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.

eVALUEating Eggs


Today was an exercise in patience, observation, focus, the art of listening, and value. Everyone did a fantastic job of dealing with a deceptively simple subject, but Diana gets the gold star for all of the above. She lacks confidence in her artistic abilities (don’t we all?), which is usually a hindrance, but today served her well. In her trepidation, she listened to what I had to say about value and building tone slowly and she paid  extremely close attention to her work. I watched her really looking at the photo and truly trying to understand and do well. It was wonderful. And in the end she was rewarded for her work with a beautiful, subtle, fantastically shaded and valued drawing. I am well impressed. She’s definitely becoming a great artist.

Tesla Tuesday


We had the most adorable model today! Tesla the Pocket Pittie and her purely decorative ears! I love the photograph that my husband took of our sweet little deaf girl. The shadows are so stark and graphic and cool. And her pink ears are such a great contrast to that cool shadow. We started with a tracing and then chose our light, medium, and dark colors and values. Working these distinct values made it easy to really sculpt the form and get a good likeness. Everyone did a fantastic job. Special Kudos to Jeanette for keeping up so well in her first painting class! Very nice job.

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 Pears


We ripped our way through more magazines today with the intent to introduce visual and physical texture to a simple still life. Again, with the looks. Haha! I think there’s a bit of fear when tackling something so different. We are so accustomed to the expectations we have for our paintings that when we tackle something different we forget to expect something different! That makes us struggle with judging worth in the finished piece. But, I believe the worth in the finished piece is more about the experience you had making it. In the end, all of our work is process and the finished paintings (or mixed media pieces) are just the last of what we did before we start what we’re going to do. Maybe we should start a Worthy Checklist. It would go something like this:

  • Did you have fun?
  • Did you learn something?
  • Did you giggle (silently or audibly)?
  • Did what you were doing give you an idea for something else?
  • Did you think “next time I’ll try it this way”?

We can add to that list, but if you check anything on the list I think you’ve had a worthy painting experience. And, you’ll probably enjoy the end result once you get past what you thought it should turn out like.

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!