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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.

Adult Art Classes Winter 2020 at GPMA

Click on any picture to reach our website class signup page.
 Museum members receive a $5 discount on all adult art classes.
To become a member or to renew a membership:

Photography 101: How to Use Your New DSLR

with Adam Marland

Saturday, January 11

1 – 4 pm

  • Learn the principals of photography
  • How to shoot in Manual modes
  • Most important settings to understand your digital camera
$45 for members/$50 non-members
Bring your own DSLR camera.

Get Social Media Fit!

with Kelli Matthews

Friday, January 24 New date!

1 – 5 pm

Join us for an interaction workshop to build your social media muscles! Building healthy social media for your business or non-profit doesn’t have to take a lot of time. With a good plan, a practical calendar, and some simple tools, you can be social media fit in 10 minutes a day (or less). Learn how!
Kelli Matthews, Sr. Instructor, University of Oregon & Managing Director, Verve Northwest Communications
Kelli has worked in public relations for nearly two decades. She’s a strategic communications professional with extensive experience providing counsel, researching, planning, implementing and evaluating communication initiatives. Her 15 years of teaching experience at the University of Oregon keeps her on the cutting edge of research and practice. Particular areas of focus include: digital strategy, media relations and crisis communications.
$50/Everyone
$40/Non-Profits
All supplies included

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.
Unsure if your membership is active? Check in with the Museum staff by calling 541-479-3290, or email [email protected].
Thank you for supporting the arts!

Grants Pass Museum of Art | 229 SW G StGrants Pass, OR 97528

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.

Find Out What All The Fuss Is About One of Art’s Latest Returning Trends!

Central Art Logo

 

FREE Printmaking Demo!

Overview of Printmaking Methods with Leland Struebig

When: Thursday, October 10, 2019
Where: Central Art
Time: 2:00pm – 4:00pm
Fee: FREE* (*Space limited, pre-registration is required)

 

Learn about the tools and methods for multiple types of Relief, Intaglio and Monotype printmaking, and see how the process works in this FREE demonstration! Plus get the inside scoop on future classes coming up!

 

Call 541-773-1444 or visit Central Art to reserve.
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Restful Productivity with Anna Elkins

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

This holiday reminds me of my goal of restful productivity. I still fail at it—often and miserably—but I keep practicing.

In early spring, I was trying really, really hard to take one day off each week. One chilly, Sabbath afternoon, I cozied up with tea and a stack of art books, and I had an idea. That idea became The Word-Painting Project: a subscription series of ten little poem-paintings of encouragement. I created one each day during a June writing retreat, made prints of the ten designs, and then mailed each batch to subscribers every week for ten weeks over the summer. Despite some postal glitches, it was fun to do, and I was heartened to receive photos of people’s prints lining their window sills and hanging on their walls. It was like one, big encouragement loop!

That project culminated in a salon & exhibit at the end of my recent writing residency in San Francisco. In fact, I mailed the last batch of prints from the mailbox on the street corner near the Noe Valley studio where I stayed. That was a lovely feeling.

I often have to encourage myself to rest. Paradoxically, from that place of rest comes the ideas and energy for the work that I love and love to share.

In the spirit of sharing, I’d like to give you a free print—that Word-Painting at the top of this newsletter. You can download it here. Print it, share it—whatever you like!

My residency was at the wonderful, new WordSpaceStudios in San Francisco. While there, I was able to finally gather together the ideas for a little nonfiction project that had been simmering away in a file for years. And so, while my poetry manuscript is off looking for a home, I am finishing up Living Large on Little: How a Poet Sees Limitation as Invitation. You can find a teaser from the intro on my Wordbody blog. And save the date this November 9 for a multi-level celebration (5-7 pm at Miners’ Bazaar in Jacksonville). More info to come.

And then…

…last but certainly not least, we were thrilled to release the anthology, Deep Travel: Souvenirs from the Inner JourneyWe held the launch the night before the annual Travel Writers & Photographers Conference at the flagship BookPassage in Corte Madera, California. The book compiles writings from five years of workshops and 44 contributors…16 of whom traveled to read for the launch (they’re pictured above). It was a big labor of love to help gather these voices together, but so very worth it.

I could sum up this summer in two words: labor & play. Here’s to creating space in both to rest and dream.

With joy,

Anna

Upcoming

Vignettes in the Vineyard

Friday, 11 October, 3-5 pm at Red Lily Vineyards (Applegate Valley, OR) This third annual writing workshop is back! I’ll be teaching the same course, so if you missed it in the past, join me this year during the peak of autumn leaves in the iconic Red Lily barn.
 Deep Travel Mexico

16-22 January 2020 (Yelapa, Mexico) It’s a winter tradition! This will be our fifth workshop of writing and practicing the art of tranquilo in a car-free village on the Bay of Banderas. Register at DeepTravelWorkshops.com.


Deep Travel Paris

4-10 April 2020 (Paris, France) We’re thrilled to hold our first workshop in the City of Light! Get ready to spend time in the parks, museums, and cafés of this delicious city that always inspires the artist’s life. Register at DeepTravelWorkshops.com.

 

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