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

Friday, August 01, 2008

Landscape painting and the use of GREEN

I was talking to an artist friend at a recent art event, and I happened to get onto the subject of greens and landscape painting. "I discourage my students from putting any tube green on their palette in my classes," I said. "Otherwise, they'd paint the entire landscape with tube green."

At this point, another friend came up and asked her where her painting was. She said, "It's the one over there, the landscape painted all in tube green."

Fortunately, she has a good sense of humor and didn't seem upset at my untimely remark. But it set me to thinking about green.

I have posted on my "Free Art Lesson" pages a new lesson (Lesson #40) on the use of green in landscapes. Take a look at it for some examples on mixing greens.

In "Cloudy Day, Riverbend" (above), which is on display at the Art League gallery Alexandria during July 2008, notice that I used a varity of greens to create an illusion of depth. This is a small "plein air" (on site) painting done with a limited palette. All the greens were mixed — with no actual green paint on the palette.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Recent Award

Unfortunately, as I get older (and, though nominally retired, involved in more and more community activities) my time spent promoting my art is cut down. But I still submit paintings to local art club shows.

I was juried into the June League of Reston Artists show and received an "Equal Merit" award (equivalent to First, Second and Third Place) for "Spring House, Nancy's Place", painted on site the year before at a workshop held out on an estate in Loudoun County. Thought you'd enjoy seeing this little plein air painting.

In April, 2008, "Nancy's Place, Reflection" (oil, 16 x 12) which was painted on site during the same plein air weekend with local artist and teacher Ed Cooper, received an Honorable Mention in the April League show. This painting reflects my fascination with water in all its forms.

In fact, it's a shame that weather and circumstances so often prohibit painting on site. I lead a workshop at the Reston Community Center on Wednesday evenings, and students usually work from photos (occasionally from other artists' work). This is better than no work at all, but standing out in nature, having to select and "edit" from the wealth of visual data, is more challenging. I encourage any artist to do this. If you dread going out by yourself, find a painting group or sign up for an excursion.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Doing some thinking about "art"

I realize that I got busy and neglected this blog. I have been doing some thinking about "art" and its place in my life.

I have wondered what the next step is. I occasionally sell, but certainly not enough to call it a "living". I continue to produce, but don't have enough outlets to share all my creations. I show, but I don't really "seek out" marketing opportunities.

Is it time to call myself retired? I hesitate when an application form requests "profession: _____". Meanwhile, I continue to move forward — hesitantly — in the path of being an artist. It's not a bad goal. It's just not my only goal.

Early this month, picking up paintings that weren't selected for the show at the Art League, I checked out what was included in the show. Much of it I could give a pass to, but there were several I would have liked to purchase (if I were rich enough and in the business of collecting art.) Several days later, talking to my artist friend Jack, he opined that "art" or "painting" was the only thing worthwhile. Now, I don't agree. I believe that I have some responsibility to help change the future of this planet. I think that we are in grave difficulties, as a species. We continue to act in horrible ways towards each other, we continue to destroy our natural resources. Millions of people die unnecesarily, and (what's saddest) they might have been — any one of them or all of them — important catalysts (scientists, artists, leaders) to change the future of the world.

No, art may be my avocation, but I am blessed, I think, to be in a position where I have discovered the technology that can change the future for the better, and I have some obligation to try to get that across to others. What am I talking about? Scientology. You may have heard of it. You need to look for yourself. I recommend you start with: scientologytoday.org