2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 13,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Technique Tuesday: A Value Tip From Artist, Carrie Waller

Artist, Carrie Waller. Watercolor on paper.

One of the highlights of 2012 for me was definitely striking up a friendship with artist, Carrie Waller who is part of my “artists mentoring group”.  This special group of 8 female artists meets once a month via video conference to discuss the best practices and approaches to the business side of our art careers.  There is a lot of about Carrie that I admire. Besides being an award winning, internationally recognized watercolor artist, she is also a military wife and mother to two young sons. Carrie’s work is known for being bold, dramatic and full of light and color. She has had art published in Watercolor Artists Magazine, Pratique Des Arts (France’s #1 art publication), Splash 14 and several local publications. Most recently she won the grand prize for Daniel Smith’s annual competition, a prize worth $10,000. Carrie is a guest co-host on Artists Helping Artists the #1 art blog radio show. She is a signature member of the Louisiana Watercolor Society and has her art in collections around the world.

Here is Carrie’s Technique Tuesday tip in her own words; “I’m often asked what medium I paint in because my paintings don’t look like the stereotypical watercolor painting. My intention since I began painting in watercolor, was to push the limits and see how bold I can go with color. My biggest tip for watercolor artists and artists in general is to make sure you are going dark enough. Whenever I see a weaker painting 9 times out of 10 it’s because the values aren’t dark enough. To achieve my darkest darks in watercolor I use a mixture of Daniel Smith watercolors Indigo and Sepia. It creates a beautiful rich dark that is flat and not shiny.”

Carrie’s tip really got my attention because I recently had the same epiphany in my alla prima painting which I discovered from taking regular classes with Rob Liberace. In order to paint expressively with minimal brush strokes in the alla prima way, your values must be spot on. This lesson hit home for me recently while working on the background of my recent commission. I had painted this haystack beautifully with minimal economy of brushstrokes, only to find the value was off which was forcing the haystack too forward and taking away from the importance of the principle figures. So I had to scrape the paint down and begin all over again. In class Rob will often say, “There is no color that is wrong, only the value”.  Now I truly understand what that means.

Thank you Carrie for sharing this very important Technique Tip with us today.

VIDEO: Testing Arches Oil Paper

Great little video post by the fabulous Lisa Gloria showcasing her approach to working with Arches oil paper. Enjoy!

Lisa Gloria

I had some Arches oil paper in my studio for a while, and my first attempts with it were abysmal. I tried a few more times and found that washing in some “soup” (half linseed, half turp) and then painting into that was better, but still, it is paper. The same thing that’s a feature to some people – its absorbancy – is the thing I don’t like. The soup cuts that back, but it still stains so it is difficult to rub out areas for big (or small) corrections.

On the other hand, you can cut it to any size, and the texture is really nice. One of the reasons I do not do watercolor is the buckling paper makes me batty, and this paper doesn’t do that at all. Not even with soup all over it.

I’ll keep at it, but it’s not my favorite thing, to be…

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Technique Tuesday: Podcasts

130502151253-podcast-1-story-topOne of the best weapons in my arsenal to fend off insanity while working on lengthy commissions is to listen to podcasts. Let’s admit it now, those details in a painting that are so pretty to look at are sometimes a pain to paint. Podcasts can help you get through it.

Here’s a list of links to my current favs. Check them out, you may find one or two that are new to you. You can find most of them on iTunes or by going directly to their site and subscribing to them. Lastly, I should mention that I only pick podcasts that are around an hour long. I don’t want to waste my time hitting play often.

1. National Gallery of Art Lectures on art history, artists and exhibits at the National Gallery of Art.

2. NPR: TED Radio Hour The inspiring Ted Talks but curated around a theme which lasts one hour.

3. WAMU-FM: WAMU: The Diane Rehm Show Topical interviews on politics and culture.

4. NPR Programs Fresh Air More topical interviews on politics and culture.

5. Impasto Logs with David Cheifetz Painter David Cheifetz shares his take on the practice of painting.

6. Sidebar Nation Highly entertaining interviews and discussions about everything in the comic & animation worlds. Past interviews have included James Gurney and William Wray.

7. Artists Helping Artists Discussions surrounding art marketing, boosting your sales and on-line presence.

8. Art Share Fantasy world artists/Illustrators and writers share the tales of Cons and the industry in general. Humorous panel of hosts.

9. Hush- Topeka and Shawnee Co Libraries A great podcast showcasing writers and genres of literature introduced by entertaining librarians.

10. Artist Mentors On-line A good pod cast on painting that has some heavy hitters for interviews including Jeffrey Watts, CW Mundy, Tony Pro and Rose Frantzen. However the hosts remind me a little (OK, a lot) of this cult classic SNL sketch.

Do you have a favorite podcast you’d like to share? Please leave the link as a comment. Thanks!