Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Plein Air - Paint from life

I realize that I say this over and over but that is because painting from life changed my painting life. Whether you set up a table with old dishes and odd stuff on your patio, pull up your easel and paint it in the natural lite, or pack up your gear and set up out in nature, you will learn and grow every time you do it. Even my worst days outdoor painting were a learning experience, sometimes all I learned was don't wear perfume, bees like it. I will be teaching two workshops, both on weekend days, both to help you get over the hump and get out to paint. You don't need to have all the trappings like I have here in this photo, even a small sketch pad, colored pencils sitting in a car is a good time. Don't wait for the perfect gear, all the lessons in the world can't replace just making yourself go out and do it. You can check my website for more info and what each class covers, or go to The Farm website and call them to make your reservation. I will send out info soon on classes that will be held out on locations around the Valley, for one/two day workshops this spring/summer. In the mean time, take out that dusty old sketchbook from college, pull out a marker or a pen and start to draw. Even if all you draw is your iced tea glass sitting in front of you, do it.
*Sunday, April 13th 2:00pm to 4:30pm $20.00/$30.00Kit
Watercolor Journals & Sketchbooks

Saturday, April 26th 9:30am-11:00am $20.00

Plein-Air Painting-How to prepare? What do I pack?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Tucson Plein Air Painters Show

On Saturday April 5th the Tucson Plein Air Painters will be having their Distinguished Artist Show at the Arizona Desert Sonora Museum in Tucson. If you haven't been down to the Museum you should go. It is 12 miles west (take Speedway west)of Tucson. It is really a desert zoo with animal exhibits and incredible lush desert views and trails. Check their website to see all the events happening there at There is a real nice restaurant there also. The TPAPS artists show is an annual show with paintings from the juried Artist members. There are 30 artists participating with 90 paintings. On Saturday, the 5th starting early in the morning the artists will be painting on the grounds, they will turn in their wet paintings around noon. Those paintings will be shown along with 90 other works already hanging. At 2:00pm the Reception starts where the awards will be announced for 1,2,3rd and a special award given by the director of the Ironwood Gallery. Top prize is $1,000. so it should be fun. The reception will have finger foods, and a wine bar. It is rare to be able to watch this many artist of this level at one location painting. If you would like a free pass for April5th for two, email me your snail mail address and I will get one out to you. There will be an Online Show on site where you can enjoy the paintings. But remember the images are only as good as your monitor, you can't see brush strokes or bits of dirt in the paint. Not that you'll ever see that in my paintings- Actually one artist Bill Hartmann mixes the dirt at the scene in with his paint. The show opens on the 5th and runs till May 18th. Make a day trip out of it, if you come down for a weekend, Old Tucson movie studios are located just a couple of miles from the Museum and that is fun.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Watercolor Journals at The Farm

Some time ago I was introduced to watercolor journals. The class I took made us go and sketch in our little sketchbook down at terminal 4 at the Px airport. It was scary but it sure got me over the jitters about drawing/painting in front of people. It forced me to draw, and to realize that I do have time to improve my drawing. I didn't have to set aside a chunk of my valuable time to do it. I kept my little watercolor book with me all the time, even while waiting for kids to come out of practice, in my car, at the doctors office, just everywhere. Even a few minutes here and there helped me improve, and it made me relax, allowed me even if for just a few minutes to do something for myself. Now I am very fortunate that I can focus my time on my artwork, but through those years of juggling kids, job, house, kids, oh, I said that one, I couldn't use them as an excuse for why I wasn't drawing. On Sat. May 10th down at the Farm I am teaching a watercolor journal class for people who are intimidated, with drawing and painting but want to just give it a try. You will get a bag with tiny travel size watercolor supplies, lunch will come down from the Santa Barbara Catering Co. there on the grounds. We will eat, meet each other, and I will get you started on how to use all the wonderful little goodies in the travel bag. My hope is that you will draw, you will paint, even if it is just a little at a time. Then when a time comes that you can devote more time to your artwork, you will be at a much more controlled level in your ability. Don't let the years go by just waiting till all the stars fall into place, that ain't going to happen. Try it you just might like it. Call the Farm (602-268-5905) to make your reservation, call your mom or a good girl friend and ask her to join you. If you come alone, you will make a new friend during the class.

Yes, Arizona has seasons

Here is a reason Arizona is so great for artists, the photo on the left was taken a couple Sat. ago just outside the town of Superior. Those are Calif. poppies around the giant Saguaro. The pic (2 weeks ago)on the right is from Sedona, ice and snow and very cold water. Desert season changes are difficult to predict on timing. You have to be ready with your boots, gloves, hat, but also bug spray and sunblock. Before the flowers all go away try to take a trip out the Apache Trail Hwy88, or east on Hwy60 to Superior then down to Ray, the Arboretum is full of spring blossoms. The terrain is so rough but beautiful. Take water and be ready, the weather can change very dramatically in a couple of hours. The Beeline Hwy is lovely and very green. Yes, we have seasonal changes you just have to get out of town to really enjoy them. South Mountain is covered with green and poppies. Even down at The Farm on 32nd st. is lush with spring flowers and the organic garden is full. If you want to watch painters struggle with the flowers come out to the Lost Dutchmen State Park on March 22 in the morning. There is a State Park Paintout that morning with artists coming from all over to paint the color. That park is actually nicer in the afternoon with the low sun, but the views are always amazing. LD is off the Apache Trail just past the town of Goldfield. After checking out that park go on out the Apache Trail it is a slow lovely road with every turn providing you a great view. Don't be in a hurry, take your camera and a sack lunch. Use a low gear and hopefully your driver has already seen the sights!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Sedona Winters

Yes, I know this is kind of a corny photo but isn't really amazing? The rainbow really did go down into the canyon. The sun was setting real low, heavy cloud cover, and it had been snowing during the day. Our show for Az plein air painters was a success with a steady stream of people coming in and sales. Two of my paintings were also accepted into the Sedona Art Center members show- that was cool. I worked on two paintings done here and again it was a struggle getting the reds & yellows to work and not look garrish. The snow on those colored rocks is just wonderful. Here is a contrast for you- those flowers are in my front yard, it is spring in Az and it is wonderful. Every year we get some very unusual little wild flowers in pinks & purples. Here I just painted in snow and froze my toes only to come home to this! Enjoy.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Sedona Arts Center

This 8"x10 was painted at Dead Horse Ranch State Park in Cottonwood. Don't let the name fool you, it is a lovely park thick with cottonwood trees and mesquite. Anywhere in the park affords you a view of the Mingus mountain range. My favorite time to paint that range is in the late afternoon like this where just hints of color catch the tips of mountain rocks. At the Sedona Art Center in the 28th Annual Juried Members Exhibition where this painting and "Sedona Reds" will be hanging. Sedona had snow just last week, I was painting there just Sunday and it was 50 degrees and sunny. Sedona is beautiful, and a great day trip. Just don't have mexican food there, it is prepared for the tastes of most of the visitors which happen to be from the midwest and Canada. There is a fabulous breakfast place, way out on the west end of Hwy89 down by the Bashas is the Coffee Pot. You get grits, homemade biscuits and a big pot of coffee on your table. They are fast, food is good, and reasonable prices.