Sunday, September 27, 2009

Self Portrait and Press

Self Portrait September 2009
September 26, 2009
19" x 26 1/2"
Oil on Canvas
$350.00 CAN
Photo: Drinking coffee and reading the paper

Photo: Newspaper picture and caption


I put the finishing touches on my Self Portrait yesterday. I have mentioned before, it has been quite some time since I really got back to figurative work. In my school days I did countless self portraits because I'm a cheap model. I have noticed a significant progression in my work since then and I believe the still life painting has really enhanced my skills. I highly recommend to any artist to take a year and do at least a still life a week, it will bring them back to the basics of just seeing. Being able to truly see something and to interpret it in a comprehensive manner that communicates effectively to others, is really the goal of all paintings weather they are representational or abstract. Doing a self portrait every year helps to gage the change and progression as an artist, not only do my looks change, but how I see things change. I see light in a new way. I also see color in a new way. Gray is never just gray. It is either a blue gray or a red gray, green gray, peach gray, warm, cool, etc. Next time you go into a room and the walls are painted see if you can tell what kind of colors can make that color up, if you had a pallet in front of you how would you mix that up? (Note to my students: and no using out of the tubes, or blacks)
Last Monday I had a great workshop that went very well. I was quite nervous about the workshop because I had never taught it before. It was on the basics of oil painting and painting in general. It was an information session about things you may want to know about painting and and the oil painting medium. I covered everything like paint make up, brushes, painting surfaces, solvents and ways you can avoid them, pallets, oils, color theory, etc. It was a lecture where I encourage sidetracking with questions, really that is why people come is because they have questions to ask. I think I may have to run it again either in the new year or next fall. If you are interested please contact me daphne@cotesystems.com .
The other pictures above were in the local paper of me painting last weekend during the Alberta Arts Days. Just to clarify, because they made me look like I wasn't a very good painter, they printed in the caption that I was painting my son, when in fact I am painting my daughter (hence the pink shirt and only a slight resemblance to my son in the right hand picture).
As for my daughter and her hand, I still haven't tackled the painting. Since last weekend she has had 3 casts, and she gets another one on Wednesday. She has been keeping us on our toes and strengthening our backs. She is quite snugly and needs extra love day and night! So there hasn't been too much work on anything this week. I was just glad to get a bit of time to finish my self portrait. I told my husband that was going down stairs to do some laundry. An hour later he came down looking for me and found me in my studio painting away. The good husband that he is, he said "That's looking really good. I'll make lunch".



Sunday, September 20, 2009

Paintings Still Wet from Alberta Arts Weekend Demos

Not Finished and Still Wet.
I would like to thank all of you who participated in the Alberta Arts Weekend.
On Saturday I was painting and showing some of my work at the Shikaoi Park in Stony Plain. There I worked on the larger work of the little girl with a pear. I spent about 5hrs working on it, with short breaks in between to meet and chat with people. I really enjoyed myself.
I told myself that I wasn't going to put this in my blog, but really it truly effected my painting and maybe delayed it in being finished. Well, here's the background story for the day, and the large painting...
I have most of my large work hanging at my mother's house. She has a large house with plenty of space to hang large work. There is a painting of mine in her dinning room that has been there for a while. My mother likes change and she usually changes around her furniture configuration every year when she feels the urge. Well, the old painting has been there for a while and she was thinking about switching some paintings around to freshen things up. I told her I would take the painting because I have a space for it and I have an attachment to it. She said she wouldn't mind a new painting. I told her I didn't have any paintings on the go and would love to paint a big one from scratch, then she kindly suggested that she would like a huge pear. I took her suggestion and twisted it, because I like to bend the rules.
I had my daughter pose for me and before the Art Day in the park I mapped the composition out on the canvas so I would have a head start.
It was a beautiful day. The sun was shinning it was neither too hot nor too cold. The birds were chirping, artist were getting together and all was going smoothly. I was painting away and the painting was off to a good start when, I got a phone call. My husband phoned to say that he was on his way to the hospital with my daughter who got her hand slammed in a door. I was constantly waiting for his calls to update me. It was hard to do this painting because the figure in the painting is my daughter that I was very worried about especially the condition of her hand. That is why, whenever I got to the hands, I just couldn't do it. I was too worried about what was happening to her. She is doing ok and has a temporary cast till the swelling goes down. Now that I know she is going to be ok, I can, and look forward to, finishing this painting.
The smaller painting I worked on this afternoon at the Allied Arts Council Gallery. It is a self portrait that was fairly scary when I started but it really came around at the end. It's not finished either. There are a few minor adjustments I would like to make and some details that I feel are needed in the background. Even though these paintings are not done I wanted to have an image to go along with my post today. Reading is always more interesting when there are pictures.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Info on: Alberta Arts Days and Update on Classes

I went to take a photo of the current painting I am working on as a bit of a teaser in the hopes of sparking your interest to come and see me at the Alberta Arts Day. It is this Saturday September 19th from 10am -4pm. I will be painting and showing my work at Shikaoi Park, Stony Plain (next to the town hall). Hope you can come.
Now the photo, as you can see it is not here. My camera died right when I went to take a picture. Ugh! How convenient. Well, it is big. 5feet big. I am hoping to impress you, and I really like to paint big. I usually need a good excuse to paint this big because it is very costly.
I am slowly getting back into figurative painting. It is like my long lost friend that I didn't even realise we had lost touch. We had just grown apart. I have done so many still lifes it makes my head spin, especially when I look at them. I like still life but I am ready for other things, on and up! With still life I keep up my skills but it is people that truly intrigue me.
I have been meeting many interesting people in my work as a painter and instructor. I have had two classes that have already started that are full of wonderful characters. Teaching reminds me of why I love art. It's my passion. Yes, today I got so excited while teaching color theory! To see someone figure out complementary colors of why that one orange blob is popping out at them off a blue page. It is a fabulous thing when I can show someone how to create something that is itching inside them to get out. It is similar to teaching a child how to write their name. You've taught them a tool that they will use for the rest of their life. Well, if they care why orange pops off a blue page? Yes I realize that not everyone cares about those things, but most of the people who take art classes want to know that kind of stuff.
There is still time to register for art classes, if there are any classes that are full please email me letting me know which class you wanted to take. I will gladly create a second class at a different time to accommodate those who want to take a class that is full. Please note that I rescheduled the Drawing and Painting fundamentals class.
I am so glad it is September. Art classes, art festivities, and upcoming art shows! I can smell the paint in the air!