Saturday, February 27, 2010

Joan Parker - Artist

Joan Parker received her Bachelor of Fine Arts with honors from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. She used her skills for the motion picture industry and then relocated to Kansas City when she was recruited by Hallmark Cards. Six years later, she became a full-time plein air painter and instructor.

Her work often navigates the borderland between landscape and abstraction. “Because the prairie is very stark, paintings of it tend to convey an abstracted feel of color and light. They’re a middle ground between landscape and contemporary abstraction.”

Parker is represented in galleries from Saint Louis to California and is also featured in two books, Homage to the Flint Hills and How Did You Paint That?: 100 Ways to Paint Seascapes, Rivers & Lakes , both of which are available at her website.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Louisa McElwain - Large Format Plein Air

You might call it X-Large Format Plein Air...Louisa McElwain's plein air paintings can be up to 60"x90".

She uses the back of her pickup/camper as an easel and uses masonry trowels along with palette knives to mix and apply the paint. Here is a video of her working on location in sunny New Mexico:

She has studied drawing in Italy, attended the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine, the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and attended a master class with Wolf Kahn.

"Out of my education and experience I have blended two distinct ideas, the respect for materials and gesture held by the action painters of American abstract expressionism and the expressive breadth and reverence for Nature of the romantic composer Johannes Brahms.

I reject the presumption that the validity of contemporary art is commensurate with its ability to “challenge” the viewer, to provoke, repulse or offend, and question the motivation of artists who adhere to that school of thought. Rather, I strive to balance the beauty of the paint with the beauty of the motif, to create paintings that gratify, nourish and empower. I celebrate the embrace of the divine mysteries."

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Missouri Wine Country Plein Air Event

Augusta, Missouri, will be hosting its 8th Annual Plein Air Art Event, with $7000 in awards and purses, Wednesday April 21st - Saturday May 1st. Participating artists will have opportunities to sell artwork throughout the event. Artists may paint any or all days during the event, at a location of their choosing or at any of the scheduled events. For entry forms postmarked on or before March 15th, the entry fee will be reduced from $30 to $25.

About 35 miles west of Saint Louis, Augusta is the site of the first federally recognized American Viticultural Area, or wine-growing region, known as Missouri Rhineland in honor of the German settlers who first established vinyards here around the 1840s. It is on the Katy Trail, the country's longest Rails-to-Trails project, which runs almost 265 miles across Missouri (most of it following Lewis and Clark's path up the Missouri River), and it is less than 10 miles from the large stone house where Daniel Boone lived out his later years.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Plein Air Painters of the Southeast

The Plein Air Painters of the Southeast is an organization of twenty professional artists that was started in 2001 by Dee Beard Dean and a few fellow painters. A jurying process has gradually added more artists over the years, and there are now twenty members.

This page of their website has a collection of sixteen archived articles written by the member artists, "chock-full of painterly advice and weathered wisdom from many years spent painting on location."

From April (azalea and dogwood season) through October, they are offering a series of workshops in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia and Italy.

"The southeastern United States has a wealth of natural beauty from coastal salt marshes and barrier islands, to bucolic farmlands and deep deciduous forests. Our towns and cities are steeped in history and architectural elegance: the antebellum homes, colonial churches, courthouses and lighthouses. Throughout every state, one can see colorful reminders of a grand heritage in Southern landscapes and cityscapes."

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Master Artist Workshops

Saks Galleries in Denver is offering a series of Master Artist Workshops this spring and summer for the intermediate to advanced student. Participating artists include Quang Ho (April 22-24), Clive Tyler (May 18-22), Ron Hicks (June 10-12), Karen Vance (July 20-22), whose painting is shown here, and Jay Moore (August 12-14), who will also welcome beginning students in his workshop.

These will be intense, concentrated learning experiences with outstanding artists. The only workshops that specifically focus on landscape are Clive Tyler, Karen Vance and Jay Moore, but all of them teach relevant skills and techniques. Students in the Jay Moore and Clive Tyler classes will visit the Denver Art Museum and Botanical Gardens (tickets included in the workshop fee).

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Plein Air Artists of Riverside - Paint Out

The southern California group Plein Air Artists of Riverside is affiliated with the Riverside Art Museum and has more than 75 members.

Every year, they sponsor a 9-day Paint Out followed by a juried exhibit at the Riverside Art Museum. This year, their 5th annual event begins this Saturday, February 20th and continues until Sunday the 28th. The painting shown here, by PAAR member Brian Wolf, was an award-winner last year.

On Saturday morning, Feb. 27th, there will be a “Quick Draw” from 9-11:30 with an award ceremony at noon, followed by a wet painting sale at the Riverside Plaza in front of the Riverside Arts Project Gallery until 4 pm.

The exhibit will be juried by William Wray and will be on view at the Riverside Art Museum through May 5.

"Monet had Giverny, we have Mission Inn Avenue."

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Peninsula School of Art, Wisconsin

Among the many different art classes offered at the Peninsula School of Art in Door County, Wisconsin, there will be eleven plein air workshops this year from May through October. Registration for the general public begins on February 15th.

Door County, Wisconsin is a 75-mile peninsula between Green Bay on the west and Lake Michigan on the east.

Located in the town of Fish Creek on the shore of Green Bay, the school's roots go back to the years after World War I when faculty from The Art Institute of Chicago began spending summers in Door County to paint and teach. By 1995, the success of the growing school signaled a need for more classroom space and year-round availability of arts instruction. Through hard work, generous donors and dedicated volunteers, the year-round school and the 2-story Guenzel Gallery (shown here) became a reality.

There will also be a Door County Plein Air Festival from July 19-24 which is the largest event of this type in the Midwest. The festival ends on July 24th with a "Dockside Quick-Paint" and a live auction. The works will be on display and for sale through August 7th.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Glenna Hartmann Invitational Fine Art Exhibition

California pastelist Glenna Hartmann was an adventurous and gifted member of the plein air community and a signature member of Plein Air Painters of America. There will be an exhibit in her honor at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History on Saturday & Sunday, February 20 & 21 from 10:00a.m.–5:00p.m.

Nearly 60 of California's top landscape artists have been invited to participate, with 100 of their new paintings being sold to help support two of Glenna's beloved nonprofit organizations: The Nature Conservancy and Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.

For the opening reception with the artists on Friday, February 19, tickets are $50. On the weekend, the exhibit is included with museum admission ($6-10 for adults, children are free).

Monday, February 8, 2010

Chuck Ceraso

Chuck Ceraso was a student of the American Impressionist Henry Hensche, who had studied at Charles Webster Hawthorne's Cape Cod School of Art. Like them, he focuses on the effects of light on color and how these effects can describe shapes and perspective.

Ceraso has been teaching drawing and painting for twenty years in various places, including the Denver Art Museum and at his studio in Lafayette, Colorado. He is also using his studio as a music venue, hosting a concert by Art Lande and Paul McCandless on Friday, March 12th.

He will be offering two workshops at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico, September 12-18 and 19-25, which can be taken singly or in succession. He has recently completed the booklet, The Art of Color Seeing, which is available either as a hard copy or as an e-book.

"I’ve learned that to really see I have to let go of all of my ideas about what I’m looking at. A full presence of awareness is required for this seeing without thought, without ideas. This presence then seems to facilitate a more spontaneous process of painting, one unencumbered by a plan for a specific outcome. The painting has a life of its own and goes where the process itself takes it. In this, painting has become more an experience of revelation than as something I make happen."

Here is a time-lapse video of a painting he did on the iPod Touch with the app, Brushes. Didn't David Hockney do something like this as well?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Stuart Shils - 27 Years Outside

Another painter who uses the landscape as a starting point and arrives at an abstract destination is Stuart Shils. He has been a plein air painter since 1982, and when he gave a talk at Johns Hopkins University last fall, it was entitled "27 Years Outside."

During thirteen of those years, Shils spent the summer months in County Mayo, on the northwest coast of Ireland, where the sea and sky (and the mist & rain) add a turbulent dimension to the hilly landscape. When there is sunlight, it is often low on the horizon, casting dramatic shadows. He painted in oils on 12" - 15" prepared paper mounted on board.

In 2004, PBS aired Ballycastle, a documentary about Shils work in Ireland.
There are two clips from the film on his website.

Shils will have selected paintings from Italy, Ireland and Philadelphia on exhibit through February 27th at Coleman Bancroft LLC in New York City.

Stuart Shils teaches master classes at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. He is offering a 3-day intensive outdoor painting class April 16-18 (Friday-Sunday) with an emphasis on color and discriminating perception. There will be a free slide lecture Thursday, April 15, from 6–7:30 p.m. which is open to the public.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Keith Jacobshagen - Abstract Realism

Keith Jacobshagen graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute, received his MFA from the University of Kansas and became a professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He has retired from there, but not from painting. Immense skies, low horizon lines and distant perspectives have dominated his paintings, which are usually done in oils (on canvas, paper and birch panel) and occasionally in watercolor. Working both plein air and in the studio, he paints sizes from 8"x8" up to 24"x24". The one shown here is oil on paper, 9"x10." The one shown below is 9"x28" (also oil on paper).

He studied with Robert Sudlow and Edwin Walker Dickinson, both of whom combine realist and abstract tendencies.

Of his time with Sudlow, Jacobshagen writes, "My first oil painting with Bob was made on a mild overcast day. I don't remember where we set up but around an hour into painting it began to snow. It was late in the afternoon and the light was beginning to fade so I started to pack up my gear. As I was putting everything in the car I heard "Sud", who was about ten yards away, yelling, "what are you doing, you're going to miss the best part." I got my kit out and started back to work. It was snowing harder and Bob was just a vague figure enveloped in a white cold confetti of snow but I could tell he was in a kind of rapture of painting and seeing."

There's a newspaper article here about an exhibit last fall at Kansas City’s Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art which included Jacobshagen. "His art isn’t trendy or wildly conceptual. But Jacobshagen is among the top painters working today, a master of the landscape who adds new dimensions and perspectives to the traditional subject matter."