Saturday, September 30, 2006
oil on panel
Color Wheel- Is a tool for organizing color. The wheel shows color relationships. The wheel consists of three primaries, which cannot be mixed from other colors, three secondaries, whcih are combinations of two primaries, and six tertiaries, mixtures of a primary with a neighboring secondary.
Hue- Is the color which is right out of the tube in it's purest form. It is the "Color" of a color if you will.
Local Color- Is the color of a given object that you actually see. A cherry is red. That is it's local color.
Value- Is how light or dark a color is.
Intensity- Is how pure,full or brilliant a color is.
Temperature- Is how warm or cool a color is. Generally reds, yellows, oranges are warm, while blues , greens and violets are cool, but even within those colors there are warmer or cooler hues.
Friday, September 29, 2006
oil on canvas
I do a lot of traveling, which is great for me because I am able to paint in many new places I normally would not see.
Yesterday I had an opening for my two woman show in Georgia at a hospital. This hospital is so wonderful because they do exhibits for artists every 8 weeks year round.
There were several hundred people at the opening and it was packed wall to wall. Of course, most all of these people were strangers to me. That can be a bit overwhelming.
When you have an opening or attend an opening with few people you know, go from person to person and introduce yourself. I know that seems hard but 95% of the people there will respond positively and you will be able to engage them in conversation about your art.
I always carry business cards in my hand, so I can hand them to people who seem genuinely interested in my work. I ask them for a card in exchange for my file.
I always eat very early, before most people come to the reception, so that I wont be caught with a mouth full of food if someone approaches me in the crowd.
I always have promotional materials and a small portfolio in my car to show people should they wish to have more information.
I always stand near my paintings so that when people come to investigate, I will be able to engage them in conversation about the work.
I like to dress in business casual clothing so that I look neat and feel comfortable.
Most importantly, I never stand around looking bored!!!
Thursday, September 28, 2006
oil on canvas
Revising Your Paintings
Sometimes it is necessary to fool around with a painting for awhile to make it work. I have gone through three revisions on this painting over a period of several weeks. There were things I really loved about it and things that just weren't working.
I believe I have it right for my own satisfaction now. Yes, there are broken rules of composition in it, but I am satisfied with it none the less.
Don't be afraid to change a finished painting if it doesn't satisfy you.
There was a time when I bought into the alla prima religion that so many painters are worshiping these days. I thought that once it was done, that was it. There was no going back to it to correct or enhance the work Somehow, there was a magic purity to alla prima paintings. I have over the years come to realize that doing a painting in one session doesn't necessarily make it great!!
I like to leave my paintings hanging up for a week or two before I decide whether they need further attention. They often can be improved after a resting stage.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
acrylic on panel
Creating texture can be fun in more than one medium.
In oils, try scumbling, rotating brush strokes in different directions, impasto, painting knife work, dry brushing, multiple glazes, and stippling.
In watercolor you can spray,dab, lift off with crumpled wax paper, plastic, salt or other items to make interesting textures. Using multiple layers and colors with the lift off process is interesting too.
For pastellists, using different textured boards will create interesting patterns in the pastel, and using both hard and soft pastels can create tecture and linear qualities.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
oil on canvas
Drying times for oils, resins and Balsams:
Copal- 2 hours
Darmar- 1 hour
Gum Elemi- 1 hour
Mastic - 1 hour
Raw Linseed, thin coat- 3 days
Raw Linseed, thich coat- 10 days to two weeks
Poppy Oil- 5 days
Stand Oil, thin coat- 2 days
Stand Oil, thick coat- 10 days
Walnut Oil- 5 days
Canada Balsam- 1-2 houors
Venice Turpentine- 3 days
Monday, September 25, 2006
acrylic on panel
I sometimes order art supplies form the big supply houses but I also try to shop locally when it is practical.
Getting to know the local art supply store owners and managers is a very good way to promote your work and to learn about new products on the market. Go in and chat with the framing department manager, and the purchasing managers because getting to know them will spread the word about your paintings.
My local store managers give me samples of new paints and mediums and the framer will order frames in bulk that I like to use. The purchasing managers are very knowledgeable about new products. When I ask for certain brands, they will often get them for me.
I like being able to go into the store and purchase something right off the shelf when I need it. They even hang one of my paintings in the store, and encourage local painters to take my workshops. When I teach a local workshop. They give me discount coupons, small samples and promotional materials to hand out to my students, so that they too have advantages in shopping there.
I think the loyalty that they show to their customers is worthwhile, and getting a friendly hello when I come in makes my day better. Check out your local art supply store.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
oil on canvas
Deciding What is Important in Your Composition
That may sound simplistic but it really can be complicated. You may have an idea of what the area of interest is in the beginning of the painting, but it sometimes takes a route of it's own.
I like to bring the painting along together for that reason. I'm not sure where it wants to go so I try not to over-develop any area too soon.
I often see painters go from top to bottom, trying to finish it stage by stage. I think that is a mistake. I like to move around the painting, working here and there, stepping back to think and to look away for a bit, resting my mind and my eyes. It is only late in the painting process that I decide where the focus is to be.
Take your time and let the painting develop on it's own. It knows where it wants to go.
Saturday, September 23, 2006
oil on panel
Center of Interest
Here are some ways that you can lead the viewer to an area of interest or focal point in your painting.
More texture or brushwork
More intensity of color
Stronger values and contrast
More detail in that area of the painting
Use of paths leading to the subject of interest
You are trying to build a sign that says look here in the painting, so remember that the center of interest is the star of your production. Everything else in the painting has to play second or third.
It is not always necessary that there be a center of interest but when there is, Make it the star of the show.
Figures, animals and architecture almost always command attention.
Friday, September 22, 2006
acrylic on canvas
Keeping Your Promotional Materials Ready
The art business is full of opportunities if you are prepared to take them. Almost daily I am presented with the chance to promote my work to galleries, print media, curators, and potential clients.
You may say, “She is just lucky”. That is not the case. We make our own luck all of the time.
I work on my resume, my statements, and my bio often, to keep them current and up to date. I pick times to do that when I have a few extra minutes, very early in the morning or late at night before bed time.
I change my business card and update the information at least every other year. I try to make opportunities to hand them out often enough to run out once a year.
I purchased a software program for artists which makes invoices and receipts in a professional looking format, so that I can zip them off in no time.
I make 2 or three packets at a time with my statement/bio/resume/ a gallery sheet with thumbnail images of my paintings and a cover letter to introduce myself. I keep these in manilla envelopes to hand out if the opportunity presents itself.
Keep your materials current and up to date so you will not miss out on opportunities.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
acrylic on panel
Artists are often intimidated by fears of rejection. From an early age, artists are taught that art is just for fun but not to be taken seriously as an adult career. This series of paintings about studio doors adresses those difficulties we all must overcome in our career as artists.
My advice is to paint for the joy of it.
I no longer worry about whether the painting will be well received by others. I no longer worry about other painters who are better than me because there will always be painters better than me. I don't worry about rejections either. Yes, they are painful. I always give myself one day to wallow in self pity and then I put it away and move on to the next project.
Paint on, because you never know what opportunity will arise if you are ready for it.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
acrylic on gallery wrap canvas
Studying with a professional artist can jump start your career or your hobby. Finding the right teacher for you means thinking about what you want from a career coach or workshop teacher.
Think about your comfort zone and how you best learn. If you learn by watching demos and hearing lectures, watching slides and so forth, then you will need to study with someone who likes to spend most of their time lecturing and painting.
If you learn by doing, you will need a teacher who actively involves the student in the learning experience by allowing them to participate more. That means fewer demos and lectures and more painting with student exercises and problem solving on the student's part. That includes more exchange of ideas between student and teacher.
I am definitely a "student participation" teacher. I like to have total student involvement in the painting process. I like to push a student beyond the boundaries they have set for themselves. I don't do slide shows or lectures. I do short demos to illustrate my points but never do finished paintings. I want my students to be painting as much as possible. We have question and answer sessions each day on the lunch break and critiques of work at days end.
Research your workshop teacher's style before you sign up so you won't be disappointed.
Why do I want to take a workshop?
What teaching style makes me comfortable?
Do I want to be actively engaged in discussion about art and painting myself, or would I rather watch someone else paint, hear lectures and watch slides?
Do I have realistic expectations or do I expect to do perfect finished paintings right away? If you expect to do excellent paintings at a workshop you are missing the point. A workshop is a learning situation, doing things you are unfamiliar with.
Am I at the right level of painting for this workshop?
Can I go in with an open mind ready to try new techniques and approaches to painting?
Finding the right fit with an instructor is so important for the success of your workshop. Take the time to research. Check with an instructor and ask specific questions.
You should expect to receive supply lists and receipts for your deposits. You should also expect to send a non-refundable deposit for the Workshop of about 25-33% of the cost. A good teacher will invest a great deal of time in preparation for a workshop and should be compensated for that whether you drop out or not.
You should also expect good communication from instuctors to answer your questions prior to the event. if you have difficulty communicating or have bad vibes about the instructor, it may mean that they are unorganized or unwilling to put in a great deal of effort to assure a good learning experience for you. Unfortunately, there are very good painters who make poor teachers. They expect to be payed for little work except demonstrating.
Do your homework to assure an excellent experience.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
oil on canvas
Never give up!!
It is easy to become discouraged about your art and your finances as an artist. Let's face it. We are selling a product that no one really needs and few people even understand the value of.
We are also part of a society which glorifies instant gratification. We look at artists who make painting look so easy.
I'm here to tell you that painting is a life long pursuit and I really am glad that I will never reach my full potential. After painting for 30+ years, I am nowhere close to what I hope to be, but taking the journey is all the fun.
My advice is to stay the course, no matter how tough it gets. Eventually you will succeed. Be disciplined and work hard every day. If your marketing method is not working, figure out a new one and keep doing that until you find something that works.
If your work is not growing, study with someone who knows more than you. Paint, Paint, Paint and eventually you will succeed.
Monday, September 18, 2006
oil on panel
Elements of Design
While in art school, I was very lucky to have studied with an excellent design professor. Because of his tutelage I became interested in design and have studied it throughout my painting career.
I have seen in recent years that many artist know nothing about design concepts and have not been given the opportunity in art school to study design. A few years ago I started looking for good design textbooks and discovered that no one is teaching design anymore in art school, save the graphic design departments.
I am putting together a series of workshops which focus on design elements in the landscape. Composition and design are elemental to good painting and I feel it is important to study this.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
oil on canvas
Try to paint in values from the start in your painting. In other words, don't just mass in one flat value automatically. Try to think about patterns of light and dark and put them in appropriate places from the beginning. You will be able to go back into these areas and make adjustments without losing the values you have initially established.
Never be afraid to wipe out areas that simply aren't working because you have too much paint to work over. If you carefully take your rag and wipe off the offending paint surface, you can start anew in that specific area of the painting.
Friday, September 15, 2006
oil on panel
Study your subject matter
Plan your composition and placement of objects.
Develop your painting with color and value.
Work thin to thick using big brushes first and then going down to smaller brushes, saving detail for last.
Work from loose to tight. Start with broad large strokes and big color areas.
Correct and refine your major elements as you go.
Step away from your painting frequently to think and look at other things. It will rest your mind and your eyes.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
oil on panel
Paint What You Love
I always find that the places and subjects that are dear to my heart make the best paintings. I travel all over the south painting and immersing myself in the culture, food, history, and people. They are dear and precious to me.
Painting what I understand and love just makes good sense. I know it is more exotic to be an international painter or a west coast painter, but I love the South. I was born and raised here.
I believe you will paint the best work in a place that you love and understand. The next time you look at the glossy magazines and see that painters from other places are getting all the attention, think about what is really important to you. If being in magazines is important, then go to the West coast or Italy or France and paint in these high profile locations. On the other hand, if being a part of your culture and loving it's depth and history is more important to you, look at your surroundings with new eyes. You have the ability to show others your wonderful part of the world through your paintings.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
"The Big Three"
Color-Composition - Value
in your landscape paintings
We are teaming up to help you grow and explore as a landscape painter.
Linda Blondheim - Mary Jane Volkmann - Kathleen Wobie
January 27-28, 2007
9 AM-5 PM Saturday and Sunday with a nice lunch break for art talk.
Mid-Morning snack , lunch, both days and Saturday night Wine and Cheese social all included.
We will study the big three elements of painting, composition, color mixing and values.
This workshop is designed for the intermediate painter who has knowledge and experience in painting, but we will be happy to work with beginners too. The workshop is not media specific.
We will study these three important elements of good painting with a variety of exercises and approaches on Saturday. On Sunday, we will put those studies into practical application on our larger, finished paintings. Linda, Mary Jane, and Kathy will paint on Sunday as well to demonstrate relevant techniques that we learn together on Saturday. We will have thought provoking question and answer sessions at lunch time and a critique session on Sunday at the workshop's end.
This art camp will be in a beautiful location adjacent to a prairie in North Florida, near Micanopy with lots of great scenery including palms, grasses and marsh lands. There will be plenty of space and the atmosphere will be relaxed and fun without pressure. We offer a great learning experience at our art camps combined with good food and fellowship for artists.
Fee: $385.00 includes all instruction, snacks, beverages, lunch and Saturday evening social.
Deposit to hold your space: $95.00 Deposit is non- refundable. Balance of Fee will be due on January 10, 2007
Send your deposit to:
3032 NW 161 Court
Limited to 30 painters. First come first serve. You will rotate through all three of our sessions so you will work with each of us in small groups.
Class supply list will be sent on deposit.
For info: Contact Linda Blondheim firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Salt Springs Run
acrylic on panel
Aerial or Atmospheric Perspective
Atmospheric perspective is an important aspect of landscape painting because it expresses spatial depth in your painting. Think of your painting as having three major planes, foreground, middleground and background.
As objects diminish in the distance, their tones shapes and colors become more and more muted because there are minute particles of dust and other objects in the air between your eyes and the objects.
That is why a landscape painting with all hard crisp detail looks amateurish. The painter is not taking atmospheric perspective into consideration.
Monday, September 11, 2006
acrylic on mat board
Just Have Fun
To the non-artists in the world, we artists have fun all day long. They say” It must be so nice to just sit around and paint all day for fun”. I’m here to tell you that being a professional artist is about work, work ,work and a lot of pressure.
I think it is important for us to step outside of our box and have fun with paint. It is very easy to get into a rut, and to play it safe as an artist. Frankly, I know artists who could be absolutely brilliant painters, but they have found a market for their present work and are unwilling to take any risks to grow and develop.
I’ve always been a risk taker and it is underrated. I have learned most of my technique and style from risky paintings over the years.
Sometimes it is just important to take the time out of your “money making” art to have fun with paint.
I’m in a group called Visions. We are three professional painters who like to have fun with our work. We dream up projects that are not our usual subjects. We meet a couple of times a month to paint together in one of our studios and socialize. We are working on a “door” project now and I am having great fun cartooning doors.
Now get out there and find your own way to have some fun with paint!!!
Sunday, September 10, 2006
oil on panel
Get to know your subject.
I need to have an emotional connection to my subjects. I like to do some research on themes that I am painting. If possible, I like to visit the location a few times or at least look at many photos of the area or subject I will be painting.
When I am on location, I will do thumbnail sketches and small studies in the 5x7 or 6x8 sizes to really get a feel for the subject. I take those back into the studio with me along with the photos.
I usually like to do a prototype painting to warm up for the larger finished painting, working out the compositional issues in the first painting. I also like to do a small value study of the painting I will eventually do. I often scan the photo and plein air study and print them in black and white for this study.
Good painting is more than setting up your easel and putting paint to canvas. A bit of planning in advance will make a world of difference in a large major body of work.
Saturday, September 09, 2006
oil on panel
Edge Control in your paintings
A found edge gives momentum.
Hard edges block the eye from moving into adjacent spaces.
They can effectively move the viewers eyes through a painting.
Soft and lost edges allow the viewer to move freely between sections of the painting.
Varied edges create interest in the painting.
Edges can be external or internal, with external defining the outside shapes and internal defining folds or patterns in an object.
Color and pattern can be spilled over edges, connecting and relating the two forms.
Friday, September 08, 2006
acrylic on panel
Spacial relationships and intervals can be very important in landscape composition. I see so many paintings where the artist has lined up all of the major elements like soldiers or has made books ends of them.
Think about creating intervals and pathways through your composition. Small changes can improve a composition greatly. Changing tree trunk intervals, bushes and other elements can lead the viewer through the painting, giving them time to stop along the way, which is what you hope for. Overlapping elements will create depth and space. The longer the viewer is captivated by the work, the better the painting.
The next time you start a composition, think about the spaces or intervals between objects. Make adjustments early in the composition for these improvements and you will have better paintings.
Thursday, September 07, 2006
oil on canvas
I had breakfast with a painter today who had not painted seriously in 20 years. She was very uneasy and intimidated by the idea of starting to paint again.
I have a few suggestions for this problem, which seems to be fairly common.
First of all, trying to start with serious painting after a long hiatus is a mistake. What you might want to do is to learn to play again before you become too serious. If you remember at all what painting was like as a child, that is what I have in mind.
Get some cardboard pieces and old scraps of mat board or heavy paper. Use a kitchen timer and set it for 15 minutes. Get your big , medium and small brushes out and put some paint out to play with. Any medium will do fine..Load your brush and start making cool shapes. angles, and practice making strokes in all directions ,with many different shaped brushes. Essentially, you are relearning how to make strokes without intimidation. Do this for a few days and set your timer.
After a few days, start mixing colors and applying interesting mixtures to the cardboard. After a few days of paint mixing and brush application, you will b ready to make big shapes of the subject you want to paint on the canvas, using your color mixing skills and good brushwork. Meanwhile, be sure to take notes on color mixtures that you like.
You can extend your painting time in small increments by using your timer. At last, you will have the timer set to one hour each day. Try to paint around the same time each day so that you get into the habit of working.
In a couple of weeks, you will be painting like crazy again and enjoying every minute.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
I give my students an exercise which really helps them with their brushwork.
Use the surface you usually paint on, like canvas, masonite or matboard. Grid the surface into 6 or 8 sections. Use a dark colored paint and coat it fairly thickly. Then use a light colored paint to practice doing brushwork over the dark back ground.
The object of the exercise is to lay the paint on the surface without blending into the bottom layer of dark paint. You want to practice keeping color clean and not disturbing the values. This will help you to learn to keep crisp clean color and edge work in your painting process. It is especially important for alla prima work.
You can experiment with different values too while you are laying on the paint. You need to try different shapes, angles, different sized brushes, pretending to do foliage, stems, branches for trees, hard edge work like architectural shapes, etc. just as you would do on a real painting, but you are using simple shapes and colors in small spaces.
Believe me, this will really help you to learn paint manipulation and brushwork, especially when you paint alla prima with oils.
Saturday, September 02, 2006
Flowers in Glass Vase
oil on panel
Mix Early for Clean Color
When I need to work quickly, I will pre-mix three values of any hue or combination of hues that I plan to use. It saves so much time and allows me to fill in the more subtle value changes as I go along. For example, I will mix the darkest, lightest and middle value in three separate mixtures.
Having pre-mixed color is especially useful for florals because the clean rich chroma is so beautiful with flower blossoms. Save the mud for another time. Flowers cry out for color in painting.