I've been in a slump for the past few months due to personal losses and surgery. It takes time to get your energy and focus back when you are so sad and add to that, physically hurt. I have been , dare I say it, praying for ways to handle both the emotional and physical. The powers that be are returning my physical strength, and I know from experience, that the sadness will ebb and be replaced with sweet memories. Painting restores my soul even when it frustrates me in my attempts. God grant me the serenity, etc....... Patsy
The class, sadly, is over but I have learned so much. I uploaded my efforts on a new gallery "Blog Images Gallery".
Acrylic was a trial to me before this class. By using the equipment recommended by Chantel which I will list below, I became more comfortable and confident with my paintings. The support and encouragement by Chantel and all the participants was invaluable.
One of the struggles I was having with the medium is using large brushes on a small panel. Keeps you from getting too nit-picky and looking more at shape and value, rather than detail. Smaller brushes work for really small areas.
Sta-wet palette, sponge and palette paper.
Heavy body acrylics
Liquitex palette wetting spray (didn't have this but will get)
Sennielier gesso (I used what I had on hand - Studio 71 brand)
I'm taking a 4 week class online with Chantel Barber. She is an exceptional acrylic artist who paints very impressionistic paintings of children and other figures in a very painterly manner, lots of lost edges, value and color changes. Uses large brushes on small gessoed surfaces and allows the surface to show through. I'm enjoying it although frustrated with the big brushes and consistency of the paint. I'll keep trying and I'll post some of my results in a new gallery- no judgments please!
I didn't think I had enough stuff actually. I've been on a buying spree. More watercolor blocks of types I haven't tried yet and different shapes and surfaces. The panoramic type really work well with the flat, extensive landscapes here in Florida.
Plein air is the word for me in 2016. What a frustrating process this is! Bugs, wind, dirt and biting fire ants which aren't just bugs, they are BAD! I'm back trying oils and for that I have bought a glass palette that cleans up like a dream. Also trying out open acrylics for Plein Air after watching Naguelero on YouTube. Wonderful.
I re-discovered items I forgot I had and have never used i.e. my collapsible umbrella from Judson Art. I've never tried to open it or fix it to my french easel until today. Went out into the backyard and did a small 6 X 6 acrylic of the papaya trees. Needs more work, but my main purpose was to use my "stuff"! Also used the glass palette and the acrylics washed right off, no staining or residue. I'll post the painting if...no WHEN...I finish it.
Well, we are in the throes of packing, sorting, tossing, and selling many years of accumulated "stuff". Amazing how much you can acquire over several years.
This is a move from the West Coast Where I have lived most of my life, to the East Coast on the Atlantic, or pretty close to it. I'm excited to have new vistas to paint and new painters to meet. My studio there is twice the size of this one, but I have a feeling it will feel smaller as I bring in all the "stuff" from Oregon. It has taken the longest time for me to go through each sketchbook, painting, notes, and books that encompass years of my thoughts and hopes. This time I WILL get it right.
I just got a Facebook page, but I'm still learning my way around it. I think it can be accessed by putting in Patricia Heller, but don't hold me to that!
I will try to link this website on my Artist page and see what happens. I'm sure my grandson or daughter could do this with no problem!
I decided to put this one aside as I was having so much trouble with the background. I haven't given up on it yet....but will let it simmer. I often do this when I come to a roadblock. I stop and go in another direction. If this was an oil, I will return to watercolor which is my comfort zone. I don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing, but it seems to be my thing.
I recently read a blog from Brian Buckrell who referred to Robert Genn whom I adore. Robert said, and Brian reminded me, no matter how many workshops or books you have taken in eventually you have to "go to your room" and get to work!
I started this composition from an on-site sketch I did years ago at Palisades park in Santa Monica, CA. I combined it with a photo provided by one of the Illinois River Valley Artist group that I belong to in Oregon. I blocked it in on an old canvas that a piece of paper had become stuck to and is now part of which is why it is so rough. Kind of like that though.
My hope was to swiftly put down meaningful strokes of beautiful oil paint, bright colors, etc. I tend to forget that oil is not watercolor and I was on the path to mud. Ah, but I think with oil I can brighten it up in a later stage. That's where I am right now.
So....I believe I will extend the building to the left edge. Still trying to decide if the light is coming over their shoulders, how will it be hitting across the street? Do I add more darks now and try to create a light pattern later? Oil remains a mystery, but it's fun and I will keep at it.....in my room. Thanks Robert (I receive his twice-weekly newletters that are invaluable, free, and poignant).
I've been reading and studying the different marketing tools available to artists today. I have to admit that Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin (sp?) intimidate me. It would be interesting to have some input from those of you who have seen my website. I want to improve in 2014 and this might just be the place to start! Please contact me if you have ideas or suggestions. Thanks and Happy Holidays! Patsy
I often go on the internet to view the works of artists I admire, Alex Powers, Mary Whyte, Dean Mitchell, Robert Joyner, Sergai Bongart. Sometimes it muddles my brain with so many different styles and methods. What I'm searching for is a connection between my work and theirs. What am I drawn to, what do I want to say about the things I choose to paint?
A dear friend of mine suggested poems attached to my paintings. Maybe not poems, but certainly thoughts that I had at the time, or while I am painting. I have a book called a "dictionary of thoughts" that I used when in high school for a kick start to writing an essay. I may refer back to that. I love to go through my drawings, especially of models, people, animals. I think I'll go back to some basic loves and draw, think, write, and paint.