Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Artists in the Gardens Weekend

Artists in the Gardens at Epcot this weekend!
I am so honored to have been invited back to paint during Epcot's International Flower and Garden Festival 2011. This will be my fifth year to paint in the World Showcase. Last year I painted in jolly old England and really enjoyed the cottage gardens and English architecture. You can find me this year in Italy. The horticultural department goes all out with potted flowers and plantings in the different countries. The feature each year are the topiaries of the Disney characters that are scattered throughout Epcot. Having the artists painting on location just adds to the ambiance of the festival. Guests can watch us paint and even purchase a painting to take home. I would be curious to know how many vacation photos I have been in over the years!
It is so much fun to talk to the guests who come from all over the world. The children are the best with their innocent questions and comments. I end up giving away as many paintings as I sell when a child comments they like it!
This is plein air painting at its finest! Shade if you can find it, level ground, beautiful weather, no "real" animals to bother you, and beautiful surroundings to paint makes this a painter's dream. So I hope if you are making spring break plans, you will hop over to the Flower and Garden Festival this year. Just don't ask me the names of any of the plants, OK?
Ciao for now, will try to post a painting or two while there!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Diva Dilemma

Spring Divas
oil on linen
12 x 9
Available: www.Durinda.com
The Diva Dilemma. If you are a painter, you have surely faced it at least once in your painting career. If you ever sang in a chorus or acted in a play, you faced it. If you even like to decorate rooms, you have probably faced it too. What is it?
It is having more than one Diva in a situation. Like having to decorate a room and you say, "Well, here's a fireplace, a good focal point, let's put seating facing it." And then you see the window in the same room with the great view. "This is such a good view, let's put seating facing it." And then you have two Divas. When you enter the room, where do you face? The fireplace or the window? Maybe that doesn't bother you?
Have you ever tried to watch two performers on stage? In the olden days, Sonny and Cher? Hmm, who was the Diva? Pretty obvious there. You won't see two separate spotlights.
My watercolor mentor was Wayne Wu, AWS. He used to tell us, "There can only be one star. Everyone else is the supporting cast." In other words, have a focal point in your composition. There are several ways to create a central focus and they are not all so obvious. In a floral arrangement, choose one flower or a cluster of flowers to give more color and more detail. Play down the rest. We know they are flowers, let them be cast members. The same for a landscape. Where do you want the viewer to look? Try not to confuse us by having detail on everything unless you are Grandma Moses. Or as Jack Beal says, "Fruit basket painting."
I think the same applies to our appearance. Do you want people to notice your hair, your eyes, your clothes, or your jewelry? Play up your best feature and let the others support it. Wear clothes that compliment your eyes or hair, but if you want us to look at your clothes, fine. Wear something that stands out there. But don't be surprised if people say, "I love your outfit." and not, "Gee, you look great today."
We want viewers to look at our artwork and say,"I love this painting." and not "Gee, you did a good job with all this detail. It looks JUST like a photograph." Get it?
Now, go find your Diva!
From the only Diva in this household,