Tuesday, September 14, 2010

End of summer beginning of fall

We have had a tremendously busy August this year. We started out with a trip to the Salt Flats in Utah for Speed Week -- a two day trip both ways. We left heat and humidity in Minnesota and were met with the dry heat of the desert. There really is a difference in the heat. I'll take a bit of dry heat any time.
Here is a photo from that week. Dan by his roadster at sunrise. It is cool and beautiful that time of day on the salt. We took lots of photos of the various cars that try to beat the records for speed on the salt flats. Those guys are not only great engineers but also artists when it comes to designing their dream of what will go the fastest.
And right after we got back from Utah, I headed up to Wisconsin for my class with Bob Burridge. (See my previous post). Now two weeks later I am packing up to go on my trip to Ireland. Ten days with fellow artist, Gail Speckmann and 15 other artists. We will tour and sketch and take photos.  I could not talk Dan into cramping his self in to an airplane seat for 9 hours so I called my travel buddy and she will go with me instead. We travel well together and will have lots of fun. I will take photos and post some for the record.
After I get home from Ireland, Dan and I will drive south to Bowling Green, KY for a nostalgic drag race and car show. More photo ops. We will take the camper and stay right on the fair grounds. It is a pretty area there so if it is not raining (like it did last year) I will try to get in a plein air or two.
Gerry and I have been out painting a couple of days. Gerry is good at timing our outings so that we have good weather. The rest of this week will be raining so we went out yesterday. The weather was absolutely perfect.. The Kasota Prairie is a conservation area that is attempting to save the tall grass prairie. It is a beautiful area and has lots of potential paintings. I struggled with the lonely tree in this photo and have some work to do with the foreground. I only have this photo to give you an idea of what I am working on.   No photo of the painting yet.
It is hard to see in the photo but the prairie grasses are my shoulder height with lots of wild flowers growing in their shadow and butterflies flitting all around. It is just beautiful and smells wonderful.
Last week we painted on the Judson Bottom Road, an old wagon road that follows the Minnesota River on the western side toward Judson and New Ulm. It is narrow and tree shaded and twisty turnie with lots of places to paint there, too. Dan and I used to ride our tandem on the road. There were at least two bikers passed us while we were painting. Here is the result of that session. 11x14 on canvas with oil.

I started with an orange under painting that really kept the painting on the warm side. You can see some of it coming through in the trees. They really had not changed this much. Gerry keeps saying that I see colors way different than she does. :-) I chose this spot for the winding hill and the limestone cliff with the over hanging shelf. It was really fun to do because there was a built in composition for the painting. And I have always wanted to put in a road sign on one of my plein airs. ;-)
Gone for a couple of weeks. See you later. Hugs, Margie

Friday, September 3, 2010

Permission to be free

 My workshop with Bob Burridge last week was a week of work and fun. Bob passed out our permission slips to be free in our paintings and to express what we wanted. Being the tight painter that I am, this permission was one of the best things of the week. Our warm up sessions every morning, got us swinging our brushes and our blood heated up for the rest of the day. The short sessions with the model kept us moving a just putting impressions down on our papers.
The second part of the week we worked on our paintings of the model and learned (tried to learn) how to be free with collage. Bob sees collage a just another aspect of his painting. A touch of texture or a note of color on his painting. I had gone to the workshop with a big box of interesting collage items and only used some paper that I brought along. Every one in the class did the same thing. He fooled us all. His collage elements were photo copies of a small kids flag that he cut up and used as stripes or stars on his paintings. Very reserved for Bob. 
This is the collage that was the most successful of the whole week. It is a quarter sheet of water color paper with collage and acrylic paint. It did not come together until I added the greyed back ground. After seeing it here on the blog I think that I will soften the little white circles on the right. Maybe more of the light grey instead of white. Here is another that I was happy with.
This one is small, just a sixth of a sheet about 8x10. I liked how the color scheme came together and the little bit of gold foil paper that I used for added bling.  I think it looks like a group of gospel singers on stage. In the spot light. 
As you can see these are not figures that were collaged. I did not get to collaging the figure paintings. I am just too unsure of what I am doing with them. With more work drawing figures, I may get to that point in the weeks ahead.
I received a grant to go to this workshop. As a result of my contract with the Prairie Lakes Region, I need to develop a body of work for a show that shows what I learned with Bob at the workshop. My goal  this fall is to work toward a show of my work some time this coming spring. I also need to have three paintings ready to hang in January for the grantees show in St. Peter. All the award winners will be hanging their work at this show. Should be fun.