I know this is One Word Wednesday, but I do hope you'll LEAP on over to Carrie Waller's blog and view my post about the Carol Carter workshop she and I both attended. (I am her very first guest blogger).
I've been working with Carrie Waller, editing my typed notes from the recent Carol Carter workshop Carrie and I both attended in Illinois. Carrie will post the words and a few photos of mine on her blog. So I'll be a guest blogger over at Carrie's blog this week. Check it out, if you get a chance. And go over and check out her Monday post about the workshop - as well as see my mug with the beautiful Carrie!!
One of the best things I took away from the workshop was Carol's uplifting and inspiring words and emails to me during the workshop and after. She truly is a wonderful artist and a wonderful person. What a treat it was to meet Carrie, too, and learn a little bit more about her life and her art. She brought in framed paintings (which she was sending off to the Louisiana watercolor show) and wow'd the group, who couldn't believe she painted them! A very talented, beautiful, strong woman, is Carrie Waller.
I went in and softened the shadow shapes and lightened them a bit, then added a bit more to the crows. Done. And ready to enter the WACC Juried Show and hope it gets in. I've decided to go ahead and just enter this one since Caw Girl #1 didn't work out.
The paintings you enter (you can enter 2) have to be matted and framed because they are judged in person. So you have them ready to hang, take them to the gallery, drop them off and then wait for the verdict. If you enter 2, you still have to return to pick up the one that didn't get in. (It would be much easier for everyone if they judged based on cd or online entries showing the paintings.)
So...my question is:
When you can enter 2 or 3 paintings but only 1 is juried in, is it better to enter two similar style paintings or just enter your strongest painting? What do you artists with more experience than I in entering shows do?
This one is at the framers now and will be ready for the March 26th drop-off date.
There should be a special place in hell (or whatever you believe in that is similar) for Spammers. I just received 7 new posts - all spam. They were sent to my spam folder in Blogger but I did see them in my gmail account and reported them as spam. What a crock! If it gets to be too much, I guess I'll go back to the word verification and hope Blogger eventually makes it easier for those of us with older vision to post without giving up from frustration.
Spammers Suck! May they all be infected with viruses in their computers and bedbugs in their homes; they should wake up with horrid cramps in their fingers so they cannot type their malicious messages.
Guess Blogger knew this was coming down the pike so that's why the word verification got so complicated.
Well, I overworked Caw Girl #1, trying to fix a few things I didn't like. So...I've started over, thinking about background first (like Carol Carter does) and leaving the figure for last. Here's the old one (really overworked but it doesn't look so bad in the photo - but trust me, it's bad and I couldn't put that in a show!); and the new start.
New one = full sheet (30 h x 22 w).
I have until tomorrow to finish it, if I really want to try to get in early for the juried show. Of course, I could just take my time and take the pressure off and enter in March (like most people will do). And that would give me enough time to see which one I like the best (and if I like the old girl best, I could redo another just like it only better).
How do people who do commissions deal with the pressure? I don't like it.
I removed the word verification hurdles my posters have to jump through to post on my blog. It's under your settings and comments - it asks if you want word verification so choose NO. You can still have moderation on so no spam will get through.
I know it's a hassle to do the word verification now. Two words instead of one and they are crunched together, overlapping and often blurred so much you can't tell if it's a lowercase l or a capital I or maybe an R or what the heck is that??? Just to prove I'm not a robot!
Let me know if you still have to do it to post to my blog. I just changed it tonight.
Yesterday was a busy day! Helped as a Special Judge for the SEFNK science fair at Northern Kentucky University in the morning; then picked up the grand-girls and took them to see the Macy's Arts Sampler Day at the Woman's Art Club "Barn" in Mariemont. They each looked around at the artists, talked to Nancy Neville (who was doing watercolor painting) and they each painted their own acrylic painting on canvas, courtesy of Linda Trucksis, who was letting the kids do their own thing for free :) Then we had a nice lunch out and a sweet for each of us and back home (they had a soccer game later in the day).
But today is Sunday Sharing and I have a lot of new followers to share. I'm sure they came from Carol Carter's Facebook postings of the workshop where she linked to my blog so they could read more about it. I hope they see enough to like to return to view my work again :) So...let's get to it!!
1. Ioana Geacar has a self-named blog (although she also spells her first name as John). Either way, she is Romanian, and shares some wonderful photography. If you have missed winter in the U.S., go over and see the winter they are having and which she is documenting. I like looking at winter much more than experiencing it!
2. Lancerika is the blog of Erika Morrison, American born but has lived in Venezuela, Spain and Holland! Her work, which she describes as self-taught and abstractionist, is very surreal and ethereal - take a look, take some time, read the poetry and enjoy the paintings!
3. Serap Demirag is the blogspot of Serap Demirag! Now, I wish I could translate all the words (the translater I used was pretty poor) because I know it would add even more to the beauty of her work. I won't even try to describe it - she calls herself a fantastic realist painter. I urge you to not miss this one! Floating worlds, beautiful, serene colors and compositions, paintings that are pure meditation. Lovely!!
4. Last, but not least, Don's Blog is the blog of a new watercolorist living in Bristol, U.K. Don took up drawing and painting in his 60's and is having a good go of it! Go over and give him some encouragement on his journey with watercolors and welcome him to the fold :)
That's it for today. Today, I will be in my little art room working on a 2nd painting to enter into the Woman's Art Club juried show - deadline for early bird entries is the 29th!
Mom was discharged from the hospital yesterday. I got her all settled and back home after a few errands. All is well. She's not completely strong and healthy yet but she's back home with meds and instructions (which she may, or may not, follow).
So...that means today I can paint!!!
The 119th Annual Juried Exhibition at the Woman's Art Club of Cincinnati is having their show April 1-29 and I have to have 2 entries. So...time to sort through some crow paintings and see what they will be.
I'm pretty sure Caw Girl #1 will be one of the entries and want the 2nd entry to be crows, too. Early bird deadline for entries is February 29th so I have to choose now.
And tomorrow is Science Fair day. So I will be busy with that several hours tomorrow. Sweetie has done this every year for a long time and I somehow "volunteered" to help so it's a lot of getting there early, helping sign in the judges and make sure they have their information packets and know where to go, then walking around the display area to choose just 2 entries for most artful exhibit. It's usually not too difficult: I don't have to choose based on their scientific merits, just what their work looks like (eye-catching, colorful, interesting materials used for their info boards). This is grades 4-12 and the winners are supposed to come from the middle grades so it's just 4th and 5th graders I have to worry about. The kids come from all over Kentucky.
One of the things I had to catch up on at home after being away for 4 1/2 days was mail. Most of it was easy - throw out the junk, keep the bills to pay later, and look at anything interesting. Here was something from our Naked Postcard Swap that was waiting for me when I got home.
It's a lovely postcard from Barb Sailor in Ohio. She said she wanted to send me a reminder of warmer weather. Isn't it pretty?? And what a nice thing to find waiting for you when you return from a trip :)
Barb's blog is on my sidebar and you can see her work there. She is an artist and a teacher in northern Ohio.
Thanks, Barb! It's being added to my postcard book right now :)
And I promise I will post actual works from me soon. With Mom in the hospital and catching up on everything at home while still spending time with her, there is no time for painting right now - but soon! I am itching to try some of Carol's loose wet washes and flows of paint on some crows! Plus, I have to get back to the poured painting I began before leaving for the workshop. So much to paint, so little time.
I admit, I was sooo anxious to get back home and see my Sweetie (and sleep in my own bed again) that I left the hotel at 6:30 AM (as soon as it was light out). Called Sweetie and told him I was on my way home. And began the 5 hour drive. The bridge was open across I-64 in Louisville so that took off the problem of my GPS misdirecting me and getting me lost in Albany, IN the last time I was through there. Smoothe sailing (or driving, actually). Got just outside of Louisville and stopped for gas and had a huge smile on my face as I went in to get a coffee to help me stay awake (on the road for 3 hours at that time and feeling a little foggy). Talked to a lovely Indian man who understood completely my feeling of "being home" as soon as I got into Kentucy :) He said when he moved from India to New Jersey, he always felt that way when returning to New Jersey - I didn't ask him how he felt when returning to India (perhaps he never did).
Anyway, from Louisville, only 1 1/2 hours to home....until I got onto I-75 North and the four lane highway was down to 2 lanes because they were tarring the left 2 lanes. Inching along and trying to stay alert, I saw a little Honda jump right in front of an 18-wheeler and if he hadn't been alert, she would have had the rear of her cute little car crumpled like paper - stupid drivers!! You know how it is - the left lane is moving faster so you have to be in that one, but then it stops and you have to jump into the right...dumb!!
Got home safe and sound and was so happy! Talked a mile a minute to Sweetie as I shared everything with him. When I finally took a breath and as we were having lunch, he told me my aunt called this morning and she had to take my mother to Emergency again this morning! So...I talked to my aunt and found out it's the same problems = excessively high blood pressure and inability to breathe without oxygen and treatments so they admitted her and got her a room yesterday afternoon. It's not critical so I didn't go visit yesterday but called my sister so she went and I'll go and stay with Mom today and find out what's going on (hopefully, I'll be there soon enough to see the doctor visit).
So...back to reality, good and bad, for me.
But just so you have something beautiful to see today, here's a few more photos from the workshop (the flowers is a better picture of the painting than the previous one and the steer is the little framed painting Carol brought from her original Cash and Carry Christmas show - much more realistic than Carol's purple cows :) but just as well painted).
Carol talked about Joseph Raffael (Google him) and his work and this one reminded me of his type of painting in sections (but he paints on huge, wall-sized sheets that are made by stitching 2 elephant size sheets together).
A moo of a regular color :) I looked at this one when I drew Gorgeous George and then put it away so I wouldn't be influenced by the colors in her painting so forgot all that white when I painted George.
Closer looks at Carol's leaves of her magnolia flower - this is why I love watercolor!!!
I hope my report of the workshop and all we did and all Carol shared (THANKS SO MUCH!!!) inspires you all to pick up those brushes soon and get juicy!!!
And Happy Fat Tuesday!
Now off to the hospital to see Mom and find out what's happening this time (she was just in the hospital for the same thing in December so this is coming on too soon for me after the last time).
Here are some more photos from the workshop at Cedarhurst: some sculptures and buildings on the Cedarhurst grounds. I always got to the place early and put my things in the art room, then had a nice walk around the grounds in the early morning to clear my head and start the day off right.
My favorite sculpture in the park is "Gorilla" by John Kearney made out of chromed car bumpers.
And how about this little bunny? It was just outside the Shrode Art Center. Cute!
I'll be driving home this morning - should be there by mid-afternoon. Will have plenty to think about from the workshop and all the wonderful, sharing, fun people I met there!
Thanks to Carol Carter, an amazing artist and a great person; and thanks to all the artists in the workshop who came from near and far to share this experience. And thanks to Cedarhurst Art Center for hosting this event.
I have more photos to share when I get home and get settled and sort through everything, but until then, I'll catch you on the flip side (now that's an old saying, right?)!!!
Here's a larger shot of the finished magnolia I did yesterday.
And today we worked on cows (or any animal the students wanted to use). Carol called this technique the Glaze and Silhouette technique. Before we could do our first glaze of color, we had to protect our cows so no paint got on them.
Carol does this by using masking tape to tape the large shapes and then using masking fluid to mask around the edges as well as all over the cow shapes (so no pigment bleeds under the masking tape).
You can see how covered the cows are in Carol's version. When the masking fluid was dry, Carol wet the whole background area and then started in the center with pale orange (Cadmium Orange), moving to the top and adding more pigment to make it darker Cad Orange, leaving the bottom white.
When that dried, she went in with Holbein's Horizon Blue and Lavender under the cows and as the shadows of the cows.
Pretty bold, yes???
When that dried, Carol removed the masking tape/masking fluid and began on the first cow, wetting areas inside the cow but leaving dry areas (which will be the white area of the paper). Then she painted in Quin Burnt Orange as the underbase.
But for a really bold cow you can't have just Quin Burnt Orange. You have to go even bolder! So Carol started at the top of the first cow with dark Mineral Violet, moving down the cow into Alizarin and then Cad Orange in the legs!!! Now that's a cow of a different color :)
(The different views with the cow on the left or the right was due to the fact that sometimes I could get a direct photo of the painting and sometimes I was shooting up at the overhead mirror so the sides were opposite.)
The trick is to let the colors merge but still control the stages of colors. To do that, you have to remove some of the really juicy puddles that may happen. You keep reiterating the colors and the darks at the top, letting it blend a bit and move a bit but keeping the areas controlled a little.
Carol's goal was to have cool on top and warm on the bottom - hot Cad Scarlet on the feet :)
Here's the start of my own cow (a beefy steer I named Gorgeous George :) At this stage, the background is in and the masking is off the cow.
My goal was the opposite of Carol's so I had to think warm colors on the top and cool colors on the bottom of the cow, with purple behind the cow instead of orange. I had some problems with the paper - it seemed like it had spots and rough areas but I wanted to make it work so I kept going. I didn't get a good gradation of the purple from dark to medium to pale because I forgot to start in the middle and darken at the top. That's okay. A graduated wash is something I'll have to practice a lot to get right and I need a good 2-inch brush to help with that.
So this was really pushing the colors and playing. Here's the group on the wall for the critique - look at that color!!! WILD!!!!
Can you see Gorgeous George on the top row right side?
Here he is in all his glory :)
The workshop finished today and everyone cleared out and headed for their various homes - or on toward their next destinations. It was a bit of a let-down for me because I really wanted to go home but knew a 5 hour drive after the last day of the workshop would be too much. So...one more night of missing Sweetie (although we talk twice a day).
For some reason, I didn't get a photo of my finished magnolia and it's in the car, waiting to go back for Day 3 of the Carol Carter workshop. I'll get a photo of the finished one today. But in the meantime, here are some luscious Carol Carter paintings to share with you. Since Carol drove from St. Louis to Mount Vernon, she could bring a lot of her paintings, framed and unframed, finished and unfinished. She used them to show us how she incorporated the lessons she was sharing each day - and gave us ideas on how we could incorporate those lessons into our own paintings when we got back home.
Enjoy! And more from Day 3 to come later today.
Sorry about the post being in the center of this one - that was the best photo I could get while she talked and held it up (lots of students closer so I didn't want heads and knees in the photos :)
I loved Carol's expression in this one - when an artist talks about their love of painting, it shows in their face, doesn't it?
This was a painting Carol did to commemorate a friend who died. She used colors she would not normally choose, challenging herself to create something beautiful with colors she didn't necessarily love. And it worked - this painting is so striking!
And a teaser - this one is my magnolia painting started, working from the background foreward. Delayed gratification!! I'm not good at it, but I was a good girl in the workshop and did it just like Carol told us - except mine didn't look like her's at all. Carol said I have a more naturalistic style and look to my paintings; meaning, I am more in tune with nature/the natural world and show that in my paintings. I think she may be right - I love her bold colors but wouldn't normally reach for those combinations in my paintings.
At the critique at the end of the day, we put up our paintings - all different and many different flowers showing - and Carol made us each start by saying what we liked about our painting - no negative nellies allowed in her workshop!
My finished magnolia is at the bottom (the vertical one just to her right). I'll get a better photo of it today to share later.
Here's a few of the student paintings from yesterday's pear paintings - pretty good, yes?
Carol began the second day with a demo of a magnolia flower blooming amongst a background of leaves. She said we would be using a more realistic palette today for our paintings.
She first explained that, since the flower was going to be pure white, she didn't want the sunspots in the background to be pure white. So, to tone the spots down she used Shadow Violet by Daniel Smith (a pigment that granulates and separates into turquoise and pink - very pretty).
After the areas were touched with the Shadow Violet and dried, she masked them off with Incredible White Mask (the masking fluid she uses). Then that had to dry while she created some graphic lines around areas using Aureolin Yellow (that halo look that is her signature although less intense than on the pears painting). Then she pre-wet a large section of the background and began dropping in colors, using Quinacridone Burnt Orange as a base and putting in Winsor Newton Green, Yellow Shade and Shadow Green by Holbein, making a lovely mix of colors and blending and leaving areas pure color here and there. Lovely to watch happen if you love watercolors!
Then she did the area that was background but that was under the flowers and leaves.
Here she is, using a red glass piece to look through to check her values. This was a neat tool because you could put it up to your face and look through it to see the values without seeing the colors.
She then let that area dry and put in some leaves, working from the farthest back to the foremost leaves, using Aureolin Yellow and Quin Burnt Orange with some having Shadow Green at the edges (or Lavender by Holbein) and some not. Variety in the leaves were apparent as she worked along.
Carol said her intention for this painting was to shift colors from dark to light and to hug the boundaries to keep the eye in the painting. She also said you need to play with a shape and have gentle transitions in the colors, not let it be "wormy" looking = squiggly harder edges lines apparent and no blend.
Carol said, "If you can't give me a leaf, at least give me a beautiful watercolor shape." I love that idea!! Stop worrying and think shapes and make them as beautiful as you can.
The flowers were done last but the background flower petals first because there was one petal she wanted to have as the focal point - she always leads the eye to the focal point and works on it last, working up to it. Flowers were done by wetting the shape then floating in Quin Burnt Orange and using Lavender (a strong pigment so she painted this with a small brush) to shape the curves and shadows on the petals. Very pale colors began to look like full, rounded shapes of petals.
She continued that way with each petal, working towards the focal point petal. There is a lot of delayed gratification in this technique; you wait until the end to do the main star of the painting and integrate everything as you move towards that end. This way, you don't have a great painting of a flower and no idea what to do with the background!
"Each painting should be teaching you something."
I'll share my painting of my magnolia tomorrow and the other flower paintings from the students (not everyone did magnolias but had their own flowers to paint so a varied group of paintings this time).
Here are my pears from day 1. Towards the end of the day, we put them all up on the wall and critiqued them. Either we have a very good and talented bunch of artists or Carol is a fantastic teacher because they all looked pretty darned good!
The shadow shape was intensified with more Quin Burnt Orange and a bit of violet. Carol uses Holbein Mineral Violet but I use only Daniel Smith color so I mixed Alizarin Crimson and French Ultramarine Blue on my palette, then dropped that in closest to the pears. I was pleased with this but thought the red pear looked a bit less lively than the others.
But no worries - today we painted flowers and I chose a magnolia photo I've done before. Today, I did it more in the Carol Carter way but not as bold with the colors or intensity. That's okay, though. Only Carol Carter can paint like Carol Carter :)
Going out to eat with a few of the classmates so will post today's stuff and photos later...stay tuned!
Since I never sleep well the first night away from home, I was awake most of the night Thursday night. So that meant I was up and ready to go early Friday morning!
The night had deposited a heavy frost on the cars and a heavy fog, too. Several people traveling from some distances Friday morning for the workshop were late due to the fog. For me, it was a short drive and it was beautiful. I parked at the Shrode Art Center where the workshop is being held and took a walk, taking my camera with me.
It was 8 am and foggy and the sun trying to cut through and the grounds at Cedarhurst was beautiful. I took a short walk around through the wooded areas and didn't go back to the center for about 1/2 hour. I was surprised that there were already 4 people setting up when I returned - they were early birds :)
Cedarhurst has many sculptures scattered throughout its grounds - one of my favorites is the big gorilla made out of shiny steel or something (I'll get a photo of that before the workshop is over). This one was a wire mess creation and the sun hitting it gave it an almost ethereal, see-through look that I liked.
Carol began the workshop by having us watch her shape orbs using just 3 colors and thinking about warm and cool sides of something to help shape it. She used Alizarin Crimson, Aureolin Yellow and Prussian Blue (one of her signature colors) to shape the orbs. Then we were to do it, too.
Seems easy until you try it and painting wet-in-wet takes some getting used to and some watching and waiting in order to know when it's okay to add more pigment or lift pigment or twiddle the colors a little (something I am excellent at - twiddling colors - but mine always end up being mud because of over-twiddling!!). Anyway, Carol said we were going to paint pears next, using that lesson of the orbs and shape-making to see how it could be used with "real" objects in our paintings. And she said anyone who painted brown pears would get an "F" (see the brown pears she used as models? ha ha). She said it's very important to not let your photo or still life set-up or plein air situation dictate your painting - think about colors and complements working with each other (to create shadows and to play off each other in pure pigments). So, we did our orbs, some more successful than others; and then tackled the pears, after watching Carol start her pear painting.
Carol says she always paints from background to foreground, so before you can paint your pears, you have to put your surrounding area in - using just 2 colors, Quinacridone Burnt Orange and French Ultramarine Blue and letting them blend in places to get a good grey color. She always prewets the area she is going to paint and doesn't prewet more area than she can comfortably control so she broke the pear painting up into background space, then foreground space - all before you could touch a single pear! So she did her background and foreground space and then we started ours.
Another signature look Carol has is the glow she gets in her paintings as if the painting glows from within - this is because she creates halos of yellow around her subjects and you can see that around the pears, even in the shadow underneath. And she did the shadow shapes before starting any color on the background pear. Again, we used the same 3 pigments we used with the orbs - just 3 and no more to get the shapes. We started with a base color (Prussian Blue for the background pear, Alizarin for the next one and then Aureolin Yellow for the pear that will get the most attention).
Because the paper gets so saturated and starts to buckle, Carol weighs down the edges - using anything of weight, including a hammer and a wrench :) In her studio, she paints large paintings on the floor, bent over them and working (almost always when it's raining so she can have extra time to work the wet pigments). My back won't stand that but I can just work flat on a table (no tilting this stuff because it will run all over - unless that's what you want).
She showed us a lot of her finished and unfinished paintings to highlight the day's teaching and to show us how she used the simple techniques to get some pretty amazing paintings (and often with 6 or less pigments for a painting and no more). The focal point of this swimmer is the hand and it has the most work on it - the most pigment, the strongest value, the best shape. Carol said don't be predictable - when doing a portrait or figure, why make the face the focal point - mix it up and do your own thing.
Why make your hair blonde or brown? Why make your eyes the color they are? Be artistic and creative and express yourself with color.
More photos to come tomorrow (when we'll be painting magnolias!). So homework tonight is to draw it out on the paper and have it ready to go in the morning.
I am so lucky to be attending the Carol Carter workshop at Cedarhurst Art Center in Mount Vernon, IL this Friday-Sunday. Sweetie will have to "batch it" while I soak in Carol's watery, loose, spontaneous, bold watercolors for 3 days.
May goal is to return home with renewed interest, enthusiasm and energy from watching Carol practice her magic with pigment, paper and water.
Carol has workshops all over the US and Europe. If you're interested in joining her, check out her blog and see her workshop schedule.
And although I'm looking forward to this, I am anxious about the trip: driving for hours, the weather holding (warm and rain today but what about tomorrow?), the hotel, getting around town, and...gosh just about everything. I am a born worrier, I think. And having my glasses break Tuesday evening and then having to find a local Lenscrafters to fix them Wednesday morning didn't help my anxiety level (but they are fixed and the wonderful lady, Debbie, at the Lenscrafters in Anderson Township was great to work with). And the lesson - be glad it didn't happen on the 5-hour drive today or while I'm away at the workshop (because I never carry my old set of glasses as a spare because they are 2+ year's old). Another lesson - carry the old ones just in case!! And your sunglasses, too!
So...off I go! Wish me luck. I'll post some photos and share as I get time if I'm not too tired in the evenings.
Sweetie and I went to the Photo Trade Show at the NKY Convention Center over the 4-5 weekend. Of course, they had plenty of things a photographer just has to have - plus they had models posing for photos. Anyone who brought their camera (or wanted to try out a camera at the show) could shoot as many photos as he/she wanted. Sweetie shot a few of these 2 beautiful young people in costume. There were 4 models scattered throughout the convention center floor and the winners of the judged photo show (mostly portraits) were upstairs. Anyway, in the spirit of Valentine's Day, I'm calling this She Got Her Man :)
While these 2 models were lovely to look at, the star of the show (to me) was this lean and lanky girl who knew how to pose to give some interesting angles. Sweetie didn't get any photos of her the first day (when she was in a goth black and red outfit with a red heart over one eye), but went back Sunday and she was in this jester outfit. Check out those shoes!!