Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Don't Throw Me In the Dumpster

It's been on my heart lately.  My dad and step-mom have hardly any of my artwork in their home.  The thing they have hanging on their wall is a piece I did back in high school.  It's an ink-wash painting of a crystal glass.  And Dad put me through art school (graphic design at BSU).  I owe him big and it's long overdue.  Even though I eventually changed careers, he did shell out some change to get me educated.

So I recently finished this painting.  It's my first still-life.  It's 8 x 10, oils, on gessobord. 

Um, I guess actually its my second still-life oil painting, which reminds me of a story...  The first one I did back in art school, and I stored it at my mom's house (because my dorm room was small, and my mom had extra closets in her house).  It was huge, and it was the most hideous painting to ever have existed.  It was done in yellow and black paint, and it was of some stuff which included one of those animal skulls that are found in the desert.  Not my choice of subject matter, but that's what the teacher set up. 

Well, one day, during one of my school breaks, Jeff (boyfriend at the time, hubby now) and I were driving down the highway near Greensburg, on the way to my mom's house.  Suddenly, I saw it!!  THERE IT WAS in somebody's yard!  Some guy with a bunch of junk in his yard had my painting propped up against his mailbox with a "for sale" sign on it.  I saw it and freaked out and told Jeff to pull over.  I (with the arrogance of a 19 year old artiste) marched up to his door, and demanded that the guy give me back my painting.  I also demanded to know where he got it.  He said, "I found it in the dumpster up the road.  You can have it back if you want it."  So I grabbed it and took off for my mom's.  When I got there, I told her the story about this art thief.  She sheepishly admitted that she had thrown it away in the dumpster, and that she assumed I wouldn't want it or remember it.  I told her I was insulted.  I stuck it back in her closet.  After I graduated and got my own apartment, I threw it in the dumpster.

So, here is still-life number 2:

Originally I was going to call this painting something profound like "Green Jug with Red Apple".  But I think I'm going to call it "Don't Throw Me in the Dumpster".   I don't think he would do that anyway.  Cause I put a really nice frame on it. ;)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Qiang Huang workshop

I just finished a fabulous 3-day painting workshop with master artist Qiang Huang (pronounced Chong Wong). I have been stalking his blog for a while now, and I took a workshop with him 2 years ago in Cincinnati. This time it was in Noblesville, IN, hosted by the Hamilton County Artist’ Association. I love his work, it’s so fresh and lively and painterly. He just retired from his career as a physicist/engineer/rocket scientist, because his painting career has flourished. His genius definitely carries over into his artwork. Up close his paintings are an abstract collection of beautifully applied brushstrokes (total eye candy). From further away it is obvious that each stroke is there for a reason, and the whole painting becomes the scene he was capturing (again, total eye candy). There's no brush brush brush, blend blend blend. He puts it down and doesn't fuss over it, because each stroke of the brush is just right. It makes for a very strong painting.

Each day, Qiang would lecture with a power point presentation. The first 2 days he followed up lecture with a demo. He set up and painted a beautiful still life arrangement, and his demo was also video projected on a big screen for all to be able to see. Here is a LINK to an article about Qiang’s teachings, for those who wish to know more about him.

I just want to share some photos of my experience…

Here he is, priming his canvas with linseed oil.

This is a photo of the items he arranged for his still life demo.

The initial block-in...

 The painting as it progresses...

The finished painting:

This is the finished demo from the second day. Isn't it gorgeous? Roses are so difficult to paint so we watched closely.

We students gave it a go.  This is my painting.  I think we had about 3 hours to set up the still life, set up our gear, and attack the canvas.

My friend Janettmarie is an accomplished artist in Indianapolis. She took the class with me. She is a sweet and lovely lady. You should check out her blog.  I learned a bunch from her too.

This is day 3. I didn't take many photos on day 2. But if you click on the pic and enlarge it, you can see my unfinished day 3 painting on the easel (on the right), and my unfinished painting from day 2 above it. I had a bad habit of not getting my painting done in a timely fashion. Those who know me would not be surprised at this.  I'm slow as molasses at everything.

This is Qiang, and his lovely wife Song, and their son Jonathan.  Such dear, sweet people.

Here is the whole crew. We all had a ton of fun. I want to say thanks to the ladies of the HCAA, who all helped make the workshop a wonderful experience. Many ladies worked hard to make sure we had places to sit, tablets to take notes on, produce, flowers and other stuff to paint, snackies to eat and drink, rides to restaurants at lunch time, ample lighting to paint by, accommodations for Qiang and his family to stay, etc. I appreciated their kindness and hospitality.  If I lived closer, I would definitely be hanging out with these sweet ladies.  I felt blessed to have met them. Thanks Cheeri Dennis for being a great leader!