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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Right Brain/Left Brain Entertainment

Some of you have reported problems with subscribing. Be patient, this process is why this system is so secure. Be sure you click through to the blogger page (mine has green borders) from the link on your email to read the entire blog. If you get an email from Vicki Ross with instructions, you are not subscribed. If you get an email from FeedBlitz with the orange logo, you ARE subscribed. When I hit 100 subscribers I will quit sending the manual email from me.

Being one of those 'fortunate' people who is equally at home working out of each side of my brain, this exercise was right up my alley! Left Brain: analytical, math, computer. Right Brain: creative, dreamer, ARTIST. Sometimes it takes time to shut off my left brain so my right brain can enjoy the creative process. One trick I use is to have my iPod earphones IN MY EARS. For some strange reason my left brain (control freak/little bossy voice) listens to the music instead of barking orders or cautions to me while painting. Music playing through speakers is too easily tuned out.

SO, as I investigated the much recommended modern master painter, Richard Schmid and his fabulous book 'Alla Prima' I decided to follow his suggestion and painted the color charts using his choice of pigments...11 of them. On 12 pieces of canvas, you end up with 660 different tints of color...over a 5 step value plan.

Both brains had a ball...the left keeping me organized so i would mix the right pigments in the right order...the right having as much fun as a kid in a candy store marveling over all the 'preddy kolors'. Finished all 13 in 3 that is an example of left brain obsession!

BUT, let's TAKE IT UP A NOTCH...BAM! I (or probably my left brain) didn't want the fun to stop, so I started over with Ann Templeton's 16 pigments...17 sheets, 1360 color tints.

The absolute beauty of these colors is that they are all mixed with pure pigment...only 2 pigments (different colors) and white. Clean, Fresh, Exciting! 

Worked on these one day in an art group I go to, and was told by a couple artists that I was wasting my time. Of course, Richard Schmid's paintings are in major museums and collections, and he does these periodically himself. 

Ultimately you will learn how to mix these without your cheat sheets, but in the meantime they are a wonderful tool.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Still Life under Pressure

This blog 'stuff' is still new to all of us! Be sure you click on the links from your FeedBlitz email to go to the actual blog page (the one with the pretty green border).

I promised me not to get obsessed with blogging, to not let it take away from painting, or to bore my subscribers with my trivia. But once a week would be good, and I missed last week!

Am driving an hour to Pineville, MO to study with Theresa Rankin, for as long as she continues to teach there. Can't drive 2 hours! Talk about a workout! THREE still life setups in 5 hours. 

This technique in oil is 'Alla Prima' or all at once. As I experiment with it, and study Richard Schmid's books, I am realizing that you HAVE to be familiar with your basic pigment colors or 'palette' and what they do with each other. I'm fascinated with the drippy backgrounds I've gotten. 

While the different mediums (pastel, watercolor, oil) are vastly different in range of application, there is a similarity or overlap in this transparent loose technique. You find it in Charles Reid's watercolors, Ramon Kelly's figurative, John Howard Sanden's portraits, Albert Handell's pastels and Richard Schmid's landscapes. A common element is the 2-3 hour painting, loose expressive backgrounds, and a definite 'mark of the artist'.

Watercolor is known for being a challenge with using the pigments suspended in a wet passage where they mix somewhat, but retain some of their individuality. Modern pastelists have a range of papers that will take the abuse of water or turpentine washes that dissolve the dry pastel pigment, and can provide a look similar to the oil technique I'm enjoying. I might have to explore this theory further in the next few weeks.

The blue pitcher is sold, the crystal still life is available, contact for info.

I'm getting subscribers now that I don't recognize! Whoo-Hoo! hmmm...maybe I'm saying something of value that is being forwarded to friends of friends.