Wipe Out

blue chair

Week 4 of my eCourse and I feel like I’m getting the hang of it. Start out with thin paint, bold and bright, massing in the shapes. Then redefine the drawing with this handy tool, the Kemper wipe out tool. It has a pointy rubber tip on one end and a chiseled rubber tip on the other; it removes the paint from the surface.

Moving on to thicker more opaque paint with lively brushtrokes and a variety of colors allowing some of the layer below to show through.

If I fuss too much in one area, instead of blending it starts getting mushy, losing that lively quality, paint builds up, and it gets muddy.

The Kemper tool comes in handy here. I can wipe out a whole area back to the surface and start over. Oil paint stays wet for a long time allowing me to do that. Put back in the brights and be more attentive to the opaques. Way better than wiping out on a surf board.

Here is my blue chair painting from week 4. #DreamLovePaint

chair brights

 

Breaking Out Is Hard To Do

sunflower

Painting realistically is not hard for me. Pushing it to photo-realism is challenging but not impossible. (I used to think I could’ve been a forger.) But I find it tedious, and with cameras what they are today, why paint that way?

I want to make my art look like paint, show my brushstrokes and marks, and show my interpretation of the subject.

But breaking habits is not easy. This week’s painting of a sunflower proved that. When watching my eCourse DreamLovePaint video and Dreama said to “mass in the shapes of the petals”, boy I wanted to paint each and every petal!

This is going to take some practice.

Here is my sunflower painting from week 3. #DreamLovePaint

FRUSTRATION! The Learning Struggle

Oh So Sweet

Every time I take a class I want to know everything NOW! Just open my head and pour it in. I am always frustrated in the beginning because in any class there are always various skill levels of people signed up and there is a certain amount of basics to get through.
My eCourse is no different. I want to paint. But there is setting up the studio, setting up the palette, loading up the brush, cleaning the brush, yada, yada, yada… all good information, and I want to PAINT. And I learned a lot in spite of myself.

I’ve always known certain pigments didn’t cover as well as others and this was annoying. These are the transparents, and now I know how to use them to my advantage. As a thin underpainting they provide a rich glow of bright color, which work with the next layer of thicker opaque color to provide depth and richness.

The second week we painted! After switching to acrylics for the past 3 years I remembered why I like painting in oils. Thick and buttery, there is nothing like it. And it’s pretty easy to wipe out and paint over if I don’t like what I’ve done (which I did several times).
So I’m getting the hang of this loose brushstroke thing, at least while I’m watching Dreama do it. We’ll have to see if I can do it on my own with my own painting. But I’ve still got 4 weeks to go.

Here is my cupcake painting from week 2 #DreamLovePaint.

Time to Shake Things Up

Trying to change the way you paint is no easy feat. I always wondered why artists taught workshops and created DVDs (other than the money and the sharing part). Weren’t they worried about creating a bunch of other artist who all paint exactly like them? Why were they giving away all their secrets?

But as I took workshops and watched DVDs I realized I was still using my hand to create the brushstrokes, I still had my own color sense, I still had my own vision of what I wanted to create. In other words, I still paint the way I paint. Not that I didn’t learn anything. I always learn something. It just gets filtered through my own sensibilities. I learn something every time I just paint next to another artist, so hopefully I am getting better.

In order to make a larger leap I have signed up to take a 6-week eCourse with an artist whose art and techniques I admire, Dreama Tolle Perry (http://dreamatolleperry.com). A completely different (bright and colorful) color palette than I am used to, and quite loose brushwork—which I have been trying to implement on my own for about a year and a half with only limited success.

It should be fun. A perfect occupation for the gray and snowy winter ahead of me here in Michigan.

studio painting
Even painting with my right hand (I’m left handed) did not loosen up my brushstroke enough. I am NOT going to try painting with my feet (as some have suggested)! A larger brush will help.

 

New Year—New Colors

 

Gazing
Gazing, 6×8″ acrylic

Pantone Inc. is best known for its Pantone Matching System (PMS), a proprietary color space used in a variety of industries, primarily printing, though sometimes in the manufacture of colored paint, fabric, and plastics. Annually, Pantone declares a particular color “Color of the Year”. Fashion designers, florists, and many other consumer-oriented companies look to Pantone to help guide their designs and planning for future products. Pantone has said that color “has always been an integral part of how a culture expresses the attitudes and emotions of the times.”

Pantone has chosen two colors for 2016, Serenity, muted pale blue, and Rose Quartz, a pale pink. A challenge was put forth on Daily Paintworks to create a piece or art using those colors. This is my answer to the challenge.

http://www.dailypaintworks.com/fineart/andrea-jeris/gazing/438373

New Year—Fresh Start

blank canvas
blank canvas

People like the idea of a fresh start, a clean slate, and a chance to do it “right” this time (as long as starting over doesn’t involve losing any built up vacation time).

As an artist I’m lucky—each new art piece begins with a blank canvas. Some people go to work and do the same thing every day. Even a doctor might see her waiting room as a sink full of dirty dishes so to speak.

Of course that white space staring at you every day can get intimidating. I have to think of something to put on it everyday. When inspiration doesn’t come I still have to work. I put a wash of color on the canvas. I move some paint around. Inspiration comes.

Creating art is good for the mind. Creating art is good for the body. Looking at art is good for the mind and the body as well.

In an article by the Huffpost, Art Isn’t Just Good For The Mind, It’s Good For The Body Too, Donna Betts, president of the American Art Therapy Association, “referenced a slew of studies chronicling art’s ability to reduce pain, counter fatigue and promote general physical wellness”.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/art-isnt-just-good-for-the-mind-its-good-for-the-body-too_5683094ae4b0b958f65ab92a?ir=Arts&section=arts&

So in 2016 be sure to include art in your schedule—sign up for a class, attend a show, visit a museum, buy a special piece for your space that you will benefit from in more ways than one.

I Never Was Very Good with Numbers

Stone Archway
Stone Archway, 6×6″ acrylic

Ok, so in my last blog I indicated that art was 95% inspiration and 5% perspiration maybe making it sound like (some) artists wander the woods or spend hours meditating, then in an hour throw some paint around to create art.

Maybe it’s closer to the 80/20 rule. It’s just that the 80% permeates our whole life. Every trip to the farmers’ market is an adventure in color, shape, and design. I’m lucky if I remember to buy my produce.

And the 20% is hours filled with the agony and ecstasy of hard work that I love.

When I finish a work I’m lucky if 8 out of 10 are keepers. I was happy with this piece when I completed it; a week later I was ready to paint over it. I’ve had it in a few shows and online galleries and it hasn’t sold. I took it to the Saturday Artist’s breakfast for a critique and got some suggestions.

Should I keep working on it? Should I paint over it? Can I give it away?

What do you think?

95% Inspiration; 5% Perspiration

Bike Riders, 6x8" acrylic painting
Bike Riders, 6×8″ acrylic painting

Fall weather has been great this year. Sunny and warm is not a day to be in the studio. I took a day to be outside in the sun and fresh air getting inspired and taking pics. Potter Park Zoo and Hawk Island Park provided me with both.

I could’ve set up to paint on site, but I wanted to get as many photos as I could for the upcoming studio time when the weather won’t be so nice. Photos and some notes will provide the inspiration making the creation of the art just a matter of getting into the “zone” and putting on the paint. (Oh, ho! if only it were that easy!)

But for me the vision, the excitement has to be inside before anything worthwhile shows up on the canvas. And the light and colors of this fall day was quite thrilling.

http://www.dailypaintworks.com/fineart/andrea-jeris/off-season-bay/385210

I Get By with a Little Help from My Friends

acrylic painting of cat at the old house
CAT AT THE OLD HOUSE

Painted branches in that upper left-hand corner 3 times and scraped them out 3 times. Grr-rr! Just don’t like it. So just keep painting.

Continued the siding on the house but, hmmm.

It’s great to have artist friends to get an honest critique. I often show my work in progress to my friend Tom Nelson, (see his work at http://www.nelsonfineart.com).

Yep, those lines are taking your eye right off the picture plane. Let’s lose some of those and also lose some of the edges on those windows on the left as well. Lost and found edges can be an important factor in the success of a painting. And maybe a bit of change in temperature of the color to push that area back.

Now you see what’s important—kitty, kitty!

Thanks Tom.

I Can’t Even Draw A Straight Line

People admiring art sometimes tell the artist, “Wow, you’re good, I can’t even draw a straight line.”

Here are my straight lines. Left hand; right hand.

lines

There are no straight lines in nature. Humans make straight line usually with the help of a ruler or some sort of straight edge. In my previous blog you can see my preliminary drawing where I used a ruler to draw in the building. I do not use mechanical aids when I paint.

I could use a mahl stick which many artists use to keep their hand off the surface of the painting while doing fine work. Or I could tape it off like the artists did in the 1960s when Pop Art became the vogue and crisp, straight lines were part of the style.

I want my lines to show my hand, to look painterly. I don’t want a mechanical look even on mechanical objects. This is not a photograph. This is paint on canvas or board after all.

So if you can’t draw a straight line, maybe you can push some paint around.

It takes a few layers sometimes. I’m not done yet. Still moving paint.

Cat at Old House, starting to add color.
Cat at Old House, starting to add color.
another layer
Adding more layers; do I want branches in the upper left corner?

More decisions to make. I’ll keep painting ’til I’m happy.