September.

I also have to mention that my heart goes out to all of those in Texas who have recently lost their property (and some lives) to wildfires. One of my past workshop teachers who many in the art world adore (including myself!), Carol Marine, and her family lost their home and her studio in Bastrop, Texas. Thankfully they were able to get out themselves though. It has been hard for me to think of much else since I heard the news. Although I have only spent one week with her, she is one of the most giving and thoughtful teachers I have had so far in this painting journey I am on. I know there are many who are affected by this and continue to be at the time I am writing this post, so please remember them in your thoughts and prayers. There are also many links to provide support for Carol and her family out there, and if you are interested in helping and can't find a link, contact me at and I will point you in the right direction.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Workshop with Lori Putnam

"Solitary Boat"
12" x 16" oil on linen panel

Last weekend, I participated in a workshop with Lori Putnam held in Nashville at LeQuire Gallery. It was a short, intensive, day and a half experience that I truly enjoyed! Lori is not only a fabulous painter, but an excellent instructor and fun person too! We began the workshop on Sunday afternoon and watched Lori demo from a plein air piece she had done on a recent trip to the Adirondacks in New York state. The demo was wonderful and Lori is one of those artists who can demo and talk about what she is doing at the same time, which helps artists like myself who always want to know why someone is doing what they are when painting.

The following day, we each painted from either a plein air piece we brought in or from a photo. The photo I used was given to me by a good friend who visited Jamaica earlier in the year and shared some wonderful photos with me to use for painting. After doing several thumbnail sketches to determine the best use of this photo as far as composition goes, I painted the piece above. I was pleased with my day and from the help and feedback I got from Lori. I also met some very nice artists too, which is always one of my favorite benefits of taking a workshop.

I am also excited about starting a mentoring program with Lori in January of 2012. She will mentor 6 artists and I am happy to be a part of that group! I am ready for some intensive focus and work and I know that Lori is the one that will provide that work for me on a regular basis. I do have a few exciting workshops this fall (two of them with Lori!) but as of January, I will be focused on consistent instruction from her. I always loved school, which is why I like workshops so much, and this will be a little like school for me!

Friday, August 12, 2011

"Cedar Grove Church" 9x12

Cedar Grove Church
9x12 oil on canvas panel

This is a painting I did from my recent workshop with the fabulous painter and teacher, Dawn Whitelaw. I had a wonderful three days with her in Pontotoc, Mississippi, in a workshop where we learned to work from photos. Dawn is primarily a portrait and a plein air painter, and I have previously studied with her in a plein air "bootcamp" kind of workshop. I learned so much and always look forward to studying with her whenever I have the opportunity. She is such an inspirational teacher and knows just what to say to help you understand a concept. 

This church is in a little community in Arkansas that we pass through on the way to our lakehouse. It is one of those places I always wanted to pull over and photograph, and when I was driving past a month or so ago, the light was hitting it just right, so I quickly turned around and grabbed my camera before it changed. I was happy I did, because it gave me an excellent photograph to work with during this workshop! 

I used the limited palette of one red, blue, and yellow and some white on this painting. I am becoming quite fond of the simplicity of using just 4 tubes of paint and seeing what I can mix up!

Friday, July 15, 2011

On Making Color Charts

In my quest for learning how to oil paint, I have come to the conclusion I know very little about color theory and usually just go on my "instinct" when painting and choosing colors. I have read some on my own, but knew all along I need to get serious if I am going to meet some of the goals I have set for myself in this painting journey.

One of the most inspiring and encouraging artists that I personally know is Lori Putnam, a Nashville artist whose work I both admire and drool over! See her website here. Her work is fresh, loose, and just absolutely beautiful. She also has a couple of small booklets (which you can purchase at her website) about oil painting, plein air painting, and color theory that I have purchased that I consider some of the best material I have read on these subjects. And believe me, I have a book addiction, and if I showed you a photo of my shelves of books relating to painting and art, you would know I know what I am talking about! Her booklets are full of little gems of information that I might have read or heard somewhere before, but her way of presentation just sticks with me. Sometimes it is like that with learning.

Lori also has a wonderful blog that includes some valuable posts on many subjects relating to painting, but some very good ones on making color charts and using a 3 color plus white palette like she does. Now I know there are probably countless posts and book chapters out there on chart making, and there is no one right way, but I decided to just go with this and do them. I was not convinced that I could possibly get this many colors with just one tube of each primary and white. However, after doing the charts with Lori's detailed instructions, I am convinced. As most artists are, I am a visual learner for the most part and learn best by doing.

The main thing I learned after doing this exercise was this - I don't have to have every color paint that the manufacturers make in my painting supplies to make beautiful paintings. Now, I know that sounds simplistic, but somehow before I did these charts, I thought that the people who painted with a limited palette or even an expanded limited palette were just somehow born with some sort of talent or sense of color that I was not born with and I could never learn it and would have to buy my own yellow ochre for the rest of my painting career. There is nothing wrong with using a ton of paint tubes, but if you aspire to plein air paint much, it makes it rather difficult and cumbersome to use 20 different tubes out in the field.

Will I only paint with these 3 colors from here on out? I'm not sure yet and also know that it doesn't really matter right now. Some of the best advice that every artist that I have studied with has been something along the lines of "this is the way I do it, but you must find your own style and way of doing things." Great advice!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Susan's Tulips

Susan's Tulips
11"x14" oil on canvas

It has been awhile since I last posted. I have had several family obligations this summer and had very little time to paint, but hopefully that will change now! I have tried to keep up with my art friends' blogs, but also have had little time for that too. So excited to be catching up soon!

I painted these tulips back in May after a lovely dinner at a dear friend's home. She and her husband had several couples over one evening and these tulips were the centerpiece on the table. As an artist, I couldn't help but sit there and wonder how I would paint them! I sat and wondered what colors I would mix to get the color of the petals and how I would set it up in my studio. I know some of you know what I am talking about! Anyway, since she is a good friend, I just asked when I left that evening if I could borrow her tulips to paint them! Since she was so kind to let me take them with me, I just decided to give her the painting. 

I set the tulips up on a sheet of glass in my studio to get the reflection you see in the front. Then, when I lit the set up, the reflection just appeared! I love doing this and learned this tip from several other artists.

I hope you all are enjoying your summer and getting in more painting time than I am!

Friday, May 20, 2011

"Summer Pots" 6x6

"Summer Pots"
6x6 oil on canvas panel

This is a fun little painting using some of the colors and brushstrokes I learned in the workshop with the fabulous Dreama Tolle Perry. I had a photo of the bench with the great light on it, but it didn't have anything sitting on it. I decided a couple of terra cotta pots with some colorful flowers in them would be the perfect addition! This is one of the things I am learning to do in my compositions. Not rely on just what I see, but what I can imagine I see too! Tried to stay loose and not over work the paint on this too. 

I am headed to Little Rock, Arkansas next week for a workshop with Guido Frick, a German painter who studied with Sergei Bongart early in his painting career. Really looking forward to painting outside on BIG canvases and loosening up even more on my brushstrokes. Look up his work if you are not familiar with it! Very fresh and exciting style and I know I will have fun with it.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

WKNO Art Show Opening

The Artist Group of Memphis

I have been busy preparing for two art shows I am participating in with a group of artists here in the Memphis area known as "The Artist Group." It is a group of friends that was started by Joy Routt and Julie Hooker years ago to show their work around town. It has grown over time to include 17 artists. Not all artists participate in each show, but it is fun to have a group of friends to show your art with! This is a photo of the opening reception last night at WKNO studio here in Memphis. This show runs through the end of May, so if you are in the area, stop by sometime and see and buy some artwork! It is fabulous and such a variety within the group of artists. Some of my work in the show is shown below. 

We have another opening next weekend at St. Mary's Episcopal School for a weekend only show with some of the proceeds going to the Children's Ballet Theater that performs there in the Buckman Theater. 

Also, please keep this area in your thoughts and prayers. We are facing some flooding of historic proportions that have not been seen in this area since the early 1900's. The mighty Mississippi River has run over it's normal banks all along the way to the Gulf and will continue to rise for at least another week. It will be a long while and a lot of damage to many homes and businesses until this water recedes. A slow moving natural disaster for sure.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dreama Tolle Perry Workshop

I just returned from a wonderful workshop with the fabulous and inspiring artist, Dreama Tolle Perry. It was held by a group of SUPER FUN people from the Artists on Main gallery and school in Goodletsville, TN. Led by the infamous David Gillahan (hey David!!), they are a group of artists on a journey to learn to paint and have fun together. David has classes at the gallery and let me just say, they really learn something there! He not only teaches about oil painting, but about friendship and support, which as artists, we all need! Most of the people in the workshop were David's students, but they made me feel so welcome and comfortable and I was so grateful for that. The photo below shows some of the workshop participants although some had already left by the time we took the photo.

I have been wanting to take a workshop with Dreama ever since I started painting again. Her beautiful use of color in her paintings always draws me in and the stories she writes along with them always make me smile. I was not disappointed at all and in fact, I would go back again and again just to study with her and hang out in the atmosphere she creates in her workshops. She is such a kind and graceful person, and immediately puts you at ease when the workshop begins with her attitude and humor. Also, she infuses so many pearls of wisdom throughout the workshop, you can't go home thinking anything else of your art but that you have something special to tell the world and you better get busy doing it! I have always tried to have a pretty positive outlook on my own work because I know I have to be my biggest fan (!!!), but she reiterates how important it is to look at what you want to say with your art and believe in yourself as you enjoy the process of painting, and not just the resulting artwork.

The painting above is one of the ones I completed in the workshop. I was able to use some colors of paint I had not used before and it was so fun! I also learned a lot about how to take my own reference photos that I photograph and add some fun elements to them in order to improve the composition and the color to make them more pleasing to the eye. For such a 'literal' person like me, this was eye opening and I now see so many more possibilities when looking through my photos I have in iPhoto.

I also included a photo of Dreama below with the beautiful smile on her face, which if you have met her before, will surely bring a smile to your face. Take her workshop if you have a chance.You, too, will not be disappointed!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Framed Show Photo

Although I did not get to attend the opening of the 6 Inch Squared show in California last night, one of my artist friends from online, the fabulous Dana Cooper, was in attendance and kindly snapped this photo of my painting, all framed and happily hanging on the wall! Randy's frames really are beautiful and I could not be happier with the one they chose for me to frame my painting. Now it just needs a red dot next to it! Contact Higbee Gallery if you are interested in purchasing it!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

I am so excited to have a painting accepted to this show in California, which opens tonight. Randy Higbee, also known among artists as the "King of Frames" (which he is!), is having a show with only 6"x6" paintings. It is hung and opens this evening! Wish I could be there but some of my artist friends are going so I will hear about it from them. The painting I had accepted is pictured below. Randy and his group framed it in a beautiful floater frame and I know it will look great hanging in the presence of such wonderful work from artists from all over!

I am currently in a workshop with the FABULOUS artist and just all around fun person, Dreama Tolle Perry. She is such a great instructor and I have met a great group of people who are also taking the workshop. It is in Goodletsville, TN, and the Artists on Main group is sponsoring the workshop. So ready for my second day and I will share some photos and reviews when I get back home!

Friday, April 8, 2011

My Studio Artist Wall

Because I am not only an artist but an art collector, I decided to start a wall in my studio for some of the paintings I have recently acquired from different artists across the country. Most are small format, 6"x6" or a little larger, and all are from artists whose work I love a lot! I will add to it as time goes on and as money is available :). I included close ups below with the artists in case you would like to check out their work too!

 These are from artist Michael Chamberlain

The fabulous artist, Laurel Daniel, who has been so 
helpful and supportive to me in my art journey so far!

Artist Cathleen Rehfeld does beautiful work and also teaches in her area! 

The final photo shows a painting on the left by artist Tim Horn, who I have had the pleasure of studying with in a workshop in Atlanta. Also pictured is the work of artist Carol Schiff, who is masterful in her use of beautiful brushstrokes and paint application in all of her paintings!

There are MANY other artists out there whose work I would love to own, and plan on continuing to collect as I can. I feel the art not only inspires me but brings a sense of light and joy to my studio, and makes it such a wonderful place to be!