Mixed Media Week

wpid-20161028_200424.jpg20161101_123325On Friday last week and Tuesday this week we played with mixed media. We incorporated newsprint and magazine images into abstract paintings that were based on rural landscape. It was a lot of fun. You should have seen the messes we made! I believe everyone thought I was insane when I described what we were going to do, but I know I have some mixed media converts now. It really adds another dimension of texture, both visual and physical, when you bring in other sources of color, value, and imagery. Fun fun FUN!

Third Friday Watercolor

wpid-20161021_201044.jpgWe painted with watercolors for this Third Friday Class. We did the same technique we did last time, but we started with compositions from my watercolors. That gave us a lot more time to paint! So, we talked about wet into wet application, dry brushing, color combinations, pigment strength, drawing marks, and keeping it interesting. It’s a lot to process, but the more you do it the better it gets! I think these all turned out so beautifully. It really is a lovely medium and a fun way to doodle!

Tile Workshop #1

wpid-20161019_194111.jpgWe had our first tile workshop tonight, and everyone had a great time! We explored texture tonight and used all sorts of interesting things to impress into our clay. We started with a large slab and built up texture all over it. Then we searched out little squares of beauty in those slabs and cut them out. We slipped them, let them set, then scraped some back. Everyone had such different surfaces, but all of them, so interesting. Then, we did it backwards. Squares, slip, then texture. So much fun. Thank you to everyone who came out to learn about tile making with Susan and myself. Some of you are already signed up for the next one, so see you then!

It’s beginning to look a lot like HallowGivingMas.

wpid-20161018_124004.jpgWe decided today (ok, I decided) to do the holiday ornament painting that we did in Shiloh last week. It’s a great painting because it looks SO simple, but it really makes you work. When you have to invent a background and fit your subject into it, you are presented with extra problems. Also, the simplicity of the forms means that you have to be very good with your value and color choices to create the illusion of spheres. It was a workout, but everyone did a great job!


wpid-20161017_202858.jpgTonight we set up our own individual still life arrangements. Part of the challenge being setting up something simple but interesting, and the other part being, of course, painting it. Loraine and Brenda did a great job choosing, arranging, and rearranging their still life. We kept them small and simple, and we made sure to get photos for reference. We worked slowly and general to specific. It’s hard, but it’s important! There was a lot of conversation about color choices, value, and form. In the end, they shaped up nicely. Except for mine. Too much talking, not much painting.

If You Can’t Beat ’em…

wpid-20161014_200809.jpgThere are holiday decorations all over the store, so why not paint them, too! It was a nice practice for potentially creating our own holiday cards this year. This was a photo I took last year of a still life I set up in the classroom. Just a few ornaments sitting on the classroom table. We had to make up our backgrounds. So easy to do. You could set up your own still life at home and paint your cards! How about watercolor?! Fun!

B/W Bodie

wpid-20161011_123612.jpgRemember Back Alley Bodie? Well, this is the church at the end of the street. I think. It is a building from Bodie, CA. I have some very skilled draftspersons in my class. Look at the amazing job they did with this one! We did a little exercise as they were finishing this drawing. I asked them to do the same drawing with their non-dominant hand. It was so much fun to watch. Mary and Jim both giggled out loud. It was lovely. I’m glad they enjoyed the struggle and the awkwardness of using their other hands. As for the lesson involved, it shows what can happen with line when we don’t exert ultimate control on the pencil. Some lovely marks were created with that challenge. Hopefully everyone can keep a bit of that looseness when the switch back to their dominant hand. Line quality is a lovely thing!

Foggy Fences


Welcome back to Marilyn. She joined us again for this really yummy foggy lane painting. Everyone explored different undertones to play with, and it was fun to see how that affected the end paintings. This painting was a lesson in perspective, for sure! We have one point perspective and atmospheric perspective in the fenceposts and the lane. It was a challenge to get those fields to fall away into the foggy distance. Patience pays off, though. These are some really nice paintings!