Choose Your Poison

wpid-20170116_200725.jpgIt was an anything goes kind of night. Loraine wanted to do some super soft blending so she chose the O’Keeffe. Paul was feeling a little Carmen Miranda, so he painted some super funky bananas. Brenda really enjoyed the spoons in greyscale, so she tried her hand at adding color while concentrating on value. All in all, a pretty productive evening!


Monwpid-20170109_201949.jpgday night, we addressed the greyscale still life in Shiloh. The girls did a great job mixing and remixing the same greys over…and over….and over. It was a good exercise in value and in color mixing.




Tuesday, we did the same image, but everyone chose their own colors. We focusedon choosing the proper value independent of the color chosen. It was a fun and beneficial exercise that let everyone experience the fun of random color along with the importance of proper values.






Tonight was an anything goes night. I brought the great photo of Tesla in to see if anyone wanted to tackle those lovely value changes with paper. Paul was game! Brenda went the paper route, too, but with a sweeter subject. Loraine was all about the magenta with her purple petunias. It was a fun night, and everyone did a great job! Can’t wait to see how Brenda finishes her background.

Papered Pears

wpid-20161128_200317.jpgThey HAD to see this coming. Right? New technique last time, apply it to an old subject this time. No brainer. Again, I had a TON of fun with this project. I really enjoyed seeing Loraine and Brenda get sucked into searching, tearing, and applying paper to their canvases. It was really fun to watch. They both turned out great. I have it on good authority that Brenda is quite fond of her pears. Me, too! They’re totally psychedelic and awesome. And I love all the colors peeking out of Loraine’s pears. So cool.

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!


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!

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!

Foggy seascapes

wpid-20160826_201543.jpgTonight was supposed to be either a seascape or a landscape, so we combined the two and did a marshscape. That’s a thing, right? Anyway, we had fog and we had underpaintings and we had grasses and we had skies. It was awesome. I love the effect the different colors of underpaintings had on the finished paintings. Welcome to our newest painter, Marilyn, and congratulations on doing a great job on a tough first painting!

Yes, We Have Bananas!


I started this still life evening off with a discussion about subject matter. We are all drawn to the majestic mountain scenes, stunning sunsets, lush florals, etc. But we don’t have to be in love with the subject to paint a beautiful painting. One of the amazing things about artists is their ability to show the beauty in the mundane. We’re all drawn to color relationships, values, interesting shapes, etc. We can find all of those things in the simplest of objects. To illustrate, at the end of class, Astrid said something like “isn’t it interesting that at the beginning of class we’re all groaning about painting bananas (or insert still life here) and at the end of class we’re all like Look at my BANANAS!!!” Yes. It is interesting. And fantastic. Because you’re seeing that you can address all of the interesting and beautiful problems of painting in the simplest of ways. Good job!

In addition to images of bananas, tonight we looked at banana paintings by Robert Dukes and Karen Werner.