Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Plein air at 'A Novel Experience'

Eleanor Stecker...one of my paint buddies
Dear Friends,

     The artists whose work graces our walls for May are assembling on the Courthouse Square lawn tomorrow, Wednesday, May 18th in the morning. Brrrrrr! We hope the weather will cooperate so we can watch the creative process happen in downtown Zebulon! 

     The Fall Line Painters have a wonderful joie de vivre that carries them to many on-site "Paint Outs" across the state. We welcome them to a mini-paint-out sans the prizes, jurors, and massive crowds (maybe next year). Come and see! They will set up on the lawn and will be in residence for the morning.  

     This is also the same day as our Brown Bag Book Group meeting at noon--we are reading "The Kitchen House"--consider stopping by with your lunch and getting in on the discussion. Our group is open to all and welcomes new members--besides this month's title, we are going to choose titles for the next six months.  

     The Pimento Fest is this Saturday--it's a small town celebration, laid-back, great fair food, crafts and local talent. Join us 10 - 3. Store specials for the day! 
 All of us at A Novel Experience 

...and now for the results
The Fall Line Plein Air Painters: Peter Potter, Bambi Rogers, Pat Burns & Eleanor Dixon Stecker 
Four of us were able to paint that morning, zeroing in on different views of the courthouse on the square... a great day with great friends!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Playing Dress-Up

"Playing Dress-Up"            18x24 acrylic on canvas
I am happy to give kudos and thanks to Bobby Jackson for allowing me to use his photograph of these precious little girls as reference for this painting.  I took a few WIP shots and will include them below after a close up of their delightfully expressive faces.
Those faces!

I started this painting with a canvas toned fairly heavily in M.Graham's transparent anthraquinone red, which is a brighter, more magenta color than the alizarin crimson that I sometimes use.  This peeks through all over the painting to help unify it.  Then I drew in the main shapes and shadows with thin alizarin and indanthrene blue by Winsor-Newton, also transparent colors.  I scumbled in some of the lighter areas to get a feel for the value ranges. I rarely use black... none in this painting.

Here I've added just enough patterning to the dresses to get the feel of the material without getting bogged down in details.  While their attire is important to the storyline, I don't want excess detail to distract from their faces and attitude.  I painted in the taller girl's hand over the shoulder, then decided to remove it for a cleaner composition.  That toned canvas glows through transparent layers in the shadows and skin tones... something that doesn't show up well in photos.


 Working on the second face now. The mouth on the little girl in shadow needs relaxing a bit and the eyes need detailing. I see some adjustments I need to make in the slant of the shoulders under the shawl... can you see the correction marks I've made with chalk?  This will also affect the attitude of the hand slightly. A tricky thing to add is the lettering on the Bible... very important to the painting but it can't be too bright... it needs to look aged.  I let it rest for a while so that I can see it with new eyes before making final adjustments.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Indian Springs Paint Out Upcoming!

Decisions...decisions...what to paint?  There are so many interesting images in this state park that it's really hard to decide.  Generations Gallery has put up some great prize money to encourage painters to give it their best shot!  I really look forward to seeing fellow artists that I haven't seen since this event last year.  I sold all three of my efforts off of my easel and had nothing to put in the competition but the smile on my face.  Any day like that is certainly worth a repeat!  Enlarge the poster for all the details or click on the gallery's link to get even more info.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Upcoming Writers Conference at Indian Springs

Just want you guys to know about the WRITERS CONFERENCE May 20-21st   It is the 4th Annual conference - back by popular demand.   WRITERS  AND POETS - great chance to meet published authors, learn how to get published, even an editor will talk about polishing your manuscript. It is two days of fun; cottages in The Village are available; and if you can't come both days, we have an "open to the public" OPEN MIC Event Friday evening - under the stars at the antebellum mansion. RSVP, but no admission. Georgia Poetry Society will host and everyone is invited to read their work. Or just listen. Call 770-227-4002 to register for conference or RSVP for Friday evening's event. Meet most of the speakers that evening - Haywood Smith, two time NY Times best seller list, will be there......
Anne Jones is a personal friend of mine and has a new book, "Tides of Fear", that she will be happy to sign for you.  It's a can't-put-down murder mystery set on St. Simons Island.


Commission 12" x 12" acrylic on canvas
My nieces grew up with this handsome young man and his mother is a good friend of my sister, Pam. She wanted to give him something special for his wedding.  What a vibrant couple they make!