Sunday, March 30, 2008

See you at Epcot's Festival of Flowers!

This weekend is the Artists
in the Gardens at Epcot. I will be part of a group of plein air artists who will be painting in the World Showcase countries of England, Canada, France, and Italy. I won't know my assignment until I check in Thursday. Last year I painted in Italy. It was beautifully decked out with potted plants and hanging baskets. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of meeting the guests, the other artists, and the cast members of Epcot. It is amazing how much goes on there!
Each spring the International Flower and Garden Festival is held in the World Showcase. Besides the beautiful scenery, there are seminars on gardening, and Flower Power concerts of music from the 60's.
I will be posting my paintings when I return. Hopefully some will find new homes while I enjoy painting in the park. If you are planning to be in Disneyworld during April 4 - 6, I would love to see you!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Going Green

"Going Green" really has little to do with the jonquils. They are just a reminder that we are keepers of this earth. My concerns for the environment involve the responsibilities of making art. When painting outside, be careful not to disturb the area where you are setup. This includes not dumping water containers filled with acrylic pigment or God forbid, turpentine or mineral spirits on the ground or ground water. Carry a trash bag, empty jars with lids, and paper towels that you can use to soak up the liquids. And take it all with you!
I saw a workshop artist throw his paper towels on the ground that he used to wipe extra oil paint from his brushes. His theory was, paint fast and then pick up the mess when you are through. Mine is, the paint is touching either plants, grass, or dirt where animals, insects, or reptiles may come into contact. Why take that chance?
In the studio, you can, of course, keep recycling your paint thinner. You know too, not to pour anything down the sink. For more on studio safety, check with
Now, let's get outside and paint!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Beginner Six Week Oil Class

I will be offering a Beginner/Refresher Oil Class on Tuesdays starting April 1. The class will meet on Lookout Mountain at the Happy Painters Studio, 116 N Watauga Lane. We will start at 9:30 am and finish by noon. If you are interested, or know someone who might be, please let me know as soon as possible. The class will be limited to six. I will provide a supply list when you register. Fee is $180 for the six classes. This will be a great time of year to get back into or to start painting with oils!
Let's Paint!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Valentine's Painting

OK, I do have a mean streak once in a while. This is what was left of my Valentine's Day bouquet from my husband Bill. I thought I would show it next to my painting. My point being, you have to paint fast when you work with live flowers! They were here a few days before I finally gave in and started painting them. These actually kept well and you can see the daisies are still not bad, but the roses and other flowers are long gone. I finished the painting last week and yes, tossed the flowers!

For you painters, try working close to life size when you have flowers or a still life set up. Use as large a brush as you can and get the paint on there!
I used some impasto strokes (thick) on some of the flowers. Bill said it reminded him of a Van Gogh. (He was just trying to impress me with his art knowledge- ha!)
Now to finish painting those potted jonquils that I bought last week for my art classes and no one chose to paint them. I guess I am just a sucker for flowers this time of year!
Enjoy your week!

Watercolor Paint Out Gear

This is a shot of my supplies for painting watercolor on site. I like a block or pad of 140# cold-press paper, a mechanical pencil, my travel palette, paints (I carry in a zipper bag), a brush or two, and a water carrier. A few sheets of Viva paper towels and I am ready to go. Everything fits in a tote or backpack easily. If I won't be painting long, I just take a bottle of water. If it is going to be all day, I carry a gallon of water in the trunk.
Usually I hold my pad in my lap and set the water on the ground. I do try to take a folding chair if I will be out in a field or woods. If parking nearby is available, I carry an old tv tray to set next to me. There are watercolor travel easels available. I just prefer to sit when I paint. I have tried using my french easel with the watercolors, but I felt like I was leaning over too much.
Recently I saw a watercolorist put a vinyl tablecloth on the ground under her chair. Hmmm- must have been for fire ants? I have painted places with them too. With watercolors, it is important to sit in the shade so you won't have a glare on your paper. If you can really carry a lot of supplies, you might take a beach umbrella. Just be sure that it is a solid color and not striped. The stripes will reflect on your paper and throw off your color mixing. You can usually adjust to a solid color.
For anyone who is wanting to paint plein air with watercolors or oils, for that matter, I recommend starting in your own backyard. Carrry your equipment and set up. Try different ways of sitting or standing and see what you prefer. Watch how much time it takes you to draw and paint outdoors. You will get faster as you practice. Think of your watercolors as sketches or studies and not finished pieces. Allow yourself to be looser than you would in the studio and you will enjoy your experience outdoors!
If you have any questions or comments, please let me know! I plan several excursions this spring out and about in this area.
Let's Paint!