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Auditory Spiral, 12”x12”, oil and ink on…

Auditory Spiral, 12”x12”, oil and ink on wood.

Cochlea and Vigna flowers in the golden spiral. For purchase inquiries email [email protected]

“Torsten On Bass” Watermedia Painting Series

Challenge

Welcome to Day Four of the 3-paintings-per-day-for-five-day (3-4-5) FB challenge!  Today I'm featuring my "Torsten on Bass" series, and for a blog bonus, I'm adding a fourth piece.  (Thank you Myrna Wacknov for inviting me to participate in the challenge).  

 

Inspiration

The paintings in the series "Torsten on Bass" were inspired by photographs my husband took of some of our musician friends from Germany.  We lived in Germany during the 1990's.  We met and became friend with a local rock and roll band.  They called themselves the "Lunatics United".  I would say they were not "lunatics" but they were a fun, hard rock band.  They had a vocalist, two guitarists, a bassist and drummer.  Torsten played bass.  

Lesson Learned

These paintings were done in 2008.  I learned a lesson during the process of developing the designs that has served me well.  I started by drawing from the photograph.  I became frustrated because the drawing from the photograph did not express what I felt about the band or music.

After a few drawings, I put the photographs away.  I created new drawings from memory, imagination and as a response to how music makes me feel.  Oddly enough, the first "Torsten on Bass" has as much to do with the blues as it does with rock and roll.  I liked the resulting figure and the muted colors.

After successful design number one, I naturally had to do some more.  In designs II (Rock and Roll), III & IV, I thought about going to rock and roll concerts, the heat of the lights, the sound of the music and how it made me feel.  Plus, I took more liberties with the figure.

What did I learn?  By drawing from life or photographs first, I get the feel of the subject.  Then, I let myself loose with memories, imagination and emotion.  I create something that says what I feel about the subject.  Plus, I have a great time.

Exhibiting

I have rarely shown these works, although "Torsten on Bass" was exhibited in a juried show in Springfield, OR.  In looking back at the images, I am pleased with the work.  I wonder why I stopped!  

Two of the pieces are in private collections:  "Torsten on Bass – Rock and Roll" and "Torsten on Bass III".  "Torsten on Bass IV" has never been shown, oddly enough.  I did more drawings, but all of them are in sketchbooks put away in storage.

Its wonderful to be able to pull these paintings out and share them with you.  I hope you enjoy them!  Thanks!

 

The post “Torsten On Bass” Watermedia Painting Series appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox – Watercolor Artist.

Music is Math, 12”x12”, oil and ink on wood

Music is Math, 12”x12”, oil and ink on wood

Phases of Reproduction, 12”x12”, oil and ink on…

Phases of Reproduction, 12”x12”, oil and ink on wood.

This piece, conceptualized during my recent artist residency in Maine, marks a transition into the Sacred Illustration Phase. This new body of work originates with sacred geometry and is then infused with organic form.

Still Life With Toy Pony – Three Watercolors & A Drawing

Toy Pony Series

On day three, its three paintings and a drawing from my "Still Life With Toy Pony" series.  Day three refers to the "three paintings a day for five days" challenge being carried out on Facebook.  Artist and friend Myrna Wacknov invited me to join in on the fun.

I chose "Still Life with Toy Pony" because I have worked on this particular series of paintings since 2009.  It has been a major part of my artistic growth.

The series followed the "KittyKitty" series.  This series is a creativity and design problem.  I borrowed the idea from artist Mike Bailey, who I discovered through Mryna Wacknov's blog.  

Here's the problem. 

Pick three things that are alike and one thing that is different.  Set up a still life.  Develop 20 designs.  Develop 20 more.  If you're really into the problem, draw 40 more.  I think Mr. Bailey is over 100.  

What you learn.  

By doing the same subject 20 times, you force yourself to start being creative.  To use a phrase from Mr. Bailey, you go beyond the obvious.  You start being experimental.  Simplying, stylizing, embellishing, reorganizing: these are the types of approaches that went through my head.  

What I Did.

I picked three "geometric" items hanging around my house.  The espresso cup – because I like espresso.  The candlestick was a wedding gift.  The vase was a little clay thing I picked up in Germany.  They have the "cup" type form in common.  They're variations on a column.  I added one "organic" shaped object – a small toy pony I picked up in San Francisco's China Town when visiting in the late 70's.  Its made of satin.

I started drawing and numbering each as I went.  After a few drawings were done, I enlarged my favorites and started painting.  (The first drawing is included at the bottom of the page).

Eventually, I started looking at design considerations to create variations.  I learned about formats, colors, values, shapes, repetition, lines, patterns.  I did 80 drawings of which 19 are paintings.  I used watercolor primarily, though there are a few mixed water media pieces.  If you'd like to see most of the collection, I invite you to see it on my website Dancing Clouds.

Three Paintings

Today's three paintings were chosen because they each have some personal significance.  I am also including drawing number one so you can see the starting point. 

The green variation is the first painting of the series and was based on drawing number four.  You can easily see the still life objects:  espresso cup, candlestick, vase and toy pony.  There is some stylization.  This paintings was done in 2009.

The next one I chose was design 53.  I painted this one in 2010; it pre-dates the painting of design 39, the third painting (2012).  The still life shapes in design 53 are flattened, but you still get a feeling of three dimensional objects.  With design 39, the objects are flattened and may be hard to recognize.

If you look at the three paintings, you will notice that I shifted from color schemes being dominant to value patterns being dominant.  ("Value" here refers to the relative lightness and darkness of shapes).

I chose the paintings specifically to illustrate the kind of artistic growth one can gain by studying in this manner.  I hope you enjoy them!

 

 

 

 

The post Still Life With Toy Pony – Three Watercolors & A Drawing appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox – Watercolor Artist.

Richard McKinley at Art Du Jour Gallery

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An Afternoon with Richard McKinley

Art du Jour Gallery presents “An Afternoon with Richard McKinley,” nationally and internationally renowned artist/educator, on Saturday, February 28. Born and raised in the Rogue Valley, McKinley is known for his beautiful paintings in oil and pastel, and for the vast amount of artistic knowledge he shares with his students worldwide.

Richard will offer a presentation on his career in contemporary art, including highlights from his forthcoming book on oil painting, as well as from his best selling PASTEL POINTERS.
The afternoon begins at 1:30 PM in the Medford Library ( Adams Room ) with a Power point presentation and a lively question and answer session.

A reception and opportunity to meet the artist follows at 3:30 PM in Art du Jour

Gallery, located at 213 E. Main Street in Medford (2 blocks north of the library).

Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students (14-21 yrs.) and can be purchased at the gallery, Tue-Sat 10:00 AM–4:00 PM and Third Fridays 5:00-8:00 PM. Only 40 tickets available.
For more information call Linda Evans at 541 324-1437 or visit Art du Jour Gallery in Medford.

Three Lighthouses – Watercolor Paintings

The Challenge

Lighthouses are my theme for Day Two.  This is part of the art tag challenge on facebook:  Three Paintings a Day for Five Days.  (My thanks to artist Myrna Wacknov for inviting me to participate in this challenge).  

Lighthouses & Childhood

I grew up in a house with lighthouse paintings.  My father had done several paintings of the subject and they lined the walls of our house.  I think some were of lighthouses in Maine and some in Spain.  In any case, I thought they were exotic, fascinating paintings.

My childhood home was in the desert Southwestern United States.  The ocean and lighthouses belonged to a different world and fired my imagination.  I wanted to visit lighthouses and own a painting or two myself.

Since childhood, I've seen and visited several lighthouses in this country and abroad.  

Grays Harbor Lighthouse

There are many along the Washington and Oregon coast, where I live these days.  Also, a friend gave me an ornament of the Grays Harbor (Washington) Lighthouse.  The lighthouse became my model, along with some broken sea shells from the beaches of Grays Harbor.

Naturally, a little Peggy-style Cubism creeps in to my design as does a lot of imagination.  There are more versions.  I think these three have a sense of the storms that visit the Northwest United States Coast.

A word about my naming system, "D" in the title refers to "design", as in "D10" means "Design 10".  Thanks!

The post Three Lighthouses – Watercolor Paintings appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox – Watercolor Artist.

Three Lighthouses – Watercolor Paintings

The Challenge

Lighthouses are my theme for Day Two.  This is part of the art tag challenge on facebook:  Three Paintings a Day for Five Days.  (My thanks to artist Myrna Wacknov for inviting me to participate in this challenge).  

Lighthouses & Childhood

I grew up in a house with lighthouse paintings.  My father had done several paintings of the subject and they lined the walls of our house.  I think some were of lighthouses in Maine and some in Spain.  In any case, I thought they were exotic, fascinating paintings.

My childhood home was in the desert Southwestern United States.  The ocean and lighthouses belonged to a different world and fired my imagination.  I wanted to visit lighthouses and own a painting or two myself.

Since childhood, I've seen and visited several lighthouses in this country and abroad.  

Grays Harbor Lighthouse

There are many along the Washington and Oregon coast, where I live these days.  Also, a friend gave me an ornament of the Grays Harbor (Washington) Lighthouse.  The lighthouse became my model, along with some broken sea shells from the beaches of Grays Harbor.

Naturally, a little Peggy-style Cubism creeps in to my design as does a lot of imagination.  There are more versions.  I think these three have a sense of the storms that visit the Northwest United States Coast.

A word about my naming system, "D" in the title refers to "design", as in "D10" means "Design 10".  Thanks!

The post Three Lighthouses – Watercolor Paintings appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox – Watercolor Artist.

Three Cats

Cats are one of my favorite subjects. I think it most appropriate that I start of my "FB Art Challenge" with some kitties.

I was tagged to do the challenge by artist and friend Myrna Wacknov.  The challenge is to post three paintings per day for five days.  I get to tag other artists each day.

I think it will be fun curating a micro show every day, going through my various collections.

Today's watercolor paintings are from my "kittykitty" series which features a cat.  The cat was my Aunt Mary's cat.  She was a quiet, elegant being who liked to lie around with an air of deep knowledge.  Or, perhaps she was just a cat staring out into space.

 

"Kitty Kit…" my new painting is unusual in that I added text.  I wanted to imply that the cat is being called by someone off painting.  The cat is sitting on a pillow, comfortable and will move if and when she desires.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The "KittyKitty" painting series has done well for me.  Both "Groovy Kitty" and "Seriously KittyKitty" have been accepted into juried exhibitions.   Just as important, the series became a good vehicle to study design and style.

I have done at least 30 paintings or watercolor studies.  They're fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More soon!

 

The post Three Cats appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox – Watercolor Artist.

Upstream Color, oil on wood, 11”x24” For purchase…

Upstream Color, oil on wood, 11”x24”

For purchase inquiries email [email protected]