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Saturday, May 30, 2009

IAPS, painting with Alan Flattmann "There is no H in Whine!"

1 day workshops are great fun, high pressure, less than ideal painting conditions (too hot, convention center lighting (can lights 30 feet up in the ceiling). In this case, new support paper that is WAY more coarse than I was used to...vine charcoal drawing first complete with shading...working from provided photos from a place you've not been.

This is not too bad, considering. And it can still be finessed at home. Below is the slideshow of his painting:

Here are a few pics from Friday's class...another Flattman, where we made our own support surfaces and speckled pastels. Very messy, so no photos! Then some relaxation time...and a little dinner.

Alan is known for his cityscapes with hazy glows
and for his landscapes
Kippy and Randy...she has her computer open, Randy is checking out a new friend, Jeff's, camera.

Kippy's sister Robyn and Kippy

View from the balcony. After some libation, Robyn and I helped Kippy with her last items before her mammoth 3 hour seminar on 'Color Harmony, or what happens when your painting takes a dirt road' (or something like that!
Tonight is the president's cottontail party, then the banquet.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

travel day to IAPS, day one things that influence my art

Monday night Randy came in and said we were leaving at 8am on tuesday. I about cried. Been working toward this for weeks, and was on schedule (mine). Framing for 2 juried shows done, 2 delivered to Tim for delivery to Ft. Smith, 1 ready for packaging to travel with us...

Inroads made in getting 'stuff' from the move and garage upstairs and out of sight so niece Jessie could come housesit the hairy kids...laundry done, folded and put away so we could supplies readied for loading in the car (that before clothes)...and found a couple hours to paint on my Deborah Paris online art class. Timetable was to pack clothes on tues am. Well, Randy realized he hadn't told me about HIS plan, and that was a big issue...

Anyway, this am was smooth, and we left around noon. He volunteered to drive to Bella Vista (30 min) to pick up my fav purple rain jacket...and then I asked him to stop by our local community college to pick up a 6x9" masterson palette. It was perfect for travel, with disposable paper palettes cut to size. I had a grand plan to do color swatches with Paris' oil colors as we travelled.

Nope. Brain refused to work. I sat without books, paints, computer for 9 hours. Just sat and took 110 pictures out the windows, trying to capture the sky and good trees for reference.

Along the way, Randy said he had always wanted to stop at the Oklahoma City National Memorial of the bombing in 1995 of the Murrah building (I think that was the name). Of course, I'm on task, he is not. I'm like a homing pigeon pointed at my destination of Albuquerque/Santa Fe. Didnt' think about it much. Garmin GPS is wonderful...we have a builtin in the car, but the garmin took us right to the memorial.

Whoa. This is major. We pay to go through the memorial presentation with audio of a government meeting for 2 minutes before the explosion...and the resulting chaos. Then doors open and you leave a darkened room to see a VIDEO of the first TV telecast around 9:30am the day. Continue wandering through the 'stations' and see snippets of personal effects immortalized in display, keys, jewelry, photos, file folders. Many photos and displays. THEN you go to the 2nd floor and see more.

Start with a room with a presentation box of a photo of each victim, pertinent into, and a few memorabilia from family. Funeral music plays. I ran. Can't do too much of that.

On to the evidence...the chase...the trials...the legal stuff. Along with evidencial parts like the truck axle and parts. Awe inspiring. Much silence in groups of observers.

Another floor of stuff to balance things like the community spirit, the fence where nice things were left , the coming together of grief...and you exit to the gardens. So peaceful. Beautiful. perfect grass that looks like astroturf...then the reflecting pool (I had to verify that the granite actually had a curved edge and that you could 'walk on water'). It is a huge expanse that is a garden water feature...1/2" of water floating on the surface of this granite with sounds of water dripping as it recycles over an edge to infinity.

The sculpture chairs reflect in the for each victim (large for adult, small for children) and encompass the exact footprint of the destroyed building. Each bronze chair sits on an etched base that at night is eluminated (sic, lit up) so that the chairs appear to be floating.

We get back in the car. Randy has lint in his eyes wondering at the evil that can make someone do such an act. I answer with the thought that 'what was positive about the event? We know that nothing happens by accident...what good, awareness, change, our slapped out of alice in wonderland experience...did these people die for? '

I refuse to participate in woe is me thoughts and the world is coming to an end. Perhaps hell is here on earth for people like Timothy McVeigh...perhaps bad things really happen to good people who are involved in the veil being lifted so we can begin to 'see'.

The 'Survivor Tree' a 200+ American Elm just feet from the blast. Carefully nurtured. Today a high school orchestra was playing some beautiful music that wafted over the memorial site.
These types of events eventually show up in an artists' expressions. Normal People with Normal Lives have no reference to the bad things that can just hope you 'don't get any on you' and that your family will be spared. 
Support your local artists. They are the ones with vision beyond a rendition of a photo of a flower. Some art is
Then we moved on to Amarillo. Slideshow of my entertainment with camera and trees.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Two Party Pigs and Graduation

heh, heh!

I'm such a funny gurl...luv the title!

I promised Erika that I would post the two sides of the 'Party Pig' Moses-Botkin Challenge for may. This is the painting that sent me off on research of Sorolla, and the idea to make 2 paintings out of one. One half was left abstracted, and the other was finished out a bit. small slideshow at the bottom.

Party Ears 1 and 2
©2009 Vicki Ross
oil on panel 6x9

Purchase Party Pig Prints Here!

Attended a HUGE highschool graduation ceremony with the fam this am. All the major high schools in 2 counties have their graduation ceremonies at the University of Arkansas Bud Walton Arena. Every 2 hours. Bentonville had theirs at 9am...which meant I had to get up at 6:15 to be at mom's house by 7:30. Well, somewhere I lost 20 minutes so brother mark/Lisa/and nephew Josh left before I got there.
Not knowing what to expect, M&D and I jumped into their car and sped off to Fayetteville. Normally a 20 minute drive...graduation traffic made it a good 45 minutes. Then park, a 20 minute walk through a park. Thank goodness for cell phones. We hooked up with the others who had been able to save seats. We sat there for 3 hours while all the pomp and circumstance (literally) replayed at least 15 times. Then sat through SIX HUNDRED FIFTY-SEVEN graduates receive their handshake/diploma/photo op.
We were brain dead. That would have been enough...but if each graduate had an average of 5 guests (we were more) that is over 3000 bodies, plus teachers, etc. Bad thing was that as we were all trying to exit the stadium, another school was trying to enter. Imagine if you will 500+ cars trying to exit the parking lots as another 500+ are trying to get in to park. It was a total gridlock. Took an hour just to get out of the parking lot!
FIVE graduates were granted scholarships of $450,000 each to attend the Air Force Academny. The Val and Sal speeches were almost professional quality. What a school opportunity this must be...from sports, to record setting scholarship levels, to national academic awards in choral, forensics/debate, just about every category in the school compete and win on national levels! Makes me wish I could go back to high school!

Now for the slideshow!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

GREAT NEWS! and you have to read to the bottom to get it...:)

©2009 Vicki Ross
New York 6x12 oil on panel

Different Strokes From Different Strokes entry for this challenge. It was a fun one...

Sold 'Le-Go My Sake', and found a perfect frame for it from Roger at Franken Frames... It is a walnut finish 'floater' frame. Be sure to tell him I sent ya. They have GREAT customer service and quick delivery.

©2009 Vicki Ross
'Le-Go My Sake' 6x12 oil on panel
ALSO, am delivering my 2 paintings to another juried show this week. Will post pics when they are framed.
Had a great lunch today with Erika at her house. We talked for several hours, almost not making time for actual eating. It is SO fun to visit with someone and you still have so much to talk about when it is time to leave.
and...drumroll. I pretty much hate to blow my own horn, so I didn't have to this time. I submitted paintings for jurying into an international show...and out of 350+, was chosen as one of...well, just read it for yourself.
Kippy wrote all about it on the new La Bonne Etoile blog. I am still way up on a cloud...and will probably be there for several weeks. The stress of the perfect frame is done, now all I have to do it put the painting in the frame.
My pastel Peony will be exhibited at the Ventana Gallery in Santa Fe and featured at their reception on Friday June 4...We are going to stay over, of course, spending a week seeing the sights, waiting for my 15 minutes of fame!
This wouldn't be complete without quoting what author Joann Smith emailed me last week...
This I sent in answer to Randy’s news this morning:
She made it!! Thanks for a most pleasurable 45+ minutes of viewing and appreciating art in its finest form! Vicki’s in tall cotton now AND STANDING OUT IN THE CROWD! Her Peony is so delicately beautiful and realistic you don’t know which to do first, breathe deep or weep!  The golden mean placement is genius and the colors and execution, well, . . . mon ami . . . superbulous!!

Can you tell she is a wordsmith...hmmm. a Smith is a wordSMITH!

My big head is going to float me off to bed!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Moses-Botkin Challenge for May...'Pig Party'

"Party Ears"
©2009 Vicki Ross
oil on panel 7x12

I've been threatening to paint these little guys' portrait for a couple years now. Yes, their ears are REALLY ruffled! I thought it was some new kind of grafting or something like with lacy tulips. Was disappointed to find out it is a method of marking which shots they've had or some record keeping like that. 
It started out as an 11x14" panel, and guru Tim suggested I had 2 paintings...SO, it got cut in half. I'll post the other half tomorrow.
This month's theme was "Pig Party", brainstorm of Mike Beeman. 

Hog Wild
5x7 oil on panel
(c) 2009 Robin Cheers

“Swine Barrel”
5” x 7” on Cansen paper

"Piggie Party of Five" Oil on board, 4"x6" (unframed $99.)

Piggy Bank Picnic
Oil on canvas, 6" x 6"
Marie Fox

"Pig Party" 
oil/canvas, 11x14

Sunday, May 10, 2009

“Heart of America” Artist Rendezvous and a Blonde Gaffe!

"A Peel-ing Tree"
©2009 Vicki Ross Oil on Panel 9x12"
I was so busy doing art related 'stuff', finding the perfect frame for a big show I was chosen to participate in...working on updating my website...getting paintings ready for another show submittal...well, I just felt like I had too much on my plate to 'art'.
But, Leslie Newman called me and shamed me into coming out. And it was a pretty temperatures, in and out sun (that complicated things). The other artists had been out since 9am when I finally came in around 3. One thing I have learned about painting outside and from life is to relax and take my time. I have gear that sets up in minutes when I find my 'spot'. I walked the grounds and waited for inspiration.
By 5 I had a pretty good that I was proud to show. I'm at the place in my development where I have trouble 'finding the painting' in a location. My source photo is below...

Friday dawned to a ton of thunderstorms in the area, and it was dark outside. Surely the others wouldn't get out in this! But they did. So, once again, I arrived around 3 and was able to find a subject for the 'Quick Draw' at 4pm.
It was still drizzling on and off, so I was able to set up in the dining room of the house...the staff was SO flexible about these messy painters and all their antiques! Problem was that the area I was in had no natural light. That is fine for your subject, but when it comes time to see your palette you can't see green from grey mixtures.
I finally turned up the overhead light a bit. Added some chunky streaks of color to the frame and called it quits.

"Peel's Red Lamp"
©2009 Vicki Ross
11x14 oil on panel
Saturday was a race to get my show entries ready to postmark by the 3pm post office a panic call from Leslie and Theresa Rankin about needing frames, so I put the top down on the car (the only way I could get 2 floor easels in my car) and took off like the Beverly Hillbillies to Hobby Lobby. Hoping the rain would stay away for another hour...hoping someone wouldn't steal my easels. Then stuck in traffic with sprinkles...felt like I was playing beat the clock! Had to keep turning down the stress level.
Arrived 30 minutes before the judge was to start...slammed my 2 paintings into frames (duck tape works great), filled out my cards and set my easels up just in time for the the event. Left to take my entry to the post office, ate a fast food lunch in the car on the way back to learn that all artists had been requested to leave the grounds until 3pm. The show organizers promised to move everything under cover and move it back if the rain stopped.
Beautiful around, dappled light, and the public. The turnout was very good for a first event, and when the weather couldn't decide whether to be sunny or stormy I'm sure that kept some away.
New friends, old friends, artists of every level, and the chance to socialize. Chris Crossman, the curator for Crystal Bridges treated us to a slideshow of some of the museum's acquisitions and acknowledged the top 6 paintings from the perusal of Jack Hetterich, a local artist.
You'd have thought I was trying to hide a beer the way I am holding that coke! Sure did nothing for my posture...
OH, The Blonde Thing? After the event and all the public left, I got ready to load up. The two easels over one shoulder, held the tree painting carefully in my left hand...AND...are you ready?

PUT THE RED LAMP PAINTING SNUGLY UP UNDER MY LEFT ARM. Realized it half way to the car, but the damage was done. And, funny how things work...the chunky lights on the frame smeared right into the glow of the lamp on the wall...might actually be better! I'll re-add the chunkys and modify that 45 degree line from the door reflection to the cabinet reflection and declare victory on this...

A slideshow is below:

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Red Lily

"Red Lily" © Vicki Ross 2009
11x14" Oil on panel
Well, after the success of my Peony painting, I tackled another. Totally different...

The Peonies (see previous posts) were done with a grisalle underpainting (grey values) and then overpainted. This one I just jumped in!

over my head, I might add. But I'm pleased with the final result. Enjoy the slideshow!