"Swimming in Paint"

This is about the most fascinating career choice I ever made, that of an Oil Painter


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Coach's Feburay "WOW" award

February's Swimming-in-Paint!!

THE COACH’S “WOW” AWARD

WOW! We've got talent exposed again! Last weekend we finished up our 2nd workshop. The February team worked hard. Some continued at home between sessions to produce a wide body of work around a "Single Subject". By design, the team is always made up of many different skill levels because we also learn from each other.

I believe hard work needs to be acknowledged beyond the classroom setting. The "Jump Factor" is something that stops you in your tracks and you take notice. It often happens in Swimming-in-Paint and needs to be acknowledged. Each month this year we will have a COACH’S “WOW” AWARD to celebrate a member’s hard work. We also dedicated a wall to that end in my Crossroads Gallery. Each month the wall will feature a new "Swimming-in-Paint" award winner. The "WOW" painting or paintings will also be displayed during the bi-monthly Crossroads opening. Plus, the whole gallery will be dedicated to a month long "December Swimming-in-Paint Exhibit"

The Team Member "WOW" award of the month is Lea Emory for her progression of ballet paintings studying expressive light and colour. Congratulations to Lea for a stunning months work! It's hard to pick a favorite. Lea Emory's Ballerinas look equally wonderful at 30 feet as they do up close and personal.....:=)

COACH'S “WOW” AWARD WINNER

Ballet 20x16 oil on canvas by Lea Emory

 LEA'S FINAL CANVAS ABOUT LIGHT & COLOUR
 Lea Emory's Untitled Ballet 30x24 oil on linen February 2017
 
Lea Emory's Ballerinas 20x16 oil on linen  February 2017
 
All three ballet paintings will be on display at Crossroads in Chuck Larivey's gallery for the month of March. 
 Lea at work

Lea (above) was still at it in the March Sunday class. Only this time armed with a few new tricks from last month to expand her painting horizons. It's this photo and the new (homework) painting on her easel that clinched the deal. 

Couldn't help but show her another idea with regards to moving light. Not sure what she'll do with it, but I have a hunch she's home messing with it:=)
 

A NEW WRINKLE

This month we would also like to acknowledge a job well done to individual paintings by team members whose paintings below will also be on display at Crossroads.

SUSAN PAAVOLA 

DALE WILLIAMS

ELIZABETH TITMUS

Congratulations to all for a job well done!

Friday, March 3, 2017

FEBRUARY SWIMMING-IN-PAINT RECAP

We had an energetic Swimming-in-Paint team in February. All that's left is to select who gets to show their stuff on the "WOW" wall at Crossroads this month.

A TEAM MEMBER'S LEAP!  

Dale had a remarkable two day session last weekend - Dale worked on two subjects, Venice and Pond
Reflections. She used Venice as a subject change when her pond paintings threw up road blocks or it was no longer fun. It allowed a much needed break and a fresh view for the next. Her next was this little beauty below.  Many things we worked on in previous classes started to take hold in Dales painting. Can't wait to see what she does for the March workshop. 


Dale Williams untitled lily pond 30x40 oil on linen  February 2017

A STUDY IN BALLET

Lea's February painting plan was a more dramatic approach to the ballet than her little painting above. She accomplished her goal by following the light with more colour and more expressive brushwork than before. The paintings below done in the workshop and home studio shows how well a singular focus and some serious bingeing can raise the bar in our own paintings.





A FINAL CANVAS ABOUT LIGHT & COLOUR
 Lea Emory's Untitled Ballet 30x24 oil on linen February 2017
THE EUROPEAN LANDSCAPE & A GREAT SIGNATURE
Doug is a longtime Crossroads artist and has developed a personal style. I like a good signature on a painting - one that is aesthetically in balance with the painting like below.
 



LIGHT & COLOUR AS A FINAL PAINTING
Doug Zeigler untitled Landscape 30x40 oil on linen February 2017

FIELDS OF FLOWERS

Peggy is working on fields of colour - getting those flowers to feel natural - not much question she's breaking the code.




KOI FISH THEME
  Susan's three week work process on the table





BY SELECTION IT GOT COMPLICATED
 Susan  Paavola's untitled Koi blast 24x24 oil on linen February 2017

Whoa! This one has fish coming at you from every angle. But, as complicated as it is there is a very defined light source starting to emerge here with each brush stroke. The trick is focusing on one fish, getting it scaled right and working off it. Each one is finished as far as possible before moving on to the next. It took a while to establish a working process but this is clearly on it's way to becoming a keeper.

TWO SESSION PEACOCK
This year we also have a separate "Sunday Painters" team. We meet the first three Sunday's each month and carry on to the music. My favorite Sunday painting in February was by Elizabeth, a long time team member of Swimming-in-Paint. Besides Elizabeth I also have a soft spot for Peacocks.

1st SUNDAY

2nd SUNDAY
Elizabeth's untitled Peacock 24x24 oil on linen February 2017

You can see why February is a tough "WOW" selection. They all did a great job! This month we'll do something a bit different. We have our bi-monthly Art opening at Crossroads on the 17th. Soooo..... members featured above will be invited to submit their last painting and the WOW Award will be among them. The "WOW" winner will get the solo wall. The rest will share my space with me. All paintings displayed must be for sale.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Swimming-in-Paint - COACH'S "WOW" AWARD



Something new for Swimming-in-Paint!!

THE COACH’S “WOW” AWARD

WOW! We got talent exposed! Last weekend we finished up our first workshop. The January team worked hard. Some continued at home between sessions to produce a wide body of work around a "Single Subject". By design, the team is always made up of many different skill levels because we also learn from each other.

I believe hard work needs to be acknowledged beyond the classroom setting. After reviewing the class photos and recapping the month - seeing the progress made by the team - I felt the time was right to make it happen.

The "Jump Factor" is something that stops you in your tracks and you take notice. It often happens in Swimming-in-Paint and needs to be acknowledged. This year each month, we'll have a COACH’S “WOW” AWARD to celebrate a member’s hard work. I'm also dedicating a wall to this end in my Crossroads Gallery. Each month the wall will feature a new "Swimming-in-Paint" award winner. The "WOW" painting will also be displayed during the bi-monthly Crossroads opening. Plus, the whole gallery will be dedicated to a month long "December Swimming-in-Paint Exhibit"



The Team Member "WOW" award of the month is Mary Claire Coster for her (9) Iris paintings. Congratulations to Mary Claire for a stunning months work! It's hard to pick a favorite. Mary Claire's Irises look equally wonderful at 30 feet as they do up close and personal.....:=)

COACH'S “WOW” AWARD WINNER
RED IRIS 20x16 oil on linen by Mary Claire Coster

MARY CLAIRE’S MONTHS WORTH OF PAINTINGS
 
 
Mary Claire hard at work on her final 36x36 linen canvas

End of 2nd day
 
Mary Clare's 36x36 is well on its way to the finish line at home.


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

February Swimming-in-Paint intro

FEBRUARY TEAM CHAT

This weekend we start up again with a new team. The January team launched our sea trials for the new weekend (5 session) single subject workshop covering the full month. As coach, I want to help encourage and develop a structured learning process that is a bit more focused and directed to improve skills either in a classroom setting or home alone. 

Everyone who reads my blog knows I'm a firm believer of working on one painting and one concept at a time. When the energy is gone...move on! With me, a daily painter, that means a subject change (subject rotation), a simple move, a fresh start that keeps the energy going.

The first (3) weeks, including any homework (encouraged) is done on a Centurion oil linen pad (10 sheets per pad) size of your choosing. Recommended size 20x16 - inexpensive, easily stored and stretchable if worthy. The final work is on a stretched linen canvas, again your choice of size. The intent, complete the project over the last (2) day weekend and move on to a fresh idea. Perhaps adapting the process to your personal life, repeat the process.....perhaps forever.....always with the optimism of perpetual improvement.

Learn to continually step back, view your work objectively for clues to the next move until scale/composition, punctuation (light and shadow) feels right. Up close paint marks may feel abstract or very refined, regardless, here is where paint quality, brushwork, lost and found edges count most. An overcooked painting won't show at 30 feet... it will up close and personal! Painters quicksand.......may look nice up close and personal and be a turd at 30 feet! Learn to respect what 30 feet tells you regardless of what you see up close. A good painting reads at any distance, in any light, regardless of size!

Homework, one thing implied in the class overview happily did start developing, basically dedicating your home easel time too. Keeping your focus on the project during the week at home, is a very important component to the single subject workshop success.  

The last day everyone will view all their work done over the month and chat a bit about it before leaving.

BTW....might be a good idea to start numbering your canvas sooner than later..:=) I recommend numbering each canvas in sequential order to review your progress....not to mention the value of tracking your work history.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Exploring ideas on canvas

Yesterday I was at my studio easel early to continue on with my small  one session 12x12 exploratory paintings....my homework. My project subject, Venice, was started a few weeks ago in Swimming-in-Paint. I already know my final 2-day painting will be moody and atmospheric...my studies already tell me that.

The reference for the painting below was a very cool Eastern moon rise  taken from my studio deck a few years ago while the setting sun was still warming clouds.

CANVAS 1117 (one session)



Venetian Moon 12x12 oil on linen (1-26-17 canvas 1117)

TIME FOR ONE MORE 
(one session canvas 1118)





Venetian fog 12x12 oil on linen (1-27-17 canvas 1118)

My 12x12 warmups over, I'm now thinking about my weekend painting. The last few weeks were well worth my time because now I have have a few ideas for my final painting. I know Venice will be  suggestive and moody. I also know my canvas will be almost square at 40x44......not sure if it will be horizontal or vertical yet.

 Size comparison between a 12x12 and 40x44

(5) Warmup atmospheric paintings

Team, I'll be at Crossroads to open the doors at 9:30am. Don't forget to bring all your paintings related to our project including references and canvas. I have a few 24x24 canvases available. We have a big weekend ahead of us.