"ART is a word which summarizes THE QUALITY OF COMMUNICATION. "
L. Ron Hubbard

Friday, December 31, 2010

Best wishes for joyful and prosperous 2011

Drawing by Pam, Poem by Dean
Why We're Here

We were designed by the wind, frustrated
with its inability to inflate a balloon.

We were invented by dogs because after aeons
of licking only each other, they yearned for love
without hairballs.

We evolved from birds, who wanted to be able
to talk with their hands without being carried away.

We were invented by cats to tend door knobs.

We were invented by stones who wanted to reproduce
themselves, but could not set one stone
upon another.

We were invented by the night, grown tired
of having nothing to hide.

We were invented by the flowers, sick and tired
of color-blind bees who only wanted them
for one thing.

We were thought up by the fish, trying to imagine
dreaming with their eyes closed.

We were invented by the snow, dreaming of hugging angels.

We were invented by the fire to reflect it in eyes and cheeks,
for every other creature, fearing it, could not admire it.

We were invented by the sand to make fine distinctions.

We were created by the sun when he discovered
that, alone, he could light up only one side
of the earth at a time.

We were created by the rain, which could not
spell its name in the sand.

The earth made us in hopes we would enable it
to see where it's going.

We were made by the ocean to package its
salty elixir and distribute it to high ground
beyond the reach of surf.

We were made by mountains grown tired of crushing
everything they tried to embrace.

We were made by the full moon because,
though it could reflect endlessly,
it could not smile.

We were made by the trees, because they couldn't
hear themselves fall.

We were made by the grass to graze with our eyes
and gobble up the excess green.

We were made by the cockroaches because their faith
forbids suicide.

            by Dean Blehert

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Shack in the Woods

Shack in the Woods
This painting, Shack in the Woods, is mixed media. I laid down a thin multi-colored ground over the white gesso using acrylic and a sponge. The idea was to capture the busy-ness of the woods. Then I overworked with oil for the details. I'm particularly fond of the rock cliff behind and to the right of the shack.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Teaching Visual Arts

I'd like to tell you a little about my philosophy in "teaching" art, since the role of the teacher in a creative process is important.

Contemporary philosopher L. Ron Hubbard has said "Art is a word which summarizes the quality of communication." That's a very brief and deceptively simple statement.

I believe that we are all artists, and how GOOD we are depends on our application to the craft of our particular art (whether it is painting, or writing, or music, or dancing, or cooking, or whatever) as well as to that mystical thing we call "talent."

The teacher of art, I believe, is someone who knows the basics of that craft well enough to teach it and who, in addition, can recognize and validate the current and potential quality of his or her student's products.

In teaching, I am not trying to teach you to "paint like me" or to paint like some concept of "the right way to paint." I am trying to provide tools and direction which will help you improve what you want to communicate.

This is a world which focuses on Quantity. Quantity is important in that it takes practice with your basics and materials in order to improve the product. But when we focus on QUALITY, we are looking at how well the product communicates.

The extraordinary thing about a work of art, to me, is that every work of art is a new creation. I look around my classes and am delighted and amazed at what my students, at ANY stage of competence, can create.

If you are in the Reston-Herndon-Great Falls area and would like to take art classes, you can find out more about upcoming classes on my website, www.blehert.com.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The perfect "cool" yellow

For some time now, those of you who've studied with me will be aware, I've been advocating a palette (both in acrylic and in oil) based around the use of warm and cool variants of the basic red-yellow-blue triad. This was based on my interpretation of the book Blue and Yellow Don't Make Green by Michael Wilcox. But the cool yellow was always a problem. The closest I could seem to get in the store was lemon yellow or pale yellow.

But I have discovered Titanate Yellow, a very cool (almost greenish) yellow, and I know that it is available at Jerrysartarama.com from Golden (for acrylics) or Grumbacher (for oil paints.)

Colors are not particularly true on the web and can vary from website to website, but here are a few samples of the Titanate (or Nickle titanate) color.
Sample of Golden Acrylic's Titanate Yellow

And of Grumbacher's Nickle Titanate Yellow in Oil:

I consider this color a strong addition to your palette because it permits you to make a brillient green when paired with Phthalo Blue.