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Hike and Learn

The Friends of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument hold a monthly event called a Hike and Learn, where the invite someone to enhance participants’ experience of the monument with their expertise. They have invited me to lead a Hike and Learn on the subject of Landscape Sketching!  The monument is pretty neat because it has some of the greatest bio-diversity in a concentrated area in the United States.  I’m a big fan of using my art as a tool for documentation, so I’m looking forward to documenting this significant location this week and weekend.

The Hike and Learn is open to all, and is free to attend.  On Friday evening I will give a slide talk that goes over the basics of sketching the landscape.  Then Saturday morning, we will all meet up and head to Hobart Bluff to hike a little and sketch out in the wild.  We’ll meet back around lunch time and share our successes and struggles.

And the local paper – Ashland Daily Tidings has done an article on the event — check it out here.

bpennell sarahfburns

Photo by Bob Pennell for the Ashland Daily Tidings  – That’s me with the crazy grin, pretending to be on my way to do some landscape painting.

Details and Further Info:

www.cascasdesiskiyou.org

Hike and Learn — FREE
Limited space, please sign up as space is limited by sending email to: [email protected].  Email title: Hike & Learn SKETCH  Email body: Your name, email, address, phone

Friday, August 21, 6:00-7:00 pm
Slide Talk at the Ashland Public Library

Saturday, August 22
Hike – Meet at the Shop-N-Kart Ashland Parking Lot at 9:00 am to caravan up to Hobart Bluff
Hike and Sketch from 9:30 – Noon

Filed under: Classes, Drawing, Landscape, Uncategorized Tagged: 2015, Ashland Daily Tidings, drawing, Hike and Learn, Inspiration, landscape, life, oregon, plein air, rogue valley, Sarah burns, sarah f burns, southern oregon

Hanley Farm

I came to Hanley Farm to paint and had a hard time choosing a view, because I liked so many views, so I painted one

Oil Painting by Sarah F Burns

Experimental Lavender Patch at Hanley Farm

and then painted another

Oil Painting by Sarah F Burns

Hanley Farm

and that one was painted in the same scale and basic location as the first, so they both fit together, which made me motivated to make the third view

plein air oil painting

Roxy Ann

so they all fit together like a puzzle.

Hanley Farm Panorama

I often listen to audiobooks when I paint.  Whenever I look at a painting I made, I think of the book I was hearing while I worked. The middle and the left painting make me think of Caravaggio: A Life Sacred and Profane. The painting on the right makes me think of The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler. And maybe the beginning of The Maltese Falcon by Dashiel Hammett. The Big Sleep and The Maltese Falcon feel so similar that they kind of mentally flow together.  I recommend all three books.

Filed under: Landscape, painting, Paintings Tagged: 2015, art, hanley farm, landscape, medford, oil, oil painting, oregon, painting, plein air, rogue valley, roxy ann, southern oregon

Still Life

Quiet study, I could have worked on it for longer but had to move things for other studio activities, so another painting ends without being a masterpiece. Such is life. :) I like it anyway, but, you know, I’d like it more if it were better.

Oil Painting by Sarah F Burns

Coffee Cup and Egg

I did work on it long enough to tilt all the grays so the painting seems colorful.

Filed under: painting, Paintings, Still Life Tagged: 2015, oil, oil painting, still life

Roxy Ann From Talent

Well this summer has been pretty brutal here in Southern Oregon. As I write this the average high temperatures have been hovering at 100 and wildfires surround us filling the valley with thick smoke. But a month and a half ago in mid June it was pretty nice out.

Roxy Ann From Talent 21" x 25"

Roxy Ann From Talent 21″ x 25″

Filed under: Landscape, painting, Paintings Tagged: 2015, art, landscape, oil painting, oregon, plein air, rogue valley, southern oregon

Plein Air Trip to the Oregon Coast

Oil Painting by Sarah F Burns

McVay Beach, Brookings, Oregon

Oil Painting by Sarah F Burns

Samuel H. Boardman State Park, Oregon

 

Oil Painting by Sarah F Burns

Whaleshead Beach

 

Oil Painting by Sarah F Burns

Whaleshead Beach

Clifford Beach Grassland, Northern California

Clifford Beach Grassland, Northern California

 

Clifford Dunes, Northern California

Clifford Dunes, Northern California

Filed under: Landscape, painting, Paintings, Uncategorized Tagged: 2015, art, landscape, oil, oregon, painting, plein air, Sarah burns, sarah f burns, southern oregon

Late Spring, Southern Oregon

Oil Painting

Oil Painting

Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: 2015, art, landscape, oregon, painting, plein air, Sarah burns, sarah f burns, southern oregon

Painting Flowers From Life at Rogue Gallery

Pink Carnations and Red Gerberas
Lyda Rose
Carnations and Green Acorns
Fantin Latour Roses, Oil Painting by Sarah F Burns
Fall and Winter Flowers Oil on Panel 18" x 20" $750 Sarah F Burns
Myra's Pink Roses, Oil painting by Sarah F Burns 12" x 16" sold

This summer! Join me for a weekend workshop focused on painting flowers from life. Each student will have their own fresh floral bouquet to paint.  We’ll focus on the capturing the character of the plant, value, color, composition.  Each morning I will demonstrate a stage of the process.  After a relaxing lunch, students will work on their paintings with one-to-one instruction.  We will have a fun a productive time.

Painting Flowers from Life 
taught by Sarah F. Burns 
Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, August 15, 16, 17, 10am-4:30pm

Location: Rogue Gallery and Art Center, Medford, Oregon
All Skill Levels

Capture the beauty of flowers using a fresh bouquet as your reference while you paint on canvas. With clear instruction you will learn how to manage light, color, and texture that can develop your work into an alluring piece using oil or acrylic.

$165 Members, $185 Non-Members.
Students will bring their own paints, brushes and canvas of choice, I will provide the flower arrangements, set up and lighting.

Register Now!

 

Filed under: Classes, Flowers, Paintings, Uncategorized Tagged: 2015, class, floral, flowers, oil painting, painting, rogue gallery and art center, rogue valley, Sarah burns, sarah f burns

My Trip to Paris — Part Two: The Paintings

I had an amazing time painting in Paris. Getting out and painting in this old city, known for centuries of great art, connected me to so many of my heroes and gave me a chance to meet lots of tourists and locals. I cannot wait to go back – there are paintings there I still really want to make!!

They are displayed in the order I made them.

Oil Painting

Hyacinths – on a Rainy Holiday in Paris

It was rainy and a national holiday, so all the museums were closed, so I bought some hyacinths from the nearby flower market and made a still life in the little apartment I was staying in with my aunt.

Oil Painting

The Louvre, as seen from the Tuileries

I love the Louvre so much, I must go back someday and paint the iconic entrance with the pyramid. When I first arrived, I shied away from making a painting that would be so direct, but after spending two weeks in Paris, where they really embrace beauty directly, I realized it’s just as affected to avoid beauty as it is to seek it exclusively.  Best bet is always just paint what moves you. Be real, even if it lands you in a cliche.

Oil Painting

From Pont Neuf, The Seine

Mid Morning looking sort of toward the east.

Oil Painting

Cincannatus in the Tuileries

With a view of the Musee D’Orsay in the background 9 to the left of the statue is  the tip of the museum, with it’s massive clock face peeking out a tiny bit behind the trees).  I finally had a day where Paris had those impressionist clouds you see in paintings.

Oil Painting

Sculpture in the Petit Palais Garden

My local friend showed me this wonderful little park.  Many paintings could be made here.

Oil Painting

Looking out of the Louvre Courtyard

Here I am, nearing the end of my trip, embracing the obvious beauty and being happy about it. Archway to a view with a grand building? The more the merrier.

Notre Dame, oil painting by Sarah F Burns

Notre Dame

My last day painting in Paris, I was under the influence of the Corots I’d seen in the Louvre. I was also recreating the point of view of some impressionist paintings I’d seen.

Filed under: Flowers, Inspiration, Landscape, painting, Paintings, Still Life, Uncategorized Tagged: 2015, flowers, france, Inspiration, landscape, louvre, oil painting, painting, paris, plein air, Sarah burns, sarah f burns, travel

My Trip to Paris — Part One: The Drawings

I went to Paris for the first two weeks of May this year and my trip was entirely focused on studying art.  I went to the Louvre six times – not nearly enough.  I also visited the Orsay, Musee Bourdelle, Montmartre, saw Velasquez show at the Grand Palais, popped into the Musee Carnavalet and I know I missed a PILE of other great stuff.

I documented my trip in paintings and drawings.  Most of these drawings were made in the Louvre – where I actually was moved to tears a few times; putting this album together brings back a bit of the emotional experience.

SLC - waiting for my plane
SLC airport - my plane
Menade Sculpture - Louvre
Boy with Goose - Louvre
Seine Sculpture, French - Louvre
French Sculpture - Louvre
French Sculpture - Louvre
Sculpture - - Louvre and Drawing after Georges LaTour
Sketch after Paris Statue - Louvre
Cleopatra Sculpture Louvre Drawing by Sarah F Burns
Venus De Milo with crowds - Louvre
Female Greek Sculpture - Louvre
After Dying Slave Sculpture - Michelangelo - Louvre
After Rubens - Louvre
Sketch after Rubens Education of Marie Di Medici - Louvre
Sketch After Rubens Marie di Medici arriving in Marseille - Louvre
Sketch after Velasquez - show at Grand Palais, Paris
Cincannatus in the Tuileries with the Orsay behind
Louvre Drawing from the Tuileries
Drawing After Ingres - Louvre
After Gericault, Raft of the Medusa - Louvre
Sketch After Egyptian Cats in the Louvre
Sketch after Fantin Latour - Louvre
Drawing of Phideas Sculpture - Louvre
Cupid and Psyche - Louvre
Filed under: Drawing Tagged: 2015, art, art history, drawing, drawings, figurative, figure, france, landscape, louvre, master copy, paris, Sarah burns, sarah f burns, sketch, study

Artist David Rosenak

Today I’m going to highlight paintings by my friend David Rosenak.  This may be the longest post I’ll ever make.   He has four paintings up at the Portland Art Museum this year – 2015 – in the Northwest Contemporary section.  GO SEE THEM. While you’re at it, mention to PAM that they should do a better job of pointing out where these paintings are; I’ve been to that museum probably 25 times and I always have to figure out where in the world that particular gallery is. 

Oil Painting by David Rosenak

(untitled), David Rosenak, oil on plywood, 7 3/4″ x 7″, 2008

There are so many things to say about David – first and foremost is that his paintings are absolutely captivating. I happened to stumble across two other pieces at the Portland Art Museum a few years ago.  I clearly remember thinking, “who painted these!??” — and life is amazing sometimes, because I actually got to find out who, and become friends with the painter.

Oil Painting by David Rosenak

Oil Paintings by David Rosenak – Portland Art Museum 2011

Plaid Pantry, oil on plywood, (2010), 9 7/8" x 10 3/8", David Rosenak, On View at PAM during 2015

Plaid Pantry, oil on plywood, (2010), 9 7/8″ x 10 3/8″, David Rosenak, On View at PAM during 2015

I found out because I posted an image on my blog and David vainly googled himself. (Just kidding David, not vanity so much as housekeeping – right? What you can’t see here is that I realized I should google myself to see if anything is interesting there. Not really. It’s only stuff I put on the web myself. So okay.)  Anyway, David found my blog, read it, and actually liked my paintings too! At some point, he emailed me and we started talking about painting, art we admire and being an artist.

David Rosenak Oil Painting

(untitled) by David Rosenak (c.2001-2003) Oil on Plywood 8″ x 9″,  collection PAM

Over the course of these conversations David has become sort of a mentor or an example of having integrity as an artist. So, to set the stage for how he has been an example, I’m going to share where my head is/was. I felt — and still feel — internal pressure to legitimize my obsession with art by turning it into a business.  But I’m not capable of “branding” myself with a style and making pieces that are predictable and popular.  I absolutely think art is a noble profession and if people sell their work well enough to put food on the table, I think that’s awesome! It’s great when art can be appreciated widely, but if you’re an artist you also know there’s an icky, slippery slope to fall down when you’re making art mainly for other people. On the other hand, most of us are not simply expressing ourselves for its own sake, but trying to reach out and connect to some unknown viewer in an authentic and sincere way.

Along with that struggle, there is the battle for technical skills, real ideas and the essential but unpredictable spark of magic that makes good pieces work.  It can take years to even come close to making something really special.  Years of self-examining, persistent, steady work. To be really great, you have to start young and have some successes; many of those successes are self delusions, but that’s no matter, they keep you going, keep you pushing forward. After all that you still may not have achieved something great, or may not get recognition until you’re gone.  It can be such a strange and insane undertaking to “be an artist”.

So here I am, needing to justify all this by making it a business and I meet David.  The time when I meet him and first see his work is at a point where he has achieved something special through years of trial and error and persistence.  His work is desired by collectors, galleries want to sell his work, and David simply says “No, thank you”. He does not sell his work. I repeat — his paintings are not for sale. He has goals for his work, for sure. He doesn’t create it “for himself” – as the corny line goes.  He wants it to be seen in the world by as many people as possible. He knows how long they take to make, how hard he worked to make something he is truly proud of and he wants to cast them in a place where they have the best chance to grow.

And he knows they are precious. They take months and months to complete.  He puts scores of hours into each piece.   Because time stops for no man, his window for making them is pretty small – as it is for us all – but heightened by the fact that ten years ago David discovered he has Parkinson’s disease, which causes tremors, making painting tiny things a challenge.  When he first noticed the tremor it was in his right hand, and after three years he trained himself to paint with his left.  (This is so typical of David. Persistent.)  Now he can only paint on his good days, still with the left hand.

Oil Painting by David Rosenak

(untitled), 2011, oil on plywood by David Rosenak, 8″ x 8″, on view at PAM during 2015

More interesting things about David: he is color blind.  When David was young and testing out his influences, he tried a few paintings in the style of Wayne Thiebauld, but since Thiebauld’s thing has a lot to do with color, David realized he was trying on someone else’s shoes (we all do that when we’re young, but some of us never grow out of it).  Then he noticed his primary teacher was making some greyscale paintings, and he realized he’d been fighting a battle with color he had no hope of winning, so he switched to greyscale in 1981 and hasn’t looked back.

Oil Painting by David Rosenak

(untitled) 2013, oil on plywood, David Rosenak, 18 3/8″ x 16 3/4″, on view at PAM during 2015

Oil Painting by David Rosenak

For Sarah, 2014,  oil on plywood, 3 1/2″ x 10 1/2″, collection Sarah F Burns

I’ve seen still lifes, cityscapes and figure drawings by David, and they’re all really good, but the little cityscapes are the best. David has painted cityscapes since the late 80’s; he showed me a few scenes near his house in a medium sized scale. And they were cool.  Then he made them small (nothing larger than 20″ and most average 10″ on the long side) and bam! They suddenly really worked.  As the scale was becoming more intimate, the subject moved closer and closer to his home. All the views are of his back yard or his view toward downtown Portland.  Since he has the subject, scale and approach settled, he is focusing on compositions, and they get more and more mature. He likes to joke that he is essentially making the same painting over and over again in an attempt to improve it.  And he has many plans for new paintings within that framework. The adage of freedom coming from limitations is really true, I guess.

Oil Painting by David Rosenak

(untitled) 2007, oil on plywood, 7 3/4″ x 5 7/8″, David Rosenak, on view at PAM during 2015

Poppy, oil on plywood, David Rosenak

Poppy, oil on plywood, David Rosenak, collection of Maureen Caviness

Since his subject matter is his yard and what he can see from it, it’s useful to say something about his home. He has a wild, artsy little compound in SE Portland, full of cats and dogs and amazing plants, and all tended to by his neighbor and long time friend, Moe (Maureen). Moe is a gardener and you see in the paintings records of Moe’s work and their friendship.  David lives kind of like a cat, moving around his territory, napping, enjoying bits of shade or bits of sun, walking over to his studio a few blocks away to paint, taking the bus across the river to his day job.  His paintings are like a cat would record things because they feel so still, yet so full of life.  Like a cat they contain long moments of stillness while being ready to spring to action at any second. They’re also neutral like a cat.  They’re not saying, “Let’s go do this!” or “Think this!” but, “This is fine as it is.  I’ll find a comfortable place here.”   They say, “I see it all, and it’s fine.”  They’re so documentary and so neutral that they create a deep feeling of calm.  It makes me feel like the best times in the world are those times when you take your coffee outside in the sun and sit and soak in the world, with your friends or without.  I love the little figures who are doing just this.  They’re Moe and David, and they’re just standing there like they’re thinking, trying to decide what to do next.  Pondering something, calculating.  Trying to decide which thing they could do today. Or if maybe the day is best spent sunning, checking the mail, weeding a bit here.  Taking a break in the business of the day to pet the cat.

Oil Painting by David Rosenak

(untitled) 2002-2004, David Rosenak, 10 1/4″ x 10 1/2″,  oil on plywood, collection PAM

So anyway, David Rosenak’s work resonates with me deeply and while I actually do really like to sell my work, his example has helped me to relax and focus only on making work I feel really good about, and let the chips fall where they may.  It also gives me hope that one day, some stranger will see my paintings in a museum and say, “Who painted these?”

Filed under: Inspiration, Landscape, painting, Paintings, Uncategorized Tagged: 2015, art, artist, cityscape, david rosenak, greyscale, grisaille, landscape, musuem, oil, oil painting, oregon, painting, PAM, portland art museum, urban