Thursday, November 10, 2011

Daniel Edmondson Still Life Project #1



Oranges & Grapes
This is my first project in the still life workshop
of Daniel Edmondson....I sent it off for
critique this morning.....I'm not real happy
with the leaves, but we will see!


Levi Paul Stasi


This is my third great grand child!  He arrived about 5:30pm November 9th.....can't wait to see more photographs......

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

November Newsletter



This months focus in the newsletter is all about drawing with a "Sight Size Method"....it's the old world masters technique.  It really gives you an acurate drawing.  The photographs are the steps for setting up, placement of the easel, actual looking at the sight size, and the markings.  If you want a copy of the newsletter.....let me know!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sunny Florida


In Full Bloom
11" x 11"
Step by Step Instructions available on my web site

My Landscape Workshop #2
I received my critique over the week end.....I just can't believe how fast he does the critique.  He like the snow painting and only had one suggestion, add a little more light on the right bank of the water.  I'm really looking forward to starting the Still Life Workshop next week.  I hope to do this workshop along with the landscape workshop.  I made it to the dentist yesterday (morning and afternoon).  We are planning on getting everything finished in 3 weeks so we can go to Ohio for Thanksgiving.  My granddson is here until Saturday, spending a lot of time at the beach.  He going to move to Jacksonville this weekend, starting school the first of January.  Soooooo nice having him in the state!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

New Snow #2 Project

New Snow 8x10

This is  my second project in my on line workshop class with Daniel Edmondson http://www.oilpaintingworkshop.com/     .....this was a lesson in mixing "whites".  One of the most interesting things is how blue the snow is in shadow, I had about 6 puddles white....this reminded me of the color mixes "mouse colors" of Jean Dobbie's in Making Color Sing.  We are in the process of getting ready to go to Florida for a couple of weeks.  My game plan is to start working on the Still Life Workshop....I just love the first project. 

The November Newsletter is almost complete.....I've done quite a bit of research on the "Sight Size Drawing Method", I even purchased a DVD with Judith Kudlow.  I sat up a still life and maped out the design.  It a challenge, but once you get going it's a lot of fun......it really makes you look at your subject in relationship to the placement on the canvas.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Got My Critique Today!

I can't believe the turn around time that Daniel Edmondson did on my critique.....I email the photograph (like I said way to much color) on Monday and I received a 5 minute video!  WOW! I'm truly impressed......I also received a 4 minute video on photographing oil painting indoor.  I plan on trying it tomorrow.  Stayed Tune!

We are in the process of getting ready to go to the condo for 2 or 3 weeks so I can get my dental work finished.....as many of you know...I had to have a new cap, but had to return home because of my mother...so 6 months later we hope to get the process finished.

I also received my new project for this week which is a winter scene.....I've had a brief view of the video today, so I'm hoping I can watch it from start to finish tonight.....probably won't get painting time in before we leave, but I can paint it in my head........Monet made a quote one time about he painted the picture in his head first........ 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Back to School!



8x10 on Canvas Board
(this photo has the color more intense that it really is)

One way to get better at painting is to take a workshop.....I've signed up for 2 more besides the one with David A Leffel.  Recently I was surfing the net (I've been doing more of that than I should) and came across a blog that I've watched off and on for the past couple of years.  Daniel Edmondson has a couple of on line workshops using Video's with a step by step method.  You sign up, he sends you an email with the video link plus the photograph.  The really great part of this is you get the DVD in about a week in the mail.  I signed up for the Landscape first then decided to do the still life also (he's running a special).  I have to say this is a great workshop. You can go at your own pace, so if it's a busy week you just do the class the next week.  You also get to send emails with questions plus a critique once the project is finished.  He will send a video or email critique......what can be better than this?

This is the first project, the video is about 90 minutes and he really explains his process, plus what he's thinking..........I used a lot of palette knife which is very new for me....I did most of the rocks.  His workshop web site is http://www.oilpaintingworkshop.com/ you can also see his work on his web site http://www.danieledmondson.com/

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Notes on Chiaroscuro

Since my last post I've had lots of stuff going on!  A few of the girls and I spent a couple of days in the Hocking Hills....painting, eating really great food and in general having a great time!  My car (new van) has been in the shop for 3 weeks trying to get a new engine.....hopefully I will be able to pick it up tomorrow.  I'm visiting my Mom in West Virginia (arriving at 8 am this moring, I left my home at 4:30 am! ).....she is still very ill and has had a mini stroke this morning. 

I have registarted for  a 10 week online workshop with Daniel Edmondson, http://www.oilpaintingworkshop.com/....I read about him from one of the artist on the Daily Paint Works Blog.  You get 10 lesson via email which includes 2 hours of video, plus photographs and once completed a critique.  You may also contact him with questions or asking general information.  As most of you know I have a very slow internet connection so I've been waiting for the DVD (this is also include) with the workshop.

The last newsletter I talked about chiaroscuro, since I'm in the workshop with David Leffel at the end of February at the Longboat Key Art Center (Florida), I decided I would go back and study Gregg Kerutz's book.  I have read several books on Chiaroscuro and his is the best for getting down to the basic.  As part of my work / study programs I decided I would share the basic information with you.....his book is available at a very good price on Amazon for about $15.00.

Daniel Edmondson

Notes from Gregg Kreutz Book
Problem Solving for the Oil Painter

1. Does the painting have a Focus? Paint with your eyes on the center of interest….when we look at something we always look at SOME THING!

2. Does the painting read? Is there a route that the viewer can follow to the focal point/center of interest. Western cultural reads from left to right….most view a painting the same way.

3. Note: The intensity of a picture is an echo of the intensity with which it was painted. Greg feels that getting something finished on the painting moves you forward to a successful painting. This also help with the vision of the finished painting.

4. Shapes! Are essential tools for the painter, as is the color, value and composition.

5. Are the dominant shapes as strong and simple as possible? Simple shapes carry and make the picture readable from across the room.

6. His start

a. Concept (what do you want to say).rough in the objects. Get their placement.

b. Rough in the background--- helps check the values. Also checks the composition.

c. Paint background the correct value! What is the light path?

d. How does the painting read? Pump up the focal area!

e. Make the center of interest as intense as possible – halo, intense reflected light, this makes the center of interest more intense and bigger.

I will post more notes next week, check back!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Clematis Step by Step (Day 1)


Clematis 22" x 30" (Full Sheet Watercolor)
Step 4
All the petal and leaves have a first layer of color.  The dark
shapes come  next. Love painting the high contrast with that
spring sunshine.  This photograph was taken at my mother-in-laws
this past Spring.  Her pride and JOY!

Work in Progess.....hope to finish this week.

Clematis 22" x 30" (Full Sheet Watercolor)
Step 3
Painting those shapes!


Clematis 22" x 30" (Full Sheet Watercolor)
Step 2

I work on the big areas first. Getting my first layer down.



Clematis 22" x 30" (Full Sheet Watercolor)
Step 1
I used the wet into wet technique with this painting.  I first wet the paper
 then drop in Green and Purple.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

What's up!

Things have been very busy, but I'm hard at work, taking two classes weekly.  Monday morning is "plein air" with Deb Dawson....an awesome painter and great friend.  Tuesday is the weekly class at Donna's.....I leave Wednesday for a day visit with my granddaughter Brittney.....with her wonderful husband and fantastic kids, Haddie Girl 3 1/2 and Judah 2 1/2.....plus Levi due November 1st....then off to Columbia for a two day workshop.....painting with my friends!

I have been doing a lot of research on the "Chiaroscuro"  ( skyur-o-skur) style of painting.  Merriam Webster 1:  pictorial representation in terms of light and shade without regard of color 2: the arrangement or treatment of light and dark parts in a pictorial work of art.

David A. Leffel is the master of chiaroscuro, I've had the privilege of seeing him demo a couple of times at the Longboat Key Art Center in Florida.  His book An Artist Teaches:  Reflections on the Art of Painting; he was so kind to sign it for me.  What a gentle soul!  Very personable and down to earth.  About 10 years ago I was in a gallery in Arizona and happened upon a few of his paintings......at that time I didn't know anything about the artist, but it was truly the WOW factor.  I've never forgotten my feeling of aw!  It was about the traveling of light across the objects in the painting.  At this time I was still painting watercolors, but every time I would think of those paintings I would get that same feeling of Aw!  A couple of my friends have study with him and I'm on the list for this year, I can't tell you the excitement I feel at having this opportunity. 


David's doing the demo, Self Portrait.

On display in the the Art Center Gallery.
Another WOW

Don't forget to sign up for this months newsletter, it's all about
Chiaroscuro

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Apples 3

Still Life Set Up
When setting up a still life I usually take a picture, this give me a different view.  If I'm not sure if the design looks good, I look at it upside down on my camera or look at it with a mirror.  I've heard many teachers say it really is about design and/or composition.

The Sketch with Brush
I usually sketch the design with a #4 filbert brush and a little burnt sienna diluted with turp.   If you sketch with this method it is very easy to correct mistakes.  I also use a view finder. 


Scumbling the darks and mid tones.



Three Apples 8" x 10" oil on canvas board.
 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Apples

Apple Still Life Set Up

 While surfing You Tube a few months ago I found a video by Impressionist Jerry Fresia.  Of couse I had to purchase his book from Blurb.  It's a great book and I have read it cover to cover several times.  He really breaks it down how to paint like the impressionist.  Today was my day to try it.  Above is the set up.  He has 5 stages and 10 steps. 

"Scumbling"
Once you decide on composition and do the sketch you "scumble" your darks and mid tones.  In this stage you leave the white of the canvas open.
Apples 8" x 10" Final


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

FYI: Market Tip #2

With the age of cyber space, it's so important to get into the social networking society.  Blog or blogging is so user friendly.  Anyone can do it, believe me when I did  my blog a couple of years ago, I was one step above getting my email.  Talking to friends I've found the hardest part for them to understand is the down sizing of a photograph.  I use Google's Picasa, a free photo editing software that makes your pictures look great, plus lets you edit and down size for uploading to the Internet.  For more information and step by step how to, just "google' Picasa and go to the bottom of the page and click on Getting Started Guide.

A few years ago I was lucky enough to take a workshop in Austin Texas with Carol Marine and Karin Jurick.  (check out both of their blogs    http://karinjurick.blogspot.com/    http://carolmarine.blogspot.com/  )  Both artist, plus a couple of their friends, said that once they started blogging they started selling more art.  Karin & Carol both got query's from several galleries requesting to have them as a clients.   It not only shows the public what you are working on, but shows galleries the quality and quanity of work you are producing.  

Next Week Selling Your Art on Line

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Light Box

I'm still working on the newsletter, but took a few photographs of the light box.  This is how it looks when I'm ready to shoot.  More details on how to build it in the this months newsletter, out later this week.

Dick's View Back 40

Just a quick view of Dick's area in the studio.  Still working on the "put back"and "edit" stuff.  Hope to finish today after class.  Dick's still working on the top for the old roll top desk,  needs to stain and seal. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

New Paint Job

I finally did it!!!!!  It's only been 23 years, the studio had the original builders paint.....so I moved everything into the garage, and started painting.  It's now a very soft pale green (sage), which is the best paint color for a studio.......Dick was happy to help because he got a  new space across the back of the room overlooking a great view of the back 40! We made a new top for the old roll top desk....hope to be finished this week.  Added a few new selves, including a gray plastic one for still life stuff and plein air boxes.  Moved the mat cutting cabinet (Dick made about 20 years ago), it has storage for mat board and watercolor paper.  This created a new space for still life set up, plus photographing paintings with my light box.  More info on how to build it in the newsletter due out this week. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

FYI: Marketing Tip of the Week

I've been doing a lot of research on today's marketing strategy .  With this age of cyberspace, it's a whole new ballpark.  I spent most of my (real job) working life, doing marketing and sales.  A couple of years ago I purchased a wonderful book "I rather be in my studio!" by Alyson B. Stanfield, "The Artist No-excuse Guide to Self promotion".  She has a wonderful website http://www.artbizblog.com/   If you subscribe to her newsletter you will get a wonderful tip every few days.....I'm lovin' it!  check it out. 

Hollyhock Batik

8x10 Watercolor on Rice Paper
This was the first time painting with the batik technique.  It's like using masking fluid to reserve the white of the paper.  My friend and wonderful artist Kathi George has been painting in this style for many years.  I've always wanted to try it, but didn't understand the process 9it is just like doing batik on fabric). She was featured in the August 2011 Watercolor Artist Magazine!  I really enjoyed the painting process but need a little more practive.  This Hollyhock I also painted in oil and transparent watercolor.  I really enjoyed the process of painting the same subject in all three media.  It is a way of truly getting to know your subject!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Class at HOOT

Great Classes at Convention.  Five classes about 130 students.  Worked hard, but we sure did have fun.  Back from my mom's in WVA.  She's about the same, but no more chemo.  Back to Tuesday class tomorrow, hope to get the old oils out.....need a tune up, it's been a while.  I have lots of FYI stuff to post so check back soon!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

First Class at HOOT Today

Everyone really had a great time!  A few of the students were way ahead of me in doing Zentangles. It was so nice seeing old friends and catchn' up.  I really missed teaching last year.....no class tomorrow, but the trade show opens, then it's party time.....but can't stay too late have 8am classes the next three days.......YUK!  Have to be downtown by 7am........up at 5:30......but it's worth it!  Thanks everbody for a great class today.....don't forget if you have any questions just give me a email!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The New Website

11 x 14 Watercolor/Mixed Media
This is the current picture on my front page of the web site.
I will be featuring more painting as they
get painted!  You know me maybe today
maybe not!


It's up and running great!  I 've been working on it for about a week or so.  Still has a few under construction pages, but I'm very happy with the over all look.....

Please feel free to add any comments like or dislike....most artist can't see the trees for the forest.....so if I've overlooked something let me KNOW.

I hope to start adding some new features to my blog and website in the coming weeks.....I talked to my friend Robert Warren of  http://www.robertwarrenartloft.com/ about maybe doing a joint adventure into the blogging world.....so please stop back soon to the website and Blog....

We have HOOT next week so we are under the gun......

Monday, August 1, 2011

The New Web Site

I did it!  It will be published later tonight......we have slow upload this time of day.
I would love to hear from ya!  Any suggestions about like or dislike.  Of course I have
a few pages still under construction......

Sunday, July 31, 2011

"Little Fireman"

11 x 14 in. Watercolor
Instructional Lesson  Packet Available for this project on my website.

We are on count down for the HOOT Convention.  I'm working hard on the newsletter and new web site...of course I have these little glitches (*&%$!!) but I'm being NICE.  I'm so looking forwarding to seeing old friends and making new ones.  Hoot is such a great convention, lots of burning the midnight oil with all that painting going on.  I'm going to show everyone my last year's Christmas Present from Santa (new ditigal projecter, don't tell my students).  As you all know watercolors are painted almost laying flat, so when you have 35 students in one class it's kinda hard to see, but with  my new present, everyone will get a big view!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I'm Still Alive

Yellow Cactus Flower
(I never paint a cactus without thinking of
Goldie Hawn's Movie)
11" x 11" Mix Media Watercolor/Tissue Paper
(Class project at Convention)
As usual I have a million excuses why I haven't posted, I have been painting, working on the stuff for the HOOT convention.......finished all the Teaching STUFF Today Yea!!!!  I have also been working on setting some new GOALS ( I do know what that is).....I seem to work better under pressure!!!!  My web site is under construction (it's about time). I'm really excited about the new look. The blog is taking on a new look and content also. I decided to make it more about sharing information. I will be doing a monthly newsletter. If you sign up to received it via email, you will automatically be registered for a instructional packet, my last book or a print, your choice! So please sign up! On a special occassion I may just throw in an original painting!  I love painting, but I also love teaching!  I've been spending time with my mother and mother in law, both are very ill, so I've had time to think what I want for the next 20 years.......I'm supposed to be semi retired!
come back soon!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Morning Glory Gift Bag

Watercolor on 140# watercolor paper.
The Daily Paintworks Challenge this week was to paint a gift bag. I've been making and painting actual gift bags for a very long time.....it's a fun project ! I show my students how to make one with those old paintings that did not make the big time! For free instructions, layout and folding of the bag, please go to my web site http://www.maryspires.com/ Look under the "Free Stuff"! Have fun......let me know if you have any questions!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Life is just a bowl of Cherries!

Watercolor 11" x 14" on Paper with Tissue Paper I did this while we were in Florida........I'll be teaching this project at the HOOT (Heart of Ohio Tole) Convention in August.......the class is almost full! So if you want to join us, get going and send in your registration. This is a really fun project....you first paint the local color then add tissue paper with Mat Medium....let dry and finish painting.......the nice thing about tissue paper and mat medium is the color will life, so those mistakes can easily be fix!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Beet N Beet

6" x 6" Oil on Board
I posted this yesterday, but for some reason it didn't get posted. I'm going to try and put it on the DPW challenge for this week. I love to paint vegatables that are still attached to their leaves.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Onion

Oil on Masonite 6x6
A few years ago Karin Jurick(http://www.karinjurick.blogspot.com/) had a blog for fellow bloggers to do a weekly challenge.
This was a wonderful idea and had many participants.
Carol & David Marine have now picked up the challenge.
Creating a new blog site for fellow artist to
continue to participate in a weekly
challenge. As a bonus, even if you are not a
member of DPW, your challenge entries will be displayed
with prices and links for purchase, in addition to
description, painting media, and size.
DPW will soon be offering membership - General and Featured -
Featured Artists are shown on the front page and pay more for
their membership. General members have same access
to the features of DPW, as do Featured Artists, including
being show on the DPW website personal Gallery/Store page,
the art tracking portfolio management page, the traffic
Statistics page, and the DPW Auctions. The only
difference is General Members are not featured on the front page.
For more information go to:
click on DPW Help Center

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Our thirst for "the good life" we think
others lead by acknowledging the good that already
exists in our own lives. We can then offer the
Universe the gift of our grateful hearts.
Sarah Ban Breathnach

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Holly Hock in Oil

HOLLY HOCK 8x10
This is my first blog entry of doing the flower first
in Watercolors then painting it in oils. I always say oils are easier,
but after this project I don't know that this is true.
I have been reading the book Simple Abundance, by
Sarah Ban Breathnach. If you notice at the top of
of my blog it says" The Canvas of My Life". When I set up the
blog several years ago,I used this phrase as a
focus of the blog and my daily life. Sometimes
things happen that give you a "WOW" moment , well one of Sarah's quotes is
"Pick up the needle with me and make the first stitch on the
canvas of your life". This gave me a step back, take notice' great mother spirit telling me?
Hope you all have a wonderful Mother's day tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Blue Flower

11 x 14 watercolor on watercolor paper
This painting also has tissue paper on top.......I really like collage....I think my student in Florida were getting a little tired of the collage stuff!!!!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Holly Hock

Holly Hock 9" x 9"
Dark backgrounds always give the flower drama!

Holly Hock

Holly Hock 9x9
When I don't know what to paint, I always go back to my flower photographs. I guess I started painting 20 some years ago painting what attracted me most.....so when in doubt go back to what you know. I always put the painting into a mat at the end stage, this is my way of seeing what the painting is telling me. What do I need to do? This was the painting for a couple of days, this morning I decided to put in a dark background.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Illuminated Letter

4" x 4" on Watercolor Paper After visiting Italy a few times and having the opportunity to view the illuminated letters in Vatican collection, I've been wanting to play around with doing one. In fact a few years ago at the Lancaster Festival we had a guest artist from Chicago that did wonderful work. He even mix his own pigments, my first time seeing maganese blue in it pure state. The background behind the letter is Gold, but it doesn't show very well, I'll try to get a better picture next time.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Cowgirl

Watercolor 11" x 14"
My grandaughter Brittney was our model a couple of years ago at Tuesday Morning Class.......now she is a mother of two great grand kids......I know I know I don't look that old!!!!!
I'm teaching this as a project for the HOOT Convention in August in Columbus, Ohio.

Friday, April 22, 2011

"Happy Easter"

Since all the grand kids are grown. Living on their own.......I miss coloring Eggs! I have been playing around with a new art form called Zentangles.....check out Rich & Maria's web site
What FUN!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Portrait by Ron Marvin

This portrait was painted by Portrait Artist Ron Marvin from Florida. Every Friday morning we have open studio, with a model, at Treasure Island Art Group. It's a great opportunity to work on painting portraits. One Friday morning our model didn't show, so I got to be it! Ron "got me" with the drawing.......several of my friends got to be the model this year. I'm hoping to get Dick to sit next year..... I can't believe it's been almost a year since I last added a post! It's been a crazy year.....where does the time go? I'm hoping to get back in the groove......