Saturday, May 30, 2009

Another "Baby Step" Forward

Today I hung some artwork at the Cathedral Square Gallery. This is an artists' cooperative gallery located downtown on what's known as Lower Dauphin Street (LODA for short). My artist friend Mary Rodning is a member and has been encouraging me to join for sometime now. I was hesitant to try until I had time to accumulate some artwork. I finally put my application in last week and learned on Thursday that my artwork had been accepted. I decided to start with a smaller space and maybe graduate to a bigger space once I get my feet wet. However, I learned that much of my work is such a size that it fills up the smaller space quite quickly - I could only comfortably fit 5 pieces on the wall (4 ft wide by 8 ft tall). No room for the cows! But this will allow me to take time to create new work and be ready for another rotation of artwork in a few months time. I think participating in the gallery will be a good opportunity for me to learn about the business end of art. The CSG group also has alot of fun during the LODA artwalks every second Friday, and other community art events or fund-raisers throughout the year.

Here is a photo taken after I filled up my artspace. I still need to add my name plate and a few things, but this is basically it for my first setup.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Figure Group, Joe Jefferson, and Plein Air - and New Grandbaby!

Several things to report as happenings over the past few days. Last Wednesday was plein air painting at Five Rivers and then later that day we had Jay-Jay as our model again at Figure Group. He is new to modeling but does a fantastic job. Here are a couple of my watercolor sketches from Wednesday night.

Thursday I gave my friend Kathy Friedline my Old Baldwin County Barn watercolor to place in the Joe Jefferson Theatre lobby for these two weekends while they are running the play "Company". Kathy does a great job finding venues for local artists to show their work, and this is just one of them.

Saturday morning we learned we have a new grandbaby - a beautiful, robust, little boy - making Grandbaby No. 3 (no name yet!). He was born at home in Lake City, Colorado. Can't wait to see him in person, but 'til then we are savoring the photos. I think he looks like his grandaddy Burkett.

Sunday we had our May meeting of the Mobile Art Association with a nice presentation by Ernest Kirkland and Bill Morris regarding using Photoshop (or similar programs) to assist in composing a painting. Also got a preview look at the Shared Expressions show at the Mobile Museum of Art. This is a combined show of all the local arts organizations (MAA, Mobile Watercolor and Graphics Society, Camera South, Azalea Quilt Society, Sumi-e, Etc....). The opening reception is this Thursday evening, 7-9 p.m. You should really try to check it out! The show will hang all summer until September.
Today (Monday) we held our plein air painting group at the Stewartfield Avenue of the Oaks on the Spring Hill College campus. I tried my oils this time. Here is the result. I will need to work a little bit more on some darker values, but am satisfied with the composition and the house for the most part. I painted beside Joan Whitespunner Dixon today - we were both struggling to get the colors and shadows and the green resurrection ferns on the trees - I think she finally figured it all out - I'm still struggling a little here.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

VSA Partner

Last week my artist friend Carolyn Greene invited me to participate in the VSA Partners program this year. Yesterday I showed up at the Fred Delchamps (M.A.R.C. ) center (Carolyn is the art teacher at the center) to paint with a Very Special Artist partner - his name is Terry. I showed Terry several photos of cows and completed paintings of cows to pick from as references for a cow painting we could complete together. He immediately fixed on the cow angel painting I did for the Divine Bovine show, so that was the subject for our painting. Here is a photo of Terry and me with the completed painting. He was so proud that he called in about a dozen folks from the center's hallways to see his painting before I left - Carolyn said he called in another 10 or so after I left. It was really gratifying to help with this project and see someone so excited about what he had done and so proud of his accomplishment. I'm glad Carolyn gave me this opportunity. The VSA Partners auction of the completed artwork is scheduled to be held at the Easter Shore Art Center in Fairhope around June 25th.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Artists in Communities South at TASTE

Last week I received a reminder from my friend Mary Elizabeth Kimbrough that the Artists in Communities South group was sponsoring an exhibit at the hip wine bar TASTE on Old Shell Road. This exhibit was also to sponsor music and poetry by local artists. The exhibit focused on women artists in the local area. I turned in my artwork (Nova Scotia Cow No. 1 -Maggie) on Friday afternoon. This was the closest to bar-art I could come up with. The exhibit was from 5:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. on Saturday night, and artwork was judged by Chris Davis of Southern Living Magazine and Nancy Raia of Eastern Shore Art Center. I arrived around 8:30 p.m. and met up with artist friends Jami Buck, Mary Beth Culp and Ainsley McNeely. I learned that the ceremonies were completed around 6:30 p.m. and most everyone else had already gone home. But was pleasantly surprised to learn that I had won the first place award! Jami had received an honorable mention! I enjoyed a glass of white wine. Then we all took our paintings off the wall and went home. Interesting concept for a party!? Here is a photo of my prize: candy shaped and painted (realistically) to look like makeup and other girly things. Obviously a work of art itself!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Plein Air and Figure Group and Other Goings On

Yesterday was Wednesday - our Plein Air Group met in the morning at the Five Rivers Center on Mobile Causeway; and we had Figure Group in the evening at Space 301.
Ainsley McNeely is helping get our plein air group better organized with a new Plein Air South group website on Check it out. Those joining us yesterday were: Missy Patrick, Jami Buck, Lydia Host and Ainsley. We enjoyed our session in the shady wooded area along the nature trails. This was a different challenge, due to the dim light and filtered shadows. I attempted a grand live oak tree. I tried this in oil, which I'm still trying to figure out how to use. This will require some touching up before it is finished, but this is what I captured in the field. I hope to be able to add lots of colors in the shadows.

Also attached are some recent watercolors from figure group. I'm trying to add more colors for the fleshtones and shadows. Base color is still quinaquidone gold, my favorite watercolor tone to sketch with. We have two more sessions this term.

Also, on Monday I turned in my latest cow portrait (Baldwin County Cow No. 2) into the Mobile Art Association portion of the Shared Expressions exhibit, which will show at the Mobile Museum of Art from May 15 until September. I think this time my painting made it into the show. I did not get a photo of the finished painting (finished just in the nick of time for turn in!). But here is reference photo and the preliminary sketch/underpainting on the canvas. I liked the aqua background against the amber colors of the cow. I thought this was a really pretty cow with her spotted face. This is acrylic on canvas, 30 in. x 40 in. I'll try to get a photo of the finished painting soon.