Saturday, February 23, 2013

Texas Masters show Demo, Painting at the Fort Worth Nature Center, and Jill Carver's Workshop

      First my big news, Friday, March 1st, I will be doing a sculpture demo  at the Texas Masters Show at the Insight Gallery from 6:00 to 8:00. They always have a really top notch opening to the show with Texas foods and drinks and some of the best artists from the state will be there. I was so thrilled when they asked me to do the demo. Other artists who have done demos recently there are Scott Christianson, Quang Ho, and Jill Carver.

View from the boardwalk at the Fort Worth Nature Center
   Today I went with six of my hardiest friends to paint at the Fort Worth Nature Center. I say that because the temperature was about 40 when we started. If it had been warmer we would have had about 15 artists instead of just seven of us.

Me Painting on the end of the boardwalk at the Fort Worth Nature Center.
    When we got there we decided to go and paint out on the boardwalk. This was probably the worst place for us to set up as it was really cold being there above the water, exposed to the wind and in the shade. However we liked the color of the grasses and the water. There was also an abundance of ducks and other waterfowl in the area..

Steve Miller, Dan Spangler, Olivette Hubler, and Linnea McKinney painting at the end of the boardwalk.

   Despite the cold it was a great place to paint. After we got to a stopping point some of us left and the rest of us went to lunch and then back to paint. By this time it really had warmed up to a very nice temperature. We were glad that we had returned. The nature center is such an amazing place. Several of us said that we felt like we were  on a vacation just being there surrounded by the beautiful scenery.
The second  study  I worked on today.
We went to a different location to paint in the afternoon. I chose to paint a study of some cedar and prickly pear cacti, a very Texas scene. I took a workshop last week at Acton Texas with Jill Carver. We worked on values mostly but also on painting looser. I was pleased with the looseness on this one but am still working on the values.
The paint was wet and shiny, so my study looks lighter here than it really is.
    The Jill Carver workshop was really super. She is an extraordinary teacher.  The workshop was at Campfire USA's El Tesoro campground in Acton, Texas. It was three days, Tuesday through Thursday. I love Jill's work and without doubt this was three of my most productive days with regard to education.

Jill brought several paintings showing her work . I bought this one she painted at Port Aransas, one of my favorite places.
      The subject of the workshop was composition (using Notan - creating a black and white  painting to simplify and check the composition before beginning the actual painting) and value by limiting the painting to three or four values. This was a very different way of approaching painting and all of us felt like beginners. .

Some of our group at Maryann's in Acton.

      This was a very intensive class. I think all of us were exhausted at the end of each day, but still we had time for fun. There were 15 of us in the class and I knew, and had painted with all but one of them. The first evening after class we met at my friend Maryann's property for a bonfire and cookout.We had  hot dogs and wine and a lot of other great things.

A view at camp El Tesoro
The last day of class was one of the best, the weather was incredibly nice. Warm, sunny and no wind. We painted along the stream bed with the limestone cliffs, winter grasses, and cedar trees. Then Jill bought us pizza for lunch and she did one last demo that afternoon.  I would recommend her as a teacher to anyone. She talks about everything from the creative process to safety issues regarding artist's materials. I will absolutely take another class from her when I  have the opportunity again.

Jill doing a demo at camp El Tesoro

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Two Projects Finished

Fort Worth Nature Center
oil on steel star
Donation for the North Texas Alzheimer's Association
      Here are two pieces of art I've been working on recently. The first is a painting that I've been working on for a while. It is a steel star that I painted for the North Texas Alzheimer's Association. I, along with several of my friends, decorated these stars and they will be auctioned off at a fund raiser at Ridglea Country Club early in the spring for the group. My painting is inspired by the landscape and animals of the Fort Worth Nature Center. I'm really looking forward to seeing what the others come up with.

Marine Creek Schoolhouse
20 x 24
oil on canvas
     The second is a painting of the Marine Creek schoolhouse, Fort Worth's first school. This school was originally in Fort Worth's Northside and now sits in Log Cabin Village.It was built as a school for the 20 or so school age children in Fort Worth at that time.
      Today Fort Worth has beautiful trees everywhere but in the oldest photos of the city there are very few trees. I imagine most of the first trees were cut down to build the early structures in the city and also as fuel for heating and cooking. I wanted to capture that empty feel but decided to add a few bare trees for the purpose of the composition.