Monday, October 27, 2014

A Paint-out on the Florida Panhandle

Happy artists with the day's work done, awaiting the judge's decision
Did you miss yesterday's 4th Annual Bagdad and Milton Plein Air Paint-out? We had a fantastic time. Each year this event has become bigger and better. This year it was extended to a full days paint and each participant was allowed to submit two paintings for exhibition. Also new this year, the artists could choose sites anywhere within a two town area.

75 degrees and sunny, the weather couldn't have been more perfect! 25 artists gathered at 8 in the morning to begin a day of painting. Coffee and breakfast pastries were waiting as we arrived. After getting our panels stamped, we were given a map of possible sites, a bag lunch and instructions to have our paintings back and framed by 3:30.

The Dragonfly Gallery in Milton was our center of operations for the paint out which was sponsored by the gallery and the Santa Rosa Arts and Culture Foundation. While the show was being hung, the artists and visitors were treated to very excellent music and a delicious catered lunch.

relaxing while the show was being hung

grateful to be honored with Second Place award!

Awards time brought a surprise for me. I received second place for my painting Shoreline Curve! Other winners were Christian Hemme- Best of Show, Fred Meyers- First Place, Esther Ballentine- Third Place and Jill Berry- Judges Choice.

artists and visitors enjoying the exhibit

So, what made this paint out so enjoyable?
- The sponsors went above and beyond to provide for the artist's comfort and enjoyment.
- The decision to not make the event invitational was very deliberate. The organizers
 wanted to encourage participation and create a day of fun and camaraderie.
- Everyone who participated had the chance to see their work exhibited and to gain new patrons. Though the paint- out was only one day long, the paintings will hang at the Dragonfly Gallery for more than a month.
- Plans are already underway to continue to grow and improve next year's paint-out, including the possibility of extending it to a two day event. 

My other entry-Banks of the Brook-©Theresa Grillo Laird- 9x12 oil
Do you want to join us next year? Watch for our 2015 listing in the plein air paint-outs  guide coming out in December's Plein Air Magazine.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Dream to Reality

Padres Garden - 12x16 oil on canvas panel- ©TheresaGrilloLaird
$425 - Click here to purchase

When I was a little girl of seven and already knew what I wanted to do with my life, my mother gave me a Walter Foster art instruction book. I couldn't read well enough to follow the directions but I poured over the pictures. I spent a lot of time staring into a painting of a desert scene with cactus. The colors were bright but pale and a sharp edged brilliant light washed over the whole scene. But the picture in the booklet that always stopped me in my tracks was a painting of a mission building. My eyes wandered down a long corridor with arched openings. Flowers and a garden under a blue sky could be seen through the archways. Everything was bathed in warm colors and sunshine. I dreamed of walking the length of that shaded corridor with it's pots of flowers.

After so many years of dreaming, I finally made it to California four years ago. Chance landed me on the central coast. One day, my explorations brought me over the Santa Lucia Mountains and into a valley. The valley is called Valley of the Oaks and it had been chosen by the Padres as the site of the third mission in the path of missions that are such an integral part of California's history. 

As I learned more about the mission, I also learned that it's in very real danger of being closed to the public unless enough funds can be raised to do an extensive earthquake retro-fit of the structure.

The above painting, Padres Garden, is the third painting I've completed of San Antonio de Padua Mission and I'm offering giclee prints of it. Go to my print site to view the category Help Save this Mission. 25% of the purchase price of any mission print will be donated to the restoration efforts. Click here to read about the mission, and here to go to my print store.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Can A Brush Make a Difference?

One of the things I really enjoy about painting is the interaction with the community of fellow artists, and the internet has made this community bigger and more widespread than ever. Recently of of my online artist friends that I haven't yet had the pleasure of meeting in person, recommended Rosemary and Co. brushes to me.

I've heard a lot about these brushes lately. You can hardly open an art magazine without seeing an ad or a story with an artist endorsing them. I never thought a brush could make much of a difference in the results of a painting even though some of them do feel better to work with. My favorite had been Raphael brushes, but somewhere down the line they made some changes I didn't like. The handles became a half inch shorter and the points of the rounds seemed to have been snipped off.

The reviews of Rosemary brushes were so glowing, especially for the "Ivory" series, that I decided to give them a try. I purchased mostly "Ivory" series with one "Chunking Bristle" and one "Master", and road tested them this past week.

Ivory are synthetic brushes with incredible snap and balance.  Usually I don't like synthetics. They split apart with the first dip into thinner. These brushes are different. They hold their point beautifully. They hold a lot of paint and dispense the paint in a more even stroke than the bristle brushes I'm used to. The rigger brush pulls a beautiful stroke without having to twist it. All the brushes are also incredibly light.
 did observe that the Ivories have just as much tendency as any synthetic to bend out of shape, when a couple of them got jammed against the end of my French Easel box. Running them under the very hot tap water I have in my house fixed the problem even though the bend was severe. I also noticed that they're easier to clean when you get all the paint out of them with thinner before washing them in brush soap. With my bristle brushes, I can get away with halfway cleaning them in thinner before washing them.

All in all I'm very pleased with them, which is something I'd never thought I'd say about a synthetic brush. This week I'll try out the bristle one, but I already know I've found my new brush source. Whether or not they make me a better artist remains to be seen.

Monday, October 6, 2014

How I Find Inspiration

the view 10 minutes from my doorstep

One look at where I live and you can see it isn't hard to find inspiration. I'm lucky enough to live in a paradise that most people only experience as a vacation. But when things start to get too routine, I draw on my other resources to renew my vision.

Books, artist interviews and marketing shows never fail to give me fresh focus. Usually the books I read are art books with big reproductions of paintings. I turn these photos in different directions to see how the paint was put down. Turning the picture sideways or upside down allows me to see the strokes, colors and arrangement of shapes without being hampered by recognizing the image on the canvas. Black and white photos are great for studying the value structure of a painting.
Lately, rather than the usual art book, I've been reading Tywla Tharp's book The Creative Habit . It's about adopting practices and thought patterns that allow creativity to flourish. 
Alyson Stanfield's book I'd Rather Be in the Studio, is another resource that could probably be considered the artists marketing bible. Her Art Biz Blog is also a rich source of material.

I really enjoy a good interview with an artist who knows their craft. Two resources I use are Linda Fisler's Art Chats and Leslie Saeta's Artists Helping Artists on Blog Talk Radio. Linda's show doesn't air very often,but she gets top notch artists on her program. Leslie's weekly show features an artist, or focuses marketing information or studio tips. Leslie is an excellent interviewer leaving her gust lots of breathing room to express their ideas. Both programs are good. If I can gain one bit of information I didn't know before that will help my work, I fell like my time was well spent.

Just off the easel this week is a 12x16 oil called Padres Garden. Contact me here for more information about it.

Padre's Garden - © Theresa Grillo Laird - 12x16 oil - $425  

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...