Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Another Workshop, Arists Sessions, and a Sneak Preview

I would like to draw your attention to the right of my blog where I have made some additions to the Upcoming Classes list. There you will find a Painting from Photos Workshops, that I have added due to popular demand, and because I really see a need for it in the community. Many people are working from photos and are struggling. I derive inspiration from both photos and real life. I know some great techniques and strategies for working from photos. In these workshops you can choose your medium of either acrylic or oil paint.

I am also offering Artist Sessions. One is where artists can get the chance to work from real live models. It is hard as an artist, to pay for model time on one's own and the camaraderie from working next to other artist is invaluable.

Second I am offering an Artists Working Side by Side artist session where practicing artists can bring in something to work on and/or stuff you want feedback on from other artists. You get to see how and what other artists are working on. It is great for meeting other other artists and the conversations are always interesting. It is open to almost any medium. And, yes, that is not a miss print, the charge is $5.00 to cover the cost of the use of the space and of coffee and tea and such. I have had a few artist sessions already and they are extremely inspiring and energizing. Artists can come and go as they please but I ask that you send me an email or a call so that I know how many artists to expect.

Above is a sneak preview. I am feeling a twinge of guilt for not posting any recent paintings lately. I want people to know that I am working on something. So, here it is. A Sneak Preview. It is the long beginnings of my latest painting that is taking me many hours just to get to this point. It is quite a bit larger than most of my other still lifes. I really feel like it is taking me somewhere. All though it is time consuming it is quite rewarding as well. If some are confused on what the subject is, well I have been looking at it for so long that I almost know the image off by heart, it is a colorful beaded necklace. It really lends itself to a feeling of abstraction in it's color and unrealistic scale. It has become all about color, shape, paint, and the relationship of everything to everything. One color determines and relates to the next. The space between the beads is just as important as the beads themselves. I really recommend that others try this as well. It is a great exercise on the act of looking. I spend as much time looking and studying the beads as I do painting them. The beads are so many different colors that it is really challenging my color mixing skills. It is definitely not a monochromatic painting. I often recommend to students that are just beginning to paint, especially in oil paint, is to keep everything simple. I start them off using very small color pallets. Well, this painting is everything but simple. You would think that it being just one necklace that that would keep things simple, but it doesn't. This necklace is so complex. The drawing was very difficult to get it just the way I wanted it. The beads are all different shapes and sizes and I would be drawing what I thought was the scale I wanted and then I would end up with a tiny necklace in the bottom corner of the painting. So I took my camera and took a photo of it from my perspective that I was painting the necklace from. I made it black and white and used it as a compositional reference to get the scale of the beads and necklace to where I wanted it on the canvas. I wanted the composition of the necklace to push to the outer most edges of the canvas. It leads your eye around like a train track visiting all the little jeweled areas where magic happens, ( not the kind where little freaky elves jump out and bite on your ankles, that is not the feeling I'm going for). Like you are taking a trip across the country and you come to find in the different towns and fields, colors and shapes you never knew existed before whether it is in the landscape or in the characters you meet along the way.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I want to send a big Thank you out to everyone for attending my Winter Session Open House and Registration Weekend. It was great to have coffee with people and chat, and I even got to do some painting. The conversations were very inspiring and informative. People expressed their opinions and discussed what they need as art students and fellow artists. Our community is lacking things such as model sessions and the organized space and time for artists to get together, and that is why I am here to fill in what this community needs. I had some fantastic realizations and I am still buzzing from all the creative energy.

I have been working on the same painting for the past two weeks. It is more time consuming then I thought it would be, but the results I am getting and the amount I am learning from the process is staggering. I will post the painting as soon as I am done. Also I am starting to get together resource material to start some larger works. I can't wait!

I would also like to mention that if you feel so inclined to comment on my work, I more than encourage you to do so. You can just hit the comment link below the post. You do not need to sign in. All you do is write your comment then type in the disguised word in the box (this is to verify that you are a real person using that computer and not a computer sending junk) and hit the button. I would really appreciate it. I would love to hear what other people think of my work.

If you enjoy my blog, please enter your email into the subscriptions box and you will receive an email each time I post something on my blog. Then you will be kept up to date. Your email is not shared with anyone and you will receive only updates of my blog and nothing else.

Once again thanks.

Monday, November 17, 2008

First Model Session in New Classroom Studio!

(Untitled so far, have any ideas?)
November 12, 2008
16" x 20"
Oil on Canvas
I am not quite sure what to call this one. There is a lot going on in this painting especially in the figures facial expression and in the pose. Look at how he is holding his arms around himself. What kind of emotions does this communicate to you? I am a little torn as to what is really going on in this one. This model is new to modeling, but at the same time he is a natural at it, and his features are fantastic to paint. Especially his facial features. I will have to get him a bit seasoned but I am definitely going to use him as a regular model for myself and for my classes, when he is available.

In His Element: Man in Underwear on Couch
November 12, 2008
16" x 12"
Oil on Board
This is more of a sketch. It was done in about 30min. The brush strokes are really telling of this as they are choppy. This is neither positive or negative, it is what it is. I did it before the painting at the top of this post and I realized the importance of the background colors. These ones really didn't reflect the models character at all. It is too harsh for this model. All though he may at first meeting come across as straight forward and comments abruptly, he has something else going on underneath, an underlying softness and naivete that seems quite vulnerable.
I will be having more Open Model Sessions for artists to get a chance to work from a model (please note this is without instruction, just artists working side by side from a model, though I will be teaching model classes and workshops in the new year). The next model session will either be Monday night Dec.1st or Tuesday night Dec.2nd, I haven't finalized it yet, I will post the final date as soon as I hear back from my models. It's an incredibly fun time, artists, a model, art, and usually a snack break. If you are interested please contact me: [email protected] .

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Winter Courses 2009

Hello Everyone,

I just wanted to encourage everyone to take a look to the right side of my blog. There I have posted the classes that I will be teaching in the New Year. I do need to say that space is limited for students (especially in my figurative class held in Stony Plain) so please register ASAP. I will be teaching from my own classroom and at the Allied Arts Council. Also, I wanted to make mention that I do not post my personal information beyond my email address for obvious security reasons. So, if you are interested or have any questions please email me. I will respond promptly. If you may be interested in the open house please email me and I will send you directions to the studio/classroom.

I am also wondering if there are artist interested in attending model sessions? You would be working on your own next to other artist in front of a Live Model! It is always difficult to find models to pose, so I will provide the space, time, and find the model. The cost would be $10.00 for one 3hour session.

Hope you can attend the Open House and Registration Weekend.
-Daphne Congo

An Illustrated Life Video

I would like to share this with you. A good friend of mine sent me an email about this video she came across in her travels through the internet. Both of us have found it very inspiring and hopefully it will encourage people to continue to sketch, doodle, write, and dream in their sketchbooks. Sketchbooks are often like journals and are important to the creative mind. Also you don't have to worry about forgetting about an idea if you doodle it down. I keep a sketchbook handy at all times. I will often wake up in the middle of the night thinking I am some creative genius and have found the perfect idea, so I go and doodle it down and make notes. By doing this I can relieve myself of ideas that plague me so that I can sleep.

video taken from:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


October 30, 2008
8" x 10"
Oil on Board
In the painting class I teach on Monday nights, I set up still lifes of mandarin oranges slightly unwrapped of their paper on top of these glistening white plates that sparkled like jewelery. Then it was set on blue paper. The layers and shapes that the colors and the shadows made were very inspiring. Everyone's paintings that night really inspired me and I got together with a friend of mine and set up the same still life. I loved looking at the subject and I really like this painting. What do you think? Does it repeatedly catch your eye as it does mine?
The following week I guided the class through a positive critique that went incredibly well, thanks to everyone's participation. We focused on Why paintings work and Why we are drawn by certain paintings. I will be holding a workshop in the new year of positive critiquing and where people can bring in their work and we can talk about it positively. We will also discuss how to take criticism and how to discuss art constructively. If you are interested please check out my blog tomorrow as I will have all my upcoming courses and sessions posted.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Hello everyone,
I am wanting to post my newest painting, but my computer is temporarily out of commission. I hope to be up an blogging again by the end of this week and I will have a schedule for January posted for courses and sessions that I will be holding in my private classroom.
Oh, and thank you to Deltra for kindly letting me check on my blog and email while my computer is down and out.