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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.

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.

November 2018 Art Du Jour Newsletter

Art du Jour Gallery | 213 E. Main StreetMedford, OR 97501

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

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.

Painting & WSO Traveling Exhibition In Carlton, OR

Wallow Gallery, Carlton OR

Greetings!  I am pleased to say that my watercolor painting “Three Minute Egg V11”, is now showing in the Wallow Gallery, Carlton, OR.

Carlton: Three Minute Egg V11

You see, it is one of the 20 award winning paintings from the Watercolor Society of Oregon’s (WSO) Spring 2018 Experimental Exhibition.  And, WSO has a traveling show consisting of their award winning paintings.  So, the award winning paintings get to travel to select galleries around Oregon.

Gallery Details.

I would like to invite you to see the Traveling Exhibition in Carlton.  Therefore, I’d like to share gallery information with you.  The paintings are showing at the Wallow Gallery, 125 W. Main St.  Business hours are Fri-Sun, 12-5pm. For more information, please email [email protected] or call 503-785-9951.  Furthermore, you may want to call the gallery first if you plan to see the exhibition.

The paintings will be on display through the end of September.

WSO 2018 Traveling Exhibition

WSO Experimental Exhibition.

What makes the experimental exhibition special is that artists are encouraged to explore different water-media and substrates.  Put another way, you see everything from a more traditional watercolor paint on paper to mixed water-media on aqua or clay-board.  And, the types of water-media include transparent watercolor, gouache and acrylic.

Still, the intentions of jurying the show are the same: recognizing paintings with technical and artistic achievement.

And, one further note about WSO art shows.  The fall exhibition includes only watercolor works on paper.  You can see, then, how it contrasts with the spring experimental show.

Photos By Liz Walker.

Carlton; Liz Walker's "On Solid Ground" used with permission

I’d like to give you some background regarding the photos.  To explain, most are from fellow Oregon artist, Ms. Liz Walker.  Thank you Liz for permission to use your photos!

Included are her photos from some of the previous stops on the traveling show’s journey.  Plus, I’m adding her own award winning painting.  I liked the feeling of her painting “On Solid Ground”.  You see, it has a degree of mystery that I particularly enjoy!

Thank you!

On a personal note, I would like to extend a “thank you” to Zsuzanna Wallow, Sandy and all the WSO members responsible for this wonderful show.  And, a HUGE thank you to Wallow Gallery for showing the art works!

Please Stop By!

In closing, I would like to invite you to stop by the Wallow Gallery if you are in the area!  Please, go see some wonderful experimental water-media paintings by my friends and fellow Oregon fine artists!  Thank you!

Carlton. Paintings from WSO Spring Exhibition

 

The post Painting & WSO Traveling Exhibition In Carlton, OR appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

A Clown: More Than A Smiling Face

But, still, a smiling clown can be good!

Clowns Popped In My Head.

Hi!  Lately, I’ve been doing some small studies of clowns.  Why clowns?  I don’t know.  They popped into my head this past May and I keep coming back to them.

Research Time.

So, after a few drawings, I thought it might be a good idea to research clowns.  I started with a search for famous clowns.  As you might expect, there were photos and mentions of some of the more recent famous comedic characters, both real and fictional.  Circus clowns like Emmett Kelly, American Tramp “Weary Willie” and Red Skelton, Freddie the Freeloader.

Clown With Daisies And Balloons

Traditional Types.

Then, I started finding articles about traditional circus clowns.  Did you know, that there were generally three types of circus clowns?  They are the white face, Auguste (red face),  character clowns.  The character clowns may include the more recent hobo or tramp, like Weary Willie.

Boss Clown.

There is a funny hierarchy too.  To over simplify, the white face clown is the top clown and serious (straight face) clown.  Whereas the red face or Auguste clown is the one that gets the pie in the face.  Naturally, the character clowns play characters.

Its About Meaning.

Now that I’ve shared with you my quick research on these circus characters, I’d like to relate my findings to drawings.  You see, it makes it much more interesting creating my clown characters now that I know a little bit about them.  And, its inspired me to create more!

Oddly enough, I drew a “white face” clown without knowing the significance.  Still, I think he is appropriate for the occasion.

Clown With Daisies & Balloons.

In any case, I hope you enjoy my clown with daisies and balloons.  Thank you!

PS.  You could say that this watercolor and ink study is a type of “drawing from memory and imagination”.  The emphasis is on imagination!

Twin Clowns.

Naturally, when you draw one clown, well, maybe you need to draw two!  Plus, I’m a fraternal twin.   Happiness!

Clown: Twins

 

The post A Clown: More Than A Smiling Face appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

Art du Jour Gallery August 2018 Press Release

Art du Jour AUGUST 2018

Iverson- Afternoon Rest
During the months of August Doug Iverson’s brilliant work will be in the Salon for both August and September, and Roy Musitelli will be filling in on the featured artist wall at Art du Jour Gallery.   The Art du Jour members would like to invite you to our Third Friday Art Walk and Reception on August 17, an informal evening featuring art, snacks and an opportunity to meet the artists. Musical entertainment will be provided by guitarist Rod Petrone.

Guest Artist Doug Iverson

Doug Iverson has always enjoyed ‘good’ art. Since retiring at the end of 2009, he has been devoted to becoming the ‘best’ artist he can be. He took many basic art classes at Rogue Community College in Grants Pass. When he was introduced to painting in watercolor on Yupo paper he found his happy place. He gives special thanks to Pat Enos for not giving up on him.
Iverson- Reflections
When creating abstract pieces, he usually has no clue what he is going to do at the beginning of a project . Typically the first application of paint is done with only cursory thought to colors, textures and overall composition. He will then start manipulating the dried paint by various means. Shapes are created by applying liberal amounts of water; coaxing it into some shape that he finds interesting, and then letting that water evaporate. Basically anything that will have a physical effect on the paint is a potential tool.  He repeats the process of painting and erasing until he sees ‘something’. Then he will put forth a more conscious, thoughtful effort into developing the painting. Currently, he is working on a technique that involves using Halloween spider webbing.
His work has been accepted for the annual Grants Pass Museum of Art fundraising event, Black White and the Blues oral auction.

Featured Artist Roy Musitelli

To most music lovers Ten Years After is a British blues rock band popular in the late ‘60s and ‘70s. For Roy Musitelli it represents the decade since 2007 invested in re-inventing himself after walking away from a 30-year journalism career. The result of his journey brought him back to his first passion for drawing.  He writes; “My entire career I’d been keenly aware of the vast popularity of photography and how many people wanted to make a living at it. I was merely one of the fortunate few who could.  Yet I doubt that I’d be the artist I am today if I hadn’t climbed out of my comfort zone and taken a few risks on this path.”

Bee pollinating lupin. Roy Musitelli photo 3/2016

Roy joined Art du Jour in 2016 and is filling in as featured artist this month after our scheduled member left the cooperative to pursue other opportunities.  He is also slated to have an exhibition in February 2019 that promises to be considerably different than the “Small World” photo exhibit on our back wall till the end of the month.

People’s Choice contest 

Art du Jour Gallery will be holding our next People’s Choice contest in October.  This event will be the theme; “Furry and Feathery Friends”, and will be open media. Look for more announcements to be posted on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ ArtduJourGallery/
Art du Jour Gallery
213 E. Main Street
Medford, OR 97501
(541) 770-3190 (Tues – Sat., 10-4)

Artists Workshop 34th Annual Show & Sale

THE ARTISTS’ WORKSHOP ANNUAL SHOW & SALE

AUGUST 3-26, 2018

‘LITHIA WATER’ Pastel By Steve Bennett

‘LITHIA WATER’ Pastel By Steve Bennett

The Artists’ Workshop 34th Annual Show and Sale opens Friday, August 3, at 10 am at the Art Presence Center, corner of 5th and D in Jacksonville.

A special Reception with the Artists will be held on Saturday, August 4, from 2-5 pm. Admission to the show and the reception is free.

The group is comprised of passionate, accomplished artists who capture local landscapes, historical buildings, flowers, still lifes, abstracts, and other subjects using oil, pastel, watercolor, acrylic, print-making, encaustic, mixed media, ink, etc. Members include award-winning collected artists who may also teach art classes and workshops.

Participants in this year’s show are Raye Aubin, Susan Austin, Steve Bennett, Sue Bennett, Katy Cauker, Peter Coons, Susan DeRosa, Rick Evans, Kim Faucher, Marilyn Hurst, Jeanne LaRae, Jean Mailander, Kirsten Meriwether, Carolyn Roberts, Desmond Serratore, and David William Terry. The group was started in 1979 by Jacksonville Artist Elaine Witteveen.

Each year new members join the group; anyone is welcome to join in the plein aire paintouts, which are held on Fridays during spring, summer and fall (weather permitting) on location in pre-selected spots around the Rogue Valley. Many of those plein aire paintings will be in the Show. In addition to original framed pieces, an assortment of unframed matted original art will be available as well as prints. Those who purchase art may take it with them.

The Show, located at the Art Presence Center, corner of 5th and D in Jacksonville, will be open each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in August from 10 am to 5 pm. The last day of the Show is Sunday, August 26.