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Earth Paint Summer Deals + Eco Artist Interview

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This season’s HOT DEALS!

20off Big

Wait, there’s more!
Stock Up For Summer with FREE SHIPPING!
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Expires June 20th

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Can you say “Let’s Paint!” in Italian? ….”Dipingiamo!”

Week2 Italy Small

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Josh Tiessen Painting large

Fascinating interview with Natural Artist & Prodigy, Josh Tiessen.
Read more here.

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Something’s new in our store…

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Have a fantastic start to your summer season!

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Saturday Campfire Chat – The Artist Inspiration with Stefan Baumann

“No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did he would cease to be an artist”
-Oscar Wilde
Inspiration
After one of coldest winters that we have ever experienced at The Grand View
Ranch, the snow has finally melted. The days are getting longer and the sunsets
are brighter than ever. We have spent all day gathering the fallen wood that broke
off the trees when the snow fell. It is the perfect size of wood for burning when we
have our first weekly gathering around the campfire and my friends, some artists,
and some art collectors get together to discuss art and the meaning of life.
It’s Time
The evening sky turns from cadmium yellow to magenta with a magnificent display
of spring light that transitions our day into darkness. A blanket of stars begins to
appear behind the silhouette of the Trinity Alps. As the warm spring sun disappears,
the temperature drops. My guests and I all huddle together under our Hudson Bay
Blankets sipping homemade cocoa with marshmallows. The fire burns bright and
illuminates the dark forest around us. I suggested that it’s time to get our prochade
boxes out of winter storage and defrost our paints tubes so that we can enjoy the
spring weather and do some Plein Air painting.
The Question
Jan, one of the artists that was in the campfire group said, “Why do I even bother to
paint? Everything has been painted! There are no new ideas and there are so many
artists who paint so many things. Does the world need any more paintings? With
the internet bombarding our senses, why do we even bother?” At that moment all
my guests turned their heads in my direction with anticipation, as they sat pensively
waited for my reply. “Jan,” I said, You lack Inspiration!
Inspiration Is a Gift
I thought for a moment, took a sip of my cocoa and placed it down on a stump near
the fire to keep it warm. Then I stood up to address my campfire audience.
“Inspiration is a gift that must be given back to exist,” I replied. “In order for
inspiration to be present, one must have desire. It’s the combination of ideas,
images and desire that have to be present before inspiration can exist. Yes,
there are many artists, but you are unique. We all experience the world differently,
and being able to connect the world with your ideas is what makes your experience
unique. It’s your history from birth that provides you with a perspective that is
completely your own. The uniqueness of your ideas connects to images that you
experienced growing up. And living your life becomes something that no one else
has ever experienced before. You are able to contribute a new Idea to others that
they can attach to their images to. This enriches their experience of living by
allowing them to see beauty that they have never seen before. And this inspires
them to inspire others;
Desire to Share
When we choose to be an artist, we experience a desire to share beauty with
others. Inspiration is worthless without the desire to share it. Whether artists choose
to create music, drama, or paintings, they are driven to share, to communicate the
personal beauty they experience, and to give it back to others. This inspiration
comes to us like a whisper, a glimmer and then explodes into a whirlwind of ideas.
These ideas stir our minds and linger in our hearts and souls until we pick up a
brush and push it onto the canvas for the world to see. This connection leads the
artist to explode into passionate moments of creativity that are truly theirs and truly
inspired.
Inner Compass
You have to be at your easel to create when inspiration hits. When we sit down
each day at our easels and paint, we become a lightning rod for inspiration that
motivates the creativity within us. Being in a car or at a restaurant gives us no
opportunity to create. But when we are at the easel, we channel the energy of
inspiration and focus it on our paintings. Inspiration is an inner compass that points
us in a direction that our creative energy wants us to go. Creativity relies on
everything you are and everything you have ever experienced to connect to the
idea you have now. Then, with desire, you transform this idea into art that inspires
others.
The Best
There are always more people buying art than those who create it, experience that
with the Internet, some target marketing, and a little time, you will soon find an
audience that connects with your message and will eagerly be there to acquire an
original painting. There are millions of people looking for inspiration. The trick is to do it well and do it the very best that you can. Then you will just like you and they will find it in what you paint today, or tomorrow when you go out to paint your very first Plein Air painting in the spring!
Get It Now
Information about coaching is located under the heading Coaching on my website www.StefanBaumann.com. If you are interested in coaching, give me a call at 415-606-9074 (my personal cell number) and we can talk more about how coaching will enhance your knowledge, capabilities, and growth as an artist.
“The eyes of the world are waiting to see what you have to say.”
I have coached many students over the years. My goal as a coach is to help students discover their own style by instructing with a method that allows them to grow as they are. If you want increase your knowledge and skill to bring your art to the next level, I invite you to watch my YouTube videos, consider phone coaching with me, or attend a workshop in Mt. Shasta where we discuss art, passion and life with other artists around the campfire. All the information is on my website, www.stefanbaumann.com.
Call me for information on workshops or coaching 415-606-9074

For the Last time Stop Painting Things
In this video Stefan Baumann discusses with his students How to stop painting things

For The
                                                          Last Time Stop
                                                          Painting
                                                          Things! -
                                                          Luscious
                                                          Brushstrokes

Spring Workshop
at
The Grand View Ranch
Wonderful things are happening at
The Grand View Ranch this spring.
There are just a few weeks until our
Spring Workshop at the Ranch begins with plein air painting at many inspiring vistas and locations that this place has to offer! It looks like the Dogwood blossoms will be extraordinary this year.
The Spring Workshop takes place on the weekend of May 17,18, and 19. I invite you to register at my website
Be part of a three-day experience that will change the way you paint forever.
But, hurry! There are only a few spots open for the Spring workshop where you will learn the secrets of how to infuse light in your paintings! This workshop will also help you to understand how light and shadow can work together to make a painting go from ordinary to extraordinary.

The Grand View | 1151 Maple St.Hammond Ranch, CA 96069

The Secret of Painting from Life

The Secret of Painting from Life

If you want to see the world as spectacular as it is, take a walk in the forest with an artist. The painter’s eye is more sensitive and receives a vast amount more information than a normal person who is seeing the same view. When students first come to my classes, within weeks they report that they have never before seen the world “in color” as they are able to do now and that painting has opened their eyes to the beauty that surrounds them.

The first assignment for new students who come to my classes is to paint a white egg on a white plate that is sitting on a white table cloth. This exercise requires that they really look at their subject before beginning to paint. Most students look at the setup and only see white. Then, with coaching, they look deeper and see that white has little to do with painting eggs at all. At this point, their consciousness has undergone a small expansion and the artist has increased awareness about the painting process. Once the shadows are discovered, then and only then, can the student focus his awareness on the effects that light has on the subject matter.

After that, it is the composition that commands the focus. Gradually or suddenly, the realization that the artist is the one directing the viewer’s perception and that perception can be directed to only one thing at a time. We can not see light, shadow and color at the same time.  And we cannot see composition, temperature, and air with just a single glance. We cannot see the windshield and the road at the same time. Creating art is like juggler trying to keep 15 balls in the air.  It’s no wonder that artists begin painting from photos just to make the process easier. But when an artist paints from photos, something is lost, and the connection between the artist and subject is disconnected, filtered and dumbed down.

When setting up a still life in your studio, the setup must be created just as it you want it to appear in your painting. If you want your painting to have a dark wall with Japanese print wallpaper in the background, you must carefully set up the still life subject using the same objects, values and colors. If you are going to add something red, it must be placed into the composition you are working from before you begin your painting so that everything appears on the “stage” just as you want it to appear in your painting.

Also, when painting a still life, lighting the stage is as complicated and as important as setting up the composition. I am amazed that many artists who paint from life often don’t have a proper light to work with.  Having a light that can be adjusted to be brighter or dimmer, that is easy to move around the studio, and that has a stand that allows the light to be moved up and down is as essential as setting the stage. It is also helpful to have a light that has a barn door attachment that can dim and focus the light stream, or a light that can be dimmed or made stronger with a dimmer switch. Without the ability to adjust the lighting, you can not produce a masterpiece.

All of these elements and many more are important to your success as a still life painter long before you even lay your first brush stroke down. Imagine what it would be like to be that familiar with your subject before you start painting!  Then, you can enjoy experimenting and noticing what happens as you really see what you are painting; and once you do,  you may never work from photos again!

 

Composition ~ The Foundation of a Painting

I woke this morning with the feeling that something had changed.  The air felt a little crisper, the sky looked a little darker and I could smell the earthy scent of leaves scattered on the ground in the woods. Yes, this is the feeling of fall, my favorite time of year! To celebrate the season, this year I am offering a September workshop that includes painting outdoors with a focus on Composition.

An important element in a painting is a good compostion which includes line, balance, movement, abstract form and many other details that are needed to create a great painting. Composition combined with other aspects of painting helps artists achieve their goals of creating pictorial unity.  To do this, one must understand what to include and exclude in a painting and how to focus the viewer’s attention on what the artist wants the viewer to experience.

A good painting requires the effective use of the concept, variety, rhythm, repetition, unity, balance and harmony in its composition. The first step to achieve this begins with an accurate drawing of the subject or scene that also includes the relative values and potential colors to be used in the painting.

When you begin a painting, the first thing to consider is if the subject is worth while. Is there something about what you are painting that will enhance or educate the viewer’s experience?  Does it wake up the viewer’s mind and go beyond the mere making of a picture?  Sometimes selecting subjects that are simple are better then overly complicated views.

Try to find a subject that has large masses or chunks. Then, by squinting your eyes, you will be able to identify the relative values of the masses in your painting, and ultimately see four or five value planes which form the foundation of your composition. Artists often start by painting these chunks of value instead of painting the landscape’s details or sky. Once the value chunks are painted in, the artist can open his eyes a bit more and draw the subtle details in each chunk.  At this time, color is not a concern as long as the rules of aerial prospective are observed, (things get lighter as they recede into the distance.)  The effectiveness of large, simple masses produce a direct and immediate structure in a painting, and the result creates appealing and striking arrangements of masses and designs that inspire the viewer.

Painting requires practice that is ongoing throughout the life of an artist. Every journey begins with the first step, and I invite you to come to Mt. Shasta for an experience of a life time.  Fall workshops at The Grand View Ranch are exceptional. Autumn is a special season when thousands of dogwoods and oak trees change their green summer foliage to orange and golden yellows, and the sun begins and ends lower on the horizon extending its shadows onto the landscape making it the most perfect time to paint on location.

During every workshop I challenge my students to stretch their comfort levels and learn new painting techniques and applications.  In this way, students have opportunities to enhance the way they see and paint more effectively on location.

The post Composition ~ The Foundation of a Painting appeared first on Stefan Baumann – The Grand View: Paintings by Stefan Baumann.

Exhibit and Reception at South Stage Cellars

South Stage Cellars

Exhibit of paintings, including many new works, by Pegi Smith will be on display August 11–September 22, 2016
125 South 3rd St, Jacksonville, OR 97530
541-899-9120
Reception on Saturday, August 27 from 5:30–8pm, featuring live music by Saucy—a five-piece band—complimentary hors d’oeuvres, fine wines, and of course art! Bring your smiles and join me for a delightful evening!

Hello world!

Dreamscapes : She Dreams of Bears, 6’ x 2’ Acrylic painting on canvas of a woman sleeping with her head resting on a bear's head with multicolored abstract background surrounded by black with gold dot pattern by contemporary fine artist Pegi Smith, Ashland, Oregon.

72″ x 24″

Acrylic on canvas

~ Welcome to my new blog! I’m celebrating this New Year with a beautiful new website! Thank You Hannah West for your brilliance ~
I invite you to take a visit, and to subscribe to my posts. I will be sharing newly completed works, announcements of shows, and more here as time goes on.

I would also like to introduce you to my first completed painting of 2016, “She Dreams of Bears.” She is a large painting on canvas, 6′ wide by 2′ high. Will she be dreaming at your place? Contact me to learn more…

Wishing you all joy and peace in the new year.

~Pegi

Anxiety When Painting in Public

Artists often take for granted that a vista or interesting subject will always be there to paint. We pass by places and say to ourselves, “Someday I will come back to paint that.” Sometimes the reluctance to set up and paint in populated neighborhoods is linked to a feeling of anxiety about failing to paint successfully when others are present or of being judged negatively when painting in public.
 
I remember when I passed by this little cabin located in the middle of the town of Mt. Shasta year after year. This abandoned cabin was built around 1905 and was one of the first structures in Mt Shasta. Because it was located so close to a pond, the cabin began to sink and fall apart. Last year I finally took the time to paint it. This was a bit of a departure for me because I usually paint scenes high in the mountains by myself. But on this day, I had to set up my easel in the middle of a bike lane with cars driving by, with runners passing around me as they jogged by, while others stopped to see what I was doing and had conversations with me.

Needless to say, I experienced anxiety and had many thoughts about failing to paint well and embarrassing myself; thoughts like “What if I can’t paint the cabin well enough to look like it should look,” or “what if my neighbor passes by, stops and sees that my painting sucks.”

Artists can feel discouraged and avoid painting in public if they listen to their anxiety. The truth is every artist feels fearful and anxious at some time. It is part of the excitement/fear of doing anything that is really important to us. It is what makes great actors give great performances. And the good news is that it is possible to learn how to manage your fear, self-doubt and anxiety. After many years of painting outdoors and in town, I have learned how to reduce my anxiety by filling my mind with positive, empowering, and encouraging thoughts.

Of course, I would rather paint next to group of wild bears high in the Sierras than oil paint on a sidewalk in town. But bears don’t interact with me. I find that my anxiety when I paint in public is often replaced with a feeling of pride when someone passes by and says “Wow, I wish I could paint outside like that!” Painting is a noble and challenging activity. You will be surprised at how many people actually admire you and want to talk with you about what it’s like to paint outside  in public places.

Remember, when you paint, you have the satisfaction of doing something you love to do that few others can do, and that your attempt is better that not painting at all.  Soon your anxiety will be replaced by feelings of courage and pride in yourself; and with practice, your paintings will get better, too. We frequently regret what we don’t do in life, and regret is far worse to live with than a bit of anxiety.

By the way, the little cabin that I painted was torn down just a week after I painted it. I am so pleased that I seized the opportunity to paint it that day! Life is richer when we live with the victories of accomplishment rather than the regrets of what might have been.

_________________________________________________
Plein air and alla prima artist Stefan Baumann, host of the PBS painting series “The Grand View, America’s National Park through the eyes of an artist” and author of “Observations Of Art and Nature,” travels in his vintage travel trailer painting America’s western landscape. Baumann paints outdoors with oils and canvas capturing stunning vistas, wildlife, western landscapes, National Parks and still life, thrilling art collectors throughout the world. He has many international collectors acquiring his paintings as investments. His painting style is called Romantic Realism with Luminism, and the extraordinary way he captures the effect of light is a truly American style used to paint the Western landscape. He can be seen plein air painting in Yellowstone, Yosemite and in the Grand Canyon. Baumann’s “how to paint” DVDs filmed on location in the National Parks are the very best on the market.

The post Anxiety When Painting in Public appeared first on Stefan Baumann – The Grand View: Paintings by Stefan Baumann.

Capturing Light in your Paintings

Sunset at Panther Meadows, Mt. Shasta

The smoke from the fires in Northern California is extreme. At times you can see only a mile ahead and it has made it difficult to feel inspired to paint outdoors. The dense smoke and ash falling from the sky constantly reminds me the losses others are suffering during this summer of great drought and fires.

During the last few nights, the smoke lifted allowing me to steal away with my new Strada Pochade box to paint on the slopes of Mt Shasta. The smoke in the atmosphere blends with the light of the setting sun creating a beautiful “alpine glow” lighting effect on Mt Shasta, making the light seem even more spectacular than usual. The smoke adds a subtle color to the atmosphere and it is this pollution that we see in the paintings of Albert Bierstadt and Frederic Church. Not only did these early artists live in a time of great wildfires on the plains, they also had the resulting pollution generated from occasional volcanic eruptions.

It has been my experience that the best time to paint is in the morning and evening. The angle of the sun at these times of day creates the best shadows and interesting light patterns. Painting in the evening is my favorite time to paint on location. The light travels slower and the colors are more vivid than any other time of day. I have extra time to think of a concept, set the stage with a sketch, and mix colors before I begin painting the subject. This first 10 minutes of preparation before painting is critical and mandatory. I encourage students in my plein air workshops to take even more time before sketching their composition. Light, as I explain in my You Tube videos and at my Plein Air Workshops, is essential when creating a stunning painting. In fact, a painting without the effect of light will be a painting of things – a rock, a tree, a mountain, etc. Great artists don’t paint things, they paint the effects of the light and how it illuminates things to make a stunning, eye-catching painting.

I had the good fortune of witnessing the sun setting from my studio window at The Grand View Ranch and saw an awesome lighting effect generated by the light filtering through the smoke from the fires in Northern California. I knew that if the smoke cleared, the colors of the sky the following evening would be amazing. I am always looking for stunning locations with good lighting to share with students when they attend my painting workshops in Mt. Shasta. One location that I have been looking forward to exploring for years is called Panther Meadows. This place is considered sacred by many people around the world, and I am amazed by the number of people who travel here to see Mt. Shasta and to learn the secrets of painting on location.

These are a few pointers that we talk about during the workshop:
Begin by painting footnotes where the light and dark patterns are.
Squint! Squinting softens your focus to see value and not color.
Paint the shadows patterns first because they will change rapidly outdoors. Link the shadows together to simplify the pattern.
Establish the main color of the light source.
Establish the main color of the shadow of the distant value.
Look for the lightest light and the darkest dark and see if you can increase the contrast to create strong contrast and excitement in your painting.
Determine the central focal point and limit your central focal point to one strong idea somewhere in the middle of the painting.
Make sure your first color note is accurate and compare every additional color note to that.

Tragically this summer wildfires have burned many locations in the west; however there is a silver lining for the artist. The effects generated by the smoke-filtered light can produce stunning effects in your paintings. So, go out and paint. And if you need some additional motivation, attend my workshop in October in Mount Shasta. The information is located under Workshops on my website at www.StefanBaumann.com.

(Note: The Strada outdoor pochade box is fantastic! It is sturdy and strong with very little shaking and rattling like my Open Box M. It is easy to set up and to clean. Strada has made a modern quality box that fixes issues that I have had with Plein Air Boxes made with wood, springs and screws.)

                                                         _______________________________________________________

Plein air and alla prima artist Stefan Baumann, host of the PBS painting series “The Grand View, America’s National Park through the eyes of an artist” and author of “Observations Of Art and Nature,” travels in his vintage travel trailer painting America’s western landscape. Baumann paints outdoors with oils and canvas capturing stunning vistas, wildlife, western landscapes, National Parks and still life, thrilling art collectors throughout the world. He has many international collectors acquiring his paintings as investments. His painting style is called Romantic Realism with Luminism, and the extraordinary way he captures the effect of light is a truly American style used to paint the Western landscape. He can be seen plein air painting in Yellowstone, Yosemite and in the Grand Canyon. Baumann’s “how to paint” DVDs filmed on location in the National Parks are the very best on the market.

The post Capturing Light in your Paintings appeared first on Stefan Baumann – The Grand View: Paintings by Stefan Baumann.

Studio Paintings from Plein Air Sketches

 

Studio Paintings from Plein Air Sketches

Painting, including landscape painting, has historically been an indoor art, and it wasn’t until the heyday of Impressionism did painting outdoors become the norm. Just recently, painting plein air has become a very popular style of painting that in itself stands alone as a practice. I have been taking students out to paint on location since 1980 before the word Plein Air was used. We called it Painting from Nature or location painting. Prior to the Impressionists, any outdoor painting practice was distinctly subordinate to studio work. Remember, in a time before cameras, all paintings that were created in the studio were painted directly from models or from drawings made outside along with sketches in watercolor, pastel and paint. Few paintings done on location were ever offered for sale because they belonged to the artist as references for larger studio works or as a diary for recording their experiences outdoors.

I believe in the principle that every pictorial invention must be rooted in observation, and I use En Plein Air painting as a practice of visual note taking, recording and drawing the slightest details of a leaf or limb to the most detailed record of a full autumn tree. Spending time studying the subtitles of nature is the true reward of painting from nature.

Sketching has been fundamental to an artist’s practice since the Renaissance. My Etudes or studies are my records of nature, directly observed. Many are completed studies while others are just sketches for something even more fabulous that’s created in the studio. In the painting “Silence Broken,” I used my location sketches as well as sketches of Elk from my journeys in the wild, along with my knowledge of the anatomy of Elk to create the studio painting of a subject I feel very passionate about ~ wildlife as it appears in nature.

October 1, 2014

I was exploring the northern flank of Mt. Shasta as I sketched the hillsides. It has been rumored that a small Elk herd had wandered up the northern slope of the Mt. Shasta foothills. Larry, a seasoned hunter and animal lover was my guide. We ventured from Old Military Road towards Mt. Shasta following endless trails of Elk and Deer tracks that meandered through the Manzanita, and all the trails led to dead ends. Along the way, my artistic senses were on overload as beautiful redwood and white fir trees made their grand stance along beautiful canyons and waterfalls. The smell of wildflowers filled the air and I was inspired to sketch everything. Except for the quiet buzz of Cicadas that were everywhere, the forest was quiet. All of a sudden the silence was broken by a bugling Elk telling us that this was his terrain and our presence was not welcome. His eyes were fixated on ours. His massive chest thrust outward with every sound that he made. His every movement was poised and determined like a great matador in a bull fight but this time I was the bull and he was the matador. With great respect, we retreated, but not until I sketched this magnificent animal to recreate in my studio.

Painting on location is a wonderful discipline and a fascinating painting practice. I find it incredibly stimulating and enjoyable to experience the feeling of being absorbed in careful observation. And when I sketch on location, I love forming the foundation for a great painting like “Silence Broken” that I finish later in my studio.

In the upcoming workshops in Mt. Shasta, I will talk more about the history of Plein Air painting and how it can be an interesting and creative practice where a painting can be completed either on location or can be the beginning of a great studio painting.

The post Studio Paintings from Plein Air Sketches appeared first on Stefan Baumann – The Grand View: Paintings by Stefan Baumann.