Monday, December 17, 2012

Knossos, Crete

Three on-site watercolors made at the 
famous archeological site at Knosos, Crete.

I will be sharing my Greek watercolors with you I made in my 2006 sabbatical since I return in my 2014 sabbatical.  Lovely Greece is on my mind.

The bull fresco pavilion (featured here in 2 paintings) is heavily restored.  I am researching these ancient bulls, called aurochs, now extinct.  Polish nobility kept them alive into the 1700's on a special reserve in Poland but viruses from domiesticated animals brought about their demise.  Aurochs were enormous, fierce animals, the stuff of ancient legends, cited by Julius Ceasar himself.

Recently, I archived all my watercolors done on site in Greece, Crete and Istanbul, along with watercolors I made in my studio at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece.  I used Fabriano watercolor paper for on-site work because the paper allowed for the paint to dry quickly.  Sometimes I would be running to the exit gate at site closing time, holding up the wet watercolors like a waiter holds trays of food.  Luckily, no watercolors got damaged in the late afternoon sprint.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Acrylic painting Workshop at Quincy Art Center, Quincy Illinois
Sponsored by the Quincy Art Guild

In November 2010, I gave a watercolor workshop during my solo exhibition at the Gray Gallery at Quincy University.  We had a dynamic experience with a very dynamic group of painters, and the group loved my acrylic paintings in the exhibition, so they asked me to teach an acrylic workshop.

It is always a wonderful experience to share what I know with dedicated artists and those who aspire to learn more and become better artists.  I learned how much is missing in the teaching (or lack of it) when it comes to acrylic paints.  There is so much more than just sticking your brush in some paint and water and trying to paint!  So we had a great day learning and sharing.  Besides, since it was fall, there way a bountiful harvest to paint and share thanks to secretary Liz.  Big thanks to my hostess, Ann, president of the QAG. Her house and garden are awesome.  I'll come back anytime to Quincy!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Magical Thailand

Here are a number of small watercolors I did on site at various temples and ancient ruins in Thailand when I was a visiting professor there in 2011.  These works were seen first in a solo exhibition at Quincy University shortly after I returned. In June, 2012, I showed them at Main Gallery 404 in downtown Bloomington.

Thailand is magical.  Buddhist statues, especially from the Sukothai era, are profoundly beautiful.
A colleage, Pimol, took me to a special locak temple with a particularly beautiful Sukothai Buddha statue.  The temple was not on the tourist route, rather, it was an important local temple.  I painted the Buddha there for two days.  I was pleased to see that the monks of the temple noted my discipline, painting for hours on my knees in the temple.  We spoke and I gave one of the monks one of my small paintings.  These are treasured moments and nothing we do alone in our studios compares to painting or drawing on site and having interactions such as these.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Teaching a watercolor workshop at the 
Southern Illinois Art Workshop in May

Upon request from students, I demonstrated how to paint a rose.

This three-day workshop focused on understanding color and color mixing. Boy, did I have a great and savvy group of dedicated painters, coming to SIAW from the borders of Indiana to the borders of Missouri!  During the workshop, several students admitted to being confused by what different workshop instructors suggest about color and different colors of paint to buy. I completely understand their concerns and confusion!  

Understanding color is not about following someone's pet palette of colors, or trying out some of the new, appealing colors, fun that it is to try out new colors.  It is about the basics: understanding triads, cools and warms and specific qualities (properties) of each color.

For example, to experiment and show the class about specific qualities of each color, I chose Opera pink for the pink blush for this quick rose demonstration. Opera pink sunk right into the paper, being a quinocridone pigment.  I pointed out there was no margin for error and little chance to move the color around.  So I opted for our traditional and hard-working alizarine crimson. It is a delicate pigment and will float around on the paper before settling in, giving you time to add a touch of another color for a subtle admixture.  It can also be lifted if applied too heavily.  Everyone was encouraged to do color tests, or color meditations as I call them before embarking on their paintings.  I will show some of their wonderful results in my next blog.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Magical Spring Sunday at Sugar Grove Nature Center
Funk's Grove, Illinois
Sunday, April 29, 2012

"A Season in Color" had it's second installment today, we explored the 'delicate triad' for spring.  In January, we explored the 'old master's triad' for winter subjects.  This is an exciting opportunity to try different color triads.  Our goal is to understand color theory and color mixing.  It is very helpful to work with a limited palete such as we are doing in this year-long series.  Students have said they are learning so much by working with a limited palette.  

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Universal Language of Art
Teaching a Watercolor Workshop at Arizona State University, a Drawing Master Class at the Art Academy of Tallinn, Estonia, and a Watercolor Painting Demonstrations to Students at Srinakharinwirot University, Bangkok. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sun Spots over the Atlantic

Sun Spots 2.  
4 x 6 inch watercolor

This is another watercolor from 30,000 feet. There were beautiful sun spots on the clouds so I made numerous 4 x 6 inch paintings.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Pacific Standard Time Extravaganza III

The San Diego Art Museum
LA has so many quintessential art movements and artists.  The Getty Foundation masterminded the 'Pacific Standard Time' series and funded over 60 institutions to research and hang exhibitions about the west coast's contribution to contemporary art.
Ed Ruscha's Standard Station

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Pacific Standard Time Extravaganza II

It was not easy coming back to Illinois from my art trip to LA this winter; the traffic is easier than Chicago, there are palm trees, great art, ambience, driving across the many canyons connecting areas of greater LA, finding streets and areas rich with meaning from art and from movies. 

Near this picture of me at Venice Beach is the street Ocean Park.  Any painter worth her or his salt knows Diebenkorn's Ocean Park Series of paintings.  Richard Diebenkorn had a studio on Ocean Park, and rather than look toward the seductive Pacific, he turned away and looked uphill at  the geometry of the street rising upward from the ocean.  This geometry and his particular California vision created the legendary Ocean Park Series of paintings, one of which was on view at the Getty Museum in its PST tribute exhibition. Now, an exhibit of Diebenkorn's seminal paintings "Richard Diebenkorn: The Ocean Park Series" opened Feb 24  at the Orange County Museum of Art. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Pacific Standard Time Exhibition Extravaganza

No, this is not the Pacific Standard Time Exhibition Extravaganza, but it is the view a block from the L.A. Louver Gallery, in Venice Beach. Louver had a spectacular Edward Kienholz retrospective, "Kienholz Before LACMA." This was early work leading to the success the LACMA show brought him. Watercolor Muse offers a range of art works and dialog about art, usually waterbased art work, but  in this case, the exhibitions comprising PST took place alongside the Pacific Ocean. That is a pretty big water reference as far as I am concerned.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Claire Lieberman's Exhibit

                                                   See the review and see the show!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Wonderful New Year

My short-term studio:  Rocky Mountain Coffee Brewers Cafe, where the staff let me take over an entire booth to paint. For the price of a cup of good tea, I worked for 3 and 4 hour spans.  Look at that mountain sunshine streaming in!

While in Colorado, on days off from skiing, I worked on a new series of watercolors exploring the calligraphic style of Thai writing. Thai script is unique and beautiful so I came home from my two-month teaching with children's alphabet books as a guide. Quite a challenge but a great way to usher in the new year.