In my last blog I told you how much I value the demonstrations given in Anne Blair Brown's video. In the interim I have been putting into practice the lessons she presented.
I set up a watercolor paper journal with 4"X4" thumbnail squares drawn to follow Brown's process:
1. Gesture drawing of the subject
2. Notan of only two values
3. Value drawing with 3-4 values.
4. A color note painting using gouache ( Brown is an oil painter).
This helps determine the colors from a double primary palette
that would look most pleasing.
5. Using the limited palette mix up all the colors that you think you will need for the painting. This is probably my biggest weakness.
6. Paint a small version of the painting that you wish to do. After all these steps Brown says an artist will know the subject better. The prep work will enhance the design, colors and values of the paintings. She states that taking the time to do the preliminary work will greatly reduce problems in the final product.
I always wanted to just dive in and hope for the best. The greater percentage of the time I do not like the paintings that I produce so maybe I need to step back, slow down and really learn my trade.
A Painter's Journey makes me feel that I can really become the painter I want to be if I put in the hours of painting.
The creative hope of being able to put on canvas that which is in my mind's eye is an energizing feeling.
Examples of 4 value mini paintings.
I am enamored with the Anne Blair Brown’s video; “A Painter’s Journey”. This is the painter I want to be when I grow up so I’d better get cracking.
The best thing is that I am identifying the things I am doing wrong. These things have been pointed out in other artist’s videos but I guess I am now inspired enough to make changes out of my comfort zone.
*To my surprise she does not put a background color on the white canvas to begin with. She uses a large brush with yellow ochre to paint in the large shapes and that serves as her background color.
*Spend more time preparing the design by making a simple value study or notan of the subject.
*Only bring the focal point into detail and let the rest be more ambiguous.
Three plus hours of Brown’s quiet understated demonstrating and teaching. Even her voice soothes me.
Anne Blair Brown
It all started in April when a dear friend gave me a birthday gift to put toward purchasing supplies for painting. I treasure my DVD collection of artist instructional videos so I immediately went on a search for contemporary impressionistic art teachers. I came up with two candidates; Peggi Kroll-Roberts and Anne Blair Brown.
Step 1: The art teacher search was done.
Step 2: Power up Amazon prime and off I go. Well not so fast smarty pants! I came face to face with this information just prior to pushing the order button.
"A Painter's Journey is available through Vimeo On Demand. Through Vimeo you
can watch the video series on any of your devices through the Vimeo app or simply
them to your computer."
The underlined words are things that I know nothing about.
With the higher cost of Brown's series I was not about to do my usual just push more buttons and see what happens. Then I read; money is non refundable!! I didn't want to download this cyber thing and not be able to store it so I can watch it over and over. Where is it stored?
This isn't going to be easy, is it?
Step 3: I spent hours over many days on U-Tube researching every angle that I could think of. It was very frustrating but I learned a new little fact with each on line video. I always ask friends and even my hair dresser about my conundrum. The hair dresser said I only needed a Streaming Stick and not the whole Apple TV equipment and one needs a smart TV to make this work.
Step 4: Luck was on my side when the very very old TV finally died so off we go to Best Buy to purchase a new smart TV. Done.
Step 5: Another trip back to Best Buy for a Roku Streaming Stick. The salesman said it is very easy to put in and use. Big smile and a thank you very much.
Step 6: I need to open a free Vimeo and Roku account on my computer. I handled that like a pro.
Step 7: I now must program my smart TV to my Wifi so they can communicate. That did not work until my husband and I got the Roku purchased and plugged in. The remote would not work so after a few words and time he discover that the batteries to the remote were not put in correctly. All of this is so frustrating but at last the smart TV is talking to my Wifi!
Step 8: I dash back to Amazon Prime to order a test run art video. I chose Limited Strokes by Peggi Kroll Roberts but nothing shows up on the TV, did I just throw money into cyber space? I now have three remotes and I do not know when to use what.
Step 9: No one told me that Roku has to talk to Vimeo so while I just happen to be pushing buttons I saw the logo for Vimeo and pushed it. Voila, the TV gives me a code so I rush back to my computer in another room to punch the code into my new Vimeo account. All was functioning.
Step 10: See the big smile on my face? I learned how to stream videos from my Mac to my TV so I can watch them from the comfort on the couch which I then used to "rest my eyes" after all of this learning curve.
Step 11: As a by product I learned how to use On Demand that has been on the smart TV the whole time. I can go back and watch the missed shows of Genius-Picasso that I missed.
Step 12: Let me revel in my glory!!
Anne Blair Brown
By now you know that I have a passion for painting. I dream art, talk art with friends, paint almost every day and I frustratedly pull my hair out for the darn painting. Well I need reinforcement in the form of a new instructor input via artist's videos. DVD's always refill my creative well.
This birthday a dear friend gave me a gift to put toward some art supplies maybe Rosemary brushes but I chose to buy videos from artists that I want to emulate. First I have to define what I am....decision made, I am a HIGH KEY EXPRESSIONISTIC COLORIST, no wait I am a CONTEMPORARY IMPRESSIONIST. Both of these titles sort of summarize my creative style.
Next I was on a search for an artist with whom I can relate. Fortunately I have kept a running list of artists that I admire; Mary Gilkerson, Angus Wilson, Carol Marine, Lisa Daria, Claire Harrigan, Polly Hammitt, Carla O'Connor, etc. Top of my list is Anne O'Brien Gonzales, Peggi Kroll Roberts and ANNE BLAIR BROWN.
Her style is all that I want to be and more so I found her on line with the intention of purchasing her video. It seems the sales platform she used is Vimeo and I have no clue what I am getting into. Add to that, I want to watch the video on my Samsung smart TV which involves connecting to the wifi and streaming from my I Mac to the TV!
I have been U Tubing my heart out but still no bells of understanding are going off. Guess I am afraid of screwing up the TV, my computer and the video so off to search for a young person to show me how it is done. What fun??
I have many 6"x 6" canvas's that need a new life so I have been repurposing them as mixed media paintings. My inspiration of a colorist/ expressionistic style comes from Anne O'Brien Gonzales.
Everyone has a bucket list and one of my "to do's" is to see the southwest of our beautiful country and to take a workshop from one of my favorite artists; Anne O'Brien Gonzales. I have her books and DVD's which I rewatch when I am feeling artistically running on empty. I will pop in one of her DVD's and off I go again.
This story get even better. I found out about one of Anne's workshops: EXPERIENCE O'KEEFE COUNTRY. Holly cow, my favorite artist giving a workshop at my bucket list location! It took a lot of thought but I finally did it; I registered for the class, booked a room and booked a flight. I'm sure I will have stories to share about my adventure.
. SINGING RUSSIAN PEASANT GIRL
After my adventure with painting on coconuts I advanced to gourds. As luck would have it, my husband found 6 huge dried gourds at a local flea market; “Oh, Mary would like these!”, and so my short lived career in gourd painting began. Much to my surprise all of these over size gourds sold at different art shows that I entered but I did not want to be known as the "gourd lady" so I stopped after my gourd supply ran out. This is a small gourd and the only one that I saved for myself.Mary Ellen
A CLUTTER OF CHAIRS
Lately I have been immersed in figure painting using acrylics. It has been a wonderful run of artistic creativity but I find that I am tapped out and when that happens I need to change media, change subject matter or go to my non-objective abstracts with some mixed media work thrown in.
For me it is like washing the dishes, getting the laundry done or straighten up the house; in other words, just plain get reorganized. Some times a sewing project works to clear my mind but top on my list to re-prime my creative well is to reorganize my studio.
I'm always telling my husband let's get rid of stuff that we don't use so I took my own advice with the removal of my long time old friend drafting table that weighs a ton to be donated to Goodwill. It is hard to part with something that has been with you for so many years but I analyzed how much I was really using it and found out it was only a flat surface to clutter up. Decision made.
Back to my original premise; Lay off of acrylic paints for a while and drag out the watercolor paints until I paint a masterpiece or get inspired to go back to my acrylic media. I will keep you updated on my therapeutic process.
I want to tell you a story, let me set the scene:
Cup of tea in a Fiesta mug, a cookie in hand on a balmy 76 degree sunny day in Florida. It looked like perfection until one digs deeper into the state of things; the leading lady feels like poo and such a week she had! An Oy Vey type of week.
Two weeks ago she was hit in the rear end of her van by a lady rushing to get into her vacated parking spot at the gym. That ended very well with everyone being very kind to the older woman who was having an "old lady moment". OK, she was a bit rattled but in that moment she realized that she was the old lady!
Leading Lady and hubby get through having the van repaired and working with a loaner car that feels very strange with no key just a fob that you don’t dare lose, she doesn’t like change to her daily routine.
The next day her husband wakes up one morning saying he needs to go to the Dr. that day. OK she agrees, he makes the appt.& heads out to his van only to find the battery is dead. OK, take my car and I will get road service to fix the battery. You never know what a day will bring and on with the Oy Vey story. Several Rx later the husband is feeling better but the leading lady is going down hill fast. Both sound like barking seals but the dog is quiet.
The dear lady had to cancel yoga, open studio and an art demo on Sat. and two Cultural Council meeting. The newly diagnosed asthma kicks in but this time she has meds to stop the crud from killing her. Dear Lord may next week be better.
Oh, I am not done.
The dear husband takes off to do volunteer work and an errand. The sickly leading lady gets a call that his left front tire caught fire and he is being towed, could she meet him at our car repair guy.( he pulled into a home and used the garden hose to put out the fire.) OK, she drags her body out to save the day.
Yesterday she gets an email from her daughter that brother- in- law Jeff’s dog drown in their swimming pool.
The lady decides to stay home for fear of lightning will see her out and turn her into an electrified fulgurite.
Permit me some drama.
Both cars are repaired and both characters in the story are on the mend but the leading lady just found out today that she needs a root canal.
Mary Ellen Koser