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Decade In Review: Final Four 2016 to 2019

Decade In Review: Considering Kandinsky, Detail

Happy New Year and New Decade!

I’d like to finish out my micro mini “decade in review” by showing you four watercolor paintings.  The paintings represent years 2016 to 2019.

2016.

Decade In Review: 2016 Irish Breakfast Tea

This painting was an experiment in adding Celtic symbols to help tell the visual story.  You might notice the shamrock, Celtic knot and modified triskele.  The triskele is on the tea bag’s tab.  I used a green dominant color scheme to further support the meaning of “Irish”.   As is my frequent practice, I played with different aspects of the cup, hence the enlarged cup handle.

This painting was shown in Rogue Gallery and Art Center’s “Celtic Celebration Art Show” (Medford, OR) and earned two awards: People’s Choice and  Staff’s pick.  I felt so honored!

2017.

Decade In Review: 2017 Considering Kandinsky

“Considering Kandinsky” was another experiment.  Truthfully, most if not all of my work is an experiment.  At the time, I was preparing to participate in a watercolor demonstration featuring the figure for the Watercolor Society of Oregon.  There were three of us artists and we had agreed on a particular reference photo of a man on a bench.  So, as is my usual practice, I played around with some ideas.  One thing led to another, and pretty soon I was thinking of the artist Wassily Kandinsky.   This was a fun painting for me.

2018.

Decade In Review: 2018 Three Minute Egg #11

I started the “Three Minute Egg” series when I was taking a class with artist Gabriel Lipper.  I’d like to say that it was a wonderful class on “deconstruction”, working in a series, and going from life to abstraction.  So, the first seven paintings I did in his class.  However, starting with number eight and onward, I did in my studio.  This particular painting earned a Fourth Place award in the Watercolor Society of Oregon’s Spring 2018 Experimental Exhibition.

2019.

Decade In Review 2019. Three Minute Egg #14

And, here we are continuing on with the theme of an egg cup and timer.  However, this time I added an espresso cup because I like espresso.

Previous Decade In Review Posts.

2010-2011

2012-2013

2014-2015

In closing, I hope you that you have enjoyed this mini decade in review.  And, I hope you have a great 2020!

The post Decade In Review: Final Four 2016 to 2019 appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

Decade In Review: Cell Phone Conversations 2014 & 2015

Cell Phone Conversations: Hang Up & Pet Me

Hi!  By the time the decade hit the middle years, cell phones and smart phones where everywhere.  And, today’s paintings for my mini review are all about cell phone conversations.

Cell Phone Conversations And The Cat.

Starting off with “Hang Up And Pet Me” from 2014, we have a woman sitting on a couch in the middle of a phone conversation.  Sitting next to her is the cat.  Naturally, the cat thinks this talking out loud into a little box is kind of weird.  Nuts even.  Better yet, the person needs to be petting the cat.  Yes indeed.

Inspiration Hits!

This particular painting was inspired by a phone conversation I had with one of my sisters.  You see, while she was talking on the phone, I could hear her cat in the background.  And, as you might expect, the cat was being vocal and participating in the conversation.  It was one of those “aha!” moments; I had a spark of inspiration.

Cell Phone Conversations: Hang Up & Read Me A Story

More Conversations

Speaking of inspiration, in the summer of 2014, my husband Robert and I took a trip across the country. Imagine driving from west coast to east coast and back again.  It was fun.

While in Georgia, we stopped to visit a niece for a couple of days.  She showed us a good time, including introducing us to some excellent cafes and coffee shops.

A Group Of Four & Their Cell Phones.

At one such coffee shop, we watched as two young couples walked in and sat down.  Almost instantly, and in unison, they all whipped out their smart phones and started using them!  We watched in amusement.  And, we wondered, were they texting each other as they sat at the table?  And, come to think of it, there were potentially eight people at the table.  That is to say, the four who were seated in front of us and the four on the other end of the phone.

Another Flash of Inspiration.

Once again, I had an “aha” moment and was inspired!  I had the makings of a new series of paintings involving coffee shops and cell phone conversations.  As it turned out, this moment gave me plenty of ideas and I would work on this series for the next 18 months.  Happily, 2015’s “Old School, New School” was one of the paintings in the series.

Cell Phone Conversations: Old School, New School

Cell Phone Conversations Everywhere!

As I was writing this article, it occurred to me that there has been a change since 2014 and 2015.  Back then, it seemed that it was mainly the younger people who were constantly using their cell phones.  Now, it’s all ages.  Ahem; that includes me and people my age!  We are just as likely to whip out the smart phone as any young person in the coffee shop.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the paintings about cell phone conversations.  And, the short trip back to 2014 and 2015.

Previous Posts:

The post Decade In Review: Cell Phone Conversations 2014 & 2015 appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

Decade In Review: People As Subject in 2012 and 2013

Decade In Review: 2012 and 2013

Hi!  Continuing on in this mini review of the current decade, I’ll touch on 2012 and 2013 today.

Since yesterday I featured works from the Toy Pony collection, I thought we would switch subjects.  In 2012 and 2013 I began working with people as subject.

People as subject: "Just Sayin'...V8b. Six

The first painting is from my “Just Sayin’…” series of paintings.  My inspiration for this series was our cell and now smart phone culture.  Ummm, and yes, I’m one of those people who use one of these mobile phones.

Also, during 2012 and 2013, I was toying with the idea of working fictional or mythical characters.  And, eventually, I developed a design for a mermaid that I liked.  And, just for fun, I thought of her at night and in the moon light.

People As Subject: Mermaid With Net At Night

 

Short and, hopefully, sweet today.  I hope you enjoy the two paintings!  Thank you!

 

The post Decade In Review: People As Subject in 2012 and 2013 appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

How to Paint a Landscape in Three Different Mediums

How to Paint a Landscape in Three Different Mediums by Anita HartCarroll

Painting the same scene three different times using a different medium on each painting can be very enlightening and a lot of fun!  In our article at VeryCreate.com, I explore using pastel, acrylic and watercolor to paint a distinctive landscape of Vantage, Washington on the Columbia River. I share what I learned and what I would do differently the next time I paint the scene.

The goal of the experiment was to see how different each medium handled the same subject and if the final results were unique enough for me to pick a favorite standout.  The knowledge I gained by completing the three paintings really surprised me!

In the acrylic painting, I blew up the scale and went for high drama on canvas.  Using thin layers of paint and glazes, I was able to adjust the value planes and colors until I arrived at the point where I was happy with the final painting.  In this version it was easier to really pop the colors in the shadows on the cliffs and on the roadway.

Acrylic Painting

With pastel, I reduced the scale to a manageable 11 x 17 inches and went for juicy vibrant pastel sticks that I typically don’t use very often. This painting was the fastest and most intuitive.

Pastel Painting

The watercolor painting was painted with the most direct approach and was painted in about 45 minutes. I think it will make a terrific large watercolor but by doing the smaller study, I definitely learned what I will do differently when that time comes.  Not only is this a great time saver, but it is like being your own masterclass teacher!  I basically worked out all the buggaboos before committing to a full size sheet of expensive watercolor paper.
Watercolor painting photo: https://verycreate.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/wc-vatage2.jpg

Watercolor Painting

Having tackled the same subject three different ways gave me insights and experience that could only have come from my experiment!  I will use this knowledge each time I approach a landscape painting and file these tidbits away as golden nuggets.
Thank you!
Anita
https://verycreate.com/one-landscape-painted-with-3-different-mediums-demonstration/

Decade In Review: Toy Pony From 2010 and 2011

Decade In Review: 2010-2011; Still Life With Toy Pony, Stermer-Cox

Hi!  Just for fun, I thought I would do a mini review of the 2010 to 2019 decade.  My idea is to share two paintings a day representing a year each.  This is an exercise in contemplation, not so much one of critique.  In other words “here is where I was then”.

Decade in Review: "Still Life With Toy Pony D54", 2011 SCx

Today, I’ll start the decade review with two from my “Still Life With Toy Pony” series.  In case you are not familiar with the series, it is based on a still life I set up that included  a toy pony.  Hence the name.

The purpose of the work in series was to explore and experiment the elements of composition.  Put more simply, I ask myself questions like “what if I do this…?”

So, “Still Life with Toy Pony, #D54” is the 10th painting in the series.  And, the 2011 painting “Still Life with Toy Pony #D41” was the 12th in the series.

And, just to clarify, the “D” in the title refers to a design number.  So, “D54 refers to a painting based on my 54th design.   I did a LOT of drawings, almost 80.  But, only about 20 have been been included in the series.

Decade In Review "Still Life with Toy Pony D41; M.Stermer-Cox

The plan, then, is to share two more paintings tomorrow.

PS.  If you’d like to see three more from the Toy Pony series, click on this post:

https://stermer-cox.com/2015/01/19/still-life-toy-p…ercolors-drawing/

The post Decade In Review: Toy Pony From 2010 and 2011 appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

Art Du Jour News – December 2019

Homeward Bound by Marilyn Zupan. Image courtesy of the artist

Homeward Bound by Marilyn Zupan. Image courtesy of the artist

Advance Release for December 2019:

Art du Jour Gallery, 213 E. Main Street in Medford will continue it’s seasonal exhibit with a transition to winter.  For Third Friday (December 20th, 5pm-8pm) we are planning a special Christmas event presented by harpist Kathy Yeoman.  Please go to our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ArtduJourGallery) for any further updates.

Guest Artist Nancy Graham Returns to Help Art du Jour Usher in a New Year

Nancy Graham has always been passionate about art in all its forms and styles, as evidenced by the variety of subjects she likes to paint and the varied approach to each.  She was always encouraged by her mother, who was a well-known artist in California and an art instructor at Dominican College in San Rafael a number of years ago.  She paints only with watercolor these days and her current passion is teaching watercolor at Scrappy Craft in Phoenix, where her classes remain full year around. She tells us that the real thrill comes from the delight her students find when the composition comes together and there’s a sudden spurt of confidence. She pushes strong value shifts of light and dark, telling her students over and over, “The deeper the shadows, the stronger the light will be”.

While teaching that there is more to a successful piece of art than the basic fundamentals of art theory, she likes to experiment with a variety of styles and approaches as evidenced by the selection of pieces that will be showing during December and January. Florals, landscapes, abstracts, still lifes and even a motorcycle engine are the subjects she’s chosen to show.  She’s always excited to try something new,  and is challenged by the possibilities that watercolor brings to her artwork.  However, if one were to ask her what she likes to do best, she’d probably reply that she loves to paint the “close-ups” where she can use her small brushes to bring out the finest details of her subjects.

Nancy holds a secondary teaching credential and art degree from UC Davis, and is a member of the Southern Oregon Society of Artists, the Rogue Gallery, a past President of the Josephine County Artists Association and a juried member of the Watercolor Society of Oregon.

AmericanMade-NancyGraham

Nancy Graham exhibit at Art du Jour December 2019. Image courtesy of the artist.

Featured Wall to Transition to a Winter Themed Exhibit

In the interest of keeping with our theme “Always Something New“, for December a combined exhibit by participating AdJ members will be offering a visual representation of “Winter Wonderland”.   Several of our members are anxious and ready to showcase their creative talents in recognition of this special time of year.

Calling All Rogue Valley Artists!!!

We continue actively seeking new artists living in the Rogue Valley region who would like to join our co-operative and display their work to the Medford community. Membership includes an active role in the Art in Bloom festival in May, as well as our monthly Third Friday event. Media to be juried for membership includes pottery, sculpture, photography and jewelry.  Contact the gallery by email at [email protected], or log into our website (www.artdujourgallery.com) for full membership information.

Art du Jour Gallery
213 E. Main Street
Medford, OR 97501
(541) 770-3190
OPEN Tues – Sat., 10AM – 4PM

Your Approach – Draw Or Paint First?

Approach: Painted Intuitively

What Is Your Approach?

One of my nieces recently asked me the following question (and I paraphrase): “Do you draw the subject first or rather, do you paint first?”  The question was addressing how one approaches watercolor painting in particular.

Easy Answer, Or Is It?

My immediate answer was that my approach is to draw first.  And, that is what I usually do because it suits my way of working with watercolor.

Approach: Draw First
An example of drawing first.

It Is About How You Solve Composition Problems.

To clarify, what we are talking about here is drawing out the composition on your watercolor paper, then painting over top of the drawing.  Or, the other option, painting first and working out the composition as you go.

And, to reiterate, it is generally my practice to draw out major portions of my design before I start painting.

Trying A Different Start Can Enhance Skills.

However, that doesn’t mean that I am against the “just go for it” approach.  That is, painting without an under-drawing or plan.  Besides being fun and challenging, you see, sometimes one needs to do things differently.  Painting first and composing as you go can stretch your skills.  For one thing, you might have to focus intently on what you’re doing in order for the composition to work.

So, from time to time, I have experimented with the more intuitive, un-planned approach to watercolor painting.

Risk Of Failure.

However, I discovered that I have to be prepared for the “failures”.  That is, the paintings that I can not resolve and therefore never finish.   And that is because transparent watercolor paint offers few options for corrections.  So, at least for me, a successful intuitive painting is a challenge.  To put it another way, the difference between the sublime success and stunning not-so-good painting can be a small mis-judgement.

Example Of Artist Who Paints First.

I once took a workshop with the artist and experimental watercolor painter Barbara Nechis.  To explain, I was and still am intrigued by her paintings.  Her approach seems intuitive and natural.  But, and this is the big point for me, she has had years of experience.  And, it was she who helped me understand that you need to be prepared for the failures.

Approach: Paint First
Example of a “just go for it” watercolor painting.

“Bad Paintings” Are Part Of Learning.

On the other hand, one could state that failures are how we learn and a regular part of painting.  As such, I like to remind myself that one has to get through the “bad” ones to get to the successful paintings.   And, that is true for those of us who pre-plan and draw as well as for those of us who just go for it with the paint.

The Answer?  Yes.

So, back to the original question, how ought one start a watercolor painting?  Should one draw first (preplan) or paint first?  Hmmm, the more I think about it, the more my answer is, “Yes!” And “if you want to and it depends on you”.  Also, why not try both approaches?

About the Paintings.

I selected to watercolor paintings that I created in the same year: 2007.  “Rocket Flowers” I pre-planned and drew the layout of the painting first.  Then, I continued with the watercolor paint.  However, the approach for “November Chapel” was done without a preplanning or an underdrawing.

 

The post Your Approach – Draw Or Paint First? appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

Remember Me – It’s About Blogging & Leaving Talent OR

Remember: Talent Railroad Depot

Yes, do you remember me?

Remember Me? From the blog login page

Remember Me.

As I logged into my website in preparation to write this blog post, I noticed the small remark at the bottom of the page.  It read “Remember Me”.   Though the statement was about my password, it made me wonder, will you remember me?

 

Blog Slow Down.

This past year has not been one of my better blogging years.  As I remember, things were slow to begin with and, then, I  practically stopped writing for the month of August and September.  Not surprising, these two months coincide with our move.  That is to say, my husband and I have left Talent, OR and moved to Ilwaco, WA.

Hard Getting Started Again.

I thought that when we moved into our new place, it would be easy to pick up the keyboard and start blogging again.  Silly me; there is a lot of work to setting up a household.  And, my studio space, for example, is only about a third of the way unpacked.  I do have my drawing table unpacked.  Pencil and paper are always at the ready, so things are looking up.

All that being said, I have wanted to start writing again.  Here we go then and, I do hope that you remember me.

Farewell Talent, Oregon.

So, I’d like to say a fond farewell to Talent, OR.  I thoroughly enjoyed our seven years there.  And, while there, I did some sketches of some of the places around town.  I have included a few just for fun.

Rail Depot.

One of my favorite buildings in town is the old rail depot.  I did a few sketches and here is my favorite watercolor and ink version.  The forward part of the building as space for a cafe.  Currently, it is the home of “Sweet Beet Station”.

Remembering Talent Rail Depot

“Funky Fashions”.

The old building that used to be the home of “Funky Fashions” is also a favorite.  “Funky Fashions” was owned by our neighbor when we moved in to Talent back in 2012.  Since then it has changed businesses a couple of times.  Now, it’s the home of “Biscuits and Vinyl”.

Remember Funky Fashions

“Downtowne Coffee”

One business that did not change while we were there was “Downtowne Coffee”.  It is situated in what was once a gasoline station.  I recommend the espresso at “Downtowne Coffee”; it tastes so good!

Remember Talent OR

Gas Station.

Come to think of it, I did do a sketch of one of the gas stations that is still a gas station.  The employees were nice and this is one of my favorites.

Remember Talent: 76 Gas Station

Fond Memories.

I will remember Talent and the people who live there with fondness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The post Remember Me – It’s About Blogging & Leaving Talent OR appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

JCAA presents A Workshop With Deborah Dawson

JOSEPHINE COUNTY ARTISTS ASSOCIATION

presents

A Workshop With Deborah Dawson

October 21 9:30 – 3:30

October 22 9:30 – 1:30

Location:

The Bear Hotel

2101 Spalding Ave Grants Pass, OR

Cost: $75 for both days
( non-refundable after October 3 )

**There is a minimum of 10 participants needed to hold the

workshop.

The focus of the workshop will be helping you improve your landscape paintings. All media is welcome, except oil, which is not permitted at the Bear Hotel. Join us for a fun 2 days of painting with Deborah.

To register:
Send a check for the full amount of the workshop to:

Josephine County Artists Association PO Box 1275

Grants Pass, OR 97528

You can also register at the September and October JCAA meetings.

For more information or questions:

505 402-4766 or [email protected]

Rock These Amazing Mineral-Based Colors in Central Art’s Next Workshop

Central
                                                          Art Logo

 

Watercolor Exploration Workshop Series –

“Great Blue Heron”  with Katrina Meister

 

When: Thursday, September 19, 2019

Where: Central Art

Time: 2pm – 5pm

Fee: $45 *Space is limited. Pre-registration required. Payment is required at time of registration.

 

Katrina has teamed up with Central Art to create the Watercolor Exploration Workshop Series! Each class is focused on supplies or techniques, all materials are included in the cost of the class, and you will have some to take home to continue on your own!

 

Our next will be using some of Daniel Smith’s Primatek colors, paints made from ground stones and minerals, they have a great granular quality! We’ll be painting a beautiful Great Blue Heron in this workshop!

 

Contact Katrina 541-601-7221 for more information, and call or stop by

Central Art 541-773-1444 to sign up!

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