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Autumn In Lithia Park III: A Walk In The Park

Greetings and Happy Autumn! You see, here on the southwestern Washington coast, the leaves are starting to turn.  And, the breeze is just a bit cooler perhaps.  It feels like Fall. So, while contemplating the change of the seasons, some of my earlier autumn-themed paintings popped in my head. Feeling inspired, I thought I would …

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The post Autumn In Lithia Park III: A Walk In The Park appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

North West Watercolor Acceptance

Congratulations Eve!

80th ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL OPEN EXHBITION

We are thrilled to inform you that your painting has been accepted into the Northwest Watercolor Society’s 80th Annual International Open Exhibition! Our first ever online International Open Exhibition has been extremely successful with 324 entrants submitting 674 total paintings, from 38 states and 12 countries. Juror Ron Stocke has selected your painting as one of 75 to be featured in this prestigious exhibition. Well done!

Fire and Ice
Fire and Ice
22″ X 30″ Mixed water media on paper
$1200

Serenity, Anyone?

In the 1980s, my grandmother had the Serenity Prayer decoupaged and hung in her guest bedroom. When my cousins and I had sleepovers as kids, I always marveled at its simple, rhythmic request:  

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, 

courage to change the things I can, 

and the wisdom to know the difference.

 

I typed those lines from childhood memory. That prayer has been with me ever since. Even as a gradeschooler, I knew my life-long goal was serenity in a chaotic world. 

 

Decades later, I discovered the Enneagram. I know it’s all the rage right now, but for good reason; its pegs humanity’s nine personality types through the core beliefs of the types, the wounds they suffer from, and the healing they seek. 

 

I’m a number One: The Reformer. I want to make this world a better, more beautiful place. Which is a teensy bit exhausting and mostly impossible. Zero surprise that the life pursuit of a One is serenity. Can we say #challenge?

 

This year, we need the Serenity Prayer not just as a decoupage over the guest bed, but as cosmic light show illuminating our dark skies.

 

A few nights after the Oregon fires had ravaged friends’ homes just miles away, and another news cycle featuring Angry Everybody made me want to move to the Yukon Territory without the Internet, I found myself awake in the wee hours, whispering the Serenity Prayer over and over again until—much later—I finally fell back asleep. 

 

Honestly, the more authentic version of that prayer often sounds like the character George Costanza from Seinfeld screaming, “Serenity Now!” 

 

We can yell two words. 

 

We can whisper three lines over and over. 

 

May we pray the prayers. May we also do the work to heal our own wounds so that we don’t wound others from our unresolved pain and so that we can bring our healthy selves to serve a hurting world from a place of forgiven wholeness seeking to restore instead of retaliatory brokenness seeking to destroy. 

 

(And may we have a bit of serenity!)

 

 

Talent OR and Remembering On September 11th

Greetings! On this the 11th day of September, I am thinking about my family, friends and colleagues who live in Southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley.  The Rogue Valley is our former home. To explain, eleven months ago my husband and I left the Rogue Valley and moved to the Washington coast. I point that out because …

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My Favorite Classroom

It’s back-to-school season, but you might say I’ve been in summer school since July 4: the day I got married. I never knew that marriage would be my favorite classroom. I also never knew that no matter how much reading I did ahead of time, nothing would compare to experiential learning!

 

So-o-o much to learn. Such a variable curriculum, such a huge canon—love languages, personality styles, bathroom habits.

 

And I’ve never been more excited to study. 

 

I couldn’t really prepare for it like I did in my student days, by plowing through the required reading list and over-achiever-ing by plotting out the syllabus on my calendar. 

 

I couldn’t prepare for it like I did in my teacher days, by plotting units and setting assignments all the way till Christmas. 

 

So even though preparation is my superpower, I find myself releasing the ways I thought I learned best. 

 

And I am embracing every unplanned moment that arises. This photo is from last Sunday, when I looked up to see my husband smiling as he loaded the car after an afternoon on the lake. We had made a  detour there after an active camping weekend near the Deschutes River. The river was splendid, but he knows I love lakes, so he suggested we find one. 

 

On the obsidian-rich shore, we read aloud, napped, and played on the stand-up paddleboard. (My play looks more like a wobbly attempt to not to fall off. He can do a handstand on the thing…on a moving river). 


He is learning to enjoy the stillness I love, and I am learning to enjoy the motion he loves.  

 

It’s actually because of—not in spite of—our differences that we are on the trajectory for a master’s degree in communication someday. 

 

At this moment in our culture (and at any moment) we might do well to adjust our usual learning styles. We might do well risk wobbling as we try for new balance. To be still when we prefer motionor vice versa. Generally: to push the limits of our personal learning curves.

 

Here’s to embracing the classrooms of life: marriage and more. 

Zoom Inspired !

My friend and fellow Artist, Pam Hounschild and I have been teaching a Water Media Textures Workshop via Zoom. Pam is a more linear thinker than I am which was essential in pulling this off. Our first online class was through the Mendocino Art Center in Mendocino, CA. We will teach the class again  October  5,8,12,15 with them also. . In the meantime we are also teaching September 14,17,21, and 24.through the Emerald Art Center in Springfield OR.

Its a quite different experience for all of us to not be in the same space but we are finding our way and everyone had fun and produced some great pieces.

Leading up to this new zoom life, I had decided I was tired of cutting mats, handling heavy glass and framing my work: too labor intensive and the glass made it difficult  to view the work because of the glare. So I have been working smaller and experimenting with adhering images on paper to wood substrates and layering on acrylic medium to seal them and applying a final couple of layers  of UV varnish to make them lightfast. I really like the immediacy of images and the detail preserved.  

Here are some examples of the current works.

Focal Point Vs. Center of Interest

Focal Point Vs. Center of Interest

Stefan Baumann at a demo in Mt Shasta The Grand View Artist Retreat

Stefan Baumann at a demo in Mt Shasta The Grand View Artist Retreat

July 11, 2020, Grand View Ranch

It’s amazing that it is July at The Grand View Ranch and Artist Retreat and half of a year has gone by in 2020 and now we are staring down the barrel in the last half of the year. Here at the ranch, we are finishing up the project that we started during the Corona lock-down. It is amazing how many things one starts when staying at home with some forced free time on 10 acres and a shovel. The GV Ranch has many interesting elevations and several major vistas that can be seen from every vantage point from the ranch. With so many possibilities of having painting workshops here at the ranch once we get out of this quagmire that is the Coronavirus, I have opened so many projects that need to be completed before my next workshop can take place this fall. Maybe we will see you there, Click here to find out more
Meanwhile at The Grand View Ranch
With some of the restrictions lifted my fellow artists are once again making their weekly pilgrimage to The Grand View Ranch for a bit of some social contact (with the proper social distance apart, of course) and as always there are great topics discussed on the creation of grand Paintings by the artist that is passionate about painting. This week one of my artist friends asked, “In all of your coaching and your videos on a painting you always reference focal points and having a great center of interest, is there a difference?”
Center of Interest
What I coach is not only improving your painting skills but how to use those skills to communicate to the viewer what is it that you want them to experience. We as humans have certain traits baked in because of evolution. Throughout our evolution, we have learned that certain visual cues allowed us to survive. For example, when a lion was at the cave opening you would read through eye contact whether it was interested in you for dinner. Likewise, a bear running was either a threat or not a threat by the direction that the bear was running. So, therefore, there are automatic centers of interest that are always going to trigger the viewer’s eye and will cause the viewer to react regardless of where they appear on the canvas. These things are eyes, movement, human figures, animals, letters, faces, valuables, numbers, symbols, etc. When we scan an image for the first time, our attention is naturally drawn to these items.
Focal Point “Martha, I see the light”
A focal point, on the other hand, acts as a kind of “eye magnet” regardless of the subject. Strong tonal value contrast (light vs. dark) is the most powerful visual magnet. The viewer’s eye is naturally drawn to areas where light and dark are in stark juxtaposition. Bright colors, fine detail, sharp edges, anomalies, patterns, and any arrow-like “pointers” also attract the eye. Any part of a picture that exhibits these features will make the viewer focus his gaze upon it. The best way to create a focal point is by creating effects, mainly lighting effects! The best secret weapon that an artist has in his toolbox is creating an effect by using light and shadow to attract the viewer and keep the viewer constantly captivated. Artists that master light commands the art world’s attention. That’s why it is also a focus of my coaching. It surprises me that few artists and art teachers have ever been taught how to create a focal point by the use of light and it is by far the greatest secret (if there was a secret) to mastering painting. It is the sole reason that my coaching students’ paintings win awards consistently.
Therein Lies a Potential Problem
For a picture to be successful, the center of interest should also be a focal point. In other words, there should be one area that attracts both the eye and mind. To have an area in a picture that attracts your mind and another that attracts your eye is confusing and distracting to the viewer. In a composition, the center of interest and the focal point should be in the middle third of the canvas. Both demand the viewer’s attention and should occupy the viewer’s line of sight. To create a great composition, the artist should include three focal points and employ a good understanding of how the viewer’s eye sees. But we will leave that for another blog.
Conclusion “Finally”
In conclusion, understanding the focal points and the center of interest is a life long journey that will take your painting to a whole new level. Mastering these tools will guarantee that your work will get better and will overpower your competition in a gallery or show; it will change everything about your painting and will change the way you look at other artists’ works. Many of my art students have experienced amazing reactions from collectors once they implemented these techniques. If you are interested in coaching and learning more about the focal point or center of interest just give me a call. 415-606-9074
That’s all I have to say about that!
Till our next artist “Campfire art Chat” always remember to do good work and paint with passion!
Stefan Baumann-
Currently artist in residence @ The Grand View Ranch
For reservations to be included in our campfire art chats please call 415 -606-9074
Space is limited
“Hey, Get Over Here and Give Me Some Advice!”
Information about coaching is located under the heading Coaching on my website
If you are interested in coaching, give me a call at 415-606-9074 (my personal cell number) and we can talk more about how coaching will enhance your knowledge, capabilities, and growth as an artist.
The eyes of the world are waiting to see what you have to say.”
I have coached many students over the years. My goal as a coach is to help students discover their own style by instructing them with a method that allows them to grow as they are. If you want to increase your knowledge and skill to bring your art to the next level, I invite you to watch my YouTube videos, consider phone coaching with me, or attend a workshop in Mt. Shasta where we discuss art, passion, and life with other artists around the campfire. All the information is on my website, www.stefanbaumann.com.
Stefan Baumann on his trusted steed

Stefan Baumann on his trusted steed

The post Focal Point Vs. Center of Interest appeared first on Stefan Baumann – The Grand View: Paintings by Stefan Baumann.

Lucky Valley Press July Newsletter


OUR MISSION: to help authors get their books into print and worldwide retail distribution; to provide inspired solutions for editing, design and layout; and to maintain the voice of the author and the integrity of the concept.


The Little Bach Book by David Gordon

160 pages, 6 x 9, softcover, 82 illustrations, maps, bibliography

Bach specialist David Gordon has created a richly illustrated and amusing collection of his favorite anecdotes, historical explanations, timelines, bits of pathos, gritty vignettes of everyday realities, and colorful stories about J.S. Bach and everyday life around him in early 18th-century Germany. There’s no other book like it. Learn More…

The Little Bach Book

The Soup Kit

The Soup Kit
by
Ginna BB Gordon
color photos by the author, 208 pages,
8.5 x 8.5, softcover

Everything a cook needs to know about soup: a little history, a lot of spice and herb combos borrowed from other cultures, notes about thickeners and other additions, the right vegetable cut for the right end result, when to add which ingredient, 55 recipes, and more. Learn more…

WHAT WE DO

All our services are available for print books and ebooks. We edit and proof manuscripts, design books from cover to cover, acquire ISBNs and deal with other book registration duties, process and edit photos and images and prepare the material for uploading to the distributor. Throughout the entire process we work closely with you by phone, email, snail mail and text to make sure your book has the look and feel you imagined.


Looking for John Steinbeck

Released in 2016

Deke Interrupted

Released in 2018

Humming in Spanish

Coming Sept. 2020!!

Ginna BB Gordon’s Lavandula Series

Set in Carmel Valley, California in the 1960s, The Lavandula Series is based on the fictional journals of Stefani Michel. It’s the life stories of Stevie and her two cousins. Learn More


Soul Companion: A Memoir

by Judy Hilyard

230 pages, 6 x 9, softcover, hardcover, ebook

After a 47-year career as an ICU nurse, Judy Hilyard took a completely different road and became an Anam Aira, a soul companion, for those who have died or are in the final stages of dying.

Soul Companion is the story of what Judy has learned as she cares for souls on both sides of the Veil. Learn More…

Soul Companion

AT LVP YOU ARE THE PUBLISHER

With digital print-on-demand publishing you have complete control over your book before and after it is released.

We provide all necessary design, account management and pre-press services and we partner with you every step of the way from the preliminary editing stages through the actual release of the book for international retail distribution.

OUR FEE is based on the length of your manuscript and the ultimate complexity of your book. After an examination of your manuscript and a discussion with you about your goals and ideas, we prepare a multi-page Project Evaluation with a detailed breakdown of services and costs and a project timeline. We also discuss the book size and retail price and explain how the book size, paper and price will affect your revenue.


Joseph Meister

Aunt in the Amazon
La Tia en la selva Amazónica

A True Adventure Coloring Book
by Diane Wallace

Illustrations by the author, 80 pages, 8.5 x 11, softcover

This coloring book story in Spanish and English takes you on an expedition down the Amazon by canoe. It’s the perfect book for bilingual families with kids of all ages. The engaging and true story will inspire curiosity about the world, interest in other cultures and a desire to travel without fear. Learn More…


Scherzo’s Magical Musical Adventure

by Nancy E. Bennett

This is a story about a little dog, Scherzo, with a great desire to sing. If a child is musical and loves animals, this humorous book will educate and inspire while providing an intuitive understanding of musical terminology. This is the perfect book for little ones and grown-ups to share. Learn More…

Scherzo

54 pages, 11 x 8.5, softcover,
with 23 oil paintings by the author.


Penitentiary Tales

Penitentiary Tales: A Love Story

by EA Luetkemeyer

404 pages, 6 x 9, softcover
Illustrations by the author

In the 1980s, Dean Davis, a 30-something, educated, straight white male from affluent Sausalito, California, is sent to an Illinois prison filled with inmates from the mean streets of Chicago. What challenges does he meet? How does the experience affect his social and political consciousness? Learn More…


LVP

GINNA has been reading two or three books at a time ever since she can remember. Her love of books led her to a life as writer, editor and publisher, while her love of cooking led to a parallel career as chef and cookbook author.

At Lucky Valley Press, Ginna is project manager and art director. With her artist’s eye she creates the look and personality of each book, cover to cover.

An experienced editor, she has worked closely with more than 30 authors to help them develop and refine their work.

Ginna’s first book, A Simple Celebration, the Nutritional Program for the Chopra Center for Well Being, was published in 1997 by Harmony Books, a Division of Random House.

Since then Ginna has published nine more titles including cookbooks (First You Grow the Pumpkin and The Soup Kit), memoirs about cooking (The Honey Baby Darlin’ Series), and novels (The Lavandula Series, the story of three girls growing up in the 1960s in Carmel Valley, California.)

DAVID is a life-long professional musician, writer, lecturer and historian.

At Lucky Valley Press, he is the layout and typography designer and manager of tech and pre-press. He likes to design with type and has typeset the interiors of nearly all the books we’ve produced during the past decade.

He and Ginna collaborate on the concept and design of book covers.

In 2015 David published Carmel Impresarios, a 400-page cultural biography of the two extraordinary women who helped establish Carmel, California as a major hub for the arts. It is the definitive history of the growth of music and theater in Carmel’s early years.

His second book, The Little Bach Book, describes daily life in the era of J.S. Bach. To date, it has sold more than 1,500 copies worldwide.

Learn more about David’s musical career at www.spiritsound.com.

Follow this link for a list of books by Ginna and David.


Collage of book covers


Since 2012 Lucky Valley Press has designed
and produced 65 books for 34 independent authors.
Visit www.luckyvalleypress.com to learn more.


The Corndog Compromise

When Jared proposed this spring, he had a wedding date in mind: July 4. Beyond the general delight, I was also delighted he’d already thought of the day. I was game for the holiday wedding—we’d have anniversary fireworks forever! 
The venue that first came to my mind was Plaisance Ranch, a vineyard owned by dear people we both knew. We not only loved the connection to them, I had also written the poetry wine labels for Plaisance’s beautiful vintages. 
Perfect! I thought, we’ll have a wine and cheese reception.
Thing is, my now-husband is more of a beer-and-corndogs guy (though we’ve also shared plenty of cheese and wine). Still, I thought he was joking when he said he’d like corndogs as an appetizer at the reception. Beer in addition to the wine, of course. But corndogs? That would mean renting a deep-fat fryer, and…it kinda clashed with my vision. 
Enter our first compromise. 
Just after the proposal, we were talking with the Pennington’s, who had helped introduce us once upon a time at their bakery farm stand. They make a wow version of pigs-in-a-blanket, complete with honey mustard baked into the crust. Cathy suggested, “How about we make little ones and put them on a stick, and you can call them corndogs?” Wisdom from a woman married for forty years. 
And then, Jared’s parents asked if they could cater a full dinner for the wedding in addition to the planned appetizers. My solo vision expanded into something better when shared. 
There might be a lesson in there somewhere. 
And so, we had “corndogs” at our wedding. One of the moments I asked the photographer to capture was us biting into a compromise—aka corndog—together. It’s more important to me than the traditional feed-each-other-cake thing. This, we made possible together. A symbol of many things to come. May they be sweet—or at least savory.

Five Minute Drawing And #21aweek

Five Minute Drawing – my new “fast and furious” exercise*. It’s About Drawing Skills. Hi!  Lately I’ve been working on my drawings skills.  I am wondering, does that sound familiar?  It seems to me that several of my posts have started out that way.  Though, I suppose that is not surprising given that drawing is …

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