"Swimming in Paint"

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


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Exploring the Snowy Egret in oil paint

I'm getting to know a new and very elegant bird for the first time. I have a final canvas in mind but before I dive in I need to understand this birds own special qualities and gestures intuitively before.

FIRST, A LEARNING CURVE


 1131 Untitled Snowy Egret 12x12 oil on linen (3-13-17)

1131 Snowy Egret 12x12 oil on linen (3-13-17)

 1132 Snowy Egret 12x12 oil on linen (3-17-17-)

1133 Sony Egret 12x12 oil on linen (3-18-17)

 1134 Snowy Egret 12x12 oil on linen (3-21-17)

1138 Snowy Egret 12x12 oil on linen (3-27-17)
 
1143 Snowy Egret 12x12 oil on linen (4-6-17)

I can see from my last 12x12 Snowy Egret painting, my final idea is forming up nicely. I want a change of subject, a bit of a rest before my final Snowy Egret canvas. What I have in mind will require me to get back into the BIG SWING because it takes a different mind set than the small quick 12x12s here. And it's been awhile....

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

MARCH "WOW" MADNESS

March ended well. The team got to see some of their best work displayed on walls, plus an added treat if they came to celebrate Crossroads March open house. They could chat about their paintings with fellow artists, take a few pictures and drink a little wine. It was a good night for these world travelers and a few paintings sold quickly. Coach didn't take his camera......next time he will.

It's time to change out the team walls at the gallery. Last month we expanded the teams wall space to include the very important end wall in the gallery. After a few sales to art admirers, the team has an added incentive to paint for these walls.

As painting coach, each month I look for work that best represents each member - basically for that "WOW" as it relates to each and their effort to improve.

In the end it's not the artist who makes the work but the painting itself that attracts attention or not. When it leaves the studio, a painting starts a journey based on its own visual merits and what others feel about it. Art has a way of attracting those who will cherish it and protect it!
 
What I found as a designer, using a lot of art and dressing projects, and now making and selecting and displaying/hanging art work in my gallery at Crossroads is, "Its not a random act where anything will fit because its art". Art has to earn its spot just like people. In a gallery setting, each piece is part of a whole that has to work together, offer visual interest with range, comparability, using varying degrees of tension through colour, shape and design....setting a mood that delights the eye as we move through. In simpler words, making sense of  it. Here's what I know!

"All these standout paintings will find their "WOW" wall because it will fit there and no where else."

So, we dress them all up with varnish and pretty frames, stack them around and see where they land.

 MARCH TEAM "WOW" WALLS
 

WINNERS OF THE COACHES CHOICE "WOW" WALLS

TSEVTI SOWERS for her pair of small but powerful BLACK & WHITE'S




ELIZABETH LONGSTREET TITMUS for the THE UPPER JAMES

Longstreet has a big smile because her "Pride" painting last month found a new home

DALE WILLIAMS for LILY PONDS 




TERRY LACEY for her DANCING WITH CRANES




ANOTHER NEW WALL FOR SWIMMING-IN-PAINT!

At the last minute we had to expand into a new wall to accommodate last months Coaches choice "WOW" winner, Lea Emory. There was no way we were not going to show off her two stunning ballet paintings completed in the March Studio.




Leas a happy camper, her ballet painting last month found a home too......congrats!

Team paintings will be on display in the Chuck Larivey gallery at Crossroads through April - stop by, take a peek or better yet give one a good wall to hang around on.

CONGRATULATIONS!!!
TO ALL THE MARCH TEAM FOR A JOB WELL DONE!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Seeing it on the wall, the madness of painting

Lately working small, I miss large! 

I made a major move in my gallery at Crossroads a few weeks back. Aside from now sharing it with the Swimming-in-Paint team, I dusted off a few of my "Best Wall" billboards and rehung them in the gallery. I needed a visual reminder why I paint in the first place. Thinking big about making art is central to it and sharing that idea with the Swimming-in-Paint team seemed timely.

I'm not sure you really become consumed in painting until experiencing the challenge of a really large and very blank canvas you advanced to a successful sign off. Many team members have accomplished that goal albeit on a bit smaller scale. Koi in a pond will have limited growth and opportunity defined by their environmental space.  However humans, given the opportunity, have the capacity to expand and flourish beyond. Painting or making art is all too often tucked away, a singular endeavor, which is why I made the Koi comparison. Occasionally its important to have another perspective, have space, someone to challenge our ideas, keep fresh and not get mired down in artist quicksand. We are constantly going through learning curves to advance our art. Nice to occasionally do it with others going through the same process. I'm a firm believer we, as artists, need a reason to make art in the first place.... as a painter I need walls to paint for (real or imagined)......the reason for my Crossroads gallery below. The team also needs a reason beyond a classroom setting which in my mind is really a shared studio setting where we encourage each to the finish line. Swimming-in-Paint goes beyond that, it also explores what happens next...... seeing it on the wall.    

THE MADNESS OF PAINTING




SWIMMING-IN-PAINT'S
FEBRUARY "WOW" WINNER WALL
was claimed by
LEA EMORY'S BALLET PAINTINGS
 

"WOW" 
PAINTING SOLD OPENING NIGHT!
TOO TUTU 20x16 oil on linen by Lea Emory
Captured a new wall and started it's adventure in the immortal world of art.

THE NEW TEAM WALL!
A WALL FOR THE TEAM'S BEST PAINTINGS

LILIES IN RHYTHM 30x40 oil on linen by Dale Williams

A STUDY IN HARMONY 24x24 oil on linen by Susan Paavola

WORKING ON A "BEST WALL" PAINTING
Artist, Sevti Sowers adding finishing touches

 
ANOTHER "BEST WALL" PAINTING SOLD!
PRIDE 24x24 oil on linen by Elizabeth Titmus
Also found a new wall and is the "Pride" of a new caretaker.
 
Art has a life of its own.... our job as artists is to make it and its for others to protect it for future generations to admire. If we do our job well, good art work will always have a wall to hang on.

The March team has been busy so we have a whole new crop of "Best Wall" paintings to hang in our next post! 

Congratulations to the February team!!
WOW! WHAT A TEAM!!

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.