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“Espresso Time-R” at Rogue Gallery’s Annual Member’s Exhibition

Greetings!   

I am pleased to say that my painting “Espresso Time-R” is in the 2017 Annual Member’s Exhibition at the Rogue Gallery.  
  
Rogue Gallery & Art Center (Medford)

Exhibition Details.

This is to let you know the where and when of the show.

  • Location:  Rogue Gallery and Art Center, 40S Bartlett St., Medford OR
  • Opening Reception:  Friday, November 17, from 5 to 8 pm.
  • Show Dates:  November 17th through December 21
  • View during business hours:  
    • Tuesday – Friday:  10am to 5pm
    • Saturday:        11am to 3pm 

About the Exhibition, From The Gallery’s Website.

“This exhibit gives Rogue Gallery members an opportunity to exhibit one piece of their work on the central theme of “Time”. Over 50 artists are participating in this non-juried exhibit. Artists’ submitted artwork that reflects their personal interpretation of the theme. The exhibit includes watercolors, acrylic, and oil paintings as well as sculptures, photography, and pastels”.

Participating Artists:

I would like to highlight that, per the gallery’s website, over 50 artists submitted work this year.  Included are the following artists:

Bruce Allen, Rachel Barrett, Betty Barss, Bruce Bayard, Linda Boutacoff, Robert Broadway, Susan Eileen Burnes, John Campbell, Jim Curtis, Julia Dahl, Ann Di Salvo, Linda Dixon, Phyllis Earls, Anna Elkins, Linda Elesiya Evans, Kim Faucher, Debby Fisher, Cynthia Flowers, Tom Glassman, Kelly Gratton, Phyllis Gustafson, Claudia Harlow, Nomeca Hartwell, Pam Haunschild, Anna Hinkle, Howard Hunt, Marilyn Hurst, Zelpha Hutton, Jennifer Ivey, Joan Kennedy, Judy Benson LaNier, Christina Madden, Dave Mathewson, Anna May, Linda Meerten, Vera Melnyk, Kathy Morawiec, Judy Ghetti Ommen, Tom Ommen, Cecilia Pestlin, June Shepard, Margaret Stermer-Cox, Leland Struebig, Cherri Van Syoc, Daniel Verner, Doug Wallace, Karen Wallace, Gerald Westgerdes, Marilyn Westgerdes, Charlotte L. Wirfs, Walter Wirfs, Eve Margo Withrow”.

Happily, many of the artists showing are personal friends; I look forward to seeing their work!

About My Painting.

Daily Espresso.  So, each morning I start my day with a couple of cups of espresso.  And, for those of you who have followed my work, you might have noticed that espresso and coffee cups appear in my paintings often.   One could say there is a life theme being expressed in my painting.  

Why Espresso Cups?  I’d like to explain that one of the reasons that the cups appear so often is that they are a good objects to teach oneself how to draw or paint.  Specifically, its the ovals of the cup’s mouth and the semi-circles of the cup’s handle that are challenging.  And, the shapes are fun to play with when I want to go abstract!

Time-R.  Back to the painting’s title:  “Espresso Time-R”, I added my favorite kitchen timer so the title would fit.  And, if the painting was about time, I could enter it into the Rogue Gallery’s “Time” show.   Furthermore, you guessed it, I like the shapes of the timer; so much so, I keep drawing and painting it!

Distorted By Design.  As is my style, I chose to play with the shapes of the timer and espresso.  I flatten them, distort them and paint them expressive colors.  Perhaps this is because its espresso time!  And, energy and I like espresso!

Acrylic.  This particular painting is done in acrylic.  Much of the work I have been doing this past year has been in acrylic, which is something different for me.  Most of my show work is in watercolor.  I thought it was time to show some of my new acrylic work.  

Invitation.

If you are in the area, please do stop by the Rogue Gallery & Art Center.  Please, take your time and feast your eyes on a wonderful collection of artworks.  

And, naturally, if you would please stop by my “Espresso Time-R” and have a look.  

Thank you!

 

 

Share

The post “Espresso Time-R” at Rogue Gallery’s Annual Member’s Exhibition appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

“Espresso Time-R” at Rogue Gallery’s Annual Member’s Exhibition

Greetings!   

I am pleased to say that my painting “Espresso Time-R” is in the 2017 Annual Member’s Exhibition at the Rogue Gallery.  
  
Rogue Gallery & Art Center (Medford)

Exhibition Details.

This is to let you know the where and when of the show.

  • Location:  Rogue Gallery and Art Center, 40S Bartlett St., Medford OR
  • Opening Reception:  Friday, November 17, from 5 to 8 pm.
  • Show Dates:  November 17th through December 21
  • View during business hours:  
    • Tuesday – Friday:  10am to 5pm
    • Saturday:        11am to 3pm 

About the Exhibition, From The Gallery’s Website.

“This exhibit gives Rogue Gallery members an opportunity to exhibit one piece of their work on the central theme of “Time”. Over 50 artists are participating in this non-juried exhibit. Artists’ submitted artwork that reflects their personal interpretation of the theme. The exhibit includes watercolors, acrylic, and oil paintings as well as sculptures, photography, and pastels”.

Participating Artists:

I would like to highlight that, per the gallery’s website, over 50 artists submitted work this year.  Included are the following artists:

Bruce Allen, Rachel Barrett, Betty Barss, Bruce Bayard, Linda Boutacoff, Robert Broadway, Susan Eileen Burnes, John Campbell, Jim Curtis, Julia Dahl, Ann Di Salvo, Linda Dixon, Phyllis Earls, Anna Elkins, Linda Elesiya Evans, Kim Faucher, Debby Fisher, Cynthia Flowers, Tom Glassman, Kelly Gratton, Phyllis Gustafson, Claudia Harlow, Nomeca Hartwell, Pam Haunschild, Anna Hinkle, Howard Hunt, Marilyn Hurst, Zelpha Hutton, Jennifer Ivey, Joan Kennedy, Judy Benson LaNier, Christina Madden, Dave Mathewson, Anna May, Linda Meerten, Vera Melnyk, Kathy Morawiec, Judy Ghetti Ommen, Tom Ommen, Cecilia Pestlin, June Shepard, Margaret Stermer-Cox, Leland Struebig, Cherri Van Syoc, Daniel Verner, Doug Wallace, Karen Wallace, Gerald Westgerdes, Marilyn Westgerdes, Charlotte L. Wirfs, Walter Wirfs, Eve Margo Withrow”.

Happily, many of the artists showing are personal friends; I look forward to seeing their work!

About My Painting.

Daily Espresso.  So, each morning I start my day with a couple of cups of espresso.  And, for those of you who have followed my work, you might have noticed that espresso and coffee cups appear in my paintings often.   One could say there is a life theme being expressed in my painting.  

Why Espresso Cups?  I’d like to explain that one of the reasons that the cups appear so often is that they are a good objects to teach oneself how to draw or paint.  Specifically, its the ovals of the cup’s mouth and the semi-circles of the cup’s handle that are challenging.  And, the shapes are fun to play with when I want to go abstract!

Time-R.  Back to the painting’s title:  “Espresso Time-R”, I added my favorite kitchen timer so the title would fit.  And, if the painting was about time, I could enter it into the Rogue Gallery’s “Time” show.   Furthermore, you guessed it, I like the shapes of the timer; so much so, I keep drawing and painting it!

Distorted By Design.  As is my style, I chose to play with the shapes of the timer and espresso.  I flatten them, distort them and paint them expressive colors.  Perhaps this is because its espresso time!  And, energy and I like espresso!

Acrylic.  This particular painting is done in acrylic.  Much of the work I have been doing this past year has been in acrylic, which is something different for me.  Most of my show work is in watercolor.  I thought it was time to show some of my new acrylic work.  

Invitation.

If you are in the area, please do stop by the Rogue Gallery & Art Center.  Please, take your time and feast your eyes on a wonderful collection of artworks.  

And, naturally, if you would please stop by my “Espresso Time-R” and have a look.  

Thank you!

 

 

Share

The post “Espresso Time-R” at Rogue Gallery’s Annual Member’s Exhibition appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

Create A Unique & Beautiful Gift For The Artist In Your Life!

Create A Unique & Beautiful Gift For The Artist In Your Life!
Central Art Logo

Mugs & Coasters with Posca Pens

at Central Art:

centralartsupply.com, 101 N. Central Ave., Medford, Oregon

Don’t miss out on this fun and engaging 1-hour mini art workshop, exclusively at Central Art!

When: Wednesday, Nov. 8th, 2017

Location: Central Art

Time: 3:30pm – 4:30pm
Fee: $7.50*

*Pre-registration required for all workshops. Space is limited to 12 students maximum. Payment is required at time of registration.

http://www.centralartsupply.com/events-and-classes

Seeing Design Features: The Painting of Regal Kitty

Greetings!  Meet Regal Kitty, and, if you’ve met her before, then how about a peek into her design?

By Design: Regal Kitty

Purpose.

The purpose of this article is to give you some insight into how I designed my painting Regal Kitty.  More specifically, I would like to share with you three composition features that I purposely included in this painting.  

  • Fractured planes – the “Cubist Style” approach.
  • Shape and line, where shape dominates but line adds character.
  • Value and color scheme; value is important; color is managed.

History.  

To set the stage, I’ll start with a bit of history.  Regal Kitty was painted in 2009.  I had been reading books on Cubism because I wanted to understand what this important art movement was all about.  How did they create “Cubist” paintings?  I liked the shapes and lines of Cubism and wondered how they did it.  

In order to understand the movement, I thought I’d try my hand at designing my own Cubist style painting, though how does one start?  To me, one of the signature moves of the Cubist era, that is to say the design that stands out was the double face.  I find it intriguing to see both views together – front and sideways.  

By Design: Cubist Style Head

The Cubist Face.

But, how to combine both sides?  Well, the best solution I could come up with is just to start.  

I worked with several drawings, trying to marry side and front view faces.  It was a struggle; its not as easy as one might think coming up with a coherent design!  Then, I ran into drawings and etchings by Cubist sculpture Henri Laurens.  Wow!  I get it (sort of); I had a way in!  

You see the Cubists were thinking sculptural, or three dimensional and drawing two dimensional.  There is a sculptural side to Cubist paintings.  That is why a flattened box, where you see all six sides at the same time, is a good starting point for understanding Cubism.

Designing a Cubist Box

Back to Regal Kitty.  All these Cubist ideas were pinging around my brain.  After seeing photos of Henri Laurens sculpture plus his drawings, I plunged in again and tried to draw a cat.

Design detail: Profile view Regal Kitty

If you look closely at the head, you will see I did indeed include a sideways (profile) view and a forward view of the cat’s head.  All the other shapes allude to the different planes of the cat-figure flattened.  Think sculptural and statuesque.

I was pleased with the resulting cat design.  

Design view: frontal face, Regal Kitty

Design Elements: Line And Shape.

Another device I noticed while looking at paintings done in the Cubist era was the interplay of line and shape.  Some of the objects in a still life, for example, might just be outlined.  Other objects will be filled with color, value or texture to create a shape.

I liked the marriage of both line and shape.  But, as I learned while studying design, its best for either line or shape to be dominant.  When you have both in equal number, its confusing.  

So with the design of Regal Kitty, I focused on shape as dominant over line.  However, around the face, I used line to add character, (see the detail of the head above).  Naturally, you might say, the face is the center of interest.  That is where you want something a bit special to catch the viewer’s eye.

Design Analysis: Regal Kitty Grayscale

More Design Elements: Value and Color.

Both of the design elements “value and color” play an important part in this design.  I would consider this a value painting first.  Value, the relative light and dark of each shape, is what gives the design its power.  Plus, it is the relative light and dark of adjoining shapes that helps to express the feeling of a statuesque cat.

When I was developing my color scheme, I considered the relative value and intensity of the colors in relationship to each other.  So, a dark blue, for example, might read as a plane or side that is turning away from you, the viewer.  On the other side, a warm orange or yellow feels like it is advancing toward you.

I chose a complimentary blue and orange color scheme for a couple of reasons.  Foremost, a complimentary color scheme makes it easier to manage color.  Its like composing with a simplified color chord rather than an entire kaleidoscope of colors.  Granted, there are times when lots of different colors are just what’s needed, but that’s not what I wanted to do here. 

Design: Alternate Color Scheme, Regal Kitty

Another reason for the blue and orange is that I simply like the scheme.  It speaks softly but with some dignity and serenity.  You guessed it, the blue dignity is linked to the “regal” word in the title.

Sometimes its easiest just to see what a different color scheme will do.  I manipulated the image of Regal Kitty to give you a violet and yellow scheme as well as a red and green version to see.  It changes the meaning somewhat, don’t you think?  You might like a different color better; its all a matter of taste and what “speaks” to you.

Alternate Color Scheme: Green and Red

Looking Again And Sharing Secrets.

So, now that we have talked and looked at Regal Kitty for several paragraphs, how do you see her now?  Do you see more?  Has her meaning changed?

I like sharing with you my secret “double faced” cat; its like a little joke just between you and me.  My Regal Kitty is trying to be dignified and regal, but she’s really looking at you, or is she?  Perhaps she’s contemplating the meaning of life and the greater universe.  Or, maybe, she’s thinking its time to go take a nap.

Thanks!

Thank you for sharing your time with me and Regal Kitty!

 

Share

The post Seeing Design Features: The Painting of Regal Kitty appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

Seeing Design Features: The Painting of Regal Kitty

Greetings!  Meet Regal Kitty, and, if you’ve met her before, then how about a peek into her design?

By Design: Regal Kitty

Purpose.

The purpose of this article is to give you some insight into how I designed my painting Regal Kitty.  More specifically, I would like to share with you three composition features that I purposely included in this painting.  

  • Fractured planes – the “Cubist Style” approach.
  • Shape and line, where shape dominates but line adds character.
  • Value and color scheme; value is important; color is managed.

History.  

To set the stage, I’ll start with a bit of history.  Regal Kitty was painted in 2009.  I had been reading books on Cubism because I wanted to understand what this important art movement was all about.  How did they create “Cubist” paintings?  I liked the shapes and lines of Cubism and wondered how they did it.  

In order to understand the movement, I thought I’d try my hand at designing my own Cubist style painting, though how does one start?  To me, one of the signature moves of the Cubist era, that is to say the design that stands out was the double face.  I find it intriguing to see both views together – front and sideways.  

By Design: Cubist Style Head

The Cubist Face.

But, how to combine both sides?  Well, the best solution I could come up with is just to start.  

I worked with several drawings, trying to marry side and front view faces.  It was a struggle; its not as easy as one might think coming up with a coherent design!  Then, I ran into drawings and etchings by Cubist sculpture Henri Laurens.  Wow!  I get it (sort of); I had a way in!  

You see the Cubists were thinking sculptural, or three dimensional and drawing two dimensional.  There is a sculptural side to Cubist paintings.  That is why a flattened box, where you see all six sides at the same time, is a good starting point for understanding Cubism.

Designing a Cubist Box

Back to Regal Kitty.  All these Cubist ideas were pinging around my brain.  After seeing photos of Henri Laurens sculpture plus his drawings, I plunged in again and tried to draw a cat.

Design detail: Profile view Regal Kitty

If you look closely at the head, you will see I did indeed include a sideways (profile) view and a forward view of the cat’s head.  All the other shapes allude to the different planes of the cat-figure flattened.  Think sculptural and statuesque.

I was pleased with the resulting cat design.  

Design view: frontal face, Regal Kitty

Design Elements: Line And Shape.

Another device I noticed while looking at paintings done in the Cubist era was the interplay of line and shape.  Some of the objects in a still life, for example, might just be outlined.  Other objects will be filled with color, value or texture to create a shape.

I liked the marriage of both line and shape.  But, as I learned while studying design, its best for either line or shape to be dominant.  When you have both in equal number, its confusing.  

So with the design of Regal Kitty, I focused on shape as dominant over line.  However, around the face, I used line to add character, (see the detail of the head above).  Naturally, you might say, the face is the center of interest.  That is where you want something a bit special to catch the viewer’s eye.

Design Analysis: Regal Kitty Grayscale

More Design Elements: Value and Color.

Both of the design elements “value and color” play an important part in this design.  I would consider this a value painting first.  Value, the relative light and dark of each shape, is what gives the design its power.  Plus, it is the relative light and dark of adjoining shapes that helps to express the feeling of a statuesque cat.

When I was developing my color scheme, I considered the relative value and intensity of the colors in relationship to each other.  So, a dark blue, for example, might read as a plane or side that is turning away from you, the viewer.  On the other side, a warm orange or yellow feels like it is advancing toward you.

I chose a complimentary blue and orange color scheme for a couple of reasons.  Foremost, a complimentary color scheme makes it easier to manage color.  Its like composing with a simplified color chord rather than an entire kaleidoscope of colors.  Granted, there are times when lots of different colors are just what’s needed, but that’s not what I wanted to do here. 

Design: Alternate Color Scheme, Regal Kitty

Another reason for the blue and orange is that I simply like the scheme.  It speaks softly but with some dignity and serenity.  You guessed it, the blue dignity is linked to the “regal” word in the title.

Sometimes its easiest just to see what a different color scheme will do.  I manipulated the image of Regal Kitty to give you a violet and yellow scheme as well as a red and green version to see.  It changes the meaning somewhat, don’t you think?  You might like a different color better; its all a matter of taste and what “speaks” to you.

Alternate Color Scheme: Green and Red

Looking Again And Sharing Secrets.

So, now that we have talked and looked at Regal Kitty for several paragraphs, how do you see her now?  Do you see more?  Has her meaning changed?

I like sharing with you my secret “double faced” cat; its like a little joke just between you and me.  My Regal Kitty is trying to be dignified and regal, but she’s really looking at you, or is she?  Perhaps she’s contemplating the meaning of life and the greater universe.  Or, maybe, she’s thinking its time to go take a nap.

Thanks!

Thank you for sharing your time with me and Regal Kitty!

 

Share

The post Seeing Design Features: The Painting of Regal Kitty appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

Watercolor & Ink Studies – Just For Fun

Introduction.

Hi!  I’d like to simply share a couple of watercolor studies.  

Watercolor Studies: A Pear and its shadow

Why Do Studies.

There are several reasons why I like doing these studies.  Here are a few reasons that come immediately to mind.

  • Focus:  One has to pay attention when working with watercolor.  The paint moves and I like to take advantage of the paint’s nature.  However, it can get away from me if I’m not paying attention!
  • Fun:  Its watercolor, for the same reason you have to focus: it moves.  
  • Muscle memory.  These studies help develop the skills of observation and brush control.  Doing them often enables me to remember what to do when faced with paper, paint and water.
  • Draw & Paint.  I get to work on both drawing and painting skill sets!  What could be better?

About the Subject Matter.

The subject matter was inspired by the October list of prompts by the website “Doodlewash®”.   There is a list for every day in October, just as a prompt in case you are grappling with what to draw.  

For October 20th, the prompt was “pears”; no problem, I have some pears ripening so I drew and painted one.  

But, the prompt for October 21st was “corn”.  My husband and I already ate up the candy corn.  And, we don’t have any ears of corn in the refrigerator.  What to do?

Aha!  I have a bottle of “Corn Huskers Lotion” sitting on my kitchen sink counter!  Sounds like “corn” to me.

So, tomorrow’s prompt is “barn”; I don’t live in a barn or have one.  So, what to do?  My thinking cap is on; I like this sort of thing.

watercolor studies : Corn Huskers Lotion

Adding Ink.

Oh, by the way, this month is also “Inktober™“.  I thought it would be fun to add some ink today, hence the inking around my “Corn Huskers Lotion” bottle.

In any case, I hope you enjoy the watercolor sketches.  Thanks!

#WorldWatercolorGroup #Inktober2017

 

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The post Watercolor & Ink Studies – Just For Fun appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

Watercolor & Ink Studies – Just For Fun

Introduction.

Hi!  I’d like to simply share a couple of watercolor studies.  

Watercolor Studies: A Pear and its shadow

Why Do Studies.

There are several reasons why I like doing these studies.  Here are a few reasons that come immediately to mind.

  • Focus:  One has to pay attention when working with watercolor.  The paint moves and I like to take advantage of the paint’s nature.  However, it can get away from me if I’m not paying attention!
  • Fun:  Its watercolor, for the same reason you have to focus: it moves.  
  • Muscle memory.  These studies help develop the skills of observation and brush control.  Doing them often enables me to remember what to do when faced with paper, paint and water.
  • Draw & Paint.  I get to work on both drawing and painting skill sets!  What could be better?

About the Subject Matter.

The subject matter was inspired by the October list of prompts by the website “Doodlewash®”.   There is a list for every day in October, just as a prompt in case you are grappling with what to draw.  

For October 20th, the prompt was “pears”; no problem, I have some pears ripening so I drew and painted one.  

But, the prompt for October 21st was “corn”.  My husband and I already ate up the candy corn.  And, we don’t have any ears of corn in the refrigerator.  What to do?

Aha!  I have a bottle of “Corn Huskers Lotion” sitting on my kitchen sink counter!  Sounds like “corn” to me.

So, tomorrow’s prompt is “barn”; I don’t live in a barn or have one.  So, what to do?  My thinking cap is on; I like this sort of thing.

watercolor studies : Corn Huskers Lotion

Adding Ink.

Oh, by the way, this month is also “Inktober™“.  I thought it would be fun to add some ink today, hence the inking around my “Corn Huskers Lotion” bottle.

In any case, I hope you enjoy the watercolor sketches.  Thanks!

#WorldWatercolorGroup #Inktober2017

 

Share

The post Watercolor & Ink Studies – Just For Fun appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

Deliberate Practice Applied To Drawing Better

Purpose.

This article is about practicing smarter using strategic, or deliberate practice, as it applies to the skill of realistic drawing. I will introduce the idea of deliberate (or strategic) practice then share my views on two articles on how to draw and sketch better.  The articles are from the website “Jen Reviews”.

Clarifying Terms.

Please note that Jen Reviews uses the term strategic practice.  From what I’ve read and understand, strategic practice is the same thing as deliberate practice.  Therefore, I’ll use them interchangeably.  

Self Taught; How Do I Improve?

To explain, I am a “self taught” artist.  That is to say I am not a classically trained artist; I did not study at an art academy, school or atelier.  Instead, I read books, attended workshops and then tried to figure things out on my own.  

Such a situation is similar for lots of artists, I imagine.  We have an interest in drawing or painting and finally reach the point in our lives where we can focus our attention on learning.  We set up our drawing table or easel in get down to the business of learning and practicing.

After awhile, though, we figure out that there is more than just trying to draw something from life.  Practice, practice, practice and more practice helps, but  there is something we need to do to get to the next level.

Deliberate Practice Steps

Deliberate Practice.

Enter deliberate practice which is about targeting what you do.  A couple of years ago I read about deliberate practice, which sounded like a good idea.  To summarize, its a purposeful way of practicing.  Put another way, I figure out what skill I want to work on; identify particular exercises that improve my abilities in that area; develop a practice plan; practice; then evaluate performance.

However, how does one go about applying the idea of deliberate practice to the art and skill of drawing?

Reviewing Jens Review.

That is where Jen comes in. Who’s Jen? I am referring to the “Jen Reviews” website. The site publishes in-depth reviews of everything from how to grow blueberries to how to draw better.  While wandering around their site, I found an article on how to sketch too.

Contact With Jen Reviews.

Writers from the website “Jen Reviews” contacted me and suggested their article: “How To Draw Better”.  This was back in August.  I immediately liked the article.  There was one problem, though.  There is a ton of good information in this article backed up by science.  I am still wading through all of the good ideas!

Deliberate Practice Example

Motor Coordination Exercise.

To show you what I mean, have you ever had the problem of your eye, brain, hand and pencil not being in synch?  You think you are drawing a vertical, straight line but you look at it and its wavy.  If you get frustrated enough, you might pull out an extra sheet of paper and do some practice cross hatching.  But, do you really get better at making purposeful marks?  

Yes, this is something I struggle with and Jens Review article “How To Draw Better” explains the exercise of making deliberate, evenly spaced marks with your pencil or brush.  What I particularly like in the article is a discussion of why this exercise works.  

So, how do you to put this new knowledge into practice?  The exercise is simple and its best to practice regularly and at short intervals.  

For me, I decided that this would be an excellent thing to do with my new iPadPro and the iPencil.  Since the tools are new to me, I felt that practice would help.  What I do is practice on routinely as part of a drawing session.  You might see some marks up in the corner of a drawing.  The nice thing is that I can practice, then delete the file.  I am happy to say that I am adjusting to the iPadPro and iPencil just fine.

Lets recap:  if I were doing this exercise as a part of deliberate practice, I would have a plan.  Lets say I practice making a page of straight lines, once per day or session, for one week; two weeks and then a month.  At the end of the month interval, I would evaluate my progress.  Are my motor skills improving?

Blind Contour Drawing Example

15 Tips For Improving.

This is just one of 15 tips (and exercises) that Jen Reviews mentions.  Included is one of my favorites: blind contour drawing.  Several of the other tips have ideas that are new to me, hence the need to bookmark the article and work through the tips.  

And, this is just the article “How To Draw Better”.  Then there is the article titled: “How to Sketch – 15 Tips for Better Sketches That Come To Life”.

I would like to highlight some points.  

  • Many of the tips apply to realistic drawing.  However, several apply to any type of drawing.  The example of practicing making lines and marks is one such exercise.
  • The idea is to identify what you need to work on to improve; select an exercise to do that is appropriate; create a plan of action; do the exercise according to the plan; evaluate progress.
  • Jen Reviews contacted me and suggested that I might like the article “How to Draw Better”.  They also asked that if I liked the article, would I please mention it in a blog post. The blog post referred to was one titled “Toward Non-Objective Abstraction” dated December 20th, 2015.   And Jen Reviews will share an article I wrote that first attracted their attention.  

My Point of View.

I feel strongly that other artists may find these articles useful.  The tips may be just what you are looking for: targeted exercises that will help you develop the skills necessary to improve your drawing.

Plus, if I write about something in a blog post, I will remember it.  

Please Comment.

If you find this article useful or interesting, please leave a comment and share your thoughts.  I’d love to read what you say!  

PS.  If you’d like to see more about the artist, that is me – please check out my facebook page.  Thanks!

Thanks!

Deliberate Practice: Gargoyle

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Deliberate Practice Applied To Drawing Better

Purpose.

This article is about practicing smarter using strategic, or deliberate practice, as it applies to the skill of realistic drawing. I will introduce the idea of deliberate (or strategic) practice then share my views on two articles on how to draw and sketch better.  The articles are from the website “Jen Reviews”.

Clarifying Terms.

Please note that Jen Reviews uses the term strategic practice.  From what I’ve read and understand, strategic practice is the same thing as deliberate practice.  Therefore, I’ll use them interchangeably.  

Self Taught; How Do I Improve?

To explain, I am a “self taught” artist.  That is to say I am not a classically trained artist; I did not study at an art academy, school or atelier.  Instead, I read books, attended workshops and then tried to figure things out on my own.  

Such a situation is similar for lots of artists, I imagine.  We have an interest in drawing or painting and finally reach the point in our lives where we can focus our attention on learning.  We set up our drawing table or easel in get down to the business of learning and practicing.

After awhile, though, we figure out that there is more than just trying to draw something from life.  Practice, practice, practice and more practice helps, but  there is something we need to do to get to the next level.

Deliberate Practice Steps

Deliberate Practice.

Enter deliberate practice which is about targeting what you do.  A couple of years ago I read about deliberate practice, which sounded like a good idea.  To summarize, its a purposeful way of practicing.  Put another way, I figure out what skill I want to work on; identify particular exercises that improve my abilities in that area; develop a practice plan; practice; then evaluate performance.

However, how does one go about applying the idea of deliberate practice to the art and skill of drawing?

Reviewing Jens Review.

That is where Jen comes in. Who’s Jen? I am referring to the “Jen Reviews” website. The site publishes in-depth reviews of everything from how to grow blueberries to how to draw better.  While wandering around their site, I found an article on how to sketch too.

Contact With Jen Reviews.

Writers from the website “Jen Reviews” contacted me and suggested their article: “How To Draw Better”.  This was back in August.  I immediately liked the article.  There was one problem, though.  There is a ton of good information in this article backed up by science.  I am still wading through all of the good ideas!

Deliberate Practice Example

Motor Coordination Exercise.

To show you what I mean, have you ever had the problem of your eye, brain, hand and pencil not being in synch?  You think you are drawing a vertical, straight line but you look at it and its wavy.  If you get frustrated enough, you might pull out an extra sheet of paper and do some practice cross hatching.  But, do you really get better at making purposeful marks?  

Yes, this is something I struggle with and Jens Review article “How To Draw Better” explains the exercise of making deliberate, evenly spaced marks with your pencil or brush.  What I particularly like in the article is a discussion of why this exercise works.  

So, how do you to put this new knowledge into practice?  The exercise is simple and its best to practice regularly and at short intervals.  

For me, I decided that this would be an excellent thing to do with my new iPadPro and the iPencil.  Since the tools are new to me, I felt that practice would help.  What I do is practice on routinely as part of a drawing session.  You might see some marks up in the corner of a drawing.  The nice thing is that I can practice, then delete the file.  I am happy to say that I am adjusting to the iPadPro and iPencil just fine.

Lets recap:  if I were doing this exercise as a part of deliberate practice, I would have a plan.  Lets say I practice making a page of straight lines, once per day or session, for one week; two weeks and then a month.  At the end of the month interval, I would evaluate my progress.  Are my motor skills improving?

Blind Contour Drawing Example

15 Tips For Improving.

This is just one of 15 tips (and exercises) that Jen Reviews mentions.  Included is one of my favorites: blind contour drawing.  Several of the other tips have ideas that are new to me, hence the need to bookmark the article and work through the tips.  

And, this is just the article “How To Draw Better”.  Then there is the article titled: “How to Sketch – 15 Tips for Better Sketches That Come To Life”.

I would like to highlight some points.  

  • Many of the tips apply to realistic drawing.  However, several apply to any type of drawing.  The example of practicing making lines and marks is one such exercise.
  • The idea is to identify what you need to work on to improve; select an exercise to do that is appropriate; create a plan of action; do the exercise according to the plan; evaluate progress.
  • Jen Reviews contacted me and suggested that I might like the article “How to Draw Better”.  They also asked that if I liked the article, would I please mention it in a blog post. The blog post referred to was one titled “Toward Non-Objective Abstraction” dated December 20th, 2015.   And Jen Reviews will share an article I wrote that first attracted their attention.  

My Point of View.

I feel strongly that other artists may find these articles useful.  The tips may be just what you are looking for: targeted exercises that will help you develop the skills necessary to improve your drawing.

Plus, if I write about something in a blog post, I will remember it.  

Please Comment.

If you find this article useful or interesting, please leave a comment and share your thoughts.  I’d love to read what you say!  

PS.  If you’d like to see more about the artist, that is me – please check out my facebook page.  Thanks!

Thanks!

Deliberate Practice: Gargoyle

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Classes at the Grants Pass Museum of Art! Fall 2017

Art Classes for Adults!

Anatomy & Structure of the Face

with Bobbi Baldwin
Friday, Oct. 13, 9 am – 4 pm
You will learn from a hands-on demo and lecture by Bobbi Baldwin, who has taught this same lesson to plastic surgeons. The morning will be an in depth study of how to think about the anatomy and structure of the face in simple terms of physiology and drawing skills. Bobbi puts this lecture into common sense terms, teaching you how to think about the structure, measure, shape, and shadow in ways that you haven’t thought to do previously. The afternoon will be for you to practice what you have learned. It is a must, for all who paint or draw. You don’t want to miss this.
$85 for workshop
Optional lunch purchase for $10

Paint Like Henri Matisse

with Kristen O’Neill
Saturday, October 14
1-4 pm
  •  All materials provided
  •  Leave with an acrylic painting
  •  Learn about Post-Impressionism, Fauvism and Matisse
  •  Study a master’s work, a time-honored tradition to improving your art skills
  •  Have a fun afternoon!
  •  All skill levels are welcome
$30 per person, includes all materials

Advent Boxes

with Georganne Anderson

Introduction:
Saturday, October 14 10:30 – Noon
Decorating the box:
Friday, October 20 10:30 – 4:30
  • Includes Lunch
Saturday, October 21 10:30 -4:30
  • Includes Lunch
All materials will be supplied EXCEPT your own personal touches.
You can create almost any theme from Disney to Dickens.
This treasure will be something your family will keep for generations.
$165 per person

Needlefelting:

Witches & Pumpkins

with Corbin Brashear
Saturday, Oct 28
12:30 – 3:30 pm
Come and learn the fundamentals of needlefelting as we create these whimsical witches and pumpkins. Perfect for seasonal decorating, waldorf nature table, or just plain fun. This fun and easy fiber arts workshop will explore the techniques and materials of needlefelting, a dry method of felting which uses a special needle, loose wool and a foam surface to create 3 dimensional sculptures. This class is perfect for learning the basic fundamentals and will well prepare you for future fiber adventures. Open to all levels, adults and kids ages 8 and up.
$45, includes all supplies.

Paint Like Edvard Munch

with Kristen O’Neill
Saturday, Nov. 4
1 – 4 pm
  • Leave with an acrylic painting.
  • Learn about Munch and his influence on Expressionism
  • Study a master’s work, a time-honored tradition to improving your art skills
  • Paint any Munch painting you wish.
  • Have a fun afternoon!
  • All skill levels are welcome
$30 per person, includes all materials.

Elderhood, Wisdom, and Our Inner Knowing

workshop with

Janet L. Stanley, M. A.

Saturday, Nov. 18

1-4 pm

“We are the Crones, the Wise Women whose truths must be given voice, our spiritual journeys embraced and our sage insights welcomed. Come join me as we celebrate elderhood, our collective wisdom and how this inner knowing will help heal Mother Earth and all her inhabitants.”
$20 per person

How to Paint Snow

with Kristen O’Neill
Saturday, Dec 2
1 – 4 pm
  • All materials provided
  • Create your own painting of a winter scene
  • Learn about color theory (warm & cool colors)
  • Have a fun afternoon!
  • All skill levels are welcome
$30 per person, includes all materials.
Art Journaling: Recipe for a Perfect Holiday with Karen O'Brien

Art Journaling:

Recipe for a

Perfect Holiday

with Karen O’Brien
Saturday, Dec 16
10 am – 1 pm
In this class we will learn how to begin our own art journal* with simple supplies. I will share plenty of ideas and approaches to begin filling your journals. We will create a journal spread in class focusing on the holiday season.
All you need to bring to class is:
  • Blank journal that can handle water media: 90-140 lb paper
  • OR
  • Old book : thin spine, no larger than 9″ x 12″, no shiny, slick or glossy pages
*What is an Art Journal? It’s a place to record your thoughts, memories, and emotions through images, art and words.
Why do it? It is an easy way to use your creativity every day. It can be done with simple tools. It is portable, requiring very little space to do it. It can be used to document life, travels, plan you art, express your feelings, test out new art products and techniques. It can be personal – only for you, or you can share it with others.
$45 per person. Includes some materials. (List on website)