Monday, May 24, 2010

Figures and Portraits

The last few days have been quieter and I am enjoying it, and perhaps getting more back to normal. Saturday morning was my downtown figure drawing group, and we had Joni for our model - and most of us just love drawing Joni - she has such interesting features. We had a good sized turn-out for the group, which was the last meeting for the spring session and a planning session for what comes next. We decided to continue the group into the summer and to rotate responsibilities of who will pose/time the model and who will line up the model each session. It is nice to see everyone want to cooperate to keep a good thing going. I'm posting some drawings from this week - one from my Wednesday night figure drawing group and two from Saturday's session.

More playing around with color with my hard pastels!

This last one is an example of having to draw what you see, not what you think it should be. Her left leg was in an interesting fore-shortened position, so hopefully I've captured what looks like a leg and knee!

Later Saturday afternoon I went downtown to the Cathedral Square Gallery for the 4th Saturday Upper Dauphin Street Art Walk. My friend Satomi asked me to join her in doing portrait sketches during the art walk. Satomi and I sat in front of the gallery to sketch and were able to get our gallery intern to pose for us, in order to entice passersby to enter the gallery. Not sure how effective we were, but we'll try this again next time and maybe recruit some other of the gallery artists to participate with us. Unfortunately I did not get a photo of our portrait sketches (I gave both of mine to the intern). But I've noticed I've been a little more effective in capturing the faces of the figures I've been drawing lately, so I've been getting a little portraiture practice in my figure drawing sessions.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Watercolor and Graphic Arts Society Spring Juried Exhibition

Last Friday, May 7th was the opening reception for the Watercolor and Graphic Arts Society of Mobile. Our Spring show is hanging at the Eastern Shore Art Center in Fairhope, and the opening reception was set during the First Friday Art Walk. This is a beautiful show which will hang until June 26th, so I hope you will have a chance to check it out. There will be a second art walk reception on June 4th. Our winning artists were:

Ann Chatel Memorial Best of Show Award: Allan Butt

Best Watercolor Media Award: Marie Nickerson

Best Graphic Arts Award: Benjamin Shamback

Bea Tucker Memorial Award: Lynda Touart

Southern Art and Framing Award: Martha Ann Rowan

Alabama Art Supply Award: Bill McCracken

Honorable Mention Awards: Judy Aronson and Frances Ashcraft

Members' Choice Award: Derald Eastman

Here's some photos taken during the reception.

Here is Allan Butt with his Best of Show watercolor.

Here are Marie Nickerson and Lynda Touart, two of our award winners.

That's me at the reception (finally able to relax)!

Judy Aronson beside her "Elephant Walk" watercolor.

Janie Brown with her beautiful watercolor. This was one of my favorites, because that is me in the painting. This watercolor was inspired by our plein air painting at Mobile Botanical Gardens a couple of weeks earlier.

Lynda Touart, Ainsley McNeely and Frances Ashcraft share their thoughts on the show.

Carolyn Greene and Denise Inge.

Satomi Kamei and Ainsley McNeely.

It was alot of work putting together this show, but I had some great help and support from the other committee members as well as the folks at the Eastern Shore Art Center. Also, I had the opportunity to meet Cathy Hegman, our juror/judge. She is a wonderful artist and did a great job judging for us. We included her comments on the winning pieces as part of the reception and awards presentations.

What I Love About the Mobile Arts Scene!

What I love about the Mobile Arts Scene is that it is so rich with so many art events going on that sometimes it is just too much to be able to cover it all!

I was too exhausted after the WGAS show reception and recovering from laryngitis that I was not able to make it see the play "Artbruted" which was shown at Space 301 over the weekend of May 8th. I regret having missed this play, but hopefully they will redo it one day and I will be able to see it then.

Wednesday evening I made it back to my Wednesday Figure Drawing Group. At the same time as our drawing session, Space 301 was having their weekly "happy hour" called Sippin' at the Space. I practiced figure drawing this time with some hard pastels, which I have never used before. They were fun, and somehow using them for color loosened my drawing up quite a bit. It's good to be able to experiment. Here are two of my pastel drawings from last week:

Then Friday May 14th was the Second Friday LODA Artwalk in downtown Mobile. I had worked all morning until 1:30 p.m. at the Mobile Botanical Gardens Marketplace, and got home and spent just about enough time for rest and a shower before getting dressed and driving down for the LODA artwalk. There were several great exhibits downtown. I especially enjoyed the Space 301 figurative exhibit titled "Intimate Interiors". This includes a husband and wife who live in Italy and do large classical oil painting of figures in both mysterious and mundane poses, and most of them look like self portraits or portraits of each other. Completing the familial exhibit are offbeat photos by and of their two sons. Very interesting presentations. Also checked out the Paper Wasp and Mobile Arts Council exhibits (especially enjoyed the Dr. Henri Rathle oil paintings of Mobile and New Orleans scenes). I finally made it down to the Cathedral Square Gallery around 7:30 p.m. It is a good thing I did, because there was a charming couple there who wanted to meet me because they were interested in buy a couple of my paintings at the gallery! We talked for a little while, and I learned that they are also fans of Mary Elizabeth Kimbrough. I sold them both my "Hitchhikers on the Dauphin Island Ferry" (see blog posting for Dec 5th, 2009) and my plein air painting "Dodd and Dodd Nursery" (see blog posting for Dec 7th, 2008). The purchaser said that he had grown up in the nursery business and the painting made him feel nostalgic. That made me think that you should always paint what touches you, rather than what you think will sell, because you never know when your artwork will also touch someone else in a special way.

Saturday was the 3rd Mobile Sketchcrawl from 10 a.m. 'til 2:00 p.m. at the Oakleigh House and museum. Kathy Friedline, Gail Bramer and I showed up for some fun sketching. Here are my two sketches. Thanks to the Mobile Arts Council for sponsoring the sketchcrawl events and posting the sketches online. This is a worldwide event, and groups all over the world meet to sketch at the same time and you can view the other sketches as well.

This is a gazebo in the side yard beside the Oakleigh mansion. I had fun trying to capture the lattice-work and the rotting fence slats, as well as the stately oak limb draping overhead.

These two lovely belles were our hosts guiding us through the house. They were so good to pose for me in front of the mantle in the master bedroom upstairs. Note the bed-warming pan by the coal-fired fireplace.

Then we had our monthly Mama Lisas meeting to paint together at Janie Brown's house for the rest of Saturday afternoon. The Mamas are scheduled to have a joint show at the Mobile Arts Council in May 2011, so we were excited about that prospect and beginning to make plans for that show. I hope we can all have some new artwork to display by then.

Sunday (yesterday) I had a Mobile Art Association meeting at the Mobile Museum of Art, but also wanted to attend my friend Lydia Host's reception for an exhibition of her artwork at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer. I was able to do both since their times overlapped a bit. Lydia's reception was lovely and the church had a statement hanging at the entry of the hallway defining their commitment to an arts ministry, which was very special. There were several other artists at the reception and the coordinator at the church lined up several of us to exhibit in their space between now and the end of the year. My friends Janie Brown and Carolyn Greene will exhibit in July; Jami Buck will exhibit in August; and Kathy Friedline and I will exhibit together in October.

To complete the busy weekend and start the new week, I drove out to the University of Mobile campus this afternoon to pick up and bring home my Anabel cow painting along with Kathy Friedline's artwork. The last day for that exhibit was last Friday.

Life is Good!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Watercolors and Grandbabies

This has been a busy past week or so. Last Saturday I turned in an acrylic painting I completed for the Mobile Art Association Spring Exhibition, which is hanging at the Mobile West Regional Library. I forgot to take a photo of this painting before I turned it in, but hope to take one at the library sometime this upcoming week. Later Saturday night I worked at Cathedral Square Gallery for Fourth Saturday artwalk, which mostly got rained out due to severe thunderstorm warnings - but we still sold a good bit of artwork to the few patrons who braved the weather. Wednesday night the grandbabies arrived for several days visit. That has been fun so far and they are here until Tuesday morning. I also have been trying to pull together last minute preps for the upcoming Watercolor and Graphic Arts Spring Exhibition (for which I'm the designated chairperson), and we spent yesterday taking in artwork for the show at the Eastern Shore Art Center. Quite hectic yesterday, but that is because we had lots of wonderful artwork submitted - which is good! The judge will arrive for jurying and judging on Tuesday and the show will hang on Wednesday - with the opening reception on Friday during the First Friday Art Walk. Here is a little watercolor I entered into this show - which I pretty much started during last month's Mama Lisa session. I'm not sure if it will make it through the jurying process, but I've wanted to paint this family for quite a while - based on a snapshot I took through the window on our train trip between Chicago and Grand Junction, Colorado. Approximately 10" x 13" image, titled: Waiting at the Depot (Somewhere in Western Illinois). I think this is pretty much a study, and I might try a larger similar painting sometime in future.