Saturday, September 27, 2008

Teacher, Mentor, Friend, Darlene Swaim

I have been really behind in getting to this blog- lots going on. Just wanted to get this wonderful image out from a show going on at Chandler Center for the Arts through Oct.31. Four of the artists are friends of mine, all very skilled in printmaking. This image is from my longtime mentor and friend, Darlene Swaim. Here series of images are all relating to her childhood growing up in Indiana farmland during the 50"s. Everyone was very afraid of the A bomb, with regular drills in the schools where the children would hide under their desks in practice for when the bomb sent by the Russians would hit. Her series of images visually show her feelings. I took printmaking from Darlene then went on to oil painting. The skills I learned from her in those classes at Mesa Community College were of more value than 3/4 of the art classes I had taken already in the 70's from ASU. That was the dark ages of abstract expressionism, do what you feel even if it is crap. Darlene never painted in a demonstration, but made you think, see and understand the form, then allowed you to just work hard. Put miles of canvas behind you and learn. Many students don't like this type of teaching but I have taken her theories to heart in my teaching. If someone really wants to learn to paint, they don't want to paint like the teacher, they need to learn to paint and allow their own style to come through. Rather than imitation the student learns through doing it. I learned there are no short cuts or secrets to painting well. Thank you Darlene for giving me the courage to give it a go, help me see, and for being one of the most caring individuals I have ever met. If only all art professors came in with this same attitude, to serve the student, not turn out little clones of themselves. Go see the show. Chandler Center of the Arts, Chandler, Arizona

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Farm at South Mountain Artist in Residence

The season has opened down at The Farm at South Mountain. The restaurants are open, artist's are working, gift shop filled with wonderful artpieces. Now that the mornings are so cool it is a great time to go down and check out the Morning Glory Cafe, it is at the west end of the property across from the The Cottage. I have done a couple of paintings of the Red Cottage and the Artist Studio and have my canvas ready to go start painting more scenes. Maya's Organic garden is in full bloom, with rows of flowers, herbs and vegetables. The umbrellas are up in the full sun. And, most importantly, it isn't 110 anymore! My Open House will be on October 18th, running all day, with a Reception starting at 5:30pm. I am bringing in several wonderful artist's who will be teaching classes in oil painting, printmaking, and several demonstrations set up during the 5 weeks I am there. Check my website home page , click on the Farm to read more about all the opportunities to get started in something new or to help you improve your skills. If you have any questions about the Residency or the Open House please email me: For the cafe info:
I will be teaching oil painting classes on Sunday afternoons and on Tuesday mornings, children's art classes on Sat. mornings with Barbara Schoepf, and oil painting classes with Toni Perrin. The calendar is being updated every few days as we get the details ironed out.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Catalina Art Association, 50th Annual Art Festival

This look like we are painting in Europe at some exotic marina but we are at Catalina Island in Avalon California. This is from last year when I was in Catalina to teach a workshop. Coming up on Sept. 20,21, 2008 the Catalina Art Association is hosting their 50th Annual Art Festival in Avalon. I was asked to be one of the judges for the show. Wow, now I will get to experience the other side of juried shows. If you want more info about the show go to my website then to the link on the right Art Festival in Catalina. The groups website is down right now so hopefully this page I created will help you learn about this wonderful island. Take a short trip on a ferry from LA, or San Diego and plan to spend at least one night. There are all kinds of activities and events planned each weekend, lots of concerts, what a great, romantic, quiet, wonderful vacation spot. It also has one of the largest marine preserves. Check out the websites, look at the webcam and try to plan a trip for the future, or come out and see all the fantastic art at the Catalina Art Festival.