Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I must admit that the most fun I have as an artist is doing portraits of people's pets.  This beautiful Goldendoodle lives down at the Lake of the Ozarks, with her best friend who adores her.  I love doing pets in pastel on velour paper.  There is a wonderful texture that happens on this paper and the luminescence of the pastel medium lends itself divinely to the fur of animals.

The only drawback when using this substrate is that it is much less forgiving than my kitty wallis paper.  So, that usually means more planning and careful placement of strokes so I don't build up and fill the tooth too quickly.

One of my neighbors has a great time watching me wack the back of my pastels on my front porch pillar to knock off any excess dust.  It took me a couple times to explain my madness but now he just laughs and says "another one done, huh?" It's nice to have an understanding with your neighbors so they don't call the loony bin people for you.

So, now I only have five more to do before Christmas---- no problem.
Have a great day and Happy painting,

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Well, it has been a few months since my Mom's death and I have been back up in my studio painting.  This is my latest effort which I am doing for the MidAmerica Pastel Society's Small Painting Show.  The show is in November which is coming up quicker than I thought.  I still have one more painting to go for entry in the show but I am pretty happy with this first effort. 
Sometimes, when life happens in a way you have trouble coping with, it takes awhile to find your groove again.  The solitude of my studio has been a calming and peaceful place to re-connect with who I am as an artist. 
The process of painting has been a wonderful way to honor my Mom, who was my biggest fan.  It has also made me re-evaluate my life as an artist and my artistic goals.  Made me think about what truly makes me happy when I paint and where my future as an artist lies.  I think every artist goes thru periods of restructuring and soul searching throughout their career.  It's how you emerge on the other side that is important.  I'm not sure I am ready to commit to the new ideas yet, but the process has been fun and enlightening.
So, if you are struggling a little, take a step back.  Quiet the noise around you and go on your search.  It is worth the effort.
Happy painting,

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Four paintings at once-Whoa-how did that happen

Oft times, I wonder what is really going thru my mind.  Have you ever had that thought?  Well, it enters my mind quite frequently.  I tend to overachieve on multiple levels.  Like now-I currently have four paintings going at one time in my studio.  There is the one I'm working on today which is on the easel.  Then there is the one just hanging out up against the wall with it's back to me, waiting patiently for me to decide if it's finished. Then there is the sketch on my table which is taking on a life of it's own waiting for me to decide if it is ready to become a painting.  Then there is the one that I have a commission for that needs to probably be the one on the easel rather than the one currently there.

Then, there is my blog and the need to figure out how to upload my photos from my IPad, since Google has changed their way of doing things.

Oh, and then there is the wall in the basement needing its final coat of paint and the ceiling in the half bath waiting for its skim coat and final paint coat.

I think most artist(well maybe everyone in business) feels this way at times.  Like you have forty million balls you are juggling and hoping you still have the skills to keep them all in the air. LOL

Well, it is just another day in the life of an artist.  I will upload the photos of the puppy as soon as I figure out how.

Till then,
Happy Painting,

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Commissions and other stuff

Well, things have been humming along in the studio.  I still have a lot of stuff to transfer from the old studio but it is coming along swimmingly.  Still have not ordered my new chairs yet, but plan to do that this week.

The studio is organized enough for me to start painting again.  Which, since I currently have four commissions to get done, is a great blessing.  I have several pet portraits to get done, so I am starting on them first.  I am using pastels because I love the way that they make fur look.  I am also using the velour paper for the same reason.  Velour can be tricky to work on since it is not as forgiving as other papers.  Once you make a mark on the velour, you need to be committed to that mark.  It also doesn't hold as much pastel and so needs to be put on with a little lighter touch.  I usually bang the heck out of my works to get rid of any excess pastel dust so that is not a problem.  Other than my neighbors think I've lost my marbles when I'm outside banging the backs of my work against the porch supports.

I have not done pastels in a couple of years because I have been devoting any painting time I had to portraits and landscapes in oil.  It has been an interesting journey back to them.  I need to move my air cleaning filter up to the studio soon.  The pastel dust can be a little hazardous if you don't have an air filter system.

I have also been incorporating using my IPad to work from for the photo reference.  It is much lighter than my computer monitor or my laptop.  Thus, I can have it closer to my work area, 

I'll post some pics of the new doggy painting next week. 

Have a great day and Happy Painting,

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Working on a home studio space

Well, the studio space is coming along.  The main decisions have been made and I am off and running with the plan.

I am going to share some of the planning process that went into my new space with you.  First I measured the area and planned on paper how best to use the space.  My new studio is in our second master bedroom space so it is a nice size room with ample closet space.  It also is next to additional walk in attic space for additional storage.  It has running water, a toliet and even a shower(just in case I get a little carried away with my creating).  What it didn't have was good lighting.  The only window is huge but faces east.  Morning light is great but once the sun is on the other side of the house, it is a little dark.  So, I have had to compensate with additional lighting using lamps and spots.

It also has a hallway that connects the bathroom with the bedroom space.  I have a cold air return on that wall, so was limited in what furniture could go in that area.  Luckily, my favorite cabinet fit just perfect which also provides me additional storage.(do you see a theme emerging here?).  It has a lovely linen closet in that area which now holds my reference photos , small canvases, pastel papers and drawing sketch books.

Just beyond that space is a walk in closet with great shelving and drawer space.  I have allocated additional photo space, office supplies and storage of my larger canvases and pastel papers to this area.  Beyond that closet is the attic space where there are more shelves for storing my frames, glass and finished paintings.

In the main area of the room, I have my easels, my glass top desk(I use this for my palette), an additional porcelain top table for my computer and framing and a matching cabinet next to that for all the gamsol, pastels, etc.  On the other side of the room, I have a large three piece book case which will hold my books, still life things I use and just stuff I like.  I also have a glass cabinet with mementoes and things that make me happy.  Also included in the room, are two doggy beds and their water bowl.

I plan on purchasing two chairs for the space.  One recliner and one with an ottoman for resting and reading my art books, having visitors or just napping after a hard days slog.

Well, that's it for now.  I'll be posting pics soon.  So stay tuned,

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Most of you know that I have taken care of my Mother for the last four years.  She lost her battle with LBD on 3/31/13.  It has been a really trying time dealing with her funeral and her personal things but now I am starting to move back into a life of my own.

To that end, I have decided to blog about my journey back into the reality of my own life.  When you undertake care giving, you tend to give up your own life so that you can focus all your energy on taking care of your loved one.  Now, I am starting a new life.  I have decided to take this next year and rediscover myself and my art.

I am going to blog about my journey thru this process, in hopes of inspiring and teaching and learning.  I invite you to join me on my journey.

It started with deciding to reorganize my studio and move it back into my home.  I had originally thought about having a studio/gallery space at another location and I still may do that in the future.  For now, I have decided to concentrate on my own art and rediscover my passion. 

I'm currently working on the new studio space and will post pictures when I get it up and running or maybe a progress picture.

Stay tuned,
Happy painting,

Monday, June 3, 2013

Well, it's time for the Stems Event again this year.  All the painting has been done and now the paintings will be taken to the Rice Gallery for judging and hopefully sales.
I have done the Stems every year since it's beginning and it is a wonderful event.  What's not to like, flowers, water features, horses, buildings, etc.  There is a wide variety of subjects to appeal to all the painters out there.  I tried my first flower painting this year and am pretty pleased with the results.  I encourage everyone to try to get out of their comfort zone every once in awhile.  It's an awesome experience whether it works out or not.
I love doing landscapes with a combination of brush work and knife strokes.  It is a chance for me to get out of my portrait mindset and into a different creative mode and mood.  Landscape painting for me is an ongoing learning experience.  I really don't like painting still lifes but do enjoy the learning and experience you get from painting from life-so-for me-I plein aire paint.
I encourage all of you to try it and get out there and enjoy our world.
Wish me luck at Stems,
Happy Painting,

Thursday, May 16, 2013

We had a great time and our first workshop at The Art Cottage.  Ken Chapin demoed in the morning and afternoon.  The morning session was all about creating depth in your plein air paintings.   He started with a block in phase and proceeded thru the ending phase of completion. 

This is the block in phase of the demo on depth.  He told us to think in big and simplified shapes.

This is the final phase of the depth demo.  I don't know if it's his final stage of his painting:)
I will post the start of my own depth painting on the next blog.

Happy painting,

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Exciting News:


The Art Cottage is having it's first workshop just in time for a warm up before the Stems Paint out.  Our instructor and workshop leader will be Ken Chapin.  He is a wonderful plein aire painter and an even more exciting teacher!

Cost of the workshop is $50.00 per student and class size is limited to the first 10 students.

In the morning session, we will cover the basics of showing realistic, deep space in a landscape, atomospheric perspective, etc.  A demonstation will be followed by student practice.

In the afternoon session, we will explore more challenging impressionist style color techniques(with broken brushwork, analogous and complementary enrichment stokes, etc. ) A second demostration will be followed by student practice.

Supply List:
Oils or Acrylics
Required colors"
Titanium White
Cadmium Yellow Light
Alizarin Crimson(oil) or Napthol Crimson(acrylic)
Ultramarine Blue

Optional colors include:
Yellow Ochre
Cadmium Red Light
Pthalo Blue

Painting Mediums and Thinners:
For Oil: Gamsol or Turpenoid Natural(not odorless paint thinner, turpentin, or other toxic materials as we will be working in an enclosed space).

For Acrylic:
Matte Medium or Gloss Medium, Three water cups

These 4 brushes are required:
two softer, synthetic brushes--one smaller(such as #3) & one larger(such as #6)
two bristle brushes--one smaller (such as #3) and one larger (such as #6
Bring more brushes, if you have them.  Oil painters use more brushes than acrylic painters.

Paper towels and/or paint rags and a small trash bag for taking your trash with you.

Canvass boards(or stretched canvases, gessoed panels, etc. )
Bring at least 4.
size options include 8x10, 9x12,11x14.

The workshop will be from 9am to 4pm on May 11, 2013.  Please bring a sack lunch and a drink.  there is a frig at the cottage for students to store food or drink that may need refrigerate.

To sign up or for any questions, please call Jennylynne Gragg at 816-898-6646.
The Art Cottage, 1100 NE Delta School Rd., Lee's Summit, Mo. 64064

Saturday, February 16, 2013

We are humming along again on the The Art Cottage.  Hubby knee injury is feeling better so we are going to try and lay the new carpet on the stairs this weekend.  We are also going to decide on the hallway trim-whether to do new or keep part of the existing and just add new where needed. ARGH-I hate all these design decisions-like the doing better.  We may also get to the flooring in the hall but not setting the pressure to high for now.

We got all our paperwork back from the State of Missouri and are halfway to getting the City of Lee's Summit on board.  Still a little work to do in that department, but hopefully will get there soon.  In the meantime, my studio is open by appointment only. Just give me a call and I'll give you the five cent tour:)

I have started a new portrait and am very excited about it so I'll be posting the progress pics from time to time.  It is hard to juggle care giving duties, gallery remodel and my art work but somehow it is all getting done.  I am learning patience and that the world will not stop if something doesn't get done right away.

I have been working on the garden design for the front of the cottage and it is almost complete-on paper at least.  I love designing gardens and this one is so fun because it is a themed garden.  We are going to have lots of perennials and roses.  I have designed a new porch idea and can't wait to get that put together and up along with the new railing system that will line the sidewalk.

Hope you have a great day,
Happy Painting,

Monday, January 28, 2013

Great and wonderfully exciting things happening at the new gallery space.  Have finished the studio space and the gallery space and are almost done with the kitchen space.  Just need to paint the bottom 1/4 round and then we are headed up the stairs.

Next stop, carpeting the stairs and laying laminate in the hall and main bathroom.  Hall is painted, still need to do some door trim and paint that.

Had a great time tearing out the last of the wall separating the two rooms that will be the classroom space.  Hubby says the two things he will have to be careful to say are 1. It's not a load bearing wall and 2. where the sledge hammer is. :)

We are still debating about taking the existing tub out and replacing with just a shower.  More on that later.

The name has been chosen and registered so I can now let you all know what we named it.

The new gallery is The Art Cottage.  We are still on track for the opening on March 1, 2013.  My studio space and gallery is open now by appointment, so if you want a tour, just give me a call.

Happy Painting,