Monday, November 19, 2007

Thankful Memorial Episcopal Church

I couldn't resist sharing this church with you this week. Thankful Memorial Episcopal Church is located in the historic St Elmo community of Chattanooga on where else? Thankful Place.

Thankful Treasures

This week I received an invitation to submit to an art show titled "Treasures." I have given some thought to this title. I thought about jewels, gold, silver, fine wines, sport cars, etc, a lot of "things" that people treasure. What have I painted that would represent a treasure to me? Then, it really came to me.

What I treasure the most is not a cache of "things." What I treasure the most are my loving family and my wonderful friends. You can't pick your family, but I think I picked a good husband, even though we were both very young. I was blessed with Christian parents who encouraged me and helped me in any way they could. My son and daughter are both caring individuals with lovely families now. My other blessings are in my friends, some I have known for decades through schools and teaching jobs. Others share my love of art and are so supportive of my career. And others are happen chance, they just come into my life and it seems we have known each other for years.

So forgive my sentimental message this week. I hope you have a very happy Thanksgiving, sharing with your family and/or friends. In the rush to get ready for dinners and reunions, think about what you treasure the most. I bet it is the same as mine.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Acrylic vs. Oil vs. Watercolor vs Pastel?

Many times I am asked which media is best for plein air (on location) painters: oil, watercolor, acrylic or pastel? I think there are advantages and disadvantages of each. I love oil for the creaminess and the smoothness of blending. Of course, oil is messy, dries slowly and takes more equipment. Watercolor on the other hand, uses the white of the paper, dries quickly, less weight to carry around and is the least messy. Then there is pastel, which requires paper and pigments, usually an easel and in my case, can be messy. Acrylic would seem to be the most ideal medium to take outdoors since it mixes with water and dries quickly. It can be painted on paper or on canvas, most likely you would carry an easel.
I have to confess, I am bias towards watercolor and oils. I don't mind having green fingers and smudges on my clothes from the oils. There is something I like about blending the edges of distant treelines and smoothing the clouds in the sky. I like the spontaneity of painting with watercolor on paper because you can be so portable with it. I tend to draw more for the watercolors and sometimes that can be a problem if you are pressed for time.
I have tried acrylics outdoors and just can't seem to adjust to their quick drying time. I also find that the colors dry darker, which is a problem painting outside with any media, except watercolors, that tend to dry lighter, I think. Pastels are the purest pigments so their color is the truest. It just seems that you need a good many colors with you. If you don't know what you are doing, you can create a lot of "muddy" colors by overpainting too much. They are dusty and you have to be careful how you transport them.
So I think the best solution is to match your personality to the media. If you are used to sitting down in your studio, then plan to take a chair and an adjustable easel. Otherwise, invest in a sturdy easel that will hold the size canvas or board you prefer. Try working outside in your own backyard first or a nearby park where there is shade and flat terrain. Once you get accustomed to packing your supplies, the rest is just painting!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Autumn Art Show at Mountain Mirror Gallery

You are invited to the Autumn Art Show Opening on Friday, November 9, 6:00 - 9:00 pm. The gallery will be filled with wonderful paintings by the Studio artists who come weekly to paint. The show will feature acrylic, oil and watercolor paintings and will remain on view until December 15, being refreshed with new works as others find new homes.
The Mountain Mirror Gallery is next door to the Lookout Mountain Mirror office on N. Watauga Lane. The easiest way to get there is to stay on Scenic Highway to the business district. The Mirror is directly behind the Post Office, Twigs, and the Mountain Day Spa. Turn at the Mountain Cafe and it is the second building on the right. There is parking on the street and a lot right beside the gallery.
Thanks to Billy Parker, owner of the Mirror, for allowing us to use this space for our studio classes and gallery. We hope that he will have works in the gallery that night too.
I am so honored to work with these lovely and talented ladies: Evelle Dana, Sarah Fowler, Anne Platt, Jeanne Rudisill, Charlotte Wardlaw, Lisa Whittle, Ann Currey, L. J. Huffaker, Jan Michaels, Betty Moses, Barbara Murray, Wendy Williams, Margaret Sexton, Rita Bickerstaff, and Estelle Skoretz.
We are expecting a crowd, so come early for the best selection! If you need further directions or have questions, email me:

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Ginny's Sunflowers

I wanted to share the painting that my friend, Ginny Stiles, did from last week's posting of Searching for Subjects. Ginny and I met in Sarasota a few years ago and enjoy seeing and painting with each other at least once a year. Mostly we keep in touch via email. Ginny is a wonderful watercolor artist and teacher. Recently she has experimented with acrylics. This is an acrylic. Since I have been "playing" with acrylics lately too, it has been fun to share the joys and woes of trying a new medium. I am seeing what I can do with acrylic underpainting for my oils. Still not sure if it saves time or not. I think Ginny has adapted very well to the acrylic. Beautiful painting, Ginny!