In the spirit of the exciting events launching this week, I'd like to introduce my Patreon site!
Imagine your favorite artists making a living doing what they do best… because of you! Patreon is a platform that allows creative people, like me, to build a community and share their skills while getting paid.
I have always loved sharing what I do - having blogged about it for over a decade now! This platform means I can share video tutorials and behind the scenes access to my subscribers. Other "rewards" include live broadcasts of painting demos, Q&A, downloads, tips and tricks, coffee house chats, and a chance to own a small work or more - for a monthly subscription. Your support, like the patrons of old, helps me thrive artistically as well as practically!
I hesitate to show this one. The one on the left is my work on day 1. The light was gone and we had a TONAL scene to paint. I hate tonal. But I have to say, I understand it a lot better now. Quang's gorgeous painting - done earlier in the day - was tonal really. There are some spots of light but for the most part, the model and setting are in shade. This is what tonal can be. Still full of color.
I think I always assumed "tonal" meant grey or brown, without color. But Van Gogh was a tonal painter. He ultimately didn't care about depth or modeling. He placed tones against one another - in beautiful color. Another tonalist (and another of my favs) - Degas.
So this is a scene I will try again with color. Maybe then I can do more than paint just light and shadow.
Just before Christmas I had a surprise invite from Quang Ho to attend a workshop he threw together for January in Pasadena. It was an opportunity I could not pass up. I'd been wanting to work with him for years but he isn't teaching much anymore. Though his videos are an excellent resource as well, and having watched them, I was somewhat prepared for his style and methods. Quang is so well-read and thoughtful. He truly is a master artist. He can put a painting together so poetically. And he can explain how and why.
Making it work for myself though... that will take many more years. ;-)
I've put together some photos from my trip below. I got in on Thursday with time to explore the area and I have to say, I am proud of myself for navigating over to the coast and back through Hollywood and Beverly Hills to make it to the observatory for sunset. I'll show you my work during the workshop in the coming days.
A little backstory: Before I moved to Texas in 1995, I lived in South Carolina - in the Piedmont or Upstate. My parents lived there too and while I was in college still, they lived outside Charleston for awhile so technically, I did too. We moved around a lot and most of my young life was spent in the mid south - Tennessee, Virginia, and SC. My sister is older and stayed in Ohio when we left the area in high school. My folks continued to move after I moved to Austin and they moved to Georgia and then Florida. So our connections to the south eastern coast are real. We've all had an affinity for the area and the beach. So this is a really wonderful thing for our family and I can't wait to deepen our connection to the Palmetto State!
Remember, we are hosting a "wet paintings" exhibit this weekend at our satellite studio - "Coast to Coast" - featuring paintings done on both the Texas coast by V... Vaughan and the east coast by me! If you are local, please come say hi. We will will painting, talking, demonstrating everything from painting to mounting paintings on paper, and be available for any questions you might have! August 11-13 daily from 10 am - 6 pm. 11301 Lakeline Blvd. Ste. 110.
I worked on this painting several times. After the first pass, it was nearer the image on the right, but I felt that the shadow side was not dark enough so I did a glaze over the left side buildings. Then it all seemed too magenta and green - and both colors were on the acidic side. The people all seemed too separate, too contrived.
I had seen a painting by Jim Beckner (or was it Kevin Weckbach? - both exceptionally talented artists) and it had stuck with me. My piece was just so average, so segmented, and the colors were way off. So I loaded my brush with lots of blues and scrubbed out the figures and the side - connecting them through the shadows. I pulled my brush through various cools on my palette and scrubbed those over the blues. I painted over the tree and connected those colors and I painted OUTSIDE THE LINES! A dab here, a stroke there. I had fun! So much fun. That was an eye opening experience and it made me want to revisit more work and get more loose and playful.
I'm always saying I want to loosen up - yet I fail so often. I get stuck in that rendering mode. Its the graphic design background - the design and color blocks and neatness carrying over. I need to break those barriers more often.
We had a wonderful time traveling in the UK earlier this summer. We were in London and took a train to Edinburgh and then back to Winchester. It was a lot to try to see in 10 days! The weeks leading up to our trip were incredibly busy too as we finished middle school and dance and had recital and I planned our trip. The pace is much slower now especially as we are hitting some of the hottest days now. I've been back at the easel painting some city scenes from abroad and am planning a painting trip with V....Vaughan to paint at the Texas coast. I'll be back to sharing some art work here soon - but for now, enjoy some photos from our trip!
A Painter's Journal
Chasing the light. Capturing life. Rendering it in paint.
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