Figures on the street
Considering tree trunks and limbs
These are from demonstrations during our twice-a-month workshops at The Center. Above, I was showing the class techniques on painting the figure in street scenes. The figure is just shapes breaking up the scene. The most important piece is getting the gesture of what they are doing. It really makes the painting come alive as it is inhabited.
We started trees by showing trunks and limbs, then adding foliage. We will be adding the figure in the forest next time. The class is really progressing nicely.
(Photos courtesy of Mary)
Figures in the forest
(click image to visit The Center’s website)
Last Thursday the Iowa City/Johnson County Senior Center had an open house to celebrate its 35th year in operation, and this article in the Cedar Rapids Gazette gives you a sense of why The Center is so popular in the community. I’m in the fourth photo at the top of that article, doing a watercolor demonstration.
Update: My winter/spring series of watercolor workshops has ended and we’re looking forward to starting again in the fall. You can get each season’s Program Guide from The Center’s website.
Instead of a regular Christmas tree, this is my slumped-acrylic nativity scene with St. Francis on the left. I’ve been using the walker while I wait for a bit of surgery, and was trying to get in the Christmas spirit by decorating it and walking with Francis. I think Christmas could be every day as the Light comes into the world.
Taking baby Jesus out for a walk with the Holy Family and St. Francis
The paintings were auctioned off
at the end of the evening
These photos are from October’s “An Evening with Area Artists” held at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Iowa. The event was a fundraiser to benefit artsBASICS, an arts education advocacy organization whose mission is to “[i]ncrease access to arts education for all students in all the arts in Davenport Community District artsBASICS Schools.”
I was one of several artists demonstrating our techniques as we painted from live models and objects arranged on the stage. At the end of the evening attendees could bid on the artwork that they’d watched us create.
Two views during painting at the fundraiser
(click image to visit website of
Prairie Wolf Press Review)
I’m pleased to have my paintings accompany poetry and prose from a variety of writers in the Fall 2015 issue of Prairie Wolf Press Review, an online anthology.
“Prairie Wolf Press Review values the density of language, the impact of the wisely considered word.”
Buildings at El Rancho de las Golondrinas
where we painted en plein air
A value study with color, painted on site
(moving the church around like Charles was doing)
During my stay in Santa Fe for Charles Reid’s workshop we visited and painted at El Rancho de las Golondrinas (“The Ranch of the Swallows”), a historic ranch dating from the early 1700s. It’s now a living history museum “dedicated to the history, heritage and culture of 18th and 19th century New Mexico.”
First attempt, after washing out the left side.
I saw many colors in the adobe.
Completed first painting,
better after the bath!
Above: During my first attempt at painting the scene I decided the left side was way too busy, so I took a sponge and washed out that section and then painted over it. Because of the strength of the 140 lb. watercolor paper, we can remove insufficient areas.
Below: A new value study prepares for a second painting, adding the figure of a museum guide to feed the chickens.
A new value study adds the figure of the guide
I imagined the chickens into the scene but was told they were there last year
Painting from life at the Charles Reid workshop.
(Left side is my work; Charles painted the little figure on the right showing local color.)
Earlier this month I had the opportunity to study with an artist whose work I admire, Charles Reid, during a five-day workshop in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I had studied with Charles five years ago and tried to grasp his techniques and kept painting regularly to learn and own what he was demonstrating. This time I was ready to go beyond and seemed to catch on quicker. It really is just practice, practice…
(I’ll show more of the workshop, and Santa Fe locations I visited and painted, in upcoming posts.)
Jan Vander Linden (on the right) and me, with our respective artwork at the Iowa Artisans Gallery opening
(photo courtesy of Lois Albrecht)
The folks in my paintings travel a lot! Below: Here the characters inspired by our life drawing models begin their adventure on Dubuque Street, like they stepped out of a story from Prairie Lights bookstore.
The painting “And the Story Begins” is part of my exhibit with friend Jan Vander Linden, going on now through November 8 during gallery hours at Iowa Artisans Gallery (207 E. Washington St., Iowa City, IA). (Update: this exhibit has now ended — “thank you” to everyone who stopped by!)
“And the Story Begins,” in progress and completed
Setting out into the city
I’ve been walking around the city three miles a day and sometimes more. I’ll stop and sketch a little or take pictures for painting, still doing my research on foot.
In Monday’s workshop we were sketching on Linn Street working on one-point perspective. It is lovely outside the Senior Center to draw, lots of students, teachers, folks going to class and shopping, big energy here.
This is how I started the Linn Street painting
Completed Linn Street painting,
looking south toward the library