sebastopol center for the arts

Portraits Plus. . .

I left my pencils and paints home this week for the Portrait Party at Sebastopol Center for the Arts and brought Prismacolor felt tip pens and my pocket brush pen. So no mistakes allowed. It’s all good, because you don’t have enough time – with the one to ten minute sketch periods – to make it “right” anyway.

We take turns posing for each other, the hardest part for me since I hate to sit still. By the end I was standing and sketching and moving to the music we could hear from the Peacetime concert band playing next door at Ives Park.

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At some point we started doing whole body poses, trying to get some attitude in them and most of us switched to putting more of the body in the  drawings.

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I combined a dark liner with a shading pen to get some quick volume.

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Loved Cary’s pose, the Rosey the Riveter “attitude”. My paper was too small to get the whole figure on the page, a constant problem for me, regardless of how big the paper is! So many times the feet and the top of the head don’t make it in.

There are two more Portrait Parties scheduled – August 29 and September 26. Put it on your calendar if you would like to join us next time. We meet at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts from 5-8pm. Beginners and pros are all welcome.

Last Night’s Party

Last night’s Portrait Party at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts was as thoroughly engrossing as the others.  At times I felt like I was in the company of professional models! though it was just us chickens of the sketching sort – a fun group.

If you have been wanting to come join us you may want to put our next date on your calendar – Thursday May 23, we’ll be at it again, 5-8pm. Everyone invited, no matter your figure drawing skills or lack thereof.

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These were my 2 minute sketches, done with a wet brush and a graphite cake, which I’d hoped would be a quicker way to do the modeling. It’s a somewhat clunky medium but gets one drawing with a brush.

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At 3 minute poses I switched to pencil and watercolor, which I liked better.

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I guess we all have our visual “issues” to overcome. When I’m sitting too close to someone I’m drawing, I can’t seem to avoid sketching them larger, often so they barely fit on the page – like Catherine here!

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I got out an Inktense pencil to sketch the one on the right.

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In this 10 minute pose I got a bit more ambitious, with more of the figure.

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Last pose of the night. A very wise woman gave us a lovely peaceful pose.

I’m so tempted to go back into these and “finish” them, but I would surely lose whatever “freshness” I have achieved. It’s wonderful practice, and frankly as good as meditation for quieting the mind. We have music playing in the background, but each person is intensely in their own creative space. The resulting portraits are as different in style as the individuals we are.

See you next month, May 23rd?

Another Portrait Party!

A portrait party? You mean a figure drawing studio class? Or a party where you get your picture taken or sketched?

Well, none of the above, but all of the above. Our second Portrait Party held at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts last week attracted many new curious souls, some of whom wanted to observe, or in fact to pose and be sketched (without themselves sketching). But what we were doing was sitting in groups of six  sketchers and taking turns sketching each other (one person posing at a time). No teacher, but lots of sharing of ideas, techniques, and materials. We were fortunate to also have some accomplished artist/teachers among the crowd of enthusiasts.

We started out with one-minute sketches.

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. . .and went up to five and seven minutes so I got out the watercolor and Inktense pencils. And rescued some hats I’d brought. (A little dog had curled up on them to take a nap, bored as I’m sure he/she was to be in a group of humans where no one was paying him any attention.) We had fun posing with hats. They really help to add some (additional) character to us characters.

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No names here, because really. .  .it’s not about likeness. I have destroyed many a lovely person’s visage with my paint and pencils.

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Can you tell that this was my favorite of the evening?

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A hoody for a change.

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A last minute dark wash pencil at the end, heavy handed, but oozing enthusiasm. . .

And we’ll be holding more of these portrait parties at the Seb. Arts Center, so I hope you’ll be able to come next time. Stay tuned for the dates!

 

Portrait Party Postscript

Can getting people together to draw be a party as well? That was the idea last Thursday evening at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts when the auditorium area behind the gallery was turned into a figure studio and participants arrived in hats and scarves and some even with instruments!

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(The sketches here are my own. I have no pictures of other artists’ sketches. Next time hopefully!)

As people arrived we started seating groups of six people. Everyone took turns posing, first for one minute poses and building up to ten minute poses, while music played and a deep concentration set in. Non-drawing spouses watched and took pictures. At the break there were refreshments and a few minutes to do another thing we all enjoy, to make new artist friends!

Suddenly it was eight o’clock and the evening was over!  Sketching faces can be so mesmerizing. . .it’s hard to stop.

If you missed out, don’t worry because we’ll do it again soon! The Art Center has been so supportive of this event and the response has been robust. I thought I knew most of the artist community already, but in addition to familiar faces there were many new people to meet.

As soon as we have a definite date for our next Portrait Party I will post it here. Stay tuned!

 

 

Mixed Media workshops this fall!

There’s always ideas percolating for mixed media lessons I’d like to teach in my Monday Muse Group and weekend workshops. For instance, inspired by Gustav Klimt, whose gilded paintings will be shown this fall in an exhibition at the Legion of Honor in S.F., we’ll be working with metallics. . .then a simple form of monotype printing and the very popular “stick painting” where we make expressive mark beginnings with carved sticks. . .then exploring color transparencies to get that eye saturating sense of depth.

If any of these interest you, you may want to reserve your spot in either the weekly Muse Group in my studio or the weekend workshop at Sebastopol Center for the Arts. Here’s the scoop!

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At this writing there are two spots left in the Monday Afternoon group. For more info and to register visit my website.

And if you like a whole weekend to develop your paintings, the following workshop may appeal.

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For more information and to register contact me. I hope to be painting with you this fall!

Mix Those Media! Workshop

Here’s the flyer for a new weekend workshop I’m offering in November ! 

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Geology

My latest experiments in the art laboratory explore the territory of “patina”. They are usually a response to the query “I wonder what would happen if. . .” and in this case. . .if I wet the watercolor paper and paint into it with iridescent paints. The metallic particles drop out of solution on the wet surface causing spontaneous “events”.

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Lumiere’s Halo Blue Gold and Metallic Bronze and Golden’s Iridescent Bright Gold acrylics and Higgen’s Black India ink on w/c paper (with plaster of paris medallion)

The frustrating thing about these patina paintings is the difficulty in photographing the reflective paints, so you’ll have to use your imagination because they’ve gone flat in this image. The lovely blue is actually the blue portion of the Blue Gold as the gold is left behind by the water.

Imagine the treasures that surface on the trails we walk. Then again imagine the ones packed within the earth’s core. The restless imagination becomes a geologist digging deeper into that landscape, more wondrous and bizarre, that cannot be seen with mere eyes.

And then it surfaces again, to the just-enough-loveliness of everyday to sweeten this perplexing gift of life.

I’ll be teaching a new version of Experimental Mixed Media Painting: “Patina” at Sebastopol Center for the Arts on June 24 and 25. There’s still a couple spaces if you’re interested! For more information visit my website.

 

Workshops This Spring!

It’s a busy spring season coming up, and I’ll be doing what I enjoy most – sharing approaches to painting and spreading my own creative wings with like-minded people! Hope you can join me.

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For more information about these workshops and to register visit my website!

Seb Arts Opening and Healdsburg Jazz

Tomorrow night, Dec 2, the Sebastopol Center for the Arts will be hosting an opening of the annual member art show 6-7:30pm with wine and appetizers and displays by the teachers who will be offering workshops in the new year.

I have a piece in the show, but will also be at a table sharing my sketchbooks and Muse Group art books along with information about two weekend workshops I’ll be teaching next year at the Center: Quick Capture Sketching in Ink and Watercolor and Experimental Mixed Media Painting. For more information about these workshops you can visit my website or just come see me at my table tomorrow evening.

Last week Bob and I attended the Healdsburg Jazz member party and were treated to the Latin grooves of Carlitos Medrano and the Cuban Descarga.

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fountain pen and watercolor in 7 X 10″ Stillman and Birn Beta sketchbook

Can you tell how intrigued I was by this singer, especially her generous shape and those fabulous boots? Years ago I gave up wearing shoes with more than one inch of heal in the interest of comfort, but I can still enjoy how they look on other women and wonder how it’s even possible to walk in them.

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You can never see all the musicians from where you’re sitting, but that lends itself to the process of vignetting and designing interesting edges that don’t touch the sides of the paper. I like the larger size sketchbook, but don’t want to take the time in my quick sketching to fill the surface with paint. Highlighting the skin tones and instruments tells the story will enough. And I find that most Jazz musicians wear a lot of black, a difficult color to pull off in watercolor. So I clothe them in white!