Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Savannah College of Art & Design - Art Materials Trade Show

The third annual Art Materials Trade Show is happening even as we speak at the Savannah College of Art & Design.

Held in historic downtown Savannah and open to the public, it will feature exhibitors (around 60, from anatomical figures to yarn and everything in between), demonstrations, seminars (experts on paints, paper, product safety & stability, color theory, etc.) and a student roundtable ("How to Get Into the Game and Visual Effect Industry and Beyond").

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Chessney Sevier - ThumBox Paintings

Chessney Sevier is a young Wyoming artist who does etchings & woodblock prints and also paints in oils & pastels. She sent us some pictures last winter of her ThumBox and how she uses it to do plein air in spite of Wyoming's famous (infamous?) cold winds.

Here is part of her artist's statement:

"Sometimes I see something and the compulsion to capture it on paper is overwhelming. I might relate the subject to a memory of when I was a child or where I grew up, to what I believe is real or more simply stated; to what is beautiful. It’s almost like beauty is painful and the only way to find resolve is to recreate it. I guess that way I can own it, experience it again on a deep emotional level and move on.
What is within a piece of art can be as important as the image as a whole. A single brush stroke can be spontaneous and bold or take the eye to depths beyond the surface of the painting. The most important element within a work of art is the piece of the artist which is given to the creation. That piece of the artist’s soul resides there and can never be repeated or taken back. To me, it’s an essential element because without it, it’s just an image. My mom has told me, “If it’s a little painful to part with a piece you’ve created, you know it’s a good piece of art.”

We're having a 20% Off special on the ThumBox and the 9x12 Guerrilla Box until next Tuesday, October 5th (even though the homepage says "September Special")...just in time to get ready for cozy "plein car" painting.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Wanda Westberg - Artist

Plein air painter Wanda Westberg captures the characteristic California landscape and native vegetation in the parks and open spaces around the Bay Area.

Having grown up in the midwest, she's no stranger to wind & weather. She attended UCLA, studying watercolor, acrylic and oil painting. She also studied with J. Thomas Soltesz, Bob Gerbracht, Van Waldron, Brian Blood, Randall Sexton and Kevin Macpherson.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

American Landscapes - Treasures from the Parrish Art Museum

This weekend is the opening of an exhibit at The Parrish Art Museum that traces the progression of American landscape painting, from the Hudson River School to the American Impressionists, from the early Modernists to contemporary painters. Located in Southhampton, the Parrish Museum is devoted to American art, with an emphasis on the art of Eastern Long Island.

Here are some of the programs associated with the American Landscapes exhibit:

“Talking Landscape” Exhibition Opening and Reception
Saturday · September 26, 2009
6 pm
Parrish Members free|$7 Nonmembers

Join us for what promises to be a lively exchange among three leading contemporary artists, Jennifer Bartlett, April Gornik, and Will Cotton. Moderated by Parrish Director Terrie Sultan. A reception will follow at 7 pm.

Special Lecture and Book Signing William Merritt Chase: Landscapes in Oil
Saturday · October 10, 2009
6 pm
$5 Parrish Members|$10 Nonmembers

On Oct. 9, the subject will be “Up and Down the Coast: Plein-air Art Colonies." Dr. Longwell will discuss the fashionable East Coast resorts that have attracted artists as well as beachgoers for more than a century.

And *this* one sounds interesting:

The Oct. 16 talk, “Whither Landscape: Contemporary Trends," will consider the effects of our changing ecological climate on the tradition of plein-air painting and how today's artists incorporate those concerns into their work.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

American Legacy - Our National Parks at the Haggan Museum

The Haggin Museum, an art and history museum in Stockton, California, is hosting an exhibit of plein air paintings done during the past year in 35 National Parks from coast to coast by 36 members and guests of Plein Air Painters of America. The exhibit also includes some studio work done from plein air references.

The paintings are arranged starting with Yellowstone, our earliest National Park (designated by President Grant in 1872) through the Old Spanish National Historic Trail (designated by President Bush in 2002).

An additional segment of approximately 15 paintings celebrates the centennial of Zion National Park, in southern Utah, which was established in 1909. Fifteen PAPA members spent a week there last March, focusing on the spectacular gorges and intimate creeks and glades in this park whose Hebrew name means a place of refuge or sanctuary.

The exhibit runs from October 3, 2009 - January 10, 2010. Beginning October 2nd, special opening events include:

Gala Opening Reception, Friday, October 2, 7:00-9:00p.m.
Prior to the official opening, a gala reception with the artists allows attendees a first opportunity to view the exhibition and purchase the paintings. Connoisseur ticket-holders have an exclusive opportunity to purchase the paintings from 5:30-7:00 p.m.

Painting Demonstration, Saturday, October 3, 9:30a.m.-12:30p.m.
Participating artists set up their easels at Stockton's Victory Park. Attendees can watch the artists at work and bid on their finished paintings. Admission is free to both this event and the museum, which will be open from 9:30a.m.-5:00p.m. Box lunches and drinks will be available for purchase beginning at 11 a.m. Lunch will be provided to Connoisseur ticket-holders.

Gallery Talk, Sunday, October 4, 2:00-3:00p.m.
Catalog essayist, Jean Stern, executive director of The Irvine Museum, presents "100 Years of Landscape Painting in California." This special event is included with regular museum admission and free for Connoisseur ticket-holders.

The Haggin has the largest museum collection of major Bierstadt works, in addition to renowned 19th- and early 20th-century American and European artists, including Jean Béraud, Rosa Bonheur, William Bouguereau, Jean-Léon Gérôme, George Inness and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Jeanette LeGrue - Artist

Jeanette Le Grue was born in Alaska and now lives in Marin County California. She offers plein air workshops that emphasize seeing the abstract design in the landscape, the relationship of greys to color, and color harmony. The workshops are open to all skill levels.

"As a child, I did not speak until age three, expressing myself instead through coloring. I was fortunate to have a great art teacher – Mr. Neil Epps, from junior high all the way through high school. Although I consider myself mostly self-taught, I have attended numerous college art classes and artists workshops." She credits plein air masters Sergei Bongart, Joaquin Sorolla and Franz Bischoff with influencing her use of color, light and subtle greys.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Raleigh Kinney - Watercolorist

Raleigh Kinney lives in southern Arizona and is one of the artists who participated in the challenging Grand Canyon Celebration of Art
last week.

Here is how he describes his process using watercolor:

"The pattern or large shapes that interlock and which can unify scattered motifs occupy the largest portion of my painting surfaces. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being white and 10 black, these large shapes never exceed a value of 3 to 4. The medium shapes that house my major darker values and what is seen as identifying pattern or subject are hung on these larger forms. My smallest darkest shapes are considered detail and call attention to my major focal points - places of strongest contrast. Color, which is the song and dance in my paintings, helps create the mood and entertainment that gives my motifs the time and season. Alternation and exaggeration of colors, warms next to cools, within their respective shapes and gradations of these add a creative and personalized facet. Watercolor provides many different working methods: Generally, I prefer to work on a dampened sheet utilizing the dampness to achieve a softer depth of color through blends of warms and cools mixed on my paper. Later, as the sheet begins to dry, I can expect my richer colored shapes to hold their edges better, reflecting the focal points and drawing the viewer’s attention to what I want them to see. Finally, a few accents of darks and pure color are carefully selected and placed where the viewer will find them. The overall look in my paintings, hopefully, expresses a simplified, distilled view of what attracts me."

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Walt & El Grupo - Documentary

"With the world on the brink of war and Nazi influence growing in South America, the U.S. government sought help from a bunch of artists." So reads the poster for this new documentary film, coming soon to a theatre near you, if you live on either coast or in Milwaukee or Chicago.

In 1941, Walt Disney was commissioned by the State Department to visit Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Peru with his staff of artists, composers, etc. as part of Franklin Roosevelt's Good Neighbor policy, an early version of "soft power" influence. Disney would be (along with Mickey Mouse) an ambassador for the United States during the 10-week tour and later make two animated films using the local cultures and scenery.

Directed, written and produced (in five countries) by Ted Thomas (son of Disney animator Frank Thomas, who made the trip) and Kuniko Okubo, the film shows artists at work, in one instance creating the cigar-smoking animated parrot, Joe Carioca, while using a real parrot as a model. The film travels in Walt Disney’s footsteps through the use of personal letters, artwork from the trip and remembrances by descendants and survivors.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wings 'N Water Festival, Stone Harbor New Jersey

The award-winning Wings 'N Water Festival is this weekend at Stone Harbor, New Jersey, on the ocean between Atlantic City and Cape May. It will be the setting for a plein air event starting tomorrow and continuing through the weekend.

Artists Rita Haldeman, Terri Amig, Robert Baum, Ken Beck, Michael Budden, Ed Cooper, Ray Ewing, Cesar Jerez, Stan Sperlak, and Nancy Richards West have been invited to paint in the area, and their work will be for sale September 19 - 20 at the Wetlands Institute.

Besides the opening night reception and benefit auction on Friday September 18 from 6-10 p.m., other attractions include folk music, down Jersey food, pumpkins and corn stalks, guided walks, hands-on encounters and demonstrations by artists, carvers, model builders, quilters, crafters and photographers.

Monday, September 14, 2009

25th Annual Artist Ride

The Shearer Ranches, 20 miles north of Wall, South Dakota, have been hosting an invitational Artist Ride for painters who are interested in Western subjects such as mountain men, buffalo, Indians, cowboys and authentic equipment, such as stagecoaches, knives, guns, bows and musical instruments. The painting above was done by participant Jerral Derryberry.

The event is hosted by Grant and JoDee Shearer. It was started by Lavon Shearer in 1984 and moved to the ranch property in 1987. Fifty artists from around the country are invited each year, and approximately 100 models attend to serve as inspiration. Another thing that makes for an authentic feeling is the family atmosphere - there are often three generations dressed in period costumes.

Red Hawk is one of those models doing his best to maintain accuracy for artists such as Derryberry, for whom he has previously posed. The majority of his body is painted yellow, with red and blue accents. “This is a kit fox warrior design,” Red Hawk said. “We bring changes of outfits and horses here. My dad has been coming here since the beginning. My brother Lloyd was made into a gift bag,” Red Hawk said. “You might become a 1,000-piece puzzle, or end up on a plate or a poster.”

Identifying the artwork that comes out of the Artist Ride is easier than one might expect. “Just look for our symbol,” JoDee Shearer said of the logo that is half “A,” half “R” and looks like it is pointing toward something just beyond the horizon.

Thanks to our friends at Tanka Bar for posting about this on their Facebook page. Hmmm...are those *their* buffalo in the painting?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Janet Onofrey - Artist

Janet Onofrey lives in southern Florida. This plein air painting, entitled Sanctuary, is 20"x24". Her current studio works were recently on exhibit in Savannah, Georgia, where she earned her MFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design. Under the title of "Utopia Subdivided", these studio paintings explore the planned, gated developments with strict homeowners' regulations that create so many of our new "communities," where everything from nature and aesthetics to family life is contrived and controled. This one, entitled "Divided We Fall," is 33"x50". Using Birch panels and leaving the grain exposed not only suggests the rigid construction materials of the houses and fencing but also hints that things are not really what they seem to be.

"Every painting is a reflection and interpretation of an extremely personal experience. I want the viewer to step into my moment and experience it too. My style is somewhere between representational and impressionistic. I have been influenced by the impressionists all my life; Cassatt, Monet, Hassam, and Sargent. They all painted from life, because a strong connection between life and the art is essential to the emotion of a painting." ~ Janet Onofrey

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Bruce Bingham - Peripatetic Painter

Bruce Bingham is an American painter who has lived in Latvia, France and Spain. ("Worst moment: Realizing that Estonian stretched canvas smells a lot like cow pee, opted for more expensive stretched canvas. Best moment: Realizing the low angle of the sun casts long beautiful dusk shadows all day long.")

We've recently updated our website to accept orders from Canada and overseas (and, with a little advance notice, we can get someone who speaks French, Portugese or Spanish).

Thursday, September 10, 2009

McCord Gallery - Youth Painting Class

A plein air youth painting class is among the many offerings at the McCord Gallery in Palos Park, Illinois, just southwest of Chicago. They teach music as well as art, with nearly 120 music students and 100 art students attending each quarter.

They're also having an exhibit entitled "Palos Plein Air" from Wednesday, October 7th - Thursday, November 5th. The opening reception, which is free and open to the public, will be on Sunday, October 11th, 1:00pm - 4:00pm.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Sallie K. Smith

Sallie K. Smith stopped by with her husband last week to get some equipment (they had the sensible idea that they'd leave a complete set-up at their daughter's house so it would all be there when they go visit).

She mentioned two of her plein air painting mentors, Jake Gaedtke and Jay Moore, both of whom focus on western landscapes, especially mountain terrain - peaks and valleys, creeks and lakes, meadows, snow, aspen and cottonwoods, thunderheads and the crystal-clear atmosphere that encompasses it all. Click here for Jay Moore's DVDs, classes and demonstrations, and click here for Sallie K. Smith's exhibit schedule for this fall, which includes Boulder's Open Studios tour.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Painting as a Spectator Sport - Ken Auster Videos

California Painter Ken Auster has created some speeded-up videos of his painting process. The sound tracks are intense & rhythmic (The Ventures, Van Halen...) and it makes painting seem like an athletic dance (maybe because Ken started out as, and still is, a surfer). If you look closely, you can see how he starts with a big brush and proceeds to smaller brushes towards the end of the painting.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

"Painting New England - Preserving the Landscape"

David and Pam Lussier are landscape painters based in Woodstock, Connecticut. They have just launched a project that will last at least three years to call attention to the loss of New England's historic landscapes to development. They plan to work with various land preservation groups and to paint plein air in all 67 counties of the region, including Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine.

They will be working with journalist Gail Braccidiferro MacDonald, who will write about the local history and characteristics of each area. When they finish, they will publish a book entitled Painting New England - Preserving the Landscape and hold a traveling exhibit of the best paintings completed during this time.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Connie Hayes - Artist

Connie Hayes has created an interesting project called "Borrowed Views" as a way of collaborating with a collector who wants a painting of his/her property. She stays on site for a few days or a few weeks, and then the collector gets first choice of the resulting paintings. Sort of a free-wheeling "artist in residence" with an ever-changing view, she has been doing this since the early '90s. This still-life pastel sketch of apricots was done on a farm in Normandy.

In some ways reminiscent of other artists who worked in Maine such as Fairfield Porter, her work is distinctive with its graceful compositions and use of heightened colors.