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Pattern And Watercolor Painting “Lighthouse, D9”

Pattern: it is about repeating lines, colors, shapes, values and sizes in a painting.

Reviewing Work For A Portfolio.

I have been preparing a portfolio of my work for submission to the online literary magazine Cascadia Subduction Zone.  In the process, I was looking at some of my works that I haven’t thought about in awhile.

It’s Like Looking At Pictures Of Friends.

Take, for instance, the watercolor Lighthouse D9 (or Design 9).  I am delighted to reacquaint myself with this painting.  The Grays Harbor Lighthouse, Point Chehalis, West Port, WA, inspired me to create this series of work.  You see, for a time I lived nearby and have always loved lighthouses.

Pattern: As Used in Lighthouse D9; Watercolor

Playing With Pattern.

When I created the design for Lighthouse D9 I was interested in exploring pattern.  When I say pattern, I am referring to a specific use of the term.  That is, I repeated and clustered smaller shapes in such a way that they “read” visually as one larger shape.

Examples:  Grass & Clouds.

Take, for example, the cloud shapes or the “v” grass clump shapes. Together, the smaller “v” shapes and the greenish color add up visually to tell you that I’m describing a grassy area.  The same goes for cloud shapes against a blue background on the upper portions of the painting.  I’m signaling “sky”.

OH!  A Way To Simplify!

Put another way, I’m using pattern to simplify my design.  Plus, add meaning.  And, it was fun!

What About Meaning?

The meaning?  For me, I’ve always liked lighthouses.  I grew up looking at lighthouse paintings by my father, artist John Stermer.  My feelings were pretty simple; I liked them.  They looked like remote places, but also beacons to the traveler.

This painting, with its festive colors and simple patterns, alludes to the brighter side of lighthouse symbolism.  That is the beacon that guides the navigator through rough seas.

Enjoy!

In closing, I hope that you enjoy my Lighthouse, D9.  Furthermore, you might want to keep a look out for pattern next time you go to an art show.

Thank you!

The post Pattern And Watercolor Painting “Lighthouse, D9” appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

Pattern And Watercolor Painting “Lighthouse, D9”

Pattern: it is about repeating lines, colors, shapes, values and sizes in a painting.

Reviewing Work For A Portfolio.

I have been preparing a portfolio of my work for submission to the print literary magazine Cascadia Subduction Zone.  In the process, I was looking at some of my works that I haven’t thought about in awhile.

It’s Like Looking At Pictures Of Friends.

Take, for instance, the watercolor Lighthouse D9 (or Design 9).  I am delighted to reacquaint myself with this painting.  The Grays Harbor Lighthouse, Point Chehalis, West Port, WA, inspired me to create this series of work.  You see, for a time I lived nearby and have always loved lighthouses.

Pattern: As Used in Lighthouse D9; Watercolor

Playing With Pattern.

When I created the design for Lighthouse D9 I was interested in exploring pattern.  When I say pattern, I am referring to a specific use of the term.  That is, I repeated and clustered smaller shapes in such a way that they “read” visually as one larger shape.

Examples:  Grass & Clouds.

Take, for example, the cloud shapes or the “v” grass clump shapes. Together, the smaller “v” shapes and the greenish color add up visually to tell you that I’m describing a grassy area.  The same goes for cloud shapes against a blue background on the upper portions of the painting.  I’m signaling “sky”.

OH!  A Way To Simplify!

Put another way, I’m using pattern to simplify my design.  Plus, add meaning.  And, it was fun!

What About Meaning?

The meaning?  For me, I’ve always liked lighthouses.  I grew up looking at lighthouse paintings by my father, artist John Stermer.  My feelings were pretty simple; I liked them.  They looked like remote places, but also beacons to the traveler.

This painting, with its festive colors and simple patterns, alludes to the brighter side of lighthouse symbolism.  That is the beacon that guides the navigator through rough seas.

Enjoy!

In closing, I hope that you enjoy my Lighthouse, D9.  Furthermore, you might want to keep a look out for pattern next time you go to an art show.

Thank you!

The post Pattern And Watercolor Painting “Lighthouse, D9” appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

New Works, Summer/Fall 2018

 

© 2018 Silvia Trujillo

“Hill Song”
Oil on 12×16″ canvas
$295

The secret to creating the illusion of great distance in a two dimensional painting is… well you’ll just have to take one of my workshops to find out! This piece was a demo for my Depth and Distance workshop through the Sacramento Fine Arts Center this September.

 

© 2018 Silvia Trujillo

The fascinating thing about painting in plein air is that extra elements are incorporated into the work, sometimes without the painter knowing it. Returning to this piece on a cold winter night, I’m transported right back to the lavender fields in Oregon’s Applegate Valley. I smell the sun-baked earth and hear the hum of bees. I wonder: Is there perhaps some lavender pollen embedded in the paint? Is there still a summer breeze wafting from the distant trees? I can feel it. Can’t you?

“Lavender Fields Forever II”
Oil and sunshine on 16×20″ canvas
$495

 

© 2018 Silvia Trujillo

Sometimes it’s the painter’s job not just to capture the beautiful moments in life, but the difficult ones, too. Here in southern Oregon we survived eight weeks of dense, unhealthy smoke in the late summer and early fall. When the sun did appear it wore this red disguise — like a warning light, asking us to change our ways.

“Summer Sun, 2018”
Oil and smoke on 12×9″ canvas
$195

Don’t Fence Me — or my feet — In

Every year the Rogue Gallery & Art Center in Medford puts on a Members’ Only Show. They have a great theme for it this year — “Don’t Fence Me In”. The show runs just a couple more weeks, until December 21, so while you’re out there doing your holiday shopping be sure to stop in the gallery and check out all the great art! Eighty members contributed this year, with everything from watercolors and oils to sculptures and photography.

My contribution to the Don’t Fence Me In show, titled Autumn Notes, is pictured below. I went a little bigger than usual for my plein air work, composed it in an abstract style and challenged myself to break out of my usual routines as I painted on a beautiful fall day at a friend’s property south of Ashland.

© 2018 Silvia Trujillo Art

© 2018 Silvia Trujillo Art

Autumn Notes
Oil on 24×18″ Canvas
$695

 

A Glimpse Behind the Scenes

As a little holiday present to my blog readers, I wanted to take you “backstage” on my plein air process. First, check out this quick video clip of me doing my work. See if you can find the “hidden technique”.

© 2018 Silvia Trujillo Art

© 2018 Silvia Trujillo Art

In the picture at right, the painted scene for Autumn Notes is in the background.  For the sake of the composition, I removed a few trees and tweaked the perspective.

Have you figured out my hidden technique yet? It’s going barefoot! If you’ve never tried it, you should! Taking off your shoes to paint (or embarking on any creative endeavor) is very grounding. I find that I can immerse completely in the scene I’m painting when my feet are bare.

The final image below is a close-up of the foundational stage for Autumn Notes.

I hope this inspires you to do some plein air painting in the coming year! I plan to host more outdoor classes in 2019 so stay tuned for announcements.

 

© 2018 Silvia Trujillo Art

© 2018 Silvia Trujillo Art

 

Happy All-Hearted Holidays

“All-Hearted,” painted at the annual women’s conference, Face to Face,
Living Waters, November 2018

May the art of the heart shape us.

May we love with our skinny & big hearts,
our new hearts & old hearts,
our right-side up & upside-down hearts.
May we bless the hearts that beat
to different rhythms,
the lost hearts & the found,
& all those in between.
May we be all-hearted.

Meaning in Painting? Regarding Still Life With Rabbit and Egg

The “Meaning” Question.

A fellow artist, Sandra Neary, asked me about the meaning of this still life composition.  In particular, why is the egg larger than the rabbit?

Meaning: Drawing with Rabbit and Egg

Dinosaur Egg & Pygmy Rabbit?

Well, all sorts of silly responses bounced around my head.  For instance, what if the egg were a dinosaur egg and the rabbit was a pygmy rabbit?  All birds are dinosaurs so it could be true.  Alright; it is a chicken egg and a replica of a rabbit netsuke.

Short Term Answer.

However, the question was put forward. And, I thought I’d quote part of the answer I gave.

“I chose them because they were all white objects..I was studying light and form. But, the incongruity of the rabbit and egg amused me. However, the narrative is sending me places I don’t want to go. It was the form that I was after. Sometimes you can’t escape narrative. Though, I like the ambiguity.”

Margaret Stermer-Cox Fine Art Facebook Page, 1 November 2018

And, What About Meaning?

However, I did start thinking about the meaning of this composition and, perhaps two dimensional art in general.

And, I came to the conclusion that it is reasonable to ask about the meaning of a painting or drawing.  After all, the arts, including the visual arts, are a means of communication.  Therefore, it would be natural to want to understand a piece of art.

Meaning: Painting of Rabbit and Egg

How I Select Items For This Still Life.

That being said, this artist, (ahem, yes, I mean me), is prone to selecting subjects for reasons other than symbolic or iconic meaning.

Shape and Value.  For example, when I selected items for this particular still life set up, I chose them for their shapes and tonal value. To explain, I was interested in studying form free from the distracting influence of color. So, I selected the items because they were a neutral, light or white color.

Geometry.  Furthermore, I was interested in the basic geometric shapes depicted here.  The egg cup, for example, is a modified column.  The egg is like an elongated sphere.  The rabbit has similar rounded forms.

Personal Interest.  And, I liked each of the items.  They’re from my personal collection of knick-knacks.

Still Life Set Up.

So, once I selected the items for my still life study, I had to arrange them.  Keeping in mind composition, I set about placing my knick-knacks.  You will notice that clustered the three together in a sort of triangular shape.  It is like they are in huddle over to the left.

By clustering the items to the left, I set up a problem of how to balance the right side.  My response was to see if line and small shifts in tone will be enough to achieve balance.

Meaning: Still Life with Rabbit & Egg. Reference Photo
I am including a photo of the still life set up so that you may get an idea of what I was studying. However, I drew and painted from the life; not the photo.

Academic; No Spontaneity?

Hmmm, you might think, this all sounds academic.  Well, I think it is at this stage of the process.  That is to say, I am purposeful in my set up; not spontaneous.  In other words, I’m experimenting and teaching myself by doing.  I take the rules and principles of composition, apply them and then see what happens.  The process is like an informed trial and error.

Learn By Studying & Doing.

You see, one reads the books, studies the demos, and takes the workshops, in an effort  to learn how to draw and paint. But, along the way, one needs to do the work.  So, I start with the principles and then go about the process of learning how to use them.

That is, I need to try out ideas using pencil or brush on paper.  At such times, I feel compelled to ask the “what if” questions and see what happens.  In other words, I’m studying the art of drawing and painting by doing.

The Concept of “Meaning” Deserves More Study.

So, let us go back to this idea of meaning in drawing and painting.   As I am writing and considering this question, I realize that meaning might need to be studied just as form, value or color.  So, with that, I think I will close with the thought that this ought to be the beginning of a series of articles about meaning in paintings.

What Does It Mean To You?

And, a final word about this particular still life.  Could it mean more than my intentions?  Well, as the viewer or receiver of the visual message, you bring your own experience to the conversation.  So, yes, it could mean something entirely different to you.  And, that is just fine with me!

PS.  Note with the variation below, I changed a couple of things.  Does meaning change as well?  What do you think?

Meaning: Drawing of Rabbit and Egg

The post Meaning in Painting? Regarding Still Life With Rabbit and Egg appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

Strange Thanks

On the last night of this holiday weekend, here’s a little poem—aka an excuse to share a cat painting! Cheers to gratitude—in all its expected and unexpected forms.

Strange Thanks
The cat stretches
awake after dreaming
of a bigger belly
to fill with birds.
I pet his fur ‘till
purring. Hope 
he’ll remember
how well he’s fed.
Blue jays fly past,
oddly silent,
in a blur of canny
gratitude. 

PS: You can find prints of this and other cats here

Art & Soul Closing Its Doors this month. Unless…

Art & Soul Gallery in Ashland will officially shut the doors on the 25th.

If you know anyone who might be interested in keeping this southern Oregon art community icon alive, they need to contact Eve Withrow or Linda Boutacoff immediately at 541-770-7442 or 541-821-6405.

Art & Soul Gallery in Ashland

From Art & Soul:

Sadly our gallery is closing and we need to sell these items.  We thought you just might either want them or know of someone else who would.  They would also make great room dividers for studio apartments or to divide large spaces.  Contact Linda Boutacoff at 541-770-7442 or 541-821-6405 if you or anyone you know may be interested. Thank You.  Eve
** Steel framed Panels  
8’ H x each panel is 48” wide, 
6 units, 2 interlocking panels each
White powder coated steel frames, steel frames are 3” thick, 2 interlocking units, 4 sides, carpeted, each panel is 48” w with 44” display space
1500.00 each (4 display areas front and back)
Card rack:
4’3/4”w x12”d x42”h, 2 units
light wood, 3 tiered racks on top, open shelf, 2 closed cupboards below
$300 each $550 for both
 

Studio Moments

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Please Join Me for

STUDIO MOMENTS

MY NEWEST

ONLINE OFFERING

Let me invite you into my world!

A world that is woven together with sunlight and moon glow.

A world of textures and colors, rich with imagination and love.

A world of ups and downs,

feelings and stories that are wanting to be expressed and told.

I am so excited about this project want to share a new kind of workshop with you!


Do you ever long to delve deeper into an online workshop,

and hear more about what the artist is thinking and found out why…

Why does she use that color,

why is her work brighter on one day and darker and deeper on another…

What is her art process when she makes more complicated pieces

and she is not teaching…

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Would you like to see a little more,

a revealing

of how I actually work

and what my “studio moments”

are really like?

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I WOULD LOVE TO SHARE MY CREATIVE PROCESSES

WITH YOU!

Gather with me in my studio and watch as I share my projects!

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THESE ARE THINGS I WILL BE SHARING WITH YOU:

How I work with my whole heart.

I will share with you how nature inspires me and enriches my life

How I experiment and love to use my intuition

How collage plays an important role in my art…..

How I use color with paints, papers and fabric.

Observe how I create multi-layered backgrounds.

and use symbols and mark making in my processes.

Discover and watch me use my favorite materials and tools…

Observe how create multi-layered backgrounds

using plaster, gesso, white acrylic paint and gel medium.

How I embellish and tie together my project and give you ideas for presentation.

And so much more!

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THIS IS WHAT YOU WILL RECEIVE

DURING THE 10 MONTHS OF STUDIO MOMENTS

  • Forever access to 10 sessions and over 12 hours of videos,

    all professionally filmed in my home and studio

  • A Facebook Community for sharing art making and art stories

  • My techniques, thought processes, ideas and inspiration from my toolbox of experience

  • You will sit beside me as I create unique projects from my heart

  • you will gain endless inspiration and insights into your own processes and work towards developing your own style and meaningful art

  • You will watch and listen as I explore, experiment and use my intuition all the while guiding you through self discovery

  • A list of materials compiled for each months session

  • You will be encouraged to be your own alchemist, taking a blank piece of paper and turning it into a work of art

  • Connect with your inner muse and other like souls

  • Learn new techniques in background surface design including symbols, mark making, adding a mystical language to your own art.

  • Discover how I use different surfaces and substrates including wood, canvas, watercolor paper, metal and vintage book covers

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YOU WILL LOVE

EVERY PART OF THIS EXPERIENCE

all the while honoring your own creative process

and what feels right in your soul.

Won’t you join me?


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The Cost Is Only:

Before December 30th, 2018

$180.00

Just $18.00 a month!!!

Regular Price – $220.00

Studio Moments goes live January 3, 2019


Studio Moments

180.00 220.00

Quantity:

Add To Cart


Studio Moments
By Roxanne Evans Stout





Great offering 🍂I always feel so inspired by spending time observing and listening to other artists and their process!
I love watching you and your creations of beauty using multiple mixed media and assemblage techniques ♥️

— Shellie Lee

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Come and Join me at

River Garden Studio for

Studio Moments

IMPORTANT DETAILS:

These videos will be available forever and will be downloadable.

This workshop will go live on January 3rd. You will be notified of this via email.

Every month after that sessions will go live the first Thursday of every month.

(except October when it will be the second Tuesday.

During this workshop you are free to create using what you have learned or the videos can be for your viewing pleasure.

I really believe that watching me work will lead to your own self discoveries!

High Speed Internet is advised. I am not a computer expert,

if you don’t know how to use the internet you will need to get help on your end.

This workshop is non-refundable.

In purchasing Studio Moments you agree to honor me and my work and not share the course login or downloaded videos.

Please refer to my book Storytelling with Collage for my favorite mediums, tools and materials!

More detailed lists will follow.

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Haines and Friends Fund Grant: Update

As those of you who subscribe to my newsletter already know, I received a substantial grant through the The Haines and Friends Fund this fall! As an artist who has always relied on patrons and students to stay afloat, it was immensely gratifying to receive this gift.

In applying for the grant, I proposed to create some large-format works that recreate the immediacy and spontaneity of plein air work in the confines of my studio. As soon as I got the letter saying I’d received the grant, I looked around and realized that my studio is going to feel a bit smaller than usual!

Nonetheless, I ordered the canvases, all 30″x40″ and larger. Now that they’re here, they’re urging me to get to work. These paintings will be ambitious and time-consuming to complete but worth their while. As I’ve spent time this fall reviewing photographs and paintings I’ve done on my many excursions through southern Oregon and Northern California, I’m once again captivated by the landscape. My hope is for my paintings to make these places larger than life, so that many more people may fall in love with them and work to protect them.

The Haines and Friends Fund is a southern Oregon institution with several respected figures in the regional art world on its board. I am honored to have their blessing and support!

Be on the lookout this winter and spring for updates and show announcements featuring my larger works. In the meantime, I encourage you to give the gift of art this year. I am still accepting commission orders and many of my smaller works are on sale in my eBay store.