See you there!
Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm, you are invited to drop by the Central Vancouver Island Literacy Bookstore (Well Read Books) at 19 Commercial Street to see my new work. Come out and support local artists. Also at the Literacy Bookstore will be Grant Leier, Tony Martin, Nixie Barton and Donna Mattila. For more information about the tour and to download a map, go to www.nanaimoartwalk.com
See you there!
Subconscious evolution or conscious decision? There are diverse opinions on how to develop your "style" in painting.
Many artists advise to forget all about "trying" to develop a style and work on the basic skills. Your temperament and personality will evolve through the process of practice.
Other artists believe that selecting a style that appeals and then deconstructing and replicating it until it blends with your individuality is a quicker and more direct approach.
My sense is that without the knowledge of and ability to apply the basics of design, artists may find a style that "works" and replicate it ad nauseam in every piece of work they do. When challenged to produce a piece beyond their limited catalogue of techniques, they are overwhelmed and stymied.
Learning the basics can seem oh-so boring and tedious. Who wants to think about the theory of colour and saturation relationships when what is really of interest is to put pigment to canvas and feel all of that lovely stuff swirling around at the end of our brush?
My collection of art technique books never ceases to provide a varied and intriguing curriculum. Most aimed at "finding your style" discuss the elements and principles of design and/or the various techniques to achieve them.
Two of interest may be:
David Friend's The Creative Way to Paint. Watson-Guptill, 1966. "A bold new way to unlock your hidden talent: discover how to paint by creative improvisation, working from memory, working from imagination, developing personal colour, studying great paintings." (out of print - used copies available)
Dakota Mitchell's Finding Your Visual Voice. North Light Books, 2007. Presents subject matter, various approaches to design elements (colour, line, value, texture, shapes, etc.) and interviews with artists on how they developed their unique style. (out of print - used copies available)
It's that time of year again when artists and craftspeople living in the Hammond Bay area of Nanaimo open their studio doors and invite folks inside to see our studio spaces and our latest or in-progress works.
Hope you will drop by my studio at the end of the month. It's Studio #1 on the map.
Saturday May 27th and Sunday May 28th between 10am and 4pm.
There will be plenty of new paintings on display and my plein air kit will be set-up in the backyard (weather permitting) if you would like to try your hand at painting. Art cards will also be available plus a refreshment and a homemade goodie.
For a list of all of this year's artists participating in the tour, click here.
Throughout my studies, I have read repeatedly not to be parsimonious with the amount of paint you place on your palette or canvas.
I recall a few years back at a Golden Paint demonstration when the acrylic artist/representative squeezed out an enormous amount of paint on a plate and audible gasps erupted from the audience. "It's so expensive," whispered the artist beside. "I can't imagine squeezing out that much paint!"
While painting "Jack's Pine Tree", the scene seemed to beg for an impasto approach. The scene is from Thetis Island looking toward Crofton, Vancouver Island.
Looking forward to this weekend's mini workshop.
We will be creating a small still-life based on holly berries and leaves with the focus on composition and shapes. Acrylic paint is probably the best for this exercise.
Participants are asked to bring:
Breakfast Art Talk "GOOD ARTISTS COPY;GREAT ARTISTS STEAL" Sunday January 15th @ 9am English Inn, Victoria BC
I am looking forward to presenting this Sunday's Breakfast Art Talk:
"GOOD ARTISTS COPY; GREAT ARTISTS STEAL":
THE FORGOTTEN ART OF COPYING AS A PAINTER'S LEARNING TOOL.
SUNDAY JANUARY 15TH, 2017
9:00am to 10:30am
Sponsored by the Township Community Arts Council's Artist in Residence program at the English Inn, we will:
Cost: $10 (for continental breakfast) Please RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org by midnight Thursday January 12th.
Hope to see you there!
I highly recommended Richard McKinley’s 3 Thumbnail Approach at the Artist in Residence English Inn demonstration on Saturday's January 7th. Total credit goes to Richard McKinley, a fabulous pastel landscape painter.
What I like most about McKinley's approach is that he stresses making a SHAPE MAP based on values (rather than objects); uses a 4 value TONAL MAP that easily divides into dark or light for his final NOTAN Map. That last step really helps me see if the underlying abstract understructure is balanced, has interesting shapes and isn't too complex.
McKinley's Approach to creating a solid design and
· The first stage starts with a series of thumbnail sketches in a sketchbook to develop a strong compositional concept. He creates three or four boxes proportionate to the final painting’s format – square, vertical and horizontal. He experiments with very simple shapes within each box and determine which compositional design interests him the most.
· Once a concept or focal area and format is decided, he breaks the scene down into a few abstract shapes (no more than five or six) based on value relationships rather than individual objects for the shapes. This is his shape map that is used for future reference.
· In the second thumbnail, he assigns the shape masses four values consisting of light, middle-light, middle-dark and dark. This is his value map.
· In the final thumbnail, he assigns the shape masses to light or dark, creating an abstract black-and-white thumbnail sketch. This is often referred to as a notan sketch.
· Notan distills the scene into its basic elements, their relation to each other, and their position on the picture plane: the simple abstract under structure of your painting. He then evaluates the notan for balance, interesting shapes, light/dark contrast, etc. which indicates if he has a strong value composition. He asks: Do I have a dominant shape? Are my shapes interesting? Do I have a dominant value? Do I have an unequal division of space?
Source: The Landscape Paintings of Richard McKinley: Selected Works in Oil and Pastel by Richard McKinley
On Saturday January 7th at the English Inn (429 Lampson Street) in Victoria, from 1:30 to approximately 3:30pm, I will be demonstrating and discussing the challenges of painting outdoors, approaches to make it more fun and for outdoor painting to become a part of every painter's learning process.
It's free to all interested. Just call me at 250.390.1883, the English Inn at 250.388.4353 or email me at email@example.com to reserve a spot.
Some of the ideas we will discuss to make outdoor painting less stressful and more fun:
1. how to reduce the natural self-consciousness most folks feel and some ideas on how to deal with the fear of being "on display"
2. how to streamline your gear and paint palette to make it easy to carry, set-up and utilize in the field
3. how to simplify a scene and define your goal to make the venture successful (even if the outcome turns out to be a "scraper")
4. how to create preliminary steps before the brush ever touches the canvas to determine what you are painting and why
5. and lots more information.
Please bring your ideas and approaches along to share with other plein air painters or for those you are interested in getting outdoors!
Lynda lives and paints in Nanaimo, British Columbia. Vancouver Island provides a plethora of painting locations: seashores, mountains, lakes and lots and lots of green forests.
Her style is best described as contemporary impressionism. Her main medium is oils, but she also paints with acrylics, gouache and pastels.