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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.

Ashland’s First Friday Art Walk, December 7th from 5 to 8 PM

Ashland Gallery Association Art Exhibit Openings & Artist Receptions

First Friday Art Walk, December 7th from 5 to 8 PM

Stroll the galleries and take in the visual delights in downtown Ashland and the Historic Railroad District.  Enjoy this free year-round community event, filled with a diverse array of artwork, live music, artist demonstrations, refreshments and lively conversation!

Ashland Gallery Association December Spotlight Exhibits

Ashland Gallery Association Art Happenings!

Photographers’ Gallery

Bittersweet: Yosemite 20 years Later.

 

 Bobbi Murphy’s new show, Bittersweet: Yosemite 20 Years Later, opens on Friday, December 7th at The Photographers’ Gallery At The Ashland Art Center and will run through January.

 

Yosemite holds wonderful memories for me – of autumn walks in golden meadows and full moon nights along the Merced River listening to great horned owls call to their families on cold evenings. Tramping through spring meadows flooded with snow runoff, riotous with wild flowers.  John Muir walked here and helped create America’s second great National Park.

 

There is no denying the impact of climate change on the park: drought, fire, pine beetles have killed 129 million trees in California and Yosemite has not been spared. It is heartbreaking to see and experience while remembering how magnificent it was just a few short years ago. But the tourists come in crowds greater than ever.

 

Despite all that we have done to it, Yosemite is still a glorious, spectacular place that makes a heart sing, even in the midst of destruction and devastation. We are loving it to death and yet, somehow don’t love it enough to save it and ourselves.

Bobbi Murphy, Lone Tree, photograph

Ashland Art Center

Giving Tree Program

Help a local child and celebrate the Holiday’s by donating to Ashland Art Center’s Giving Tree.

December First Friday will be packed with excitement at Ashland Art Center.  We will be kicking off our First Friday Weekend Sale, 10% off, December 7, 8 & 9th.   Handcrafted work by local artists will include: paintings; photography; prints; jewelry; scarves; fiber art; woodwork; ceramics. 

Shop, enjoy wine and music and help a child in need!  We hope will you join us and spread some holiday cheer.  

Giving Tree

Giving Tree

Gallerie Karon

Gifts By The Gifted

Gallerie Karon’s December show features all of our artists with gifts for the holidays. Let us be your personal shopper – bring your list – we’re here to help.

The biggest news is that Gallerie Karon is expanding! Our new addition, “The Feathered Wing”, will be open by the holidays! In this new area, accessible through our main gallery, is a two-part section. The first is full of small, multiple use furniture pieces for smaller spaces. The second is a special area for Oriental furniture and accessories with larger scale antique Buddhas and Quan Yins. It’s a serene room far away from today’s problems and filled with things that you can use to create your own serene space at home.

We’ll have a Grand Opening once the expansion is completed, but the move is on!

Gallerie Karon

Gallerie Karon

The Shepherd’s Dream

A Study on the Transition of Life

Nora Costley, Watercolorist, shares her artistic evolution through self-discovery and the mystery of the universe. Nora is a world traveler and holds a BA in Fine Art from the University of New Mexico.  Her work has been displayed in the National Museum of Art in Washington, DC.  She currently resides in the Rogue Valley. 

She enjoys many forms of art including sculpture, traditional pottery making in Japan, Installation and Photography.  Even as a watercolorist, Nora feels an artist does not need to stick with the same subject or medium.  She prefers an artist’s creation to reflect the transient beings they are, and continue to demand an evolution as individuals.  She states…”for me art is a constant exploration and experimentation of self and the universe, which parallels the exploration of medium and processes.”  Also…”a driving force is art that stimulates personal power and freedom in myself and others.”  Her practice has evolved from that of discovering and resolving the internal, to decoding the world at large.  Often her ideas flow, and it’s not until a piece is complete, that it either is understood or not.  The universe is of great curiosity to her, but as with Nora’s artistic endeavor, she is satisfied with the mystery.

Nora Costley, “Take Your Power Back” watercolor

Nora Costley, “Take Your Power Back” watercolor

Special Event!

Lithia Artisans Market

Lithia Artisans Holiday Market

Friday, December 14 ~ 10am-7pm
Saturday, December 15 ~ 10am-6pm
Sunday, December 16 ~ 11am-4pm

Our Holiday Market is moving to the Medford Armory after 13 seasons with the Art Wing at Briscoe Elementary in Ashland. For 2018, we plan to host over 60 artisans at this new location, featuring some of the finest locally crafted gifts you’ll find. Enjoy live music, a family-friendly atmosphere and a chance to support local artisans while shopping for one-of-a-kind gifts.

A raffle drawing will be held on Sunday afternoon at both of our holiday events. The winner receives a $100 gift certificate.  This Holiday Season Support Local Handmade. Join Us!

Artisans Market holiday wares

 

For more information about all of our exhibits and to download the December Gallery Tour map, please visit: www.ashlandgalleries.com  

 

Please see the attached “Spotlight Exhibits” and December Gallery Tour Map.

Download (PDF, Unknown)

Thank you for your support of the Visual Arts in our communities!

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.

Nov and Dec 2018 Art Classes at Grants Pass Museum of Art

Paint like Diego Rivera with Kristen O'Neill and more art classes at Grants Pass Museum of Art

3D Zentangle

with Cindy Hernandez

Saturday, Nov. 3rd
1 – 4 pm
Learn Zentangle designs with certified Zentangle instructor, Cindy Hernandez. Then create fun and flexible 3D art with them.
Zentangle is a creative doodling process where there are no mistakes, and fantastic looking designs are easily repeatable.
These move!! Check out our video on Facebook.
$35. All materials included.

Paint like Diego Rivera

with Kristen O’Neill

Sat. Nov. 17
1 – 4 pm
Learn about the life, and paintings and murals of Mexican artist Diego Rivera. We will copy one of his work’s onto a 8″ x 10″ canvas. Class is taught with Golden’s Heavy Body acrylics.
(Firm limit of 16 students. Please sign up as soon as you can.)
$30. All materials provided

Portrait Painting

with Bobbi Baldwin

Fri. 11/30 and Sat. 12/1
10:30 am – 4 pm
This class is designed for the student who wants to excel at portraiture. This class is filled with many lectures and demonstrations on becoming a fine art portrait artist, including and not limited to: eyes, noses, mouths, ears, skin color, bone structure, hair, hands, limbs, torsos, clothing, and backgrounds.
Bobbi works individually with all students on the level they are as well as working with the group on areas that I see are needed for everyone. It is a great class for whoever you are and at whatever level you are at. This is going to be from a live model.
All mediums are welcome (except oil paint).
$150.

How to Paint Clouds

with Kristen O’Neill

Sat. 12/8
1 – 4 pm
Learn techniques to create realistic clouds, in a variety of lighting circumstances.
We will explore how to use clouds to show what time of day it is, and how to create consistent light within a painting or drawing. Class is taught in acrylic.
(Firm limit of 16 students. Please sign up as soon as you can.)
$30. All materials provided.
Photos by Marta! Aren’t Southern Oregon clouds amazing! She has taken these photos in preparation for the class. We are going to use these two photos for some exercises. Thanks Marta!
Our next classes will start late January. We are scheduling for Winter/Spring now. Please let us know if you have a great idea for a class!
All class sign ups are considered final and refunds are not given. The Museum will give a full refund in the case of a class being cancelled.
Grants Pass Museum of Art | 229 SW G StGrants Pass, OR 97528

Call For Art- Don’t Fence Me In, Rogue Gallery Annual Members Exhibit

www.roguegallery.org 40 South Bartlett Street Medford Oregon 97501 541-772-8118
The Annual Members’ exhibit in the Main Gallery is a favorite for many. You are invited to bring in one piece for this year’s theme “Don’t Fence Me In”. For this year, break through whatever boundaries you like as the title “Don’t Fence Me In” implies. (Though within our constraints of being a current member, and framing and dimensions requirements listed HERE>>) This is one of the few exhibits you can submit a piece that is not for sale.

Annual Members Exhibit – Don’t Fence Me In

Drop-off one piece on the theme “Don’t Fence Me In” on Friday, November 2,10am-5pm and Saturday, November 3, 11:00-3:00 pm. The exhibit runs November 9-December 21, 2018. The reception is Friday, November 16, 2018, 5-8pm. Pick-up is Saturday, December 22, 2018 11am-3pm and Wednesday, January 2, 2019, 10am-5pm.

ELIGIBILITY
•Artists must be current members of the Rogue Gallery & Art Center. They may become a member at the time of drop-off.
• Work is your original art (no reproductions) created within the last two years.
• Photographs and hand-pulled prints are signed.
• Work is in excellent condition (clean mats and frames).
• Work is properly framed and wired for hanging. For safety of artwork, we do not allow saw tooth hangers.
• Watercolors and works on paper must be covered by glass or Plexiglas with no exposed edges (closed frames only). Wrapped canvas is ok.
• Outer dimensions (including frame) are 40” x 40”.
• Please do not submit work that has previously been display in any of our galleries.
• Artist receives 60% of sale price: Rogue Gallery receives a 40% commission of retail sale.

Forms: Inventory & Artist Agreement and Art Labels

www.roguegallery.org

The Con Is On! Help Design A Bold New Look For Medford Comic Con!

Central                                                          Art Logo

 

Are you working on your logo for Medford Comic Con ? We are waiting for your entries! Only one month left to get your submissions in on Sunday, November 18.

Winner will be announced Saturday, December 15.

More details and official rules can be found here:

http://jcls.org/mcc

The MCC Logo Contest Winner will receive recognition through MCC, the Jackson County Library District (JCLD), Jackson County Library Services – Oregon, What to do in Southern Oregon, and Astral Games Medford social media, as well as:

 

– Swag Gift Bag and $100 Gift Card from Central Art Supply for the first year

– Courtesy samples of all items the logo is used on for the first year (except banners)
– Free Vendor Table for the following 5 years at MCC

– Online promotion of Vendor Table for the following 5 years at MCC

– Online promotion of graphic design business (if applicable) for first year

– Recognition on Sponsor list online and on official banner (personal logos may be submitted for Sponsor recognition)

 

Sharing with any artists you may know is greatly appreciated! So excited to see what our fans come up with!

 

#MedfordComicCon #WhattodoinSouthernOregon

VISIT CENTRAL ART!

Ashland’s First Friday Art Walk, November 2, 2018 from 5 to 8 pm

Ashland Gallery Association November 2018 Art Exhibits

First Friday Art Walk, November 2nd from 5 to 8 pm

Stroll the galleries and take in the visual delights in downtown Ashland and the Historic Railroad District.  Enjoy this free year-round community event, filled with a diverse array of artwork, live music, artist demonstrations, refreshments and lively conversation!

AGA November Spotlight Exhibits

Masterpiece Christian Fine Arts

Paintings by Mera Oliveria

Ashland Pony Espresso

Mera Oliveria grew up in Southern Oregon and began oil painting in the past 6 years, learning from local artists, which revealed her inherent natural abilities. Mera has always loved art but it wasn’t until she encountered the living God that she feels her art and skill level blossomed in new ways. Like in the story of Exodus, where God gave skill to craftsmen and artists to build the sacred place where He would meet again with His people, she believes artists are gifted with abilities to create art that allows one to encounter the living God, a meeting place, so to speak.

Along with working in painting, Mera engages in chalk festivals where artists spend days on the asphalt creating large chalk murals in the streets. Ashland residents may remember Mera transforming the sidewalk in the summer of 2017 in front of the Black Swan Theater with a 12 x 12 chalk art rendition of Henry IV, the Prodigal Son along with artist Cathy Gallatin.   She feels that involving the public in the process of creating art is special for many reasons, emphasizing the importance of the arts within community and how beauty is a form of unity, a universal language that speaks of the human experience we all live, and the spiritual and emotional journey that no one can escape.

 To see more of Mera’s art and works in progress, visit her on Instagram: @MeraOlive

Mera Oliveria, “Chalk Art”, Grants Pass, Oregon

Mera Oliveria, “Chalk Art”, Grants Pass, Oregon

Hanson Howard Gallery

Animal Crackers: Gallery Artists Pay Tribute to Our Furry and Feathered Friends

If you spend any time in the gallery you will have noticed that many of our artists have a thing for animals in their work.  Why? Well, we don’t want to overthink it….but, we can celebrate it!  From the fun to the reverent, small pieces and large, 2D and 3D, we will be including all the ways our artists honor animals in their work.  Artists include Wayne Armstrong, Don Ajello, Laurel Bustamante, Steven Dewey, Penelope Dews, Baba Wagué Diakité, Claire Duncan, Marly Eidsness, John & Robin Gumaelius, Carol Ingram, Pamela Kroll, Betty LaDuke, Jhenna Quinn Lewis, Gabriel Mark Lipper, Robert Schlegel, Karen Staal, Wataru Sugiyama, Millie Whipplesmith Plank, and Aggie Zed. For this occasion, we’ve invited Portland sculptor, Stan Peterson whose carved wooden figures have all the charm of early folk art.

This is our final show of the year and will all be up throughout the holidays.

Join us for a reception for the artists during the Ashland First Friday Art Walk, November 2nd, 5-8 pm. The show runs November 2nd through the end of the year.

Stan Peterson, “Going Home”, carved wood

Stan Peterson, “Going Home”, carved wood

Photographers’ Gallery

Tiger Lily: Featuring Heinz Danzberger

Heinz Danzberger’s new show “Tiger Lily” opens Friday, November 2nd at The Photographers’ Gallery at the Ashland Art Center. The show is part of an ongoing project covering the landscapes of the “State of Jefferson” and, in particular, the greater Mount Shasta region. It is a photographic journey and discovery of sweeping vistas and landscape details, capturing the unique land at the heart of the West Coast and one of the larger natural areas remaining in the US. It is very diverse with active volcanic roots from which spring wetlands, high deserts and forested mountains, creating a land unlike any other on the West Coast.

Heinz uses modern techniques and classic lenses to capture high-resolution photographs intended for large size pigment print. The massive scale of the landscape around Mount Shasta invites large prints to capture the grandeur of the scene.

Heinz began working in medium format and then migrated to digital once high-resolution cameras became available. The decisive factor in his work style is not as much the camera but the applied lens qualities – in this image he used the classic Pentax 77mm FA lens resulting in beautiful and very classic image.

The Tiger Lily aka Ditch Lily is a welcome sight around Mount Shasta.  This particular flower grew like a bridge over Cold Creek under the forest foliage. The arch of the stalk and the fruits of the bulbs float effortlessly over the small creek. Perhaps a deer displaced it in the spring or the weight of the flowers bent the stalk down towards the water. The horizontal arrangement shows the power of this plant to survive in difficult places.

Heinz’s photography invites us into a visual poetry of the world around us. It is a medium to see the unseen; the fleeting moments of light; the rush of time hiding magnificent moments. One does not have to go too far to find these moments. This Tiger Lily was a short bike trip to the outskirts of town, where it hides in plain sight.

Heinz Danzberger, "Tiger Lily" 2017, photograph

Heinz Danzberger, “Tiger Lily” 2017, photograph

Ashland Art Center

Dia de los Muertos Celebration on First Friday

Music by Frankie Hernandez, Pumpkin painting in the classroom.  Meet our Artists!

Show: Through Our Eyes: Reflections on Nature

Featuring Janette Brown & Katherine Dron

Watermedia artists sharing their interpretations of nature.

 

Featured Main Gallery Artist

Bridget Reynolds

Trained in a very left brained world of business, I came to the creative process quite late in life. I feel like a whole other world opened upfront me. I said a resounding “YES” and have not looked back. It is like playing in huge sandbox exploring images and color. I LOVE it!!!

Guitar Series:

On my fort canvas, all I know was that I wanted a guitar represented. From that, this series emerged.

What fun I have had in creating them.

Intuitive Pieces:

I love to stand before a blank canvas/paper and just make some strokes and then follow my instincts with a piece.

It is always a surprise to see what emerges. 

First Friday Musical Guest: Frankie Hernandez

Frankie Hernandez has played every venue conceivable between Seattle and Los Angeles. Half jokester, half home-brewed Tito and Tarantula, and always love-struck, Hernandez has carved quite a name for himself. The only thing bigger than Hernandez’s voice, which could fill a closet or Yankee Stadium with equal aplomb, is his exuberant personality.

Dia de los Muertos poster

For more information about all of our exhibits and to download the November Gallery Tour map, please visit: www.ashlandgalleries.com  

 

Download (PDF, Unknown)

Thank you for your support of the Visual Arts in our communities!

Research: Links to Articles On How to Simplify

Research, that is to say my investigation and study into what it means to “simplify” a design in drawing and painting.

Building A Knowledge Base.

Hi!  Over the past few months, I’ve been looking for articles on the topic of simplification.  That is, I’ve been trying to find out what simplification is all about.  You see, I figure that if I am to lead a class or workshop on the subject, I ought to have a solid foundation of knowledge.

Research on How to Simplify: Cool Kitty - Variation On A Theme

Article Search.

It hasn’t been easy finding articles.  Rather, the research process has been slow, especially at first.  Sometimes, though, one article leads to another relevant article and, eventually, another.  So, the idea, then, is to plod through and keep looking.

That being said, I have found several references that I like.  In other cases, with books, for example, I can see “simplify” in the index.  But, I have yet to read the all documents.

I Like Research!

And, the fun thing?  Yes, research can be fun.  One gets to expand one’s horizons and meet interesting people through their writings.  Also, the artists represented include realism to abstraction; photography, drawing and painting!

Research Into How To Simplify: Spice Kitty - Variation on a Theme

Links To Articles.

One additional note.  Several of these links have books, online classes, etc.  The purpose is not to advocate or promote the books or classes.  Rather, to share bits of insight on simplification.

So, in not any particular order, here are some links and references to articles on how to simplify.

1.  Mitchell Albala.

Mr. Albala is an artist and instructor working in the Pacific Northwest.

From Mitchell Albala’s blog:  “Any good landscape painting I’ve ever done was also simple”, https://blog.mitchalbala.com/the-not-so-simple-art-of-simplification/

Quote:  The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak. – Hans Hoffman

From Mitchell Albala’s book, Landscape Painting.  Simplification and Massing: Learn to reduce nature’s complexity by looking beneath the surface of a subject to discover the form’s basic masses and shapes.

Research: How To Simplify: KittyKitty Simplified Pattern

2.  Website:  Composition Study.

Though the purpose of this website is to be a resource for photographers, I think that the information is relevant to any visual artist.  There is one article specifically on simplification: http://compositionstudy.com/simplification/

The author includes a wonderful example of simplification in a black and white photograph.

3.  Johannes Vloothuis.

Via Artistnetwork.com, “5 Art Composition Tips:  How to Simplify a Busy Painting”; useful tips and examples!

4.  The Virtual Instructor.

This short article and video focusing on simplifying by seeing the underlying shape and form of the subject.

Drawing 101 – Simplify For Success.

5.  John Burton: Organizing Chaos.

From Tucson Art Academy On Line, a short video from artist John Burton.   He discusses how he organizes a complex scene.  Its all about seeing shapes; working large to small, and leaving the details to last.  I recommend this short video:  Three Key Steps to Simplifying A Complex Scene.

6.  Keene Wilson.

Mr. Wilson’s article “Design and Composition: Practical Advice for the Advanced Artist” is compilation of notes from the artist on design and composition.  Embedded in the many of the notes are tips on how to enhance and simplify your design.  And, you are rewarded as you read down the page where you find an entire paragraph titled “Simplify”.  This might be an article you want to book mark and come back to!

Research: Variation On A Theme

7.  Miles G. Batts.

One of my favorite artists is Miles G. Batts.  He has a paragraph specifically on simplification on page 68 of  his book “The Complete Guide to Creative Watercolor”.

8.  Linda Kemp.

Another favorite artist, Linda Kemp has a book available titled “Simplifying Design & Color for Artists”.

9.  Tom Hoffman.

An artist I admire from the Pacific Northwest, Mr. Hoffman has a book out plus teaches.  I have not read his book, but I frequent a blog he uses for some of his watercolor classes.  It seems to me that simplification and how to do it are topics imbedded in his instructions.  I find the blog useful.

10.  Frank Eber.

Artist Frank Eber, another fine artist whose work I admire has a blog with several excellent articles that include the subject of simplification.  All are worthy reads and provide insight to the painting process and simplification in particular.

Research on How To Simplify: Variations On A Theme, KittyKitty Red Alert

11.  Mark Alan Anderson, “Just Sketching” Blog.

I like Mr. Anderson’s articles.  To elaborate, I find the practical, accessible and useful.  Its about the practice of drawing and sketching.  So, I’ll list a couple of articles that apply directly to the topic of simplification.

12.  Stephen Berry.

Tip:  Try smaller reference photos, such as from a cell phone. Helps you see the big shapes!  From “10 Tips to Help You Improve On Your Own”.

13.  Me!

Some of my other articles about simplifying:

About The Paintings.

The paintings shown in this article are part of my “KittyKitty” series started in 2009.  One of my favorite ways of doing research, whether or not I want to simplify, is to do a “variation on a theme”.  Put another way, working in series gives the artist an opportunity to see first hand how changes influence design.  Plus, its great fun!

Research Variation On Theme: Totally Modern Kitty

 

#simplify #simplifyyourpainting #watercolorpainting

The post Research: Links to Articles On How to Simplify appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

Art Revealing the Gunfire Epidemic. Make a Box. Send It In. It Counts.

ART REVEALING THE GUNFIRE EPIDEMIC.
MAKE A BOX. SEND IT IN. IT COUNTS.

Back to School with The Soul Box Project

Nobody likes to hear school and gun in the same sentence. Schools spent a lot of time and energy preparing for the worst. Like teaching new words to Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star:
“Lockdown. Lockdown. Lock the door. Shut the lights off, say no more. Go behind the desk and hide. Wait until it’s safe inside. Lockdown. Lockdown. It’s all done. Now it’s time to have some fun…”
Or what this teacher says in a note accompanying a delivery of Soul Boxes:

Of course, the stories that haunt us most are about the heartbreaking
shootings that actually happen. But there are also stories about action. For instance, over the past eight months we’ve watched the Parkland, FL students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School build a movement out of their tragedy.
Educators, students and parents are also taking action with Soul Boxes. Each is a page in our Soul Box story. Here are some of the ways Soul Boxes are going back to school.

A Day of Courage and Compassion

Last April, Da Vinci Middle School in Portland, OR spent the day making Soul Boxes. The activities were part of the arts magnet school’s full-day exploration of courage and compassion. Soul Box Project founder Leslie Lee visited as the school’s HeArt Learning guest artist.

She started the day speaking to an auditorium of middle schoolers about art, activism, courage and Soul Boxes. Guided by peer leaders, the students then spent their morning classes learning to fold Soul Boxes. Leslie visited classrooms to meet students and answer questions in the afternoon. In their last class of the day, students wrote about their experiences. The feedback from the students and faculty was overwhelmingly positive! If you would like Leslie to visit your school, please contact her here.

Students Explore Their Power for Good

Woodrow Wilson High School students in Portland, OR carried Soul Boxes as part of their activism against gun violence, recorded here on their yearbook page.
Using the Soul Box Project in a service role provides an opportunity for students to engage, act and reflect while fulfilling their state’s high school graduation requirements or credit allowed toward graduation for service-learning/community service. Folding Soul Boxes can be tailored to a one-day project or an ongoing endeavor engaging other students over a set period of time. The individual act of folding a Soul Box, honoring a life lost or affected by gunfire, is meditative and healing. Group folding provides a nonthreatening opportunity for dialogue about gun sense and activism. Working towards a goal tied to a statistic – such as representing the 733 children, 11 and under, shot in 2017 – illustrates the gunfire epidemic, as well as the power of art activism.
Schools wishing to further extend student comprehension on the issue of gun violence can also order a curriculum toolkit from Vision Quilt .

Hannah Taylor and Graham Yotsuya lead a Soul Box workshop on Unity Day at West Linn High School in Oregon. Full story here.

Cheerleaders at Parkrose High School in Portland, OR folded 69 Soul Boxes at the first session of their community service.

School-based activism doesn’t stop when the class bell rings. 

A retired teacher sent a set of Soul Boxes. Her note touched on the comfort that can be found, just by folding. “Thank you for letting me express my hurt, anger and frustration with what is happening in our country in a way that’s visual and creative.”

Betty Reynolds, Mark Mandel and other members of Woodrow Wilson High School’s class of ’66 in Portland, OR not only folded 87 Soul Boxes, but raised over $900 for the Project, as well. You can make a donation here.

Even pre-schoolers can contribute to Soul Box making. Here’s an idea to help the littlest hands contribute: Use a cardstocktemplate to outline the area that will show once the Soul Box is folded. Let them decorate the flat paper, then you do the folding. Cynthia Towle DeVore, on our Facebook Soul Box Community group, shared this insight: “For the very youngest we chose to simply call them boxes and not to go into the background. We felt that at 4 years of age it was developmentally too young to go into gun violence..,”

That said, any child who has experienced a lockdown at school deserves a positive, empowering way to respond. This second-grader not only comprehends the issue but shows an innocent compassion for the shooter that few adults would extend.

After the Las Vegas shooting in Oct. 2017 a seven year old boy talks about the SOUL BOX he made.

Watch the Video
2 views

And, finally, parents. Soul Box volunteer Stephanie Bugge Wilson – the person who keeps our social media interesting – penned this blog about her experience as a parent with children in lockdown, and how it led her to the Project.

If you’d like to join the Soul Box team, we could use your help! Specifically, we need to hire an Outreach Coordinator in the Portland, OR area. More information here.

On to Salem!

Even with the help of teachers, parents and students we still need thousands of Soul Boxes for our first major installation.
On February 15, 2019 — coincidentally the day after the first anniversary of the Parkland shooting — we’ll fill the Gallery West in the Oregon State Capitol lobby with 36,000 Soul Boxes!

That’s one Soul Box to represent every person shot in the US during a typical year. Legislators and staff will be in session. We will invite them to stop by and add their own Soul Box. This exhibit is also a chance to attract media attention with a parade of 72 volunteers each carrying a clear bag of 500 Soul Boxes in and out of the Capitol. If you want to participate let us know.

With an incredible 22,000 Soul Boxes already contributed, we are over halfway to this first goal — with more exhibitions to come! Gather your friends and family to fold, personalize and send in your Boxes (instructions here).  If you’re part of a community, from a book club to a congregation, we have tools to get you organized here. Watch our Facebook page to find weekly Box-folding gatherings around the Portland, OR area. Better yet, start your own, especially if you are in a different state.  However you do it:
Make a Box. Send it in. It counts.
Now, more than ever.

Help us spread the word!
Use #soulboxproject and @soulboxproject
when you post to your own media feeds.

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