I love giving demonstrations! Last Thursday, I was the guest artist for the DeSoto Art League in DeSoto, Texas. I'm a member of this lively and friendly group of artists, so I'm honored to have been asked to give a program. They "tested my mettle" with questions and comments throughout the 1 hour and 20 minute demo.
I began my program with comments about how I set up my palette, color choices, brushes, and paper. I also announced that I intended to complete as many mini-landscapes as was possible in the time alloted me...and that my paintings will be donated to the group as door prizes. This prompted a round of applause!
In this photo, I'm discussing the different types of support available to watercolor artists now; I brought this small painting from my studio... a 6x9 on cold press watercolor board.
In this photo, I've finished up the demo and have completed 4 small 6x8 landscapes. On a roll and in my studio, I can paint as many as 6 in about 90 minutes, but the interaction with the group slowed me down a bit....I completed each one in about 20 minutes; not too bad! My purpose in the "quick-draw" format was to demonstrate that not all paintings have to be "masterpieces"...watercolor is a perfect medium for quick, spontaneous color and value studies. It was fun watching as the names of the door prize winners were announced....all 4 winners had great big smiles on their faces. As I said....I love giving demonstrations!
Yesterday, 3 other painters and I traveled to the nearby town of Ovilla, Texas. The historic downtown area has been around more than 100 years, and there are a couple of interesting store fronts with lots of character that just beg to be painted. I settled on a rusty old tin building on Main Street, with a small antique store across the street in the background, and a building on my right casting a deep shadow rounds out the composition. The wind was blowing about 30 mph straight out of the North....a bit chilly; 48 degrees but a clear blue sky. I set up next to my SUV, using it as a "wind-break". Not the best of conditions for plein air....but I've painted in worse! I'm just glad to get out of the studio and into the open air!
"Downtown Ovilla, Texas" 11" x 14" Watercolor
I'd like to thank the owners of the building that was my subject today, Mr. & Mrs. John Sims. They dropped by as I was finishing up and they were excited to see their building in my painting. They shared with me their vision of opening a business in the old building soon. Another "perk" of painting plein air gives me the opportunity to meet some very nice people.....!
I'm thrilled to announce I've been accepted into Plein Air Southwest! It's a year-long painting event with artist's choice of 4 official locations; Big Bend National Park in February, Texas Hill Country in April, Ouray, Colorado in July, and Canyon De Chelly, Arizona in September. I'm planning to participate in the Hill Country paint out later this Spring.
March 26th I'm going to be the guest artist for the Graham Art Guild, Graham, Texas (about 2 hours NW of Ft. Worth). I really enjoy giving demonstrations and sharing what I do with other artists.
The next day after the Graham demonstration, I'll be in Marble Falls, Texas for their annual event: March 27, 28, and 29, Bluebonnet Music & Fine Arts Festival . It's a 3-day paint out competition with the best jazz & blues music in Texas! I participated in this event last year and won 2nd place. I'm looking forward to painting the historic downtown area again.
Tomorrow, I'm painting out with the Saturday Painters....I'll post my painting as soon as I can get it uploaded from my camera to my computer.
I've been working on a commission for the past couple of weeks and I finished it yesterday. This is a portrait of Bill and Kathy Atteberry's home in Midlothian, Texas. I started the painting on location, returning 2 more times to make sure I had the roof and porch lines correct. The home faced the East with a "ga-zillion" trees in the front yard that kept the entrance in shadow all day. The only time sunlight hit the entrance was for about 45 minutes around 10:30 am, therefore my time on location was very limiting. On the last trip, the sun was filtering through the trees highlighting the American Flag. Up to that point, I hadn't really committed to an area or "center of interest". Shadows on the lawn leading to the flag on the porch was the perfect lead-in to the painting. I presented the Atteberrys with their painting this afternoon; they were delighted with it. Bill said that I had "nailed it". That's about the best compliment a patron can give me.
I don't like politics. My husband loves it. Needless to say, in an election year, we don't have many conversations...(grin). The news is over-run with commentary about the Economic Stimulus bill currently going through both the House and Senate in Washington DC. Arts funding is scheduled to be cut from this bill. This is one of the few times I'm willing to get "involved" in a political issue.
Click on the above link and choose any number of ways you can help support the arts in these tough economic times. Too many times, when spending has to be cut back, funding for the arts is the first to go...it would be nice if it would receive the same financial support in our education system as sports programs.
Ok, I'm off the soapbox and back to my drawing board.
Be sure and drop by the website of International Plein Air Painters (see link on the right side of this blog). I'm the Featured Artist for the month of February. I've received some very nice comments from fellow IPAP members. I really appreciate the exposure by the association.
On February 26, I'll be the guest artist for DeSoto (Texas) Art League and will do a watercolor demonstration. The artists that make up this organization are all fun to paint with (and for). I'm really looking forward to it. I'll have a friend take some photos and I'll get them posted a few days afterward.
This is a busy week for me; several tasks that must be completed for Ellis County Art Association (I'm the Prez), along with some personal commitments (home & family) plus my weekly class. Somewhere in all this, I must finish a painting commission by Saturday; I'll post a photo as soon as I complete it. Away I go, task list in right hand, paint brush in left.
I'm a full time artist; native Texan, self taught and work primarily in the medium of watercolor. Painting daily, I prefer to work en plein aire (on location), and I'm often seen working in the historic districts of Waxahachie and throughout the North Texas area. A member of several arts organizations including Outdoor Painters Society (Signature Member), Contemporary Fine Art International (Signature Member), Artists of Texas, Professional Artists in North Texas, International Plein Air Painters, Landscape Artists International,DeSoto Art League and Ellis County Art Association. Painting professionally for over 35 years, my originals are in private and corporate collections in 34 States, as well as Mexico, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Scotland, Portugal, Germany, and Republic of Benin, West Africa.