Happy Spring! I am no longer teaching my regular classes and am in the process of getting ready for upcoming workshops and thought I would let you know what I’ve been up to.
Next week I fly to Massachusetts where I will visit with my mother and give two one-day workshops for the Pastel Painter’s Society of Cape Cod. This is part of their “Winter Blahs” series of workshops, which is a wonderful opportunity for their members: both students and teachers. This will be the third time I’ve given one of these workshops and I always find them very enjoyable. This one will be on the use of intuitive color and will be a warm up for my IAPS workshop in June! After much searching, I finally found an appropriate photo that I could turn into black and white that gives many opportunities for color exploration. In preparation for the workshops, I’ve done a total of 7 color studies and a 12 x 16 painting! But I’m not sharing any of this with you because some of you are in the workshops! I may be so sick of this photo at the end of the weekend that I’ll want to find a different one for IAPS! Will see. But I’m looking forward to seeing some of you on the 18th or 19th on the Cape.
Here’s a product update. Some of you know that I’ve purchased panels of mounted UART and Fisher paper from Pro-Art Panels. I always bought the paper mounted on foam core, but last fall decided to spend a little more and try the harder board that they also offer. Three of the panels were fine. But after doing an extensive drawing on one, the board started to warp into an impressive arc! I tried putting PVA size on the back and placing it under magazines. Nothing worked. I also had a board in the same batch where the paper came completely apart from the mounting surface. After many months of procrastination, I finally got around to sending these two back with a note. Last week I received a phone call from Ed Morris. He explained that he is the artist, the business is his son’s. We had a lovely talk and they sent me not only the two UART replacements, but also a UART board on a thinner surface they are trying out, and a board with the 400 Pastel Premiere. This was very generous of them. They are the only ones who provide 16 x 20 and 12 x 12 (I think) mounted boards and these are two of my favorite sizes. I will use the UART with thinner board when I start painting again and let them know how I like it. Meanwhile, I do encourage you to purchase mounted paper from this company. Dakota does not supply 16 x 20 mounted boards and this is one of my favorite sizes. I suggested to Ed that they consider doing 20 x 24s as well.
I am looking forward to getting outside to paint this spring. Right now there isn’t much color but it will come very quickly. I’ve formed an informal group of painters that I hope will be able to paint together. It’s not a class and I’m not in charge! I’m asking one member to take a month and select a spot and get us organized. I hope to be leading a paintout on April 27th or thereabouts in Boyds, MD. The first paintings outside are always a struggle for me, but the more I do the better I get. So I am determined to do more this year! I will share them with you.
My other major project is what I’m calling “The Insider’s Washington”. After doing my 6 paintings of the canal in Georgetown, I realized that I had to do something different with them. They aren’t the typical lovely landscape or sunset that many people like to buy, but I’ve received great comments on them. Fortunately, there will be a Professional Art Buyer’s Breakfast at Washington ArtWorks on June 9th (the day after I fly back from IAPS!). I am hoping to market this series and my new alley series under the collective title of “The Insider’s Washington” I’m calling it “100% politically neutral”!!! I plan to either make reproductions or license the images so that reproductions can be made. I will only make reproductions for these paintings, not the others that I do and sell through galleries and my studio. On the whole, I am not in favor of a lot of giclee reproductions. I want to sell originals! But for series like this, that might look nice in a restaurant, or hotel, I think the reproductions are the way to go. So I’m excited about this.
Yesterday we had a lovely warm sunny day and I took the metro to Capitol Hill. I spent an hour touring the alleys and took a lot of photos. I think I now have the material to do more alley paintings and have a series of 6 alleys to accompany the Georgetown series. After that, who knows! My plan is to initially print out the photos in black and white and do drawings to see where I can go with them. Then I’ll think about the color and where I want to make changes. In the photo below, you’ll see that most everything is white. This gives the opportunity for some interesting mixed-color neutrals that I might play with. We’ll see! I want to give myself maximum flexibility to enable the creation of interesting paintings. That’s it for now. Hope you are all enjoying spring.